Trans Dinarica Cycle Route Montenegro - photograph by Matevz Hribar
Trans Dinarica Cycle Route Montenegro - photograph by Matevz Hribar

Time Out’s 11 Underrated Summer Travel Ideas in Europe for 2024

The best, unexpected things to do and places to visit from Portugal’s inland beaches and art trails in Provence to being a shepherd for a week

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Time Out PR

Today Time Out releases its list of Underrated Summer Travel Ideas in Europe for 2024, the perfect inspiration for those looking to plan an unusual yet unforgettable break this summer.

Time Out, the global brand that inspires and enables people to experience the best of the city, has compiled the list to inspire travellers to Europe to experience the very best things to do, whether that’s a unique twist on a beach break, an activity-packed adventure or a cultural escape.

The list spans the whole continent and features trips including once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and hidden destinations which travellers will want to revisit again and again. 

Those looking to escape crowded beaches are encouraged to head inland to the warm water and wild nature at a Portuguese river beach aka a praias fluviais. Those seeking the ultimate relaxation should head to the island of Saaremaa which is one of Estonia’s best kept secrets – home to the old town of Kuressaare offering the highest number of spas per capita in the world.

For foodies, what could be more chilled out than an ice cream crawl in Copenhagen? Or for adrenaline junkies there’s a 2,000-mile mountain bike trail through the Balkans opening in July 2024 where cyclists can join and tap out along the route. For those who want to experience everything Scotland has to offer but don’t have buckets of time, there’s the North East 250, a condensed Aberdeenshire loop that offers the very best of the country’s castles, scenery, wildlife and whisky. And finally, mountain pastures await those choosing a weekend experiencing the daily life of Pyrenean shepherds.

Grace Beard, Time Out Travel Editor said: “We all like the idea of summertime in Europe – long, lazy days in the Mediterranean sunshine, whiling away an evening people-watching in local bars – but the reality is often much less romantic, with overtourism, soaring prices and scorching temperatures blighting many a Euro Summer fantasy. But it doesn’t have to be that way – as our list of the best things to do this summer shows, a great summer holiday in Europe can take on many forms, from hopping around river beaches to road trips and outdoor art trails.”

The full list of Time Out’s 11 most underrated summer travel ideas in Europe for 2024 - selected by Time Out’s network of local expert editors and writers - can be found here:

  1. Follow an outdoor art trail in the south of France 
  2. Relax on central Portugal’s inland beaches  
  3. Cycle the Balkans
  4. Spa away on Saaremaa island 
  5. Tour Berlin’s sunset spots
  6. Hike a web of trails in Greece’s new Sitia Geopark 
  7. Hunt for Albania’s Cold War bunkers
  8. Road trip Scotland’s North East 250 
  9. Go on a Copenhagen ice cream crawl
  10. Sail around Croatia’s lesser-known islands
  11. Be a shepherd for a week in the Pyrenees
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