Summer is my favorite time of year! The weather is warm in the Northern Hemisphere and European jet setters are in full travel hopping mode. Everyone is looking for a beach and a chilled glass of Rosé!
Personally, I love to find a nice hot-spot somewhere in the world to party, chill and just let loose for a few weeks, instead of traveling from place to place. Often I have people ask me why I would want spend multiple weeks in one destination. Honestly, I have found that the perfect way to do this, without getting bored, is to find a destination that offers a variety of small towns nearby to give you the change of scenery you want. Taking these day trips to other villages or islands are a great way to change it up and add a little variety to your vacation!
Here is a list of my favorite five places in the Northern Hemisphere that are perfect for the long summer vacation.
The French Riviera
The French Riviera describes a long stretch of coastline in Southern France. This is home to the original jet-set hot spot Saint-Tropez as well as other chic destinations like Cannes, Nice and Eze. These sleepy beach towns wake up to accommodate the summer tourists, many who return year arfter year. However, Saint-Tropez is definitely a destination that you won’t want to miss. Stay at the trendy Byblos Hotel, drink (and spray) champagne at the world famous Nikki Beach and dine at any of the fabulous restaurants that line the port.
The Greek Islands
Whatever your desire, the Greek Islands have it. My personal favorite is Mykonos. Yes, it’s definitely party central, but there is so much more to this beautiful island than Ouzo shots. If you explore the island’s winding roads you’ll be lead to quiet beaches, delicious ocean front hidden restaurants and maybe a high-energy beach club or two. The sunsets are amazing and so are the people. Stay at the Belvedere Hotel and enjoy the views of Mykonos Town from your balcony with a chilled glass of Rosé in hand. Other great islands to explore are Crete, Santorini and Paros.
The Costa del Sol
The main city on the coast for summer parties and beaches is Marbella. I would suggest using Marbella as “home base” to explore the Southern Spanish towns of Rhonda, Estepona and Tarifa as well. If you’re looking for more of a chill environment, stay at the Marbella Club Hotel, if partying is what you’re after, try the Don Carlos (it happens to be walking distance from Nikki Beach Marbella). Plan to rent a car, shop a lot and dine at the great restaurants in Puerto Banus and party all over this beautiful coast.
The Amalfi Coast
Oh the Italians! I just feel like I’m at home in Italy. The Amalfi Coast offers so much in the summer months. Plan to spend a few days on the coast exploring Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello and Positano. I love Positano’s Le Sirenuse Hotel. It has picturesque views of the mountains and the sea below. If you can, tear yourself away from the magic of this beautiful coast and hop on a ferry to Capri. Spend a few days relaxing at the JK Place or the Capri Palace. Either way you can’t go wrong. Rent a scooter and explore the island. Then find a local with a small boat and ask him for a private cruise to the many grottos (including the famous Blue Grotto).
The Dalmation Coast
Croatia is fast becoming a jet-set hot spot. Dubrovnik and the islands off the Southern Coast of Croatia like Hvar, are luring people with inexpensive prices, hot sun and über-cool nightlife. If you missed Saint Tropez’s innocence in the 50’s and want to be one of the first jet-setters to stake a claim to this coast then you better book your flight now because this coast is constantly being touted as the next “it” spot. For a happening hotel in Hvar, you may choose the Adriana Hotel.