Your Ultimate European Summer Bucket List

Summer is the perfect time to explore the diversity and beauty of Europe. With so many countries, cultures, foods, and landscapes to discover, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do. That’s why we have put together the ultimate European Summer Bucket List, filled with exciting experiences and must-see destinations.

We have decided upon the following list by considering all the hidden possibilities they have to offer. These are all places and experiences that somehow have the ability to give you something new every single time you visit and are life-changing in many ways in regard to what you can learn either from the place itself, the people who inhabit these gorgeous areas or the highlighted activity we have chosen to add.

Explore the Greek Islands

The Greek Islands are a popular summer destination for good reason. With crystal clear waters, stunning beaches, and picturesque towns, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Visit Santorini for the iconic white buildings and breathtaking sunsets, or Mykonos for the vibrant nightlife and party scene.

Bonus idea: tucked away at the Southern tip of Santorini you will find the ruins of one of the Bronze Age’s most sophisticated settlements, the Town of Akrotiri, which prospered for centuries before being eradicated by a great volcanic eruption. This magical place might have been the inspiration for Plato's Atlantis.

Take a road trip through the French Riviera

Drive along the scenic coastline of the French Riviera, stopping at charming towns like Cannes, Nice, and Saint-Tropez. Indulge in delicious French cuisine, lounge on the beach, and soak up the glamorous atmosphere.

Bonus idea: don’t miss out on Ventimiglia, a town in Liguria, northern Italy, in the province of Imperia. It sits by the sea, just over the Italian border, about 45 minutes by rail from Nice. Spend a day in Ventimiglia and enjoy the beach, discover the old town, and don’t forget to taste some ham and cheese with a glass of cool Prosecco.

Stay at Apart-hotel Nice.

Hike the Swiss Alps in the middle of summer

For the adventurous traveler, hiking the Swiss Alps is a must-do. The views are simply breathtaking, with snow-capped mountains, green valleys, and picturesque villages. There are numerous trails to choose from, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks.

Bonus idea: Ponte dei Salti is a 400-year-old arched medieval footbridge located just outside the small municipality of Lavertezzo, Switzerland. Built in the 16th century, the bridge still stands today. It obviously serves the practical purpose of helping hikers cross a rather large gorge that the river has carved out, but Ponte dei Salti also offers breathtaking views of the valley with crystal clear water in the foreground.

Go Wine Tasting in Tuscany

Tuscany is home to some of the world’s best wine, and there’s no better way to experience it than by going wine tasting right at the spot. Visit vineyards and wineries in the rolling hills, taste different varieties of wine, and indulge in delicious Italian food to get the complete experience.

Bonus idea: In Florence, you can grab a glass of wine in the traditional Florentine way. A new restaurant, Babae, has reopened one of Florence’s once-ubiquitous wine windows. While most wine windows have long been sealed up, buying wine through a window was once a regular part of local life.

In 1559, Cosimo de’ Medici created a law, that noble families could sell the wine from their vineyards directly out of their palaces. This way, anyone on the street could knock on the windows of the Renaissance palaces to indicate they wanted to purchase wine.

Stay at Le Finestre.

Relax in the Thermal Baths of Budapest

Budapest is famous for its thermal baths, which are fed by natural hot springs. Spend the day soaking in the warm waters, getting a massage, and relaxing in the saunas and steam rooms.

Szechenyi Spa Baths are the biggest green park in Budapest, the Neo-baroque palace was specifically built for hosting Szechenyi Baths as Hungary has been the country of baths for many centuries: starting with the Roman settlers who built the first spa baths, through the 16th century Turkish occupiers who built many of the famous and revived Turkish baths in Budapest to the 19-20th century natural medical trends that promote aqua therapies and their deeply beneficial effects.

Bonus idea: don’t miss out on the many museums located in Budapest. One great idea would be the Micro Wonder Museum, a collection of intricate sculptures so small they have to be seen through a microscope.

Stay at Tornácos Holiday Home.

Attend a Music Festival in Barcelona

Barcelona is home to some of the best music festivals in Europe, including Primavera Sound and Sónar. Dance to live music in the sun, surrounded by the vibrant culture and architecture of the city.

Bonus idea: discover a week-long block party which becomes a competition for the best-decorated street. Festa Major de Gràcia rages day and night for a week, turning 20 streets in Gràcia into their own new worlds for the time.

Although drinking, dancing and partying dominate the landscape at night, the festival also features cultural activities such as human castles (Castellers) and a fire run (Correfoc) as well as activities for children during the day, allowing the entire family to enjoy the vibrant and exciting street festival.

Stay at Barcelona Sants.

Discover the muted beauty of The Ardennes region

The Ardennes, situated in the southeast part of Belgium, is one of nature's unspoiled areas, rich in fauna and flora, with vast forests of broadleaf and fir, hills, and fast-flowing rivers. Visitors can wander through the many picturesque villages nestling in the valleys where traditions and folklore still live on, and where the region's arts and crafts can be enjoyed.

Bonus idea: visit the Observatoire Centre Ardenne, a star observatory in the heart of the region, and let yourself be amazed by the beauty of the starry sky.

With so many incredible experiences to choose from, it’s impossible to do everything in just one summer. But with this ultimate European Summer Bucket List, you’re sure to have an unforgettable adventure.

Stay at Vallée les Etoiles.

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