I have seen about a thousand and one quotes about summer, but only a few of them really make perfect sense and stand out.
One of them, I’ve come across a cute gelato shop in Galle in Sri Lanka:
And this is precisely the reason why for the longest time, everybody wants to go to Europe during the summer. If you’ve spent at least one summer (or even late spring) in Europe, then you realise that the ‘hype’ is real:
Europe is painfully, superbly and wonderfully beautiful in the summer. It is as simple and as remarkable as that.
And if you haven’t got any summer travel plans yet, let these European summer specials with Voyage Prive tempt you. Not only are these cities my personal favourites in Europe, but they are also especially marvellous to experience in the summer:
1.) Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is unbelievably easy to fall in love at first visit. It’s been voted as the world’s fourth most beautiful city and it’s not hard to see why: Lisbon is a city that has a lot of history, a lot of colour, a lot of music, good food, and rolling hills.
The Remodelado trams, the quaint little yellow trams that slowly but steadily chug up and down Lisbon may be the city’s trademark transportation, but I highly recommend that you walk around Lisbon. Yes, Lisbon may be a little bit hilly but one, hills add to a great cardio workout, and second, you won’t even feel any fatigue. Every turn you take in Lisbon’s streets will take you to an entirely new scenery. And this is why summer is one of the best seasons to visit Lisbon – it makes walking a little more pleasant (just wear light clothing).
When in Lisbon, please do not miss the Monument to the Discoveries. If you love history and travel, not only is this a must, but also a stark reminder that though a relatively small country, Portugal has really contributed greatly to world exploration and discovery.
2.) Berlin, Germany
While this photo taken at the Berliner Dom was not during summer, it’s really not hard to imagine how much more picturesque Berlin is during summer. If you love contemporary history, Berlin will be a wonderland for you. But Berlin is also such an easy, laid-back city to explore. It’s not all museums and monuments in Berlin. The local weekend markets are a wonderful place to score historic and vintage finds. Those who are mildly adventurous can try the Air Service Berlin, a motorised ‘balloon’ that will give you a wonderful bird’s eye-view of Berlin.
There are 101 ways to explore Berlin, and getting the Berlin Card was probably the smartest thing I did when I visited the German capital.
3.) Florence, Italy
Once voted as the world’s best city for travellers, Florence may not be a European metropolis, but that is also the reason why it’s such a charming and relatively quiet city. Just over an hour’s ride from Rome, Florence is a popular day trip destination. My suggestion would be to spend at least two nights, and experience walking around Florence in the evening, when many ‘day-trippers’ would have left so it’s a quieter and more serene experience.
4.) Rome, Italy
It’s almost impossible to take in all of Rome’s grandiose offer in one visit. So in my humble opinion, Rome is one of those cities that you just have to visit every now and then. Personally, it is the unbelievable richness of history that Rome has that really draws me to the Eternal city. If you’re a fan of ancient Roman history like me, I highly suggest visiting the Colosseum after dark.
Apart from its history though, another thing I cannot get enough of is Italian food! (Pizza and coffee in particular) And I often join food tours when I find myself in Rome. One thing that is best to experience in the summer: create your own ‘Roman Holiday’ moment and explore the city in a Vespa.
5.) Santorini, Greece
Sitting smugly on top of my travel bucket list is to return to Santorini. I went there on a day trip as part of a Mediterranean cruise, and it took me a great deal of effort to return to the ship. In my travels, I can only count on one hand the number of places that are as picture and postcard perfect in person, and Santorini is one of them.
I had a most unforgettable day in Santorini and knowing what I know now, if I am to visit Santorini again, I most definitely would: stay at least 3-4 days, book an accommodation in advance, and walk my way around the island. Yes, Santorini is popular with honeymooners but it is that beautiful that I am happy to return all by myself.
Are you planning a European Summer? Where are you headed?