Destination Ideas for Summer 24 – Europe Edition

Europe is vast, there are many corners further than the Mediterranean to enjoy your summer holidays. In this article I share 9 summer destination ideas in Europe. Away from the usual, off the beaten path, for less crowds and better temperatures.

This article was entirely written by me, without the use of AI. 

northern portugal

Crowds often gather to the Algarve and around Lisbon, but how about discovering the North of the country?  Think National Park, hiking, fresher air, lots of greenery and culture. 

Don’t miss:

  • Peneda- Geres: the only national park in the country. It is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and birdwatching. 
  • Braga: the historic city. Often referred to, as the Rome of Portugal. 
  • Douro Valley: one of the oldest wine region in the world and listed at UNESCO. 
  • Porto: the vibrant city for culture, amazing food and stunning architecture. 
douro Valley


Still relatively not visited by foreigner, Albania is right next to Croatia and benefits from better prices and less people. 

Don’t miss

  • The stunning coastline along the Adriatic and Ionan see with crystal clear waters. 
  • Active holiday opportunities: hiking in the Albanian Alps, exploring the Theth National Park, or rafting in the Vjosa River.
  • Untouched nature with national parks, lakes and mountains 

northern greece

In summer 2023, Greece suffered from many fires and sky high temperatures. Islands are overcrowded, so opt for a different approach and explore a calmer side of the country. 

Don’t miss:

  • Mount Olympus: learn about ancient mythology, discover beautiful hiking trails and enjoy stunning views. 
  • The nature in Thessaly: relax on the beautiful beach of Volos, enjoy the mountain scenery of Pelion.  
  • Vikos Gorge: hike through the deepest gorge in the world. 

northern croatia

As everyone heads to Dubrovnik or Split, focus on a less busy part of the country: the North. Take the opportunity to hop around islands and discover beautiful nature. Why not combining with a roadtrip through Slovenia. 

Don’t miss:

  • The island of Rab for beautiful sandy beaches. 
  • The Northern Velebit National park for amazing views over the seas and beautiful hiking in nature 
  • Discover the Kopački Rit Nature Park: definitely for nature lovers and for birdwatchers

southern sweden

Don’t be worried about temperatures, the South of Sweden enjoys perfectly lovely long summer days. Enjoy very family-friendly beaches, delicious food and nordic lifestyle. 

Don’t miss:

  • The beach and beautiful coastal landscapes, rocky cliffs, and charming seaside towns like Ystad and Simrishamn. 
  • Kalmar and the island of Öland where many locals holiday. It has a true summer feeling. 
  • Vibrant arts and music scene in Mälmo 

western norway

You read it. Norway in summer. Why not? It shouldn’t be only about snowy landscapes and fjord action. Norway has a lot of outdoor life during summer months. 

Don’t miss: 

  • Geirangerfjord: The UNESCO classified fjord with waterfalls and crystal clear waters
  • Bergen: its seven surrounding mountains and colourful houses
  • Lofoten Islands: Very much up north, but if you can spare some time, a must visit for a true serene break 

the azores

Still Portugal, but in the middle of the Atlantic. The Azores have continued prioritising the nature, the seclusion and simplicity. 

Don’t miss: 

  • Hot springs and thermal pools in the Furnas Valley on Sao Miguel
  • Island hopping and discovering the diversity and specificity of each island 
  • Spectacular beaches of Santa Maria. Not easy to get to, but well worth the effort. 

the italian mountains

Mountains tend to be quieter in summer. As everyone escapes to the beaches, enjoy nature, fresh mountain air and delicious Italian food. 

Don’t miss: 

  • Alpine lakes: enjoy fresh clean water swimming and water-sports 
  • Replace the snowy ski adventures with hiking, mountain biking and trekking
  • Discover the Dolomites, classified at UNESCO for their unique limestone peaks 
Italian Mountains


Sandwiched between Croatia and Albania, Montenegro has a stunning architecture and landscape. Stay off the coast and discover a totally different side to the region. 

Don’t miss:

  • The many national parks in the country like Durmitor, Biogradska Gora National Park and Skadar Lake National Park
  • The Bay of Kotor is quite unique with fjord like scenery
  • Tara River Canyon or the Grand Canyon of Europe for water activities and natural beauty.

I hope this article inspired your to travel to different places this summer. Europe is beautiful, let’s explore! 

✨ I’m Marta, your Family Travel Designer

✨ I help you plan unique family holidays and adventures in an efficient, creative and cost effective way 

✨ I plan trips from a first holiday abroad with kids to a 6 months world adventure

✨ I work with families of all shapes travelling all over the world

Are you ready to create lasting memories with your family? 

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Let’s design your next incredible journey together! 💛

Marta Mikolajczyk

Marta Mikolajczyk

Your Family Travel Designer

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