Where to go on holiday in Europe this summer

The best places to visit this June, July and August

catalunya view from villa

Europe is the hottest continent to visit this summer and those seeking sunshine, culture and long days at the beach are in for a treat this year.

SEE ALSO: Europe's least-visited countries

SEE ALSO: The best hotels for families in the Mediterranean

If it's crowd-free bliss you're after, there are some superb spots in Spain and Italy, while Greece and Ireland are offering holidays with star quality in locations from TV and film. Meanwhile, the South of France is an iconic summer destination and not just for the rich and famous as we've found a way for budget travellers to spend July and August in the Cote d'Azur.

Explore our pick of the best places to visit in Europe this summer...

Corfu villa

Follow in the footsteps of The Durrells in Corfu

ITV series The Durrells was a hit this spring and if the show inspired you to pack your bags for the sun-kissed shores of Greece, you'll do well to head straight for the island of Corfu, where it was filmed. Make like Louise Durrell by taking the whole family to experience the Greek life and stay at Beachside Villa, a luxurious retreat for up to ten people. This seaside property has its own private beach, swimming pool and beautiful gardens. With a sleek, modern design, the villa also offers sensational sea views and is set within the lush greenery of Dassia, just 12km from Corfu Town. A seven-night stay with The Big Domain in August costs from €13,000 (€1,300 per person).

Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice

Spot celebrities on a shoestring in Nice

A stay on the French Riviera doesn't have to cost the Earth and if you're dreaming of rubbing shoulders with the A-list this summer you could make it a reality by staying in boutique, self-catering accommodation. Your Nice Apartment offers beautiful properties across the French city for savvy holidaymakers looking for a quintessential Niçoise experience. As hotels are not allowed in Nice's pretty Old Town, it also offers a unique stay in the most picturesque part of the city. The apartments include great spots for romantics, large villas for groups and beach houses for seaside lovers - all without the price tag. A week at Lily in the Old Town, for example, costs from £500 for four people in July or August.

Tellaro - Liguria - Italy / View of Tellaro, ancient small village of Liguria in Italy

Discover an alternative to Italy's Cinque Terre

The Italian authorities are restricting tourist numbers to extremely popular Cinque Terre, but this doesn't mean you have to miss out on the country's treasures. Visitors should head to the very Cinque Terre-esque Tellaro, a charming little fishing village on the Gulf of La Spezia and one of Italy's best-kept secrets. Its maze of little laneways is just waiting to be explored, while the piazza and harbour are perfect for soaking up the views. Fred Holidays offers holidays in nearby Montemarcello, staying at the five-star Golfo dei Poeti Relais & Spa, around 25 minutes from Tellaro. Guests can pamper themselves at the onsite spa after a day's exploring the Ligurian coast and the magnificent Gulf of Poets. Seven nights including flights costs from £1,499 based on a 27 June departure.


See a different side of Spain on the Costa Brava

The Costa del Sol is heaving at this time of year but head for the Costa Brava and you can escape the crowds while experiencing some of Spain's most spectacular coastal stretches. Aigua Blava is one of the most unspoilt and scenic enclaves in the region. For a relaxed break in this charming spot, book a stay at Villa Marta. The magnificent Renaissance-style property is full of character, enjoying a unique position in a private Mediterranean garden. It sleeps eight people and features a private swimming pool, a poolside sun room, an outdoor shower and open terraces. The bottom of the garden opens onto a secluded lane and leads to the unspoilt beach of Platja Fonda or the harbour at Fornells. Vintage Travel offers seven-night holidays from £3,495 this summer.

Skellig Michael

Explore a new film location in magical County Kerry

Star Wars is once again filming in Ireland this summer and visitors can head to enchanting County Kerry to witness the tiny island of Skellig Michael before it features in Star Wars: Episode VIII. The latest Irish scenic wonder to hit the big screen is a small rock, just a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with sixth-century stone 'beehive' huts where early monks lived. It is also home to thousands of nesting sea birds in the summer and while visitor numbers are controlled, it makes for a memorable day trip from County Kerry. Irish Ferries offers return fares from the UK for a car and two adults from £213. Stay at Wild Atlantic View with YNA Dingle Cottages from £215 per night. The luxury house sleeps up to eight and affords the best views of Kerry's Atlantic islands and offers unique open-plan living areas.

Europe's best islands 2016 (according to TripAdvisor)

Europe's best islands 2016 (according to TripAdvisor)

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The best Corfu has to offer, from TripAdvisor users