The most anticipated time of the year – summer – is also one of the most expensive, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy an unforgettable vacation.
List of 20 accessible suggestions where you can spend your summer holidays with family or friends.
There is a lot to choose from, whether for those who just want to dive in crystal clear waters, or for those who don't want to give up a few more cultural days. If you haven't booked your trip yet, it's high time to do so. Don't waste any more time!
1. Kiev, Ukraine
The Ukrainian capital was voted the cheapest European city to spend your summer. It is one of the oldest in Europe, with architectural treasures that hark back to the Soviet past. The Kiev metro is the deepest in the world, situated 105 meters below ground. The best time to visit the city is between June and August.
2. Azores Islands, Portugal
There are plenty of reasons not to value Portugal. And the islands of the Azores are an example of this, even more so for those who live on the mainland. The suggestion is to opt for the Central Group, on the islands of Faial, Pico and São Jorge. They are a ferry ride away and they are all different. In Faial there are beaches, the Caldeira and the Horta marina; in Pico, there are vineyards filling the landscape and natural pools that invite you to dive with a view of the highest point in Portugal; in São Jorge there is no one who can resist the mountainous scenery, also with the natural pools and the Fajãs. True gardens by the sea.
3. Belgrade, Serbia
Located in the north, at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade is the capital and main economic, cultural and social center of Serbia. One of the cheapest destinations in Europe, the city has dozens of galleries, theaters, cinema and museums, including the Nikola Tesla museum. It is an easy city to discover on foot or on the traditional trams from the time of former Yugoslavia. It's hard to find a meal that doesn't involve smoked or grilled meats.
4. San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain
There is an admiration for the city that is difficult to explain to anyone who visits it. It's the charm of the streets, the seafront, the Michelin restaurants and the friendliness of the people that make you want to come back. It is an excellent suggestion close to Portugal, for those who want to escape and clear the sights, without having to cross the world.
5. Barcelona, Spain
It is a city where there are always places to discover, events to go to, new restaurants to try and approve, museums and points of interest to visit. It's true, there are areas that are too touristy, but that doesn't stop you from experiencing the magic of the city. The climate is a first invitation to visit it, whatever the time of year. Then there is animation, beach, gardens, bars, swimming pools, art and design, to discover and be delighted. Barcelona has a vibrant bustle and it's worth taking a bicycle and going through all those blocks, typical neighborhoods and avenues with several kilometers that cross the city.
6. Bucharest, Romania
There is a lot to experience in Bucharest. The capital of Romania is one of the cheapest cities in Europe. It is a historic, leisure, architectural and cultural centre. The National Museum of Cotroceni and the National Museum of Art of Romania are must-sees for anyone visiting the city. The Palace of the Parliament or the Romanian Athenaeum are equally beautiful surprises. The Hanul Lui Manuc restaurant offers traditional dishes and the Nomad Skybar is a trendy, spacious and well-decorated place.
7. Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
Party Island has a lot to offer. From chill out in the late afternoon to parties until the morning, everything is possible. Without forgetting a historic center full of heritage and a constant slipper-on-foot atmosphere. The good thing about being on a small island is that you only need a few kilometers to escape the center. Or rather, from the South, where the tourist invasion is concentrated. It sounds like a lie, but the truth is that there is peace. Yes, in Ibiza: green, covered with pine trees, just as the ancient Greeks identified it.
8. Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
On the largest island in the Balearic archipelago, it is possible to escape the hustle and bustle of Palma - the capital and main attraction of this island. The Serra Tramuntana is an example of this tranquility, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011, in the category of cultural landscape. If, in winter, the Tramuntana protects the plain from strong weather, in summer it becomes the perfect refuge from the heat. The landscape has something cinematic about it.
9. Sofia, Bulgaria
It is the third oldest European capital and one of the cheapest cities to visit this summer. The country has a deep and distant identity, with a clear intersection of Greek, Roman and Soviet traditions. It is the fourth highest city in Europe, at 550 meters above sea level. The cathedral of Santa Sofia Agia Sofia and the mosque of Banya Bashi are worth a visit.
10. Sicily, Italy
On the largest island in the Mediterranean, the offer matches its size: historic cities, charming beaches and turquoise waters, mud baths, afternoons spent in the sun, unique cuisine, dormant archeology and awakening volcanoes await the visitor. In Sicily, nothing is missing.
11. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Forget any preconceptions you may have about Tenerife. Yes, it's arid, with tourists in droves and boring amusement parks. But they are all concentrated in Costa Adeje. All the other two thousand square kilometers, more or less, are a genuine paradise of friendly people and overwhelming landscapes. From the beach to the highest mountain in Spain, there's plenty to walk, visit and do.
12. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Half an hour's drive from the bustle of Naples, the Amalfi coast conquers anyone. The cliffside villages are connected by tight roads and zig-zags that give the feeling of ending up in the Mediterranean. Gastronomy is one of its strongest points: not only the margarita pizza, which was invented in Naples, but also the pasta and seafood dishes. Then there are small sections of the coast to go for a swim and refresh the walk.
13. Fes, Morocco
It is here that we find the most impressive medina in the country, with around 9400 streets and fifteen kilometers of walls. In addition to being a spiritual capital, it is the most important city in terms of gastronomy and the oldest university in the world was also opened here – that of El Qaraouyin, in 859.
14. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Good snacks, special stores, terraces everywhere and at very affordable prices. The river always lurking and the green right there at the foot. There is no way not to surrender to the peaceful charm of Ljubljana, the Green Capital of Europe in 2016. The initiative is not widely publicized but deserves attention: since 2010 the European Commission has nominated a city that stands out for its good environmental practices and that , therefore, should serve as an example to all others. With a relatively small center – and flat, therefore easily explored on foot.
15. Krakow, Poland
Poland's second-largest city was voted one of the cheapest cities to travel this summer. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. There are hundreds of restaurants, bars and music clubs. You should also visit Kazimierz and Wawel Castle. There are direct flights to Krakow from Portugal.
16. Crete, Greece
It is the largest Greek island, with about 1000 kilometers of coastline. More than diving, there is heritage that dates back to 2 thousand years before Christ. Let's go back to diving: there are beaches for all tastes, with white or dark sand, more agitated or deserted.
17. Kotor, Montenegro
Considered one of the best preserved medieval cities, Kotor is around 2000 years old. It's small, labyrinthine, rich and hot (in the truest sense of the word, especially in August). With its feet on the Adriatic, Kotor is a World Heritage Site. UNESCO so classified it. Despite starting to appear on tourist itineraries, Montenegro, in general, does not compete with neighboring Croatia. For now, the influx of visitors is enough for authenticity to be maintained. But maybe not for much longer.
18. Plitvice, Croatia
Croatia's first national park, Plitvice was created in 1949. With a total area of 296 square kilometers, it was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. Waterfalls, lakes, forest and a rich diversity of animal life are the greatest charms of Croatia. Plitvice. Visitors can walk along the approximately eight kilometers of wooden paths and walkways around the lakes to better enjoy the landscape.
19. Valletta, Malta
The streets in Valletta, the capital of Malta, are narrow and steep, meaning you'll have stunning views of the capital from every corner. Let yourself be dazzled by the architectural influences of the Greeks and Arabs. Discover the fantastic Pjazza Teatru Rjal opera house and visit the famous Barrakka elevator. Don't forget to stop by the city's marina.
20. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
It does not have the size of Prague, but it is a surprise for the traveler. The city in the south of the Czech Republic is three hours from the capital, Salzburg and Vienna (Austria). It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As it is small, a whole day can be enough for a visit to the historic center.