Escape the Heat: Discover Cool Summer Destinations in Europe

While summertime temperatures in many European nations can be unbearably high, there's hope! There are several options with milder temperatures, breathtaking scenery, and diverse cultural experiences.
Escape the Heat: Discover Cool Summer Destinations in Europe

Are you planning your summer getaway? While some European countries can become oppressively hot during the summer months, fear not! There are plenty of alternatives that offer cooler climates, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural experiences. Here’s a guide to 10 countries you might want to avoid during peak summer, along with the perfect destinations to visit instead:

  1. Skip Spain, Pick Portugal

    • Spain’s scorching heat can be overwhelming, but Portugal offers a cooler coastal retreat.

    • Lisbon, the capital, boasts charming neighborhoods like Alfama with narrow, winding streets and the historic Belém district.

    • Explore the coastal city of Porto, famous for its port wine, and enjoy picturesque riverfronts and the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge.

    • The Algarve region provides stunning beaches and cliffside views, perfect for relaxation and exploration.

    • Don’t miss the fairytale-like palaces in Sintra, including the colorful Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.

  1. Skip Italy, Pick Slovenia

    • Instead of Italy’s summer heat, head to Slovenia for a more temperate climate and breathtaking landscapes.

    • Visit Lake Bled, with its serene waters and the island church of the Assumption.

    • Explore the capital city, Ljubljana, known for its vibrant cultural scene and picturesque old town.

    • Discover the stunning Postojna Cave, one of Europe’s largest cave systems, and visit the coastal town of Piran for its Venetian architecture.

  1. Skip Greece, Pick Croatia

    • Avoid Greece’s intense heat by visiting Croatia’s beautiful Dalmatian coast.

    • Explore Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” with stunning medieval architecture and panoramic views.

    • Discover Split, home to Diocletian’s Palace, and nearby islands like Hvar and Brac with crystal-clear waters and beautiful beaches.

    • Nature lovers should not miss Plitvice Lakes National Park for cascading lakes and lush greenery.

  1. Skip France, Pick Switzerland

    • For a cool alpine retreat, choose Switzerland over France.

    • Explore Zurich, a mix of modern urban life and historical sites, including the old town and the Swiss National Museum.

    • Visit Geneva, nestled by the lake, and head to the Bernese Oberland region for hiking or skiing in the scenic Alps.

  1. Skip Turkey, Pick Georgia

    • Georgia offers milder temperatures and rich cultural experiences.

    • Explore Tbilisi, a blend of old and new, with historic sulfur baths and the ancient Narikala Fortress.

    • Visit the wine region of Kakheti and the mountainous region of Svaneti for stunning vistas and outdoor adventures.

  1. Skip Cyprus, Pick Estonia

    • Estonia’s cooler climate and medieval charm make it an excellent alternative to Cyprus.

    • Explore Tallinn, with its well-preserved old town, cobblestone streets, and the imposing Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

    • Take a ferry to Saaremaa island or visit Lahemaa National Park for pristine nature.

  1. Skip Malta, Pick Latvia

    • Enjoy Latvia’s cooler summer climate instead of Malta’s high temperatures.

    • Discover Riga, known for its Art Nouveau architecture and medieval old town.

    • Explore the Central Market and visit the historic Riga Castle.

    • Head to the seaside town of Jurmala for sandy beaches and serene landscapes.

  1. Skip Hungary, Pick Austria

    • Austria’s picturesque settings provide relief from Hungary’s hot, humid conditions.

    • Explore Vienna, with imperial history and iconic sites like Schönbrunn Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

    • Visit Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, and explore the Austrian Alps for natural beauty.

  1. Skip Bulgaria, Pick Slovakia

    • Slovakia offers a cooler and more serene environment than Bulgaria’s summer heat.

    • Discover Bratislava, with its charming old town and the imposing Bratislava Castle.

    • Explore the High Tatras mountains for excellent hiking and stunning natural beauty.

  1. Skip Serbia, Pick Norway

    • Replace Serbia’s hot summer with Norway’s cooler climate and breathtaking landscapes.

    • Explore Oslo, the capital, and visit Bergen for colorful wooden houses and fjord tours.

    • Experience the beauty of Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.