Summer is in full swing, and with its long days and warm nights, this season is perfect for exploring. Whether you’re looking for vibrant atmospheres to meet new friends or a quiet retreat to unwind by yourself, there’s a perfect European summer destination to spend your holidays as a solo traveller.
1 San Sebastián, Spain
Soft, rolling hills giving way to wide, sandy beaches make this Basque city a picture-perfect place for a summer break. During the season, the city hosts several music festivals, including the famed Jazzaldia. With jazz concerts held in a variety of historical and modern spaces, including outdoor ones, the city becomes alive with local and visiting music enthusiasts, and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. Don’t forget to stop for a bite to eat while you wander the city’s cobblestone streets in search of the next musical act. San Sebastián is a city known for its food, and its streets are lined with countless bars where one can get a drink and a pintxo, a small portion of the local fare – perfect for the solo traveller!
2 Bornholm, Denmark
Dreaming of getting away from the complexities of city life? Look no further than Bornholm, a sun-drenched Danish island where, true to Scandinavian style, less is more. This off-the-beaten-track destination is home to fine sandy beaches, incredible rock formations, scenic cycling routes, and fine food and art. Featuring an impressive 235 kilometres of cycling paths, with 105 kilometres circling the island with breathtaking views of the Baltic Sea, this is a cyclist’s paradise. Exploring the island’s sleepy fishing villages and relaxing beaches with crystal clear waters is just one bike ride away through quiet woods and sweeping country landscapes. You’ll be sure to leave feeling recharged and refreshed.
3 Brussels, Belgium
It may be a host for many notable European governmental headquarters, but this capital certainly knows how to have fun. Its unique situation has made it a home for many young, international professionals, contributing to its lively and friendly atmosphere. Taking advantage of the sunnier days of summer, the city offers a large selection of outdoor cultural activities. From DJ sets on rooftop bars to a theatrical performance on the grass, to artistic installations made entirely of flowers on the Grand Place – there’s truly something for everyone.
4 Mullerthal Trail, Luxembourg
Outdoor enthusiast, but still want to relax this summer? This 112-kilometre trail is a gentle, picturesque loop that goes through lush forests, idyllic waterfalls and striking sandstone rock formations – some of which are equipped for sports climbing. While it passes through several small towns, Echternach is the trailhead for most of the routes and is also the stop with the most notable cultural and historical highlights of the tour. With Luxembourg being one of the most overlooked destinations in Europe, you’ll be sure to enjoy some quiet me time while enjoying exceptional wine in cute, single accommodations on the trail.
5 Sète, France
Calling all thalassophiles, sandwiched between the Mediterranean and a saltwater lagoon, this sunny fishing port with no shortage of water activities is for you. Spend your days lounging on the golden beaches with a good book, exploring the crystal clear waters by boat, kayak or stand-up paddle or watch the locals water joust in the Canal Royal if you happen to be in town for the local Fête de la Saint Louis. The sea also plays a key role in the summer music festivals, Jazz à Sète and Fiest’a Sète, providing a spectacular backdrop in the Théâtre de la Mer – making sure you never take your eyes off the turquoise blue waters of the sea.
Solo in summer doesn’t have to mean staying home. While the season is usually known for family holidays, couple’s getaway or getting your gang together to go to a huge music festival, there are plenty of choices for the solo traveller. So get packing and find the solo summer experience you’ve been searching for.