Longer days of bright sunshine and pleasant, warm breezes are signs that summer has arrived. Whether you are thinking of the delightful countryside, sun-drenched beaches, picturesque seaside towns or charming and historic cities, Europe has it all. Five colourful European towns have been selected for you to best enjoy the vivid hues of summer.
One of the oldest European capital cities – and one of the most livable – is packed with fascinating architecture, parks, gourmet restaurants, and a great many other attractions. To enjoy the fine summer weather, a visit to Tivoli Gardens amusement park, which has become a national treasure, is a must. Also no trip to Copenhagen would be complete without greeting the Little Mermaid at Langelinje Pier, or experiencing a performance of Hamlet at Kronborg Castle. Come back into town to end the day on the quay at Nyhavn, the famous canal lined with colourful bars and restaurants.
Getting there: Enjoy a great summer in Denmark’s capital with THAI flights operating daily from Bangkok to Copenhagen.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Literally meaning Five Towns, Cinque Terre is a string of five fishing communities perched on the rugged cliffs of Liguria, on the Italian Riviera. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the colourful villages are built around medieval fortresses and nestle tiny fishing harbours at their feet. Surrounding slopes have terraces of grapevines – perfect places to laze and take in the views and sea air and just let the summer drift by.
Getting there: Indulge yourself in the Italian summer, with THAI flights operating from Bangkok to Milan, and take a train down to Cinque Terre.
Situated near Germany and Switzerland on the Alsatian Wine Route and considered to be the capital of Alsatian wine, Colmar is famous for its well-preserved old town, with its many architectural landmarks and multi-coloured medieval houses which offer an exciting glimpse of 1,000 years of European history. The city hosts an annual wine fair in August, featuring 15 days of wine tasting, partying and music. It is also an excellent spot to start an exploration of the Alsatian Wine Route, before heading on to some other lovely towns like Riquewihr and Mulhouse.
Getting there: Explore the Alsatian wine region, with THAI flights operating daily from Bangkok to Paris, then a 2.5 hour train from CDG Airport to Colmar.
An outstanding example of a medieval settlement, Bruges still maintains its historic identity with graceful original Gothic edifices. It is as easy to get lost in, as it is to fall in love with, the city being home to a network of sleepy canals and cobbled lanes lined with historical buildings. It is best to start, or end, at Markt, the photogenic old market square in the heart of Bruges, before letting this UNESCO World Heritage city capture your heart with churches and museums and the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
Getting there: Soak up the medieval atmosphere in Bruges, with THAI flights operating from Bangkok to Brussels, and take a short train ride to Bruges.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
An off-the-beaten-track destination, these untamed Norwegian islands offer an unforgettable natural experience. In summer, the landscape lends itself to a number of outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, surfing, ocean rafting, and scuba diving. Although it is one of the northernmost cities, Lofoten has a much milder climate than you might expect, thanks to the warm Gulf Stream. Staying in a rorbu (a fishermen’s cabin) tasting fishstock dishes and basking in the midnight sun make for a uniquely enjoyable summer experience in these Viking fishing villages.
Getting there: Seek a Viking summer in Lofoten Islands with THAI flights operating daily from Bangkok to Oslo, and a connecting domestic flight.