Hottest travel destinations for your 2023 summer plans!

Vis island croatia Komiza europe summer

When someone talks about visiting Europe in summer, we instantly get feelings of nostalgia, and memories of some of the best times of our life flood back. There’s something truly special about summer in Europe that you struggle to replicate anywhere else. The combination of world-best beaches, incredible outdoor piazzas, summer street festivals, and the excitement of other happy travel-goers all forms an incredible cocktail. When you add this to postcard views and incredible old-towns, you have an incredible holiday!

Visiting Europe in summer is very popular (for good reason), and many of the destinations can get astronomically busy. Popular tourist destinations like Amalfi Coast, Dubrovnik, Rome, Santorini and more become a swarm of tourists, something we don’t particularly enjoy. Over our many trips to Europe, including our 2022 6 months adventures in the continent, we ventured to many of best summer destinations, including some that will allow you to avoid to crazy crowds. Read below for our top recommendations for the best European summer destinations for your 2023 travel plans!

The hottest travel destinations for your Europe 2023 summer plans!

Puglia – Italy:

The south east coastline of Puglia is known as the ‘heel of the boot’, and is seriously underrated. However, thanks stunning photos and videos splashed on social media and travel blogs (like us), this place won’t stay underrated for long! The region of Puglia offers amazing beaches, ridiculously cute seaside towns, and many inland towns to explore. The postcard views of Polignano a Mare mean this is a MUST VISIT, and should be definitely on your Italian travel itinerary. Other towns like Galipolli, Ostuni, Otranto, Alberobello, and Monopoli are all great options to check out during your stay in the region.

Take a look at some further recommendations and highlights from Puglia here!

Vis Island – Croatia:

The entire coastline of Croatia is incredible during summer, and most of the towns along the riviera would be a good choice to visit! Additionally, the islands of Croatia offer beautiful beaches and picturesque harbours. Whilst we have visited most of the popular island (e.g. Hvar, Brac etc), our favourite would be the island of Vis. Located around 3 hours off the coast of Split via ferry, this island offers a perfect combination of incredible beaches, great seafood, and less crowds than the ridiculously popular Hvar/Brac. If you want to escape the crowds even further, consider heading to the other side of the island and stay in the gorgeous Komiza!

Check out some great moments from our stay on the idyllic Vis Island!

Himare & The Albanian Riviera – Albania:

We visited the Albanian Riviera in the summer of 2022 and were very surprised and delighted at the incredible beaches! The coastline offered some of the clearest and warmest water of our Europe travels so far! We particularly enjoyed the beaches located around the coastal town of Himare. Whilst Albania isn’t as developed as some countries, the trade-off is cheaper prices and less tourists. A visit to the Albanian Riviera may not be for the ‘luxury tourist’, however the budget or adventurous types will find beaches as good as anywhere in Europe.

Check out our guide to the Albanian Riviera here!

Antiparos – Greek Islands:

Antiparos is the charming and hugely underrated sister island to the popular Paros in Greece. We visited for the day during our stay on Paros, and both commented that we would love to return and stay on Antiparos for longer. Filled with bright bougainvillea and calm, charming streets, Antiparos is a wonderful Greek Islands alternative that’s worth considering!

See our tips for Antiparos, including one of our favourite restaurants in Europe!

Copenhagen – Denmark:

Why not do something a little different in summer and visit Scandinavia! Escape the heat of the Mediterranean and head to Copenhagen, one of our favourite cities in Europe. The weather is pleasant, and there’s a lot to do in summer (think street markets, festivals etc).

See highlights and advice from our stay in Copenhagen here.

If you want to spend a little more time and relax, consider heading to the fishing town of Hornbaek, located a few hours north of Copenhagen. See more about Hornbaek here!

Cascais – Portugal

The charming little seaside town of Cascias sits 1 hour west of Lisbon and is the perfect spot to spend some time in summer. The town has a holiday feel and is great to relax. It is also situated close to the popular tourist hot-spots of Sintra. We visited for a few days in 2019 and loved the calm nature of the town.

See some highlights and recommendations for visiting Lisbon.

Lake Ohrid – North Macedonia:

Here’s one that you might not have heard much about. Situated in North Macedonia, Lake Ohrid is an underrated gem we think needs to get more recognition. It is the perfect summer destination for budget travellers (its cheap!) and those looking to ‘beat the schengen zone rules’. The only issue is getting there, as direct flights don’t come from all countries, however when you do arrive, it’s worth it.

See our Lake Ohrid highlights and recommendations.

Makarska – Croatia:

Another stellar Croatian summer destination. Located along the Croatian Riviera between Split and Dubrovnik, Makarska is a beautiful coastline flanked by impressive mountains. The promenade runs for a few kilometres, and the water is delightful. Whilst it gets busy in summer, it’s a great holiday destination with lots to do!

See our visit to Makarska and highlights here!

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