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Europe in July - destination help

I am struggling with where to go in July 2022; we have a week to 10 days. We are looking for something chill but not so chill my teens are bored. Here is what I am hoping to find:
1) relatively easy travel from Boston and must be on Delta or one of its partners
2) a destination that isn’t overly crowded
3) a destination that isn’t too hard to physically navigate as that is difficult for one member of the party who is visually impaired (like the amalfi coast and all the stairs)
4) a small to medium, quiet ish hotel or resort that is upscale with great food (and must be able to accommodate food allergies)
5) if coastal, easy access to the beach or lakes since it will be hot (but not required if we go somewhere less hot)

Does this unicorn exist? I was initially thinking Lisbon and Algarve or but It may be too crowded and hard to navigate on foot. I was thinking maybe Germany but not sure my kids will enjoy it as much as the adults. Anywhere else? Maybe a combo of city / beach or city / lakes? do not want the UK because one of us has a trip there in august.

Thank you!

Posted by
5507 posts

Aside from swimming, what activities/interests is your family looking to undertake?

Posted by
3053 posts

And what kind of weather do you prefer? Southern Europe will be hot in July, is that a problem for you?

Posted by
1199 posts

Try looking at Greece. You can apparently fly nonstop from Boston to Athens. My teens enjoyed Athens and Santorini when we traveled there a few years ago on Spring Break.

Posted by
5483 posts

Greece will be hot and very busy in July. The less busy islands will be those furthest from an airport and with less regular ferries, which will be difficult with your timescale and direct flight requirements.

You aren’t going to find a coastal location anywhere that is quiet in July other than remote parts of Scandinavia, Scotland, Wales etc which maybe too quiet for your children.

Lisbon is very hilly. The Algarve will be heaving - it’s peak school holidays.

Northern Spain may suit, but I don’t know where you could fly into direct. Can you fly into Split in Croatia? Have a few days there then take the ferry to Stari Grad on Hvar and stay there or Jelsa. It will be very hot there and it’s not as busy or noisy as Hvar town. Ireland?

Do you just want beach/pool time or something else?

Posted by
898 posts

Take a look at the island of Mallorca, Spain. We were there in September and they have great beaches, good food and the island is a great place to chill. I would spend 2-3 days in Palma then head for one of the smaller towns on the surrounding coasts. We went to Port de Soller and loved it, great hotels right on the beach, but it is family oriented where some of the other locations are more party orient toward young people.

You could make the trip even more interesting by stopping in Barcelona ( on the way over) and seeing the sights (Sagrda Famila) and again they have great restaurants, for 2-3 days then heading on to Mallorca. Then you could connect going home through Madrid and see sights for 2 days, like the Prado, etc.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you all for your feedback! My family is into culture and history, i am particularly interested in holocaust history (less so the rest of the group). We don’t mind hot if we are at the beach but don’t want overwhelming heat in the cities, which is why I was thinking either Germany or something more coastal (eg, I probably wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time in Rome). I appreciate the replies and will look into all the options! On a related note, planning for my family has always been hard because my kids are 6 years apart in age and very different personalities….one is an athlete and the other an artist!

Posted by
44 posts

How about Malta? An added travel bonus is they speak English (the island was under British rule at one time) and have varied activities with few hilly spots. My husband and I stayed at Preluna Hotel, a nicely priced, full service hotel we loved which you can consider. Although, i would look online for something that might better fit you and your group. You could fly to a European hub, then book a direct flight on Air Malta. For some reason I don’t understand, and maybe someone could elaborate, Malta doesn’t make the list for American travel spots, but you’ll find it’s a favorite of the British. Good luck and remember that part of the fun of travel is the planning!

Posted by
3056 posts

If you are considering Germany in July, I’d like to recommend one of the train connected small cities on Lake Constance/Bodensee. We have our favorites of Überlingen and Lindau. You have access to medieval towers and walls, lake ferries, unlimited biking around the lake, a lakeside open air opera in Bregenz, views of Swiss mountains, lovely hotels, lakeside promenades, formal beaches and locals’ favorites, Italian gelato shops, world class flower island, abbeys, storks, mountain lifts to hiking and more. Something for everyone. We’ve flown in to Zurich on several trips and taken the train to the lake.

Posted by
4595 posts

I would also second Mallorca. Plenty of luxury resorts and hotels, the food is excellent and allergies are well catered for throughout the island (as is most of Europe). Mallorca is very easy to navigate, the traffic is busiest around Palma and less so at Manacor. There are beaches galore, from secluded coves, nature reserves and long sandy stretches with water to rival the Caribbean.

July will be busy but not as busy as August. It will be hot but that will be the case in most of Southern Europe and even potentially parts of Northern Europe if a heatwave occurs.

There's a lot of Moorish history in Mallorca but little beyond that however what historical sights there are are fantastic and there are some amazing caves to explore in a safe, organised environment.

I would also consider Germany. It may not have the beaches that other countries offer but its lakes are great for swimming and relaxing by. I've been to Munich in June during a very hot heatwave and the nearby lakes were a fantastic place to spend a day. Many have restaurants, bars etc surrounding the lakes so it can be just as good, if not better than the beach. The water is safer although bear in mind that it's formed from melted mountain ice so it can be refreshing. From Munich you can easily visit Salzburg and satisfy your interest in the Holocaust at nearby Dachau. English is widely spoken in Germany and you'll probably find it somewhat less busy as many Germans will be in Mallorca!

Posted by
3053 posts

If there is a heat wave northern Europe will be hot, but southern Europe will be hotter. It might be 30°C in the north, but 40°C in the south.

Posted by
1117 posts

Here's a city/beach or city/lakes combo for you:

Berlin for the history and culture part. Wannsee or Müggelsee as local beaches in case it gets hot while you are in Berlin.

Müritz lakes region or Baltic Sea for a couple of days on the beach.

Everything flat as a pancake. And if your kids don't find anything that interests them in Berlin, they're hopeless. :-)

Edit to add a word of warning:

The three words "July", "beach", and "not too crowded" indeed add up to a bit of a unicorn. In July, there's school summer vacation in most European countries, and people are going to be flocking to the beaches no matter which country you decide on. So for beach destinations, you should absolutely make reservations well ahead of time.

Posted by
13417 posts

1) relatively easy travel from Boston and must be on Delta or one of its partners

Budapest is a major city so its very well connected by all the major carriers Delta/Air France included.

2) a destination that isn’t overly crowded

Not sure how to define crowded. Tourism is pretty healthy in Budapest these days, but the city is large enough to absorb it. With a little planning you wont feel like you are in a crowded place.

3) a destination that isn’t too hard to physically navigate as that is difficult for one member of the party who is visually impaired (like the amalfi coast and all the stairs)

It is a very walkable city. There are some stairs to contend with for the metro stations and you have to step up to the tram, but its not terrible. The trams here are like a city version of HOHO busses and make getting around when you get tired of walking easy and sort of fun.

4) a small to medium, quiet ish hotel or resort that is upscale with great food (and must be able to accommodate food allergies)

There are a pretty good number of 4 and 5 star hotels well located for tourism. Pretty certain you would find one that fit your needs.

5) if coastal, easy access to the beach or lakes since it will be hot (but not required if we go somewhere less hot)

If you want to see a beach or the water, take a day trip or an overnight trip to Lake Balaton; one of the largest lakes in Europe. Beautiful towns and villages around it and water sports.

6} Holocaust

I wasn't going to respond to this thread as its really about personal preference; until you mentioned holocaust. There are few if any places in the world where that history is still evident to such a large degree. Budapest's role in the Holocaust is notorious. You could spend week here on that topic alone.

7} Kids and adults

There is something for just about every age group and a lot of family friendly activities.

Posted by
5333 posts

We did a wonderful 8 day tour in Iceland this July/August with Nordic Visitor.

Iceland is very scenic and loaded with volcanoes, ice flows and lava fields.

Direct flights from Boston.

Posted by
581 posts

We have been traveling to Europe with our kids since they were 4 and 7. They never got bored, and we never did kid centric trips, FWIW. They are adults now, and we included them on our trip to Iceland this past August. They had been there on their own before, just like us, but it was fun to have all of us this time. We did the ring road, which I highly recommend. Rent a vehicle and do your own thing, with maybe a few tours/excursions along the way. It was definitely a highlight of all of our trips over the years. There is SO much to see and do there, that you couldn't possibly be bored.

Posted by
1117 posts

I would also consider Germany. It may not have the beaches that other
countries offer

This is a common misconception, and I am not sure I should be telling you. We like to keep this little secret to ourselves. ;-)

Actually, Germany's beaches are better than any that I have seen anywhere I have been along the Mediterranean. The major difference is that we don't have the guaranteed sunshine you have farther south. You can have great weather in July, or you can have rain in July. That's the price you pay for avoiding the Mediterranean 40°.

Americans usually don't find out about our beaches because they all stay in Bavaria. ;-)

Posted by
2517 posts

Consider Poland as well! I think it will fit almost all your asks, it has something for everyone, grand castles, WWII history, stunning hikes, adventure sports, and countless charming small towns untouched by mass tourism. Your dollar will also go much further in Poland than most other central/western European countries.

Regarding beach time, in the summer many Poles head to their white sand beaches along the Baltic. Sopot, north of Gdansk, was a favourite beach holiday destination for the German Kaiser and wealthy Prussian aristocracy. One could spend a relaxing week on the "Polish Riviera" around the historic Gdansk area + Sopot beach town. You can read more on Sopot here (https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/sep/14/sand-sopot-poland-riviera-hel-peninsula-gdansk)

PS: Arguably the best WWII museum in Europe is located in Gdansk as well.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you all so much for your feedback there are some great ideas! My two lead choices are:

1) Munich with a few days at a lake resort
2) Budapest with a few days at a lake resort

Malta is also in the consideration set but it’s a long journey so I may put that a bit lower. And we badly as I would like to go to Croatia it’s also a bit too far.

If anybody has more recos on the lake part of the stay in Germany or Hungary, I would love the input (both what region and any recommended resorts). And I also welcome any other ideas too! Thanks again!

Posted by
2517 posts

If anybody has more recos on the lake part of the stay in Germany or Hungary, I would love the input (both what region and any recommended resorts). And I also welcome any other ideas too! Thanks again!

Not sure if you saw my post on Poland before you wrote your reply, but if you're considering lakes, Poland also has you covered lol! Consider spending a week in Poland's Masurian Lakes District, between Gdansk and Warsaw. A land of many quaint medieval towns all strung together by 1000s of picturesque lakes and river-ways, the best part it's fairly off the radar for international tourists. Here is an article on the Masurian Lakes District from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/jul/02/poland-lake-district-rivers-canoe-kayak-cycling

The Tiffi Boutique Lake Hotel in Olsztyn has been recommend to me. From Olsztyn, one can make an interesting daytrip to the Wolf's Lair, Hitler's famous military HQ in World War II. It was here that a clique of German officers attempted to assassinate Hitler in the July 20 plot.

Posted by
1767 posts

Cities you can fly nonstop from Boston to Europe on Delta are: Paris, Rome, Dublin, Amsterdam and Lisbon.

Posted by
4595 posts

Regarding beach time, in the summer many Poles head to their white sand beaches along the Baltic. Sopot,

Ah yes, I forgot about Sopot. It's on my family's intended list. Plenty of high end resorts with the usual suspects, Sheraton, Marriott, Sofitel, Radisson Blu and a host of other non Western resorts.

Posted by
192 posts

I am going to put in a good word for northern Germany and the greater region as I am wont to do. ;)

1) relatively easy travel from Boston and must be on Delta or one of its partners

Both KLM and Air France partner with Delta. Easy connections via both Amsterdam and Paris to Hamburg or just go to Amsterdam and take a train.

2) a destination that isn’t overly crowded

Hamburg doesn't get a lot of foreign tourists--mostly Germans. If you aren't there during a festival, you won't feel too cramped.

3) a destination that isn’t too hard to physically navigate as that is difficult for one member of the party who is visually impaired (like the amalfi coast and all the stairs)

All flat around here! Even villages with lots of old town flair are often easy to navigate.

4) a small to medium, quiet ish hotel or resort that is upscale with great food (and must be able to accommodate food allergies)

LOTS of options in and around Hamburg for food, but if you like seafood, you can do well outside of Hamburg--on the Baltic or North Sea, for example. Or stay in a B&B on the south side of the Elbe.

5) if coastal, easy access to the beach or lakes since it will be hot (but not required if we go somewhere less hot)

Like Anna said, Germany has great beaches!

Some more particular recommendations are staying in a small town near Hamburg--I am thinking something like Glückstadt or Lüneburg. For beaches, I cannot say enough things about St. Peter-Ording. I mean, this is hands down one of the coolest and most different beaches you will ever experience. HUGE swaths of "Watt" and few people. There are also beaches directly on the Elbe in the city, though these can be crowded on a hot summer day. Or go to Düne/Helgoland for a few nights. Helgoland can get crowded during the day, but at night it's super chill and really neat, and the beaches are not at all crowded unless you count the seals that might join you on the beach.

For Holocaust, obviously Bergen-Belsen is an easy distance from Hamburg, and Neuengamme is in the city itself and of course the Nikolai church (bombed out ruins), really interesting! For teenagers, Hamburg offers a lot of city life options depending on their ages and interests. But there are some really creative tours and such. Or walk through Sternschanze.

Anyway, that's a few of my thoughts.

Posted by
3586 posts

Cities you can fly nonstop from Boston to Europe on Delta are: Paris, Rome, Dublin, Amsterdam and Lisbon.

Also Edinburgh, and I expect Reykjavik to reappear on the schedule at some point, it is missing now. BTW Lisbon is rather cheap.

Posted by
3053 posts

Cities you can fly nonstop from Boston to Europe on Delta are: Paris,
Rome, Dublin, Amsterdam and Lisbon.

And KLM and Air France both fly to Boston, and they have connecting flights to all over Europe. So there are few places in Europe that are not relatively easy to reach from Boston.

I also agree that northern Germany sounds like a good destination. Not too hot but still beaches close by if you like. Not too crowded either. And Hamburg and Berlin are great cities to visit. Berlin usually gets a lot of (well deserved) attention, but Hamburg is very much an underrated city in my opinion. You can also add Denmark to the mix. Jutland's west coast has endless great beaches that rarely fill up even in the height of summer.

Posted by
2979 posts

I'm just going to jump on here and say that the less internationally-touristed parts of Germany are great in July. We try not to go abroad in Europe in July/August due to school holidays so if we travel, we stay in Germany.

I'm going to second (third?) the recommendation for the Bodensee/Lake Constance. I'm a Californian and it's as close as I can get to a real seaside feeling within a few hours of where I live. Charming towns on the lake, a handful of castles and palaces, lots of kid-friendly activities, tends to be friendly for physically impaired (I took my mom and grandma, both with mobility issues, to Meersburg on the Bodensee) and a lot of nice hotels, some with direct lake access. But I'd book soon if that appeals, the Germans book their holidays early as well! The nearest "big" airport is Stuttgart but we're kinda lacking direct flights from the US now, but Frankfurt isn't TOO far away, especially if you take the fast train (ICE) directly from the airport to another place where you pick up a car. You're at the edge of two wonderful areas, the Swabisch Alb and the Allgau region, close to the alps and the Black forest as well. Lots to explore in that area and could easily be mixed with a trip to Munich as well.