This summer, treat yourself to some well-deserved quality time under the sun. By the beach, on top of a mountain, or amidst shady cobblestone streets… Can’t decide which is best? Need help planning your itinerary? Look no further, we have mapped out sunny destinations across France, Spain, Italy and beyond for your perfect summer holiday.
But how to find affordable accommodation for your summer holiday? If you are traveling with children, staying at a hotel can often weigh heavily on your budget, even without factoring in plane tickets. So how to travel this summer for less? Home exchange! With GuestToGuest you can exchange your own home for kid-friendly accommodation or even as a couple. Questions on how it works? There are currently over 200,000 homes for exchange on GuestToGuest.
Must-see: Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Prado Beach, Les Calanques
When to go: While Marseille enjoys sunshine and moderate weather year-round, the summer months allow the city’s culture and natural wonders to shine.
Summer temperatures: From June to August the city can be enjoyed to the fullest, with temperatures in the high 80ºF.
How to get there? Marseille can be reached either by plane or TGV within France.
Things to do in Marseille:
- On a hilltop towering over the city, the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde features a large statue of the Virgin Mary in gold and stunning views over the city.
- If you’re looking to cool down from the summer temperatures, try kite-surfing, swimming, or relaxing at Prado Beach.
- An absolute must-see while in Marseille: Les Calanques. A series of coves surrounded by majestic limestone walls and filled with pristine turquoise waters, it’s a lovely spot to enjoy watersports or just to kick back.
- For culinary explorers, Marseille’s cuisine is heavily influenced by the ocean. Don’t leave without indulging in bouillabaisse (fish soup, a local specialty), sampling the olive oil, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Where to stay:
Matthieu’s entirely renovated 1930’s home is perfectly situated between the town center and Les Calanques. If you happen to be traveling with young children, they will enjoy the playhouse and backyard. The patio and deck are perfect for late night summer dinners.
Must-see: The Museum of Fine Arts, Cathedral, Central Market, City of Arts and Sciences
When to go: While Valencia is sunny year-round, summer brings out the best in the city in terms of activities and culture. What’s most attractive about this coastal Spanish city is its beaches, the best place to cool off on a hot summer day.
Summer temperatures: From June to August, Valencia’s Mediterranean climate offers temperatures in the high 80ºF and plenty of sunshine.
How to get there? Valencia is serviced by many trains and flights from major cities across Europe.
Things to do in Valencia:
- Start your day by visiting the Cathedral, rebuilt over a mosque in 1238 after the reconquest. The interior is adorned with Italian frescoes and contains a Roman agate cup from which Christ is claimed to have drunk from during the last supper. Be sure to make time to explore the historic Carmen neighborhood that surrounds the Cathedral.
- Valencia’s most famous attraction is the City of Arts and Sciences which contains an Oceanographic aquarium and Planetarium. For more activities that dig into the city’s rich culture, explore the Central Silk Market where you can discover local produce and what used to be a 15th century silk exchange.
- The Museum of Fine Arts contains paintings from a number of famous Spanish and Valencian artists, most notably Goya.
Where to stay:
Altea’s modern apartment located in the fashion district of Ruzafa is characterized by its young and vibrant surroundings. Here you will find wildly coloured buildings, pedestrian-only streets, and local markets full of fresh produce.
Must-see: The Madonie Mountains, Segesta, Cefalu
When to go: The island experiences a high season from July to August, at its liveliest with a diversity of festivals. Tourist crowds decline from May to June and September to October.
Summer temperatures: This Mediterannean island boasts wonderful weather all year. However, June through August bring the highest temperatures, ranging in the 80ºF .
How to get there? The city of Palermo can be reached by plane from several major cities.
Things to do in Sicily:
- For an active excursion, plan your day around the Madonie Mountains which include 15 towns, medieval castles, and over 2,000 species of flora to be enjoyed by hike.
- While there are many ruins in Sicily left over from the island’s rich ancient history, Segesta is said to be the most well-preserved. Set against a backdrop of quaint towns and rolling green hills, dive into the richness of ancient Greek history.
- The town of Cefula encapsulates Sicily’s beauty with colorful homes, pristine beaches, and clear water. If you happen to be a movie buff, the town of Corleone is not far away. This is where, as you may know, some scenes of The Godfather were filmed.
Where to stay:
Esagono’s carefully restored period home in Syracuse is located just steps away from the sea. The home is also conveniently located near the cities of Noto, Ragusa, and Catania, allowing you to take in the most of the beautiful island.
Must-see: Salazie, Forêt de Bébour-Bélouve, Saint-Gilles-de-Bain, St. Paul, and St. Pierre
When to go: For whale-watching season and ideal hiking temperatures, consider traveling to the island between June and October.
Summer temperatures: The winter season, between June and August, is best for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. You will encounter temperatures in the high 70ºF, while in summer the island experiences intense rainfall.
How to get there? The capital city of St. Denis is serviced by several major airports in Europe.
Things to do in Reunion:
- If you’re searching for activities by the beach, you can enjoy surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and diving in Saint-Gilles-de-Bain, St. Paul, and St. Pierre. These areas contain protected reefs and lagoons making for a unique and authentic experience.
- The island of Reunion is also well known for the adventurous hiking to be found throughout its volcanic valleys. Salazie is recommended for its magnificent waterfalls and beautiful views over the island.
- Get lost in the tamarind trees and ancient ferns of the Forêt de Bébour-Bélouve located in the center of the island. Here you will find an enchanting backdrop of exotic birds and majestic trees.
Where to stay:
Helene offers her apartment surrounded by lush greenery for exchange in what she describes as the most beautiful part of the island. Equipped with a pool and fresh tropical fruit trees, a stay in Helene’s home will make for the perfect holiday in the sun.