Europe in the summertime – what could be better? But if you’re planning a holiday here, the variety of destinations can make for a daunting choice. Help is at hand with Mundana’s picks for a European summer vacation.
Soak up the sun in Spain
The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain – so went the lyrics from My Fair Lady’s most famous song. When the mercury rises, half of Europe flocks to Spain’s southern coastline and with good reason – there’s a beach to suit everyone. Marry city playas with a passion for art in the Catalan capital of Barcelona or follow the locals to La Barrosa at Chiclana de la Frontera near the historic maritime city of Cadiz. Get off the beaten track for your European summer vacation by heading east to the Costa de la Luz, where a cooling breeze makes this a magnet for birdlife and windsurfers alike.
Barcelona – where the city meets the Mediterranean Sea
The Swedish capital’s many offshore islands are a delight in summer, when wildflower meadows and sunny skies contrast with the nearby city. But even in the heart of Stockholm there ‘s a generous smattering of green spaces – from Skansen Open Air Museum where you’ll find centuries-old wooden architecture to the tranquil parkland of Royal Djurgården. The city’s home to a clutch of must-see museums, too. The ABBA museum’s a lot of fun and the Vasamuseet a compulsory stop for anyone interested in maritime history.
Traditional wooden house in Skansen, Stockholm
Enjoy wine tasting In Germany
Late summer is when the grape harvest comes in. Along Germany’s Rhine and Moselle rivers, that can only mean one thing: it’s wine festival season. Every vineyard and every village hosts its own events. With leisurely boat rides the best way to cruise from one to the other, there’s no need to worry about driving under the influence. Once you’ve tasted enough to work out your favourite, buy a case to take home as a souvenir.
Bernkastel, jewel of Germany’s Moselle River
Eat like a local in Italy
Even amidst stiff competition in a country where life revolves around food, there are few places that match the northern Italian city of Bologna when it comes to choosing your European summer vacation. The entire city centre seems to be filled with cafés, restaurants and traditional delicatessens. After the heat of the afternoon sun dies down, join the locals for the passeggiata, the early evening stroll through the alleyways of the old town. Pause for an Aperol Spritz accompanied by stuzzicati, the Italian version of tapas. After dinner, make sure you leave room for some homemade gelato, the nation’s favourite sweet treat.
Pizza and Aperol Spritz – a match made in heaven
Hike the Yorkshire Dales
God’s own country is at its best in summer. Warmer temperatures make for pleasant hikes in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. Climb up to the top of Malham Cove where you’ll need to pick your way across the clints and grykes of the limestone pavement to enjoy unsurpassed views across the valley. Alternatively, descend into Ingleborough Cave, where centuries of dripping water have created a magical underground landscape of stalactites and stalagmites.
Yorkshire’s Malham Cove
Take a cycling tour of Salzburg
Austria’s most captivating city was Mozart’s birthplace and the setting for classic movie The Sound of Music. Salzburg is renowned for its music and throughout the summer there’s a programme of concerts that will satisfy any classical music aficionado. But for a chance to belt out songs at the top of your voice, join Fräulein Maria’s Bicycle Tours to explore the old town and its environs. Finish up at Hellbrunn, whose trick fountains will give you a soaking and help you cool off.
Salzburg’s Altstadt at sunrise
Follow the Dracula trail
Transylvania is a joy in summer. Wolf, bear and lynx tracking tours provide good reason to get out into the countryside. Even more appealing are its historic towns. They’re awash with pavement cafes decorated with flower-filled window boxes. Bran Castle is the area’s most visited attraction. It markets itself as Dracula’s castle despite the fact that Bram Stoker never set foot there. Nevertheless, this part of Romania is like something out of a fairytale, from the craftsmanship apparent in the wooden architecture of Maramures to the many majestic churches and fortresses that dot the landscape.
Colourful Sighisoara is one of Transylvania’s prettiest cities
Which will you choose? Europe’s well connected transport network means you could combine several of our suggestions in one fantastic itinerary. Why not let Mundana create a bespoke tour to your specific requirements this summer?