Summer is almost here, which means one thing: it’s time to start thinking about your summer holiday. Whether you’re searching for a romantic getaway, a family holiday, or an action-packed adventure, we’re here to help you pick with our nine top destinations for summer 2023. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for a summer to remember!
Europe travel destinations for Summer 2023
Living in Europe means there are so many wonderful places to go in the summer that are just a short flight away – or sometimes even a drive. Here are some of our best vacation spots in Europe this summer.
1. Lisbon, Portugal: for a city escape
If you want to keep busy on your summer holiday, Portugal’s vibrant capital is teeming with things to do. Stroll the city’s winding streets and charming neighbourhoods and take in the beautiful blend of ancient and modern architecture. Eplore the historic Alfama district and gaze across the city from the top of the Belem Tower. Discover Lisbon’s many museums and galleries, or simple relax in a cosy cafe with a lip-smacking pastel de nata – Portugal’s famous custard tart – and a delicious glass of port.
The great thing about Lisbon is that if you get tired of city sightseeing, you can always retreat to one of the nearby beaches to soak up the summer sun. Praia da Conceicao is around 30 minutes from the centre of Lisbon, with calm waters that are perfect for swimming.
2. Sicily, Italy: for the foodie
Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily is a food lover’s paradise, with its mouthwatering street food, fresh seafood, and local wines. The city’s markets are a feast for the senses, filled with colourful produce, spices, and sweets on display.
Eat your way through the city’s many restaurants and cafes, or take a cooking class to learn how to make Sicilian specialities. Pasta alla norma or spaghetti ai ricci is our favourite, finished off with a famously crisp cannoli. Our top tip? Remember to take snaps of the most delicious dishes, and create your own Sicilian recipe book on the bonusprint app, where it’s super easy to create on the go this summer.
When you’re not eating, you’re always within easy reach of a beautiful beach to soak up the sun in Sicily. With its soft sand and transparent waters, Mondello is the most popular beach near Palermo, just 20 minutes from the city centre.
3. Valencia, Spain: for the family holiday
Valencia is one of the best family-friendly destinations in Europe, with its gorgeous beaches, a world-class aquarium, thrilling amusement parks and plenty of green parks perfect for picnics and slow summer days. The City of Arts and Sciences is a must-visit attraction, with its futuristic architecture and interactive exhibits that the little ones will love.
Valencia is the perfect spot to enjoy some beach days, too. La Malvarrosa is the most popular beach in Valencia and is within walking distance from the city centre. Get comfortable with beach chairs for the day and enjoy the golden sand, clear waters, and lively atmosphere. Oh, and be sure to try the paella! This famous Spanish dish originated in Valencia and is a taste sensation. And don’t forget to capture those all-important family photos – they might make for the ideal summer wall art feature in your living room.
4. Dubrovnik, Croatia: for the culture connoisseur
Dubrovnik is an awe-inspiring coastal city. Famous for its historic Old Town and dramatic architecture featured in the Game of Thrones series, it’s the perfect destination for snaps in your next travel photo book.
The city’s ancient walls and fortresses have been well-preserved over the centuries and are now a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can explore Dubrovnik’s many museums and galleries, walk along the high city walls, or take a boat trip to one of the nearby islands for some beach time. Unsurprisingly, this amazing city is one of Europe’s most popular cultural destinations, so it gets jam-packed during the summer. Try to visit towards the start or end of the summer so you can beat the crowds.
5. Gran Canaria, Spain: for the adventurer
Gran Canaria is one of Spain’s idyllic Canary Islands, offering plenty of adventure travel activities to keep you busy, from hiking and rock climbing to surfing and windsurfing. The island’s rugged landscape and diverse ecosystems make it an excellent playground for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers. The Roque Nublo trail is a must-do for hikers, providing stunning up-close views of the iconic volcanic rock formation and the surrounding mountains – which would look awesome as wall art or photo prints in your bedroom.
Gran Canaria is also home to several dive sites, with crystal-clear waters and thriving marine life. The Marine Reserve of El Cabrón is a popular dive spot, offering the opportunity to swim with vibrantly coloured fish, gliding rays, and even dolphins. Between all the adventuring, make sure to spend some time in Las Palmas’s buzzy centre, filled with delicious tapas restaurants and lively bars.
6. Kotor, Montenegro: for the budget trip
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly summer holiday in Europe, Kotor is an enchanting option. This coastal town offers it all: history, culture, budget-friendly accommodations, wonderful food, and plenty of attractions. Explore the many charming churches and museums or take a boat trip to the nearby beaches and islands to learn more about the local history. Be sure to try the local cevapi dish, grilled meat served with bread and a side of ajvar, a spicy red pepper spread.
For a perfect summer day in Kotor, wander around the picture-perfect historical old town through the narrow stone streets before heading to the Bay of Kotor beach to soak up the sun. Remember to take plenty of photos, as the scenery is the perfect backdrop for creating beautiful prints for a great photo book.
Worldwide travel destinations for Summer 2023
Want to explore further afield? Here are some of the best places to travel in the summer that are a little further to reach.
7. Bali, Indonesia: for the romantic getaway
When it comes to romantic destinations, you can’t get much dreamier than Bali. A popular honeymoon destination, Bali is the perfect place for romantic, relaxing getaways, with its pale sand beaches, lush landscapes, and luxurious resorts.
There’s so much to keep you busy, too. Explore the island’s many temples and cultural attractions in Ubud, Bali’s spiritual heart, or hit up one of the jaw-dropping beach clubs if you want to relax (or party) in style. We love the ultra-modern Savaya in Uluwatu in the southern part of the island.
Between the temples and the beaches, there are plenty of world-class restaurants and spas to visit in Bali for a romantic holiday to remember. And while it isn’t fancy, don’t miss trying the local dish of nasi goreng, a yummy fried rice dish with vegetables and spices.
8. Tulum, Mexico: for the beach bum
Tulum is a beautiful beach destination known for its powder white sand beaches and sparkling blue waters. Along Tulum’s famous stretch of beach, you’ll find endless restaurants, cafes, and beach clubs to relax on to enjoy the sand, sea, and sunshine.
Mexico isn’t all about beach clubs and luxury resorts, however. The town’s ancient beachside Mayan ruins are a must-visit, with their historic grey temples and pyramids that stand out against the glimmering blue water. The area is also full of cenotes, natural swimming holes formed by underground rivers.
Make sure you visit at least one cenote during your visit to Tulum, such as the popular Dos Ojos. This cenote is best known for its striking turquoise water and otherworldly atmosphere. It’s possible to snorkel or scuba dive through the cenote’s clear waters and explore the cave system’s many chambers and passageways for an experience you’ll never forget.
9. Banff, Canada: for the nature lover
Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is one of our world’s top nature travel experiences, offering postcard-worthy mountain landscapes, bright blue lakes, and abundant wildlife.
Visiting Banff National Park is a must on any visit to this part of the world. Canada’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site covers over 6,500 square kilometres and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing. Explore the park’s many hiking trails, which range from easy strolls to challenging multi-day treks and take in the sublime scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Our favourite spot? Lake Louise, a glacier-fed lake in the heart of the park with picture-perfect views. The lake has vivid turquoise waters and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, making it a perfect spot for hiking, kayaking, and travel photography.
No matter which summer travel destination you choose for 2023, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip full of adventure, relaxation, and new discoveries. So, start planning your summer getaway today and get ready to explore all the world has to offer.
And when you return home, make sure to create a beautiful photo book to capture all those special memories. If you need a hand planning, don’t worry – here’s our advice on how to create the perfect photo book.