We get it: locking in your Europe summer holidays can be harder than deciding on your fave flavour at a gelato shop in Rome (who knew that could be such a life-altering decision?).
So, whether you want to discover off-the-beaten-track gems or see all the European highlights that are famous for a reason, we’ve rounded up a list of Topdeck’s most epic experiences to add to your travel itinerary. Come check out our top eight things to do in Europe in summer 2019.
1. If you’re in Europe for the views, cruise Norway’s fjords
So, if you’re the kind of traveller who puts nature at the top of your list, Norway is the ideal country to live out every into-the-wild fantasy. As you’re cruising along the peaceful Geirangerfjord, you’ll see mountain peaks rising high up ahead and otherworldly waterfalls cascading down from the peaks.
Just make sure you look up from your camera every once in a while to truly be in the moment. This is a day you’ll always want to remember, trust us.
2. If you like to stay active when you travel, sea kayak around Dubrovnik’s City Walls
Where: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Trip: Eastern Exposure
Welcome to paradise! With sooo much to explore, this walled city is high on the travel hit list for its beautiful Old Town, cliffside bars and party vibes. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: the best views of Dubrovnik are from the sea…
Grab a kayak, paddle into hidden coves and take a closer look at Lokrum island. You’ll soon see why Dubrovnik is called ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic’. Top tip: get your cameras ready – the stone walls and terracotta roofs seem to glow at sunset. Want more reasons to go visit Dubrovnik?
3. Get amongst it on the Greek island of Ios
Where: Ios, Greece
Trip: Greece Lightning
For Greece’s best nightlife, look no further than Ios. Although the island hosts epic parties where you can literally dance the night away, you also don’t wanna miss out on those long summer days. As the rest of the island wakes up slowly, get amongst the beaches and water sports or track down an infinity pool overlooking the endless big blue.
Did we mention that there’s loads of history here as well? Ios is home to ancient monuments like the final resting place of the ancient storyteller Homer (who wrote about the Trojan War in his masterpiece, The Iliad). So, what are you waiting for?
Don’t miss our blog that’s all about holidays in Greece while you’re here.
4. If you wanna eat like a local, try pintxos in San Sebastián
Where: San Sebastián, Spain
Trip: Summer Compass
Food lovers of the world need to make their way to San Sebastián, stat! Work up an appetite by learning about Basque culture and walking along the glittering beach that put this place on the map. Then, use your free time to hit up the bars in the Old Town to try pintxos (pronounced pinch-os). They’re kind of like the Basque version of tapas.
These bite-sized pieces will set you back a few Euro each, but you’ll be tempted to order everything on the menu. Look out for mouth-watering choices like slow cooked pork, charcoal-grilled seafood, wild mushroom risotto and olives with anchovies. Mmm…
Want more? Have a read of our top foods you must eat in Europe.
5. Looking for a Europe city break? Head to Amsterdam and explore by bike
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Trip: European Promenade
Whether the tulips are blooming or the summer canal parties are in full swing, Amsterdam is a must-visit European city any time of the year. The artsy capital of the Netherlands is also known as the Venice of the North for its famous canals and legendary architecture (think narrow buildings that look like real-life gingerbread houses).
So, how do the Dutch get from A to B in this beautiful city? On two wheels of course. You’ll find 881,000 bikes here – that’s more bikes than residents! Cruising through the historic streets is the best way to explore all of Amsterdam’s gems, like the vintage stores and cafés in the Jordaan neighbourhood.
6. Maybe you want to visit some of the castles in Europe? Head to Transylvania.
Where: Brașov, Romania
Trip: Eastern Escape
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale when you visit the medieval Bran Castle, looming over the forest near the Romanian city of Brașov.
Spoiler alert: Bram Stoker never visited Romania, but the author had a darn good imagination of faraway places. Thanks to him, we have a collection of spooky tales about Dracula, the Transylvanian count who roamed the Carpathian Mountains. BYO garlic! Seriously, you haven’t done Eastern Europe if you haven’t ticked off Romania with Topdeck.
7. Walk in the footsteps of giants and explore the Giant’s Causeway
Where: Northern Ireland
Trip: Irish Shenanigans
Is there anywhere more picturesque than the beautiful Emerald Isle? We don’t think so. Here in Northern Ireland, myths of Celtic giants and warriors surround the epic Giant’s Causeway and make this part of the world that little bit more magical.
Immersing yourself in this UNESCO-listed site, you’ll uncover 40,000 interlocking honeycomb-shaped ‘steps’ rising up from the sea. So, was it a battle between ancient giants or volcanic lava that created this natural wonder? We’ll never know 😉
8. Get off the beaten track and visit Lake Ohrid
Where: Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Trip: The Big Balkan
All that glitters in Macedonia can probably be found by the pristine shores of Lake Ohrid (one of the oldest lakes in the world). Most Euro travellers tend to leave Macedonia out of their plans, but if you’ve got the time, this lakeside oasis has so much to offer.
And we’re not just talking about the swim spots and impressive views for days. From an Ancient Greek theatre to the Eastern Orthodox Monastery of St Naum, there’s so much history to explore in the heart of the Balkans.
After a day of exploring, local foods are calling your name! Try vanilici: vanilla cookies, Macedonian-style.
Feeling inspired and ready to channel your inner explorer? We can’t wait to see you on the road with Topdeck next summer 😎
Check out our full list of Europe trips and get ready to live your best life on an epic Europe summer holiday.