In wintertime, in countries where it’s cold, there’s nothing like a tropical holiday to put the snow and ice out of mind, but what about when it’s hot out? Where do people go during the summer? While everyone probably has their own travel idiosyncrasies and pet destinations, a pattern emerges. Generally people like going to places that have seen moments of great historical significance. These are frequently old cities, and as such they are usually beautiful and full of their own unique charms. They look for fun activities to do, beautiful things to see, and of course, delicious food to eat! No talk about summer travel is complete without mentioning Europe.
Think Italy: the vineyards of the countryside, the wonderful food and the beauty of the sun-washed roofs of Tuscany are unlike anywhere else. The museums house truly one-of-a-kind art you can’t see in person any other way (Think Michelangelo’s David!) There are biking tours available where you can travel through vineyard country in a new and interesting way. You can take a short train anywhere in Italy and end up in a bustling city like Rome, where you can walk around the Palatine hill and feel the old splendour of Rome, or go to a place like Cinque Terra, where the hiking is gorgeous and you can eat a pesto-topped pizza by the water in the village where pesto was invented!
If it’s mountains or extreme sports you want, go to Switzerland. They have all levels of hiking, from professionally guided glacier climbing excursions to super-casual mountain walking trails that you can simply embark on without paying a fee or hiring a guide. But there’s a host of extreme sports there too: hang gliding, sky-diving, canyoning, and more. There’s hardly a more dramatic landscape than Switzerland’s to experience an adrenalin charge in the great outdoors!
If it’s history you want, all European countries are loaded! Perhaps the three best cities where simply walking around gives you the feel of history are London, Berlin, and Paris. Go to Churchill’s underground bunker and see where World War II was won, or for older history go to the Tower of London. In Paris there seems to be the rich feeling of history lingering in the air, and you can’t walk by the Seine without feeling it. Meanwhile in Berlin, the Nazi history isn’t even the most recent world-changing event to take place there, as that distinction goes to the Berlin Wall. As you walk around in downtown Berlin, you’ll notice yourself crossing back and forth over a kilometre-long strip of inlaid bricks in the road: this connotes where the Berlin wall used to be!
Every European city has its own unique things to boast about and its own unique way of doing things, and it’s amazing how different each neighbouring country is from the next! Because there’s so much to do and see, and travelling country to country involves a relatively short train ride, Europe is perhaps the ultimate summer travel destination.