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The dream of European travel is alive in the hearts of many! Europe has always been one of the most popular travel destinations. Its history, architecture, culture, food, and unique landscapes are rich. And, as a whole, it won’t be going away anytime soon.
We have researched and handpicked top destinations with a little something for everyone, from museums and galleries to natural wonders and ancient history. This list is also perfect for family vacations and those who want to experience the best of Europe without breaking the bank.
Summer 2023: Top European Destinations
The top five places you should not miss to visit in the summer of 2023 are discussed below:
Croatia is renowned for having some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches, and it’s not hard to see why. There is something for everyone here, from secluded coves accessible only by boat to long stretches of golden sand. In the summertime, you can take a relaxing dip in one of its freshwater lakes, which are home to an abundance of wildlife year-round.
The country also has its fair share of hidden gems, and a visit to Lokrum Island is well worth the short ferry ride from Dubrovnik. The Dalmatian Coast is perfect for soaking up the sun if you’re looking for a quiet beach holiday.
You can swim in the azure waters and relax on the pristine sands. However, if you’re looking for a more active break, you can explore the stunning scenery of Croatia’s national parks. Here, you will enjoy adrenaline-pumping water sports or visit the many museums and galleries.
When in Croatia, you can also visit Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. It may not be on the coast, but it makes a great base for exploring the country. The city is home to many cultural and heritage attractions, including the Museum of Broken Relationships.
As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to failed romances and the objects left behind by former lovers. Therefore, if you’re traveling with children, the Zagreb Zoo, which is said to be one of Europe’s best, is also worth visiting.
When someone mentions Italy, we can’t help but think of Sicily. Sicily has been acclaimed as one of the most beautiful islands in Europe, and it is easy to see why. Sicily’s landscape is picturesque and dramatic, from rolling green hills to rugged mountains and peaks.
The island boasts some wonderful beaches, along with towns and villages such as Cefalù. Before visiting a delightful local market, you can stroll around the historic center, overlooking a beautiful bay. This island offers incredible sights and experiences for such a small geographical area.
Sicily also has the added benefit of being an incredibly affordable place for British tourists. The pound is strong against the euro, and there are some great deals on flights when you book well in advance.
Away from the coast, you will find forests and mountains offering countless outdoor lovers opportunities. The perfect Sicily itinerary starts with its capital, Palermo. It has one of the best cathedrals, La Martorana. It was built in the 12th century by Roger II and had influences from both Byzantine and Arab cultures.
Inside is a charming cloister, where you can admire the delicate Arab-inspired columns and arches. While outside, you’ll find stunning mosaic decorations of saints and angels.
When Sicily’s countryside beckons, head to Agrigento to see some of the island’s most impressive Greek temples.
Spain is a country that’s as diverse as its people. You could bask on the beaches for two weeks and not scratch the surface of this incredible destination.
The sun-kissed coastlines of the Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera. The snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees, and cities are alive with culture and energy.
You’re spoilt for choice when picking where to visit in Spain, from sprawling cities like Barcelona and Madrid to historic towns like Seville and Santiago de Compostela. These are some of Europe’s most dynamic destinations. However, if you wish to visit one of its islands, we recommend trying out Mallorca.
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and has a rugged landscape with a jagged coastline dotted with many beaches. The island is home to resorts such as Palma Nova, Magaluf, and Santa Ponsa, which attract young party-goers.
You can enjoy the scenery elsewhere on the island by hiking in the Tramuntana Mountains. You can also explore the Unesco World Heritage-listed capital city of Palma de Mallorca.
The island has a rich cultural heritage, as seen in its architecture and art museums. It is also home to Europe’s finest golf courses, including Son Gual and Golf Park Puntiro.
When it comes to nightlife, visitors are spoilt for choice, whether they are looking for laid-back bars, nightclubs, or live music venues.
The Netherlands is the smallest country in Europe. It is home to a unique blend of continental cultures, from the “Amsterdammer” to the glamor of Scheveningen. It’s easy to see why many people flock here for a summer holiday.
The Dutch are known for their tolerance of diversity. They have a Royal Palace that houses some of the country’s most important artworks. It shows the city’s many museums, art galleries, and cultural institutions. They include Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” while its winter gardens are considered one of the world’s finest.
Haarlem boasts a mix of Georgian, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture in the old city center. The city boasts over 20 museums and galleries and is full of busy bars with outdoor seating areas on sunny summer days. This UNESCO World Heritage site makes it one of Holland’s favorite places to visit.
The two biggest tourist destinations, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, have several museums and canals that will keep you busy for days at a time. A great way to do this is by simply walking around and getting lost in its many canals or visiting the city’s museums on weekdays when they are less crowded.
With an extensive public transportation system and thousands of bikes on the streets, it’s easy to get around if you’re not driving a car.
Greece is a country of significant interests and diverse cultures. Besides natural beauty and rich heritage, an essential factor in this is the hospitality of the Greeks, who will make you feel at home.
For a good reason: Greece has incredible ancient sites, such as the Acropolis in Athens and Mount Olympus, and it also has stunning landscapes. It has Santorini’s famous whitewashed buildings overlooking a vast caldera and Pelion’s lush green mountains.
It also has hundreds of islands that offer everything from rugged landscapes to quiet coves. They are perfect for hiking and relaxing on beautiful beaches along their 6,000 kilometers of coastline.
Maybe it has something to do with its amazing beaches. From the turquoise waters of the Ionian Islands to the postcard-perfect shores of Santorini, Greece is a beach lover’s dream destination!
A trip to Greece wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of its famed islands. Take your pick of beachfront accommodations on Santorini or Mykonos. Or choose the laid-back charm of Milos or Paros.
For a more historic experience, visit Crete, which features ancient ruins and archaeological sites. They include Knossos Palace, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and Phaistos Palace.
Zakynthos may be best known for its stunning Navagio Beach (AKA “Shipwreck Beach”), but it has many other beautiful beaches to explore. Turtle Island is a must-visit, as you can swim alongside loggerhead sea turtles in the clear blue water!
Mykonos is one of Greece’s loveliest islands, with a party scene that lasts until dawn and an endless parade of luxury yachts moored in its harbor.
To sum things up, if you’re after a hassle-free but authentic European experience and don’t mind a bit of travel to get there, then Europe is the place for you. There are so many countries with different flavors that you can truly experience a lifetime here. There’ll be no regrets when planning your trip here in the summer of 2023.