There is no shortage of places in Europe to spend your summer holiday, but with so much variety, it can also be difficult at times to choose a suitable destination which provides what you are looking for. The following suggestions take a look at some of the more upmarket destinations for a summer holiday by the sea, away from the infamously rowdy crowds of young partygoers and excessively built up resorts.
1 – Corfu, Greece
Located in the Adriatic Sea, Corfu is one of the Ionian Islands belonging to Greece. With over three-thousand years of history, this picturesque island has been ruled by a number of foreign powers in its past including the British and the Venetians. Corfu Town, the main settlement on the island, serves as the island’s capital and is home to around 30,000 people. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the town is known for its mix of neoclassical and Venetian architecture and its old citadel. The island boasts many pleasant sandy beaches with beautiful backdrops. Corfu International Airport is served by the budget airlines, easyJet and Wizz Air among others.
2 – The Adriatic, Croatia
Croatia’s Adriatic coast is home to some of the most stunning beaches on the continent, scattered among a wealth of historical sites and dramatic natural scenery. The largest city is Split, an ancient place where the Old Town is built in and around the ruins of the fourth century Diocletian’s Palace. Among the most visited places in the region is also the ancient town of Dubrovnik, characterised by its red-tiled roofs and old city walls. Between Split and Dubrovnik are a number of small historic towns including Omiš and Makarska as well as a small section of Bosnia which cuts through Croatia to reach the coast.
3 – Menorca, Spain
While a considerable amount of Spain’s coast and the Balearic Islands have been blighted by over-development and less-than-pleasant resorts, Menorca is one of the calmer and better preserved destinations. The second largest of the Balearic Islands, Menorca is one of the few places in the region where you’ll have a good chance of getting a beach almost to yourself, particularly if you stay away from the more resort-orientated areas of the island. Mahon, the capital, offers plenty of entertainment venues including fine restaurants and bars and a picturesque port.
4 – Cornwall, United Kingdom
While the United Kingdom is not exactly well known for its good weather, the south-westernmost county of Cornwall receives more sun than anywhere else in the country. Cornwall also prides itself on having a significant Celtic touch to its culture and identity. Although everyone speaks English here as their first language, Cornish is undergoing an impressive revival. Cornwall boasts some fine old towns such as St Ives, Truro and Penzance, a fairly warm climate and many miles of beautiful sandy beaches. There is an international airport in Newquay, although most from abroad will take the train or coach from London or Plymouth.
5 – Crete, Greece
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is a cornerstone of Western Civilization and boasts an incredible wealth of history dating from the Bronze Age Minoan civilization from as far back as 2600 BC. Littered with ancient ruins dating from this time through to the Turkish and Roman periods, anyone with even a passing interest in history and culture will find that Crete has a vast amount to offer. The natural scenery is also beautiful, characterised by rugged cliffs, olive trees, gorges and beaches. The international airport is located near the ancient city of Heraklion and is served by budget airlines such as easyJet and Jet2.
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