Summer is just around the corner and while you might usually be planning your Summer holidays abroad by now, why not plan some mini summer holidays a bit closer to home? Now’s as good a time as any to explore what your local area has to offer.
So, If you’ve ever wondered “are there any good places to visit near me?”, here’s a list of our favourite places to escape to from some of Europe’s biggest cities!
Escape Dublin for the day
Dublin is gorgeous in the summer, but with so many great places just a short drive away, you would be amiss to not try some of them!
An hour outside the city lies the ‘Garden of Ireland’. The Wicklow Mountains are 20,000 hectares of mountain scenery perfect for barbecues, fishing and hiking. With ample space to park your car, it’s the ideal city escape for the summer!
An inviting coastal town just on the outskirts of Dublin, a day trip to Malahide is just what you need on a sunny summer’s day. Traditional shop fronts, colourful hanging flower baskets and an enchanting view of Dublin Bay are all on the menu of the day. Don’t miss out on the pride of the town, Malahide Castle; one of Ireland’s oldest castles.
London day trips
Londoners, you may be eager to get out of the city and enjoy your summer holidays, but have you considered these destinations, just a stone’s throw away?
Seven Sisters Cliffs
Arguably the most beautiful stretch of nature nearest to London, just an hour’s train ride away from the capital. Take the train to Brighton, stop off for a Full English by the seaside, and then get a 10-minute bus to Seaford (buses 12, 12a or 12x will take you all the way). Start your walk along the cliffs from there!
If you’re longing for a day at the seaside, head to the charming village of Deal in Kent. It’s the smaller, less crowded sister of the more popular Margate. Take the train from London St. Pancras and you’ll be in Deal in just over an hour and a half! Stroll up to Deal castle, or spend the day lounging on the beach. Burn off your lunch of fish & chips with a meander around the colourful seaside cottages.
Barcelona summer day trips
Yes, Barcelona has its own beach, but it’s not quite the beachy paradise that comes to mind when we think of summer holidays. Here are the best city escapes to enjoy a long summer’s day, close to Barcelona:
Just a short (1h 30min) drive away from the city, the Costa Brava is a stretch of rugged coastline with some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Sure, you can spend the day on the beach, or if you’re in the market for a bit of adventure you can walk part of the Cami de Ronda. To complete the entire walking trail can take up to 15 days, but you can do the best bit (between Sant Feliu de Guixols and Palamós) in just a day. Alternatively, head a further bit up to the colourful town of Begur, one of the most picturesque spots on the coast. Bag a table on one of the terraces overlooking the sea and enjoy a lunch of freshly caught seafood while you soak in the sun!
The Pic Carlit
If you live in Barcelona, and this isn’t on your bucket list… It should be! Hiking the Pic Carlit mountain in the Pyrenees is a rite of passage for all Catalonians. Then comes the next question: which side will you hike it from, the ‘hard’ side, or the ‘family’ side? For non-experienced hikers, start off from Lac des Bouillouses, for an easier route up the mountain (we say easier, but it’s still quite a feat!). Make sure you take a sandwich and lots of water with you, there’s nowhere to buy anything once you reach the top.
Things to do near Budapest
Hungary is a landlocked country, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some seaside fun if you live in Budapest. Ok, so Lake Balaton is quite obviously a lake and not the sea, but it hasn’t earnt its name ‘The Hungarian Sea’ for nothing. With 236 kilometres of coastline, there’s something for everyone. There are waterfront clubs, nightlife and spa resorts, as well as more secluded spots of protected woodland, wildlife and vineyards. Take a direct train from the city, or rent a car and do the hour and a half drive.
For a day trip closer to home, Szentendre is just a 30 min drive from the city. A charming riverside town with cobblestone streets, it’s a wonderful place to get lost in for the day.
Day trips from Paris
Just an hour and fifteen-minute train ride away from Paris is the Loire Valley, famed for its breathtaking countryside and palatial castles, not to mention the unrivalled gastronomy and outstanding wines produced in the region. Take your bike and enjoy the day cycling around the vineyards, then stop off for a picnic in the shade of an old castle. Summer days don’t get any better than this!
For the determined beachgoers, you can just about squeeze this trip into a day but it’ll be a long one! The car journey from Paris to Etretat takes about two and a half hours, so make sure you pack plenty of car snacks. You’ll be glad you put in the car hours once you arrive. Long stretches of beach with a unique coastline await you. Spot the extraordinary arches in the chalk cliffs that magically light up during the nighttime.
You don’t have to travel far to have a wonderful summer. Start planning your local summer weekends now!