The Best Summer Destinations to Visit in Europe in 2023

26 May 2023
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As South Africans, we’re no strangers to long haul flights. If the end destination is full of excitement and adventure, we’re happy to sit back and wait patiently. Europe is therefore always high on our list of travel destinations. The sun, the beaches, the food and the cultures – what’s not to love? But with so many incredible cities and towns to choose from – where do you start? If you’re planning to travel to Europe in the summer months of 2023, here are a few trendy destinations that should be right on top of your list. 

1. Norway

Norway is one of the most breath-taking destinations in Europe. With its stunning fjords, midnight sun, charming small towns, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, it’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking for adventure and culture.  

Summer in Norway means long days filled with hiking, kayaking, and cycling. One of the top places to visit in Norway is Stavanger. Located in Rogaland County, the city is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-blue waters that offer some of the best surfing experiences in the world. Other top attractions include Prekestolen (Pulpit Rock), Lysefjord and Kjeragbolten. 

Browse our Norway holiday packages so you too can start planning your fjord frolics. 

2. Turkey

Turkey has it all! Think golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, ancient ruins and a vibrant culture. With its charming coastal towns, stunning landscapes and world-renowned cuisine, it’s no wonder why Turkey is fast becoming a popular summer destination for South Africans. 

Bodrum is an amazing coastal town located in the southwestern Aegean Region of Turkey, known for its remarkable beaches, nightlife and historical landmarks. Another top destination in Turkey is Alanya, located on the west coast of Antalya province. With its rugged natural beauty, medieval fortress and turquoise bays, it’s a great place for a summer getaway. 

From sailing around Turkey to seeing the top wonders and attractions, we’ve got a Turkey holiday package that’s perfect for you.  

3. Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a year-round destination but it’s during the summer months where it truly shows its colours. From its vibrant atmosphere, tree-lined canals, stunning architecture and laid-back attitude – it’s easy to fall in love with gorgeous Amsterdam!  

A popular summer activity in Amsterdam is cycling around the city exploring the many museums, cafés, and parks. One of the top things to do in Amsterdam during summer is take a boat cruise on the canals, it’s a unique way to explore the city and its historic landmarks. 

Other must-sees in Amsterdam include the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam is also full of unusual attractions to explore such as Electric Ladyland: The Museum of Fluorescent Art, an entire museum dedicated to the wonders of fluorescent art. There is also a floating cat sanctuary that you can visit called De Poezenboot. 

Quirky and fun Amsterdam is just waiting for you. Browse our Amsterdam packages. 

4. Santorini, Greece

Santorini has long been a popular destination for summer travellers, and it’s not hard to see why. With its stunning sunsets, whitewashed buildings and crystal-clear waters, it’s as close to paradise on earth as you can get. Oia, the most Instagrammable village in Santorini, is famous for its picturesque white and blue houses and its stunning sunsets. Another popular spot is the black sand beach at Perissa and the Red Beach in Akrotiri. 

Browse our carefully curated Greece holiday packages. 

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a city that is full of history, culture and charm. As the capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in Europe, it’s no surprise that it’s on our list of top summer destinations. The city is famous for its stunning architecture, colourful buildings, and delicious cuisine. The historical district of Alfama, the breath-taking Belem Tower and the lively Chaido district are just a few must-see attractions. Lisbon also has some remarkable beaches such as Guincho beach, Praia da Rainha, and Praia de Carcavelos. 

6. Porto, Portugal

Portugal’s second-largest city is slowly gaining traction as one of Europe’s hottest summer destinations. With its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and rich history, Porto has everything you could want in a holiday. It’s also extremely affordable, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious travellers. Be sure to sample some of the local seafood and port wine while you’re there. 

Start learning your Portuguese phrases and planning which exciting Portugal package is best for you. 

7. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik has always been popular with tourists, but it’s experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to Game of Thrones. Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik boasts stunning beaches, a picturesque Old Town, and some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean. If you’re a fan of the show, be sure to take a Game of Thrones tour and explore the city’s filming locations. Dubrovnik is also known for it’s beautiful and fresh cuisine. A must try is the black risotto made with squid ink which lends the dish its black colour and fresh seafood taste. 

Browse our holiday packages to Croatia. 

8. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s capital may not be the warmest destination on this list, but it’s certainly one of the most unique. Reykjavik boasts stunning natural scenery, including geysers, glaciers, and hot springs. The city is also home to some of the best seafood in Europe and a thriving arts scene. Plus, in the summer months, you’ll experience almost 24 hours of daylight! 

Book your trip today!  

Europe boasts some of the world’s most incredible cities and towns, each offering something different to visitors. Whether you’re after sun, sea, and sand, or culture and cuisine, there’s bound to be a destination that suits your taste-. The places we’ve highlighted are just a few examples of the many amazing trendy spots to visit in Europe in the summer of 2023. Make sure you start planning early, so you can make the most of your trip! 

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