Create your Magical European Holiday Wishlist

As the chill of January envelopes us, thoughts of summer warmth, sandy beaches, and exotic adventures start to dance in our minds. While it might seem premature to think about sun-soaked getaways when the world outside is draped in layers of snow, there's undeniable wisdom in planning ahead. Crafting your summer travel wishlist in January might sound unconventional, but it's a strategic move that offers myriad benefits.

In today's fast-paced world, spontaneity often takes center stage, and while there's undeniable charm in impromptu trips, there's a unique thrill in meticulously planning and anticipating a journey. By setting your sights on summer adventures now, you pave the way for a seamless travel experience, ensuring that you curate an itinerary that resonates with your travel aspirations.

I usually plan for the most important holiday of the year as early as the end of January. This means that I might go on smaller family trips and city breaks where I lean into the spontaneity of the moment and just buy a train/airplane ticket for the next weekend and see where the destination takes me. That is all fine and dandy but for my big trick, the pièce de résistance of the year, I love being prepared. I have decided to help you guys out as well by passing on my somewhat crazy but 100% successful planning process, due to which I never even had a blip of an issue during my European holidays.

The trick is to create a wishlist with your favorite destinations and narrow the list as the weeks and months pass, concentrating on the ease of getting there, the weather, and even your whims. For this to be easier, I am lending you in perfect confidence my top 3 European holiday destinations for 2024, use them wisely!

Tenerife - Eternal Summer Bliss

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, exudes a magnetic charm during the summer months that captivates travelers from around the globe. I am also between the segment of travelers who feel the lure of Tenerife, due to the perfect harmony of its warm weather, diverse landscapes, cultural richness, and a myriad of activities I can choose from.

The weather in Tenerife during the summer months

Tenerife, the largest of the seven captivating Canary Islands, is renowned for its diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and, of course, its delightful weather. While every season on this Spanish archipelago offers its own unique charm, the summer months, spanning from June to September, are particularly enchanting. The summer months in Tenerife are synonymous with abundant sunshine. Visitors can bask in the warmth of the golden sun for an average of 10 to 12 hours per day, creating the perfect conditions for a sun-soaked holiday. Daytime temperatures typically hover between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, providing an optimal environment for various outdoor activities.

Activities you can try out during your holiday

Beach Bliss

Tenerife boasts an array of pristine beaches, each with its own unique charm. From the golden sands of Playa de las Teresitas to the volcanic black sands of Playa Jardín, beach lovers are spoiled for choice. You can spend your days sunbathing, swimming in crystal-clear waters, or trying thrilling water sports like jet skiing and paddleboarding.

Volcanic Adventures

You can explore the island's volcanic history by visiting Teide National Park, home to Mount Teide, Spain's highest peak. Take a cable car ride to the summit for breathtaking panoramic views of Tenerife and the neighboring islands. For the more adventurous, consider hiking trails like the Masca Valley or the lunar landscapes of Las Cañadas, offering an immersive experience of Tenerife's unique geological wonders.

Cultural Exploration

Immerse yourself in Tenerife's rich culture by exploring its historic towns and cities. Visit La Laguna, an important UNESCO World Heritage Site, with charming streets and well-preserved architecture.

Suggested holiday home

Some people think the holiday home you choose for your summer holiday is of no importance, but we know better. Yes, you usually spend your time outdoors while on vacation but when you choose to have a relaxing day at your chosen spot, it doesn’t hurt to be in the lap of luxury, you are on your holiday after all!

I usually choose homes with a lot of sunshine, close to the beach, or at least a good swimming pool, and if it has activities for the entire family nearby - even better! Marazul del Sur in Santa Cruz de Tenerife fits the bill perfectly. Nestled on the southwestern coast of the island in Adeje, this splendid complex boasts stunning views of the sea. Situated within an enchanting 8-hectare park, the residence features expansive apartments, each adorned with a furnished terrace. Indulge in the luxury of two outdoor pools, including one heated pool, and even a seawater pool with a dedicated area for children. Tennis courts and multisports facilities are also available, catering to all your recreational desires.

Ibiza - The magnetic allure of the White Isle

Ibiza offers a dynamic blend of vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, bohemian culture, a very diverse music scene, and a commitment to wellness. The island has an uncanny ability to cater to a wide range of tastes and interests and this ensures that the island remains a captivating destination for travelers seeking both excitement and tranquility in a Mediterranean paradise.

People mostly associate Ibiza with wild parties, but the island has so much more to offer. Although it's undeniable that Ibiza Town and San Antonio are nightlife hubs, the island offers a multitude of tranquil retreats that appeal to families and those seeking a relaxing holiday. For families, and anyone looking for a peaceful getaway, San Rafael stands out as one of the most serene villages on the island.

Weather in Ibiza during the summer months

Ibiza, famous for its consistent sunshine, truly lives up to its reputation during the summer. The balmy weather sets the stage for sun-filled days and comfortably mild evenings, making it ideal for both daytime adventures and nights spent sipping chilled wine and unearthing the mysteries of life with your friends and family. Ibiza's coastal location ensures that refreshing sea breezes grace the island, offering a reprieve from the summer heat. Whether you're unwinding on the beach or strolling through charming coastal towns, the gentle sea breezes add an extra layer of comfort to your summer experience.

Activities you can try out during your holiday in Ibiza

Beaches, beaches, beaches

Ibiza's beaches are legendary, each with its own unique charm. Whether you're seeking vibrant beach parties in Playa d'en Bossa, the bohemian vibe of Benirràs, or the pristine tranquility of Cala Conta, there's a stretch of sand for every mood. Engage in water sports, soak up the sun, or simply relish the Mediterranean views.

Explore Dalt Vila - Ibiza Town's Old Town

Immerse yourself in history by wandering through Dalt Vila, the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Ibiza Town. Explore cobbled streets, visit the cathedral, and enjoy panoramic views from the ancient fortress walls. The blend of medieval architecture and modern boutiques creates a captivating atmosphere.

Boat Excursions and Sunset Cruises

You can also discover Ibiza's coastline from a different perspective by taking a boat excursion. Explore hidden coves, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, and witness the iconic Ibiza sunset from the deck of a boat. Sunset cruises offer a magical experience as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the sea, and it would be a shame to miss out on this magical experience once you are on the island.

Hiking and Nature Trails

Did you know that Ibiza is also a treasure trove of natural beauty? Lace up your hiking boots and explore trails like Sa Talaia, the island's highest point, or the coastal path from Santa Eulalia to Es Canar. Discover lush landscapes, breathtaking viewpoints, and hidden caves, all while enjoying the island's Mediterranean flora.

Suggested holiday home

Perched above breathtaking pine forests and just a 5-minute drive from the beach, Casa Kiva is an opulent 6-bedroom villa facing west. It boasts an ideal location, providing easy access to the island's most gorgeous beaches and some of its finest restaurants. The villa's design is a blend of contemporary and minimalist aesthetics, featuring numerous terraces and living spaces to enjoy with evening drinks.

This idyllic village of Sant Josep de sa Talaia is strategically located, offering easy access to some of the most enchanting beaches on the island. You can revel in the golden sands and crystal-clear waters of nearby beaches, creating perfect opportunities for relaxation and water activities. Whether it's the renowned Cala Comte with its panoramic sunset views or the secluded Cala Bassa with its tranquil ambiance, this place provides a gateway to Ibiza's breathtaking coastal wonders.

Sardinia

The magic of Sardinia lies in its ability to transport you to a realm where natural beauty, ancient history, and vibrant traditions converge. People are naturally drawn to the idyllic beaches, the mystique of ancient ruins, and the warmth of Sardinian hospitality while the island's enchantment is an ever-present aspect of the Sardinian experience.

Weather in Sardinia during the summer months

Expect long, sunny days with an average of 10 to 12 hours of sunlight, providing ample time to bask in the warm Mediterranean glow. The clear skies create the perfect backdrop for exploring the island's diverse landscapes and enjoying its pristine beaches. Daytime temperatures typically range from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius, offering a perfect balance for outdoor activities and relaxation by the sea.

Activities you can try out during your holiday

Explore the Mystical Nuragic Sites

Dive into Sardinia's rich history by exploring its ancient Nuragic sites. Visit the Nuraghe Su Nuraxi near Barumini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the fascinating Tomba dei Giganti, giant's tombs scattered across the island. These remnants of an ancient civilization provide a glimpse into Sardinia's enigmatic past.

Culinary Delights and Wine Tasting

Sardinian cuisine is a delectable journey of flavors. Indulge in local specialties like culurgiones (traditional pasta) and pane carasau (crispy flatbread). Visit local agriturismi to savor farm-to-table delights and don't you forget to pair your meals with Sardinia's renowned Cannonau wine, produced from local vineyards.

Cave Exploration

You can explore the island's captivating caves, such as the Grotta di Nettuno near Alghero or the Grotta del Bue Marino in Cala Gonone. These natural wonders showcase impressive rock formations and underground landscapes.

Suggested holiday home

Casa Pompia is a holiday home nestled amid the lush Mediterranean vegetation, conveniently located near the beaches of La Caletta, Santa Lucia, and Sa Pedra Ruia. The dominance of silence and tranquility defines a genuinely serene vacation, all while being in proximity to the essential amenities of Caletta and Siniscola. Additionally, it offers easy access to the stunning beaches in the vicinity, such as Berchida, Bidderosa, and Sa Pedra Ruia. These beaches are distinguished by their picturesque pine forest backdrop, seamlessly blending with the crystal-clear waters displaying a spectrum of splendid colors.

Once you choose the spot your heart most desires, you should book the holiday home as soon as possible, because that way you can catch Early Bird Summer Holiday prices and you can focus on figuring out the best route to get there and the activities you and your family will partake in once there.

When the date of my holiday is close enough (1-2 months), I usually even look up the best restaurants for my particular taste and see what reviews people are leaving on google for example. This also helps me not to go hungry on certain days, because every location has a different relationship with time and siesta times, so by doing my research in advance I know which restaurants are only reservation-based and even the days they are closed (some are closed Mondays, some on Tuesdays for example).

I also recommend buying tickets and getting other reservations over with before you arrive at the scene. For example, if you love cycling and your accommodation doesn’t offer bikes to be used by guests, you can and should call the local shops that lend out bikes to be sure to have a ride on the day your family wants to go exploring. I also love having all of my train tickets done and paid for ahead of my travels, because this way I don’t have to stand in line at the train stations, which doesn’t seem like a big deal but trust me it is in the 35 °C summer heat.

All in all, the way I see things is that if you want to be spontaneous, be prepared!

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