With the South African winter slowly creeping in and making it unbearable to either wake up or even hit the gym. Some of you might be planning on escaping the South African winter to enjoy the European summer.
Europe offers an array of exciting destinations to embrace the warmth of summer. Europe has everything from iconic cities steeped in history to breathtaking natural landscapes and culinary delights. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey that not only takes you on an exploration of Europe but also provides a welcome break from the South African winter. So, grab your passport, get your Schengen visa on time, pack your bags (don’t forget your gym gear), and dive into the ultimate European summer experience.
Switzerland – Adventure and Serenity in the Swiss Alps
Embark on an unforgettable adventure in Switzerland, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore cities like Zurich and Geneva, and then venture into the Swiss Alps for breathtaking hikes, skiing, and paragliding. Indulge in Swiss chocolate, savor exquisite cheeses, and embrace the serenity of the alpine landscapes.
In Interlaken, a picturesque town nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, you can experience a plethora of summer sports. The area boasts over 500 km/310 mi of marked footpaths for hiking enthusiasts. Mt. Niederhorn offers an extensive network of hiking routes and serves as a habitat for ibexes, chamois, and marmots. For detailed hiking maps and suggestions, visit Interlaken’s local tourist office.
If you’re a biking enthusiast, Interlaken and its surrounding areas provide stunning biking routes. The city itself is highly accessible by bike, allowing you to explore its charming streets. You can rent a 7-gear country bike or a 21-gear mountain bike, depending on your desired routes.
For an exhilarating experience, try rafting on the Lütschine River, one of Switzerland’s best rafting spots. The river’s rapid current guarantees an adrenaline-pumping adventure. It originates from the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau glaciers, adding to the awe-inspiring surroundings.
Interlaken offers even more summer sports opportunities due to its excellent location and facilities. If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, you can try bungee jumping, canoeing, ice climbing, glacier hiking, sailing, skydiving, and much more. The options are endless, ensuring an action-packed and unforgettable summer experience in Interlaken.
So pack your bags, head to Switzerland, and immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement that awaits you in Interlaken and beyond.
Paris, France – City of Romance and Culture
Discover the iconic landmarks of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Take leisurely walks along the Seine River and indulge in the city’s exquisite cuisine, from succulent steak frites to delicate pastries. Embrace the Parisian way of life and soak in the city’s unique blend of romance and culture.
Rome, Italy – Embrace the Ancient Wonders
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Rome, the Eternal City. Explore ancient ruins such as the Colosseum and Roman Forum, marvel at the artistry of the Vatican City, and stroll through charming neighbourhoods like Trastevere. Remember to treat your taste buds to authentic Italian pizza, gelato, and espresso while enjoying the Italian dolce vita.
Barcelona, Spain – The Perfect Blend of Vibrancy and Relaxation
Experience the lively atmosphere of Barcelona, a city bursting with energy and artistic flair. Visit architectural marvels like the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, designed by the legendary Antoni Gaudí. Enjoy the city’s pristine beaches, indulge in tapas and sangria, and soak up the Mediterranean sun while rejuvenating your mind and body or even go watch a football match.
Santorini, Greece – Island Paradise with Unparalleled Beauty
Escape to the enchanting island of Santorini, where whitewashed buildings adorn the cliffs against the backdrop of the azure Aegean Sea. Take in breathtaking sunsets from Oia, explore ancient ruins, and immerse yourself in the island’s relaxed atmosphere. Savour traditional Greek cuisine and enjoy the warmth of Greek hospitality.
Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bikes, Canals, and Urban Exploration
Discover the unique charm of Amsterdam, a city known for its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Rent a bike, explore the city like a local, visit world-class museums like the Van Gogh Museum, and indulge in Dutch delicacies, including stroopwafels and craft beer.
Prague, Czech Republic – Fairy Tale City of History and Beer
Step into a fairy tale by visiting Prague, a city adorned with stunning architecture and a rich historical heritage. Wander through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, visit Prague Castle, and admire the beauty of the Charles Bridge. Immerse yourself in Czech culture by sampling renowned Czech beers and traditional dishes.
Portugal – Discover Culture, Coastline, and Culinary Delights
Experience the best of Portugal, a country with a rich history, stunning coastline, and delectable cuisine. Explore Lisbon’s vibrant neighbourhoods, indulge in Porto’s traditional flavours, and unwind on the beautiful beaches of the Algarve. Treat yourself to pastel de nata, fresh seafood, and world-renowned Portuguese wines. You can even go to the Afro Nation festival taking place in Portimão from the 28th to the 30th of June. Get your tickets here.
The best time to visit Europe is between June – August. That is the peak of the European summer, and this guide has unveiled some of the most captivating destinations Europe has to offer. From romantic cities to breathtaking natural wonders, these destinations not only provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable summer adventure but also offer respite from the winter chill of South Africa. Immerse yourself in culture, engage in thrilling activities, and take the time to rejuvenate your body and mind while enjoying the warmth of the European summer. So go ahead, and make this European summer a memorable one that not only enhances your overall well-being but also gives you a much-needed break. What are you waiting for? Book your flight tickets now here.
Men’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.