My European summer is coming to an end, and in a final act of angry defiance and without any more preamble, here’s five of the best places to visit to still get a tan in Europe. Godspeed.
Croatia. Lovely, cheap, and still very sunny, Croatia’s my number one choice to still get some rays. The beaches are still lovely and the season’s coming to an end; so everything will be even cheaper than it already is and the beaches will be nowhere near as busy as they were a month ago. Make sure to visit the islands just off the coast in one of the many day trips that are available from Rijeka – a lovely city with a hilly backdrop from the coast.
Spain. Specifically, the south coast or the plains in the country. By the by, the rain in Spain hardly ever falls on the plain – it falls on the mountains in the north, just like it does everywhere else in the world, as explained wonderfully tersely in this Wikipedia article. You can detect the righteous scientific anger in whoever wrote that. Isn’t it beautiful? Much like Spain itself (I know, I know, that was cheap). Make sure to eat as much food as you possibly can – nobody does holiday food like the Spaniards. Nobody mentioned getting themselves a beach body, did they?
Malta. This lovely little island has a vast amount to offer. If you feel like it, buy a tent and visit one of the campsites near the beach – it’ll be cheaper than a hotel and sometimes it’s great fun, particularly in the weather they’re still lucky enough to have. Make sure to take a wine tour, too. Maltese wine is in enormous demand throughout the world and if you can afford it, it might be sensible to invest in a bottle which will increase in value over the years.
Crete. This lovely island has a tonne of history – it’s been conquered and re-conquered by more civilisations than you could shake a stick at. You can see why they all bothered – Crete is beautiful, and is bound to still be as sunny and lovely now as it was two months ago. The different civilisations’ effect on the architecture and culture of the island is evident, and easy to see. Make sure to visit some of the many archaeological sites here, particularly the ancient city of Knossos – site of the famous labyrinth of the Minotaur. If you haven’t heard of it (for shame), read about it here.
Southern Italy. Go to the boot heel. The area round here is unlike the rest of Italy – it’s still a beautiful place, but travelling here is more in tune with the wildlife and nature of the country, as opposed to the city-hopping that most Italian adventures are (quite rightly) defined by. Having said that, Lecce has to be up there as one of the best Italian towns in the country. Make sure to visit. Here, the pizzas are the best in the world – they were invented near here, after all; and the sun shines for at least another month. Giving you, dear reader, enough time to have that last bit of holiday I’m sure you deserve.
If you don’t like the sound of any of this, just jump in a sun bed instead. Sure, you’ll be orange, and won’t really have the same experience as you would as the places I’ve listed; but it will be a damn sight cheaper. Your call, but I think we can guess what one I’d suggest.