Ultimate Europe Travel Bucket List

Ultimate Europe Travel Bucket List for This Summer

Europe may be famous for its history, monuments and sightseeing, but summer is for enjoying the outdoors. For hiking, cycling, swimming, splashing around in the water and exploring your limits. For adrenaline, and later maybe a picnic on the beach or in the park, or relaxing on a luxury cruise.

So in line with the luxury adventure theme of this blog, today I bring you this summer’s Ultimate Europe Travel Bucket List for luxury & adventure travelers! I’ve asked some of the top bloggers in the region to share their favourite destinations, along with luxury and adventure activities in those destinations, because it’s the experience that counts. This is a thrilling list, with some great stuff. Some of these are great for a summer weekend escape, others would make for a full week trip. Or if you have time, you could combine a few of these into a full multi activity holiday. Are you ready for some adventure?

Try Canyoning and Trekking in Vorarlberg, Austria

Canyoning in Vorarlberg Austria Ultimate Europe Summer Ideas

If you like adventure, adrenaline and stunning nature you must book a trip to Vorarlberg, Austria. The Alps are world famous for snow slopes and winter fun, but what many people don’t know is that Vorarlberg is the perfect destination for a summer adventure. The mountains are great for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, but one of the unique things to do in Vorarlberg in summer is Canyoning.

It was my first time and I was a bit afraid of the 12 meters abseil, the rock sliding and jumps, but in the end I loved it. I could do it all over again in a heartbeat. We spent 3 hours canyoning at Merlin’s World, a section of Kolbelach River. To face this adventure you must have a guide, doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or if you have plenty of experience, the river has different difficulty levels and a good guide will help you to have fun from the start to the end while keeping you safe. The water there was pretty cold, even during summer, but the drysuit and all the exercises you gonna do in the water will keep you warm during the whole expedition.

If you are planning a trip to Austria, add canyoning to your itinerary and enjoy all the cool things to do in Vorarlberg in summer.

Natalie Deduck, Love and the Road

Hike Around Postcard Perfect Lakes in Switzerland

Hiking in Switzerland in Summer around Caumasee

Switzerland is a great place to visit all year round. It´s a perfect winter destination as well as a summer destination because you can go for great hikes – and hop in one of the beautiful mountain lakes you will come across your hike. One of the most beautiful hikes to take, and where you´ll stumble upon such a breath-taking mountain lake, is in Flims (in the canton of Graubünden). Actually, you have even two amazing lakes that are one of the most beautiful ones in all of Switzerland and this hike roves that it does not have to be the hardest climb to enjoy amazing views.

But let´s start with the facts: You can start your hike either from the summit or from the bottom – if you like to hike for more than 90 minutes (without the stops) I recommend hiking up and down, if you prefer to hike only one way, I advice to hike down. It will only take two minutes and you will come across one of the most stunning lakes – Lake Cauma.

If you prefer dipping into the water first, take the chance at Lake Cauma. But make sure to keep hiking down – so that you will see the impressive Rhine Gorge and another lake with an intense color, Lake Cresta (where you also can swim). While you have an incredible scenery and several stunning attractions along the hike, the hike itself is quite easy (especially if you only hike down) and takes less than 120 minutes (without all the stops).

How to get there: If you are staying in Zurich, you can do it as a day trip.

Arzo Nayel, Arzo Travels

Hit the Waves and Go Surfing in Peniche, Portugal

Surfing in Peniche Portugal

Portugal has become one of the popular travel destinations in Europe within the past year and this has several reasons. Above all, Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is by far the most picturesque, chilled and beautiful city on the entire continent. However, there is more in the country that makes it such a dream destination.

Our favourite area in Portugal is located right at the beach. The small village Peniche is Portugal’s surf mecca and one that knows how to have dreamy sunsets, amazing houses and yummy food which will blow you away. Whenever we are heading to Peniche, we actually spend most of our days in the water surfing. As we are both not the biggest experts in surfing, we need those cute beginner beaches where waves are smooth, boards are big and smiles are given. Well, Baleal, an even smaller village right next to Peniche, is one of those places. We come here, rent out some boards, hit the waves and have enormous fun.

After that, we hang out in one of the many bars and restaurants that are directly located on the beach and simply enjoy the view of the sea, keep on watching other surfers and sip on a typically Portuguese Galao, which is coffee with milk. Baleal and Peniche are those places that give us heaps of energy as they are calm and easy-going, but still full of things you can do. Always coming back for sure!

Clemens Sehi, Traveller’s Archive

Go White Whater Rafting in Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Durmitor National Park

If you’re into some adventure and you want to travel a bit off the beaten path in Europe, you can’t miss the wild northeast of Montenegro, where you’ll find Durmitor National Park and Tara River Canyon. Durmitor National Park is a place of extreme beauty, part of the Dinaric Alps range that runs through the west coast of the Balkan Peninsula.

You’ll find some of the most gorgeous vistas you can imagine and hiking the National Park’s tallest peak, Bobotov Kuk, is a must for any serious hiker. Those looking for a hit of adrenaline will love the Tara River Canyon, which is the deepest canyon in Europe and second biggest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. If you’re into high-octane adventure, try river rafting down the Tara River, where a local guide will expertly navigate you through crazy rapids amidst one of the most beautiful canyons you’ve ever laid your eyes on.

White Water Rafting Europe Summer Bucket List

Be sure to bring a dry bag for your belongings and leave any important valuables behind, and don’t bring your phone or camera unless it’s waterproof (this is a job for GoPros!) Or, if you have nerves of steel, you can even bungee jump off the Đurđevića Tara Bridge, which is one of the most beautiful bridges in the world!

Allison Green, Eternal Arrival

Train for your Next Marathon on Margaret Island, Hungary

Marathon Training on Margaret Island Hungary

If you are into long distance running, nothing can be better than a summer spent in Margaret Island! This little Hungarian island is a part of the country’s capital city of Budapest and is situated right in the middle of the Danube River. Margaret Island or Margit-sziget, as it is locally known, is only 2.5km long and 500m wide but the perfect place to be for an aspiring marathoner.

There is a bright red running strip that runs all along the edges of the island and even has kilometre markings for serious runners to time their distances. This rubber-coated running track is exclusively for runners, as there’s a separate walking track for casual strollers. The route is a beautiful one that lets you take in the soothing views of the riverside and glimpses of Pest and Buda by the banks of the Danube. The island is mostly vehicle-free, but there are buggies, cycles and a mini-bus that can be used for those who cannot walk.

Margaret Island also has a huge Nike Running Club which can add to the motivation of the runners. When you are not running, you can enjoy the musical fountains at the entrance of the island, let your hair down at the Palatinus water park, explore the Japanese Garden and spot deer at the zoo.

Oindrila De, Oindrila goes Footloose

Sail around Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

Sailing Stockholm Archipelago Sweden

Summer is relatively short in Sweden, so every opportunity to catch some sun shouldn’t be missed. There is no better way to enjoy it in the most luxurious way – by sailing around the picturesque shores of the stunning Stockholm Archipelago. Comprised of more than 30,000 islands, it falls under wizard’s spell during warm months: sparkling water, emerald trees, and golden sun. No wonder, Swedish elite party there on carefree weekends.

The journey begins from Waxholm harbor still deserted in the early morning. The yacht is quietly gliding along the water passing the old fortifications and an occasional tiny ferry. Depending on your preferences, you can be a pampered passenger lazily enjoying majestic views, going for a dip if it gets too hot and tasting Swedish cuisine paired with a glass of sparkling wine. Alternatively, you can become a sea dog for a day and try your hand in navigating a 48 feet yacht. Taking control of this sparkling beauty feels empowering and exhilarating.

Midday wind dies down, so its time for a well-deserved lunch. Tasting the Swedish meatballs the way locals eat them paired with a green salad and a bit of lingonberry sauce is an experience by itself. You wouldn’t be able to stop eating. Don’t worry. Pick an island for an afternoon hike or go for a swimming session right off the yacht’s deck.

The second half of the day is the sightseeing time. The multitude of islands float by. Old fortresses and colorful villages make the perfect backgrounds for a selfie. Summer days are endless in that part of the world, so you arrive back to the harbor while the sun is still shining. Instead of immediately going back to Stockholm, have a beer at the harbor or a cocktail, or maybe even a dinner at Hamnkrogen restaurant watching the Waxholm ferries from your table.

Elena Tchijov, Traveling Bytes

Hike Cinque Terre in Italy

Hiking Cinque Terre Summer Vacation Europe

Cinque Terre is a classic and popular destination in Italy. Few places in the world are as picture perfect as the five villages of Cinque Terre. The food and colorful little houses as well as the charming shops and gorgeous views are some of the reasons why you should go here.

But my best recommendation is to hike between the villages. These are old walking trails and they all offer scenic views and tranquil nature. What makes it even better is the fact that most tourists who come to Cinque Terre take the train or shuttle buses, so you don’t have to share the walking trails with the crowds.
With that said, it’s still quite a popular hiking destination during spring/summer, and it’s perfect for beginners as the walks are fairly easy and moderate in terms of difficulty. For those who want a bigger challenge I recommend to visit some of the more mountaineous villages and go off the beaten path.

The best time to come here is in May/June or September as the weather will be nice, but there will be less crowds in the villages and cheaper prices. However, even if you go here during high season, the walking trails will be a nice refuge away from the crowds where you can enjoy the views and nature.

Alex Waltner, Swedish Nomad

See the World from Above in a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia

Turkey is popular for a lot of things, from its vibrant city Istanbul to the great Turkish food. The other thing that some people are not aware of is that riding a hot air balloon is a massive and famous thing to do here. If you head to Cappadocia and ride a hot air balloon, you might witness the best sunrise you will ever see in your life.

Thanks to the natural “fairy chimneys”, the view in Cappadocia is truly remarkable and unique. The hot air balloons only start taking off at sunrise for safety reasons, and it is recommended to book a tour through your hotel or your agency. You will be picked up early in the morning to have an amazing Turkish breakfast. Once the tour company receives a go signal from the government officials who handle the weather report, you will be driven to the startup area, it takes about 5-minute drive as Cappadocia is very small. From there, you will see how the set up is happening.

When the balloon is fully ready, you will be instructed on the do’s and don’ts during the flight. There will be about 15-20 people in the basket which is divided into 4 corners. If you prefer fewer people in the basket, you can book a more pricey one. Remember to charge your camera, bring scarfs and a light jacket because even it’s summer, it can be chilly up there.

This activity is not only popular during the summer but all year round. There are other things to do in Turkey like visiting Pamukalle for the “walking on the ice” experience on all-natural mineral terraces which can also be experienced any time of the year.

Mary, Move to Vietnam

Swim and Try Different Water Sports in Comino’s Blue Lagoon, Malta

Blue Lagoon Malta

A day trip to Malta’s Blue Lagoon is so relaxing and magical that I went back and did it twice on two separate trips to the country. While the entire chain of Maltese islands are beautiful and full of charming beaches, the Blue Lagoon is a truly special spot. Sandwiched between the island of Comino and the rock cropping called Cominotto, the Blue Lagoon is full of perfectly crystal clear turquoise water.

Only one person lives on the island of Comino officially, and everyone else who sleeps on the island is staying at the hotel. Thus, Comino is practically empty first thing in the morning, fills up with beach goers who come in on ferries throughout the day, and empties out again at night as the last ferries leave. I love arriving on the first boat and staying until the last one, witnessing the full cycle of island days.

While you’re there, you can take part in fun water sports or you can enjoy your relaxing time on the beach. You can rent a beach umbrella and deck chair and buy your meals (and wine) when you arrive, or you can go BYO and take your own blanket, head up to the rocks above, and throw yourself a picnic.

Stephanie Craig, History Fangirl

Kayak around the Costa Brava, Spain

Kayaking Costa Brava Spain Summer Europe Adventure

The Costa Brava on the Mediterranean coast of Northern Spain has crystal clear waters and wild rugged coast lines that provide a great backdrop for kayaking. The weather in summer is also perfect, with endless sunshine but a constant breeze, making this the ultimate summer destination for many residents of nearby Barcelona.

Costa Brava’s many hidden coves are perfect destinations or pit stops for a kayaking trip, some of them can in fact only be reached from the sea, so your paddling efforts will be rewarded with quiet beaches without crowds.

Guided trips are available with several providers, and some are getting extra creative with combo trips like kayaking bird watching, or kayaking to a small bay where you’ll do a wine tasting on the beach!

If you’re looking for a multi activity holiday, this can also be combined perfectly with a day or up to week-long hike on the Camí de Ronda which goes right along the coast line on the Costa Brava all the way up to France with incredible views along the way.

Edwina, Traveling German

Luxury Summer Holiday Ideas in Europe

Because summer isn’t just adventure, and you also need to breathe sometimes, here are some luxury travel ideas for this summer.

Cycle the Vineyards and Pause for a bit of Wine Tasting in Croatia

Cycling and Wine tasting in Croatia

Wine tourism is becoming hot business on the idyllic Adriatic island of Korčula, which is home to some of Croatia’s most unusual wines as well as some splendid scenery. The rolling vineyards around picturesque Lumbarda make it prime cycling territory. Bike tours are one of the most popular – and accessible – ways to taste the island’s interesting wines.

You’ll notice the wine association the moment you set foot on the island; with wine shops aplenty and the local tour agencies all hawking tasting tours of some variety. And the indigenous variety grk is the reason why. Korčula is the only place to produce wine from this unique grape, which is feminine and needs to be pollinated by another variety.

The vineyards here are family affairs and yield is small so enjoy your glass of grk whilst you can as it doesn’t usually travel far. Plavac mali and pošip usually complete the tasting line-up.

Bikes are widely available to rent by the hour, half day or day from tour agencies or specialists; staff will give you a map and point you in the right direction. Guided tours are available too if you’d rather someone else took the lead.

But it’s a relaxed cycle to Lumbarda, where you’ll find a handful of wineries and a sandy beach to swim/snooze the wine off before starting your return. There are plenty of quiet back lanes and off-road trails around the island for the more adventurous cyclist.

Steph Edwards, The Mediterranean Traveller

Cruise the Danube on a Luxury River Cruise Ship all across Europe

Danube River Cruise Ultimate Europe Summer Bucket List

Spanning 2,860 km through 10 countries, the Danube river has become a significant part of Europe’s tourism industry. Leisure and travel cruises on the river for as short as 75 minutes, a full day, a week, or longer can be booked through many cruise liners offering accommodation, food, and guided tours.

Vienna offers a 75-minute trip around the Danube to the inner Danube canal through the city center. In summer, a full-day cruise from Vienna to many ports in Austria can cool you down while enjoying the smaller towns, some wines known in the regions the ship would stop at, and you can dine from breakfast to an all-you-can eat buffet of authentic Austrian food, to afternoon teas, and to dinner on board. If you have more days to spend, there are cruises that traverse 3, 4, or more countries, in a span of 8 to 23 days. For example the Passau-Budapest cruise passes by Passau, Germany to Linz, Austria then goes on to stop at Krems, Vienna, before going on to Bratislava, Slovakia, and finally Budapest, Hungary. The longer cruises would include Amsterdam, Netherlands, and many of Germany’s beautiful ports.

If you love the sun, and the calm that the blueness of the water brings, going on a Danube cruise is a joyful experience and also convenient way to travel. If you opt for longer days, you’ll wake up every morning in a new, curious place.

Marie, Vienna 101 Facets

Ultimate Europe Summer Travel Bucket List: Pin this!

Ultimate Europe Summer Travel Bucket List

4 thoughts on “Ultimate Europe Travel Bucket List for This Summer

  1. I appreciate your sharing. I also spent a really good time there during my last journey and came back with a lot of pleasant memories.

  2. wooow it is really wonderful places to spend summer vacation also sultanate oman is a very good place to summer vacations if you want to travel to middle east

  3. Hey,
    Thanks for sharing more about Europe.
    Travelling around Europe is such an adventure. The reasons for travelling to Europe are endless.
    One reason why so many people visit European cities is that of the mouthwatering food dishes the place has to offer to visitors. The cuisine is next to none and every dish is specially prepared by qualified world-class chefs that are trained to meet your appetizing need.

    Thank You! for sharing…

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