Still in the middle of holiday plans? Take a look at these summer destinations
Summer is here and so is the busy holiday season. Luckily, there are still seats available for flights to many destinations. If you are still looking for the perfect summer getaway or can’t decide where to travel for a holiday, make sure to check out these five amazing destinations that have a lot to offer.
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, will charm you with its historic and laid-back atmosphere. It is one of the world's smallest capitals so it's easy to spend a stress-free city break just 2.5 hours away from Helsinki by plane. The number of attractions is moderate and private motoring in the city center is prohibited which means lacking crowds. Biking is a great way to get to know the city, and when your legs get tired, you can hop on the electric train that goes around the city.
Local culture, food and Slovenian hospitality are in the heart of Ljubljana. The Odprta kuhna street food market takes place at the central market on Fridays in good weather. Slovenia is also known as a wine-producing country, so the local wine is a great holiday drink or a souvenir. Events and festivals are organised in the Metelkova district, which focuses on alternative culture. The House of Illusions is a great place to visit with children.
It is easy to rent a car in Ljubljana and go around Slovenia, which makes it the perfect destination if you love nature and activities. The city can also be chosen as a base from which to make shorter day trips to surrounding areas – thanks to the small size of the country and the location of the capital, it takes maximum of 1.5 hours to drive from Ljubljana to anywhere in Slovenia. Why not visit the Postojna Cave or try rafting on the Soca River?
Even if you were on your way to destinations on the Croatian coast, you shouldn't miss the capital city, Zagreb, full of history and culture. In addition to having good connections to the rest of the country, you can experience authentic, urban Croatia. If you like Lisbon, Tallinn, or Berlin, you will be sure to enjoy Zagreb as your next destination.
There are a moderate number of tourist attractions in the city, which leaves time for walking around and sitting in some of the city’s numerous restaurants or cafes. Thanks to its small size, Zagreb can be seen in a few days. The buildings, squares and parks reflect the beautiful architecture that the city is particularly known for. The churches, such as Zagreb Cathedral and St. Mark's Church, are especially fascinating.
Zagreb has the shortest funicular in the world. In just over a minute, you can travel 66 meters to Gornji Grad, the upper town. If you need a shortcut, you can walk through Grič tunnel, an underground pedestrian tunnel and event venue. It was used to shelter civilians from bombings during World War II and is the only underground tunnel open to the public.
Zagreb has the most museums in the world per capita. Some of them are unique, like the touching Museum of Broken Relationships dedicated to love stories gone wrong. You can go to the beach and swim at Lake Jaru, where there are cycling routes and water sports opportunities too. As evening falls, the city comes alive in a new way, when people gather for dinner and drinks on Tkalčića street in the lower town, Donji Grad.
Santorini is famous for being a romantic honeymoon destination. Luckily, blue and white houses on slopes, sunsets, beaches, and Greek cuisine suit everyone. Avoid crowds by heading to less popular villages, such as Emborio, Finikia and Pyrgos.
Follow the life of locals and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. By visiting several villages during your holiday, you get to experience their unique ambiences. You may also choose to stay in a village off the beaten path. Those who love peace can visit the popular Oia and Fira early in the morning and head to other parts of the island for the rest of the day.
Instead of an island, Santorini is in fact a group of islands. When people talk about Santorini, they often mean the largest island of the group, Thíra. There are only a few active volcanoes in Europe, one of which is on Santorini. Lava stone beaches can be found on the east coast of the island in Kamár and Períssa.
Santorini is the perfect destination to explore archeology and the fascinating mythology of Greece. Great activities include hiking and diving. At the end of the day, you can go on a sunset cruise to admire the views.
Located on the coast of northern Norway, Bodø is a fascinating combination of urban city life, culture, and nature. The city was chosen as the European Capital of Culture for the year 2024. The Stormen Concert Hall and Library are worth a visit, and an interesting day can also be spent at the Aviation Museum. There are numerous charming restaurants and cafes in the city. The ingredients of the Arctic region and fish are some of the key components of local cuisine, served for example in Brasseri X.
Distances are short, and you don't have to travel far to find an adventure. Salstraumen Strait, where tidal water causes whirlpools at regular intervals, is an impressive place to visit. The trails of Sjunkhatten National Park are suitable for beginners and children too. July and August are the ideal months to go hiking, as the routes are mostly snow-free. Due to its northern location, you can enjoy Midnight sun in Bodø until mid-July.
Bodø is hardly anyone’s first choice for a beach destination, but it’s possible to explore kilometers of coastline and untouched beaches. And if you are after beaches and nature, you can easily continue to the next destination, as the Lofoten Islands can be easily reached by ferry from Bodø.
Located on the island of Gotland, Visby is an idyllic summer paradise. Its medieval old town, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enchants you with narrow alleys and beautiful houses. Visby is known as the city of roses, being beautiful especially in the summer when the roses bloom everywhere.
Cobbled streets lined with old houses also lead to attractions. You can head to the City Wall surrounding the old town or get to know Gotland's long and fascinating history at the Fornsalen museum. The films about the beloved Pippi Longstocking were filmed in Visby, and you can pick up a map marked with the filming locations from the town's tourist information. You can enjoy the day with a picnic in Almedalen park and admire more floral splendor in the Botanical Garden free of charge. Visby has a rich number of restaurants and cafes, which are at their busiest in the summer, and you simply can't go home without tasting the local delicacy, saffron pancakes.
A bunch of interesting events take place in Gotland. Medieval Week is an annual event that is always arranged in week 32. As the name suggests, the Middle Ages return to the town, and visitors dress up in costumes according to the theme. The program includes, for example, theatre performances and music appropriate for the spirit of the times. You don't have to look for beaches further than Sweden either – for those who long for the sea and sand, Tofta beach a bit outside of Visby is certainly suitable.