It’s almost summer and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to start thinking about summer holidays. Will you go on a romantic trip for two or with the whole family? Either way, get inspired by our nine best holiday destinations for 2023. So get out your suitcases, don’t forget your sun cream and get ready for an unforgettable summer!

European holiday destinations for summer 2023
As a resident of Europe, you have many beautiful destinations to choose from in summer that you can get to quickly by plane or sometimes even by car. Here are some of the most beautiful destinations in Europe for an unforgettable summer holiday.

  1. Lisbon, Portugal: for an unforgettable city break
    Looking for inspiration for an active holiday? In Portugal’s vibrant capital, there is plenty to do. Stroll through the city’s winding streets and charming neighbourhoods and enjoy the mix of ancient and modern architecture. Visit the historic Alfama district and look out over the city from the Tower of Belém. Explore Lisbon’s many museums and sights or simply enjoy a delectable pastel de Belém, the famous Portuguese custard tart, and a delicious glass of port in a cosy café.

Tired of sightseeing? Lisbon’s advantage is that you can always retreat to one of its nearby beaches to soak up the summer sun. Praia da Conceicao is about 30 minutes from central Lisbon, with calm waters perfect for swimming.

  1. Sicily, Italy: for the gourmet
    Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily is a gourmet’s paradise, with delicious street food, fresh seafood and local wines. The city’s markets are a feast for the senses, full of colourful produce, spices and delicacies.

Dine out in the city’s many restaurants and cafés or join a cooking class to learn how to make Sicilian specialities yourself. Pasta alla norma and spaghetti ai ricci are our favourites. With, of course, the famous crispy cannoli for dessert. Our tip? Don’t forget to take photos of all those delicious dishes. With these, you can then super-easy create your own Sicilian recipe book in the albelli app, even if you are still on holiday.

Not eating for a while? Then you are always near a beautiful beach to enjoy the Sicilian sun. With its soft sand and clear waters, Mondello is the most popular beach near Palermo, just a 20-minute drive from the city centre.

  1. Valencia, Spain: for family holidays
    Valencia is one of the most child-friendly destinations in Europe, with beautiful beaches, a world-class aquarium, exciting amusement parks and many green city parks, perfect for a picnic on a relaxing summer day. The City of Arts and Science simply must be seen! The kids will love the futuristic architecture and the interactive exhibitions.

Valencia is also known for its lovely beaches. La Malvarrosa is the most popular beach and is within walking distance of the city centre. Make yourself comfortable in a beach chair and enjoy the white sand, clear waters and lively atmosphere. Oh, and don’t forget to try the paella! This famous Spanish dish originates from Valencia and is a taste sensation. Don’t forget to take some great family photos too. They might just become the latest summer wall decoration in your living room.

  1. Dubrovnik, Croatia: for the culture vulture
    Dubrovnik is an awe-inspiring coastal city, famous for its historic centre and dramatic architecture. Many of the filming locations of the popular series Game of Thrones are located in the old town and its immediate surroundings. So it is the perfect destination for taking photos for your next travel photo book.

The city’s ancient ramparts and forts have been well preserved over the centuries and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can explore Dubrovnik’s many museums and galleries, walk the high city walls or take a boat trip to one of the nearby islands for a day at the beach. Unsurprisingly, this amazing city is one of Europe’s most popular cultural destinations, so it is packed in summer. Try to go there at the beginning or end of the summer to avoid the crowds.

  1. Gran Canaria, Spain: for the adventurer
    One of Spain’s idyllic Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is perfect for plenty of adventure activities. From hiking and rock climbing to (wind) surfing. The island’s rugged landscape and diverse ecosystems make it the place to be for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers. A hike to the Roque Nublo is a must if you’re in Gran Canaria, there you’ll have stunning views of the iconic volcanic rock formation and the surrounding mountains – a view that will also give you the perfect wall decoration or photo for your bedroom!

Gran Canaria also has several dive sites, with crystal clear waters and rich marine life. The El Cabrón marine reserve is a popular dive site, where you can swim among beautifully coloured fish, floating rays and even dolphins. In between all the activities, be sure to take some time to explore Las Palmas’ vibrant centre. You’ll find delicious tapas restaurants and fun bars.

  1. Kotor, Montenegro: for the budget holiday
    Looking for a budget-friendly holiday destination in Europe? Then Kotor is for you. This coastal town has everything: history, culture, cheap accommodation, delicious food and plenty of sights. Take in the many charming churches and museums or take a boat trip to the nearby beaches and islands to learn more about the local history. Be sure to try the famous Montenegrin dish cevapi: grilled sausages served with bread and a serving of ajvar, a spicy red pepper paste.

On a perfect summer day in Kotor, walk first through the narrow stone streets of the picturesque historic old town and then head to the beach of Kotor Bay to soak up the sun. Above all, don’t forget to take lots of photos, as the landscape provides the perfect backdrop for a great photo book.

Global holiday destinations for summer 2023
Would you rather go a little further afield? Here are some of the best faraway travel destinations for this summer.

  1. Bali, Indonesia: for a romantic trip
    The island of Bali has all the ingredients to give your trip a romantic touch. Bali is therefore a popular destination for an unforgettable honeymoon. It is the ideal setting for a romantic, laid-back trip, with its white sandy beaches, lush landscapes and luxury resorts.

There is also plenty to do. Explore the island’s many temples and cultural sites in Ubud, Bali’s spiritual epicentre, or head to one of the stunning beach clubs if you want to relax (or party) in style. We love the ultra-modern Savaya in Uluwatu in the south of the island.

In between visits to temples and beaches, Bali has plenty of world-class restaurants and spas for a romantic holiday to remember. You can’t beat nasi goreng on your trip through Bali. This is a real Indonesian dish and different from what we know in the Netherlands.

  1. Tulum, Mexico: for the beach lover
    Tulum is the place to be for anyone who loves pearly white sandy beaches and clear blue water. Along Tulum’s most famous beach you will find endless restaurants, cafés and beach clubs, where you can relax and enjoy the sand, sea and sun.

Holidays in Mexico are not just about beach clubs and luxury resorts. The ancient Mayan ruins on the beach are a must visit, with their historic grey temples and pyramids standing out against the shimmering blue waters. The area is also full of cenotes, natural pools of water formed by underground rivers.

Make sure you visit at least one cenote during your visit to Tulum, such as the popular Dos Ojos. This cenote is best known for its striking turquoise-green water and otherworldly atmosphere. You can snorkel or dive the clear waters there and explore the cave system’s many chambers and passageways. An experience you will never forget!

  1. Banff, Canada: for nature lovers
    Banff National Park, located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, is one of the world’s most beautiful nature destinations. With mountain landscapes that could be on a postcard, clear blue lakes and an abundance of wildlife.

A visit to Banff National Park is a must when travelling to this part of the world. This first national park in Canada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers more than 6,500 square kilometres. It offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and wildlife viewing. Explore the park’s many trails, which range from easy hikes to challenging multi-day treks, and enjoy the sublime scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Our favourite spot? Lake Louise, a glacier meltwater-fed lake in the heart of the park. The lake has shimmering turquoise-green water and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. This makes it a perfect place for hiking, kayaking and photography.

Whichever holiday destination you choose in 2023, it is sure to be an unforgettable trip full of adventure, relaxation and new discoveries. So start planning your summer holidays today and get ready to explore all that the world has to offer.

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