While many people look forward to the sizzling heat of summer, if you aren’t one of them, you might want to consider a vacation that allows you to escape those searing temperatures. Those with Europe on their mind will find some incredible cool spots. These destinations not only offer more pleasant temperatures but incredible scenery and all sorts of things to see and do.
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Greenland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
With the world getting increasingly smaller and travelers check off destinations on their must-visit list, Greenland has finally popped up on the radar with many. Iceland’s western neighbor boasts the lowest population density in the world as well as the chance to experience the midnight sun, dogsled through frozen tundra and watch the Northern Lights. And, of course, you won’t have to worry about the heat at all here, with the average temperatures in July only reaching the mid-40s. Plus you’ll get the benefit of dramatic mountains, glaciers and fjords without the crowds. While Greenland used to be difficult to access, today you can catch a flight there from Reykjavik, Iceland or Copenhagen, Denmark.
Iceland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
With a name like “Iceland,” you know there won’t be any suffering through the heat here. Warm summer days can reach as high as the mid-70s, though average temps are in the 50s. Enjoy the highlights of the country in comfort, including standing in awe as Strokkur Geyser erupts, being mesmerized by powerful waterfalls and their rainbow-filled mists, strolling jet black sand beaches, cruising a maze of floating icebergs, and soaking in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon. Just a few of the other options include walking atop a glacier, whale watching, and Icelandic horse riding.
Norway (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Norway is a bucket list destination where you’ll be able to marvel at its spectacular natural beauty without wiping sweat off your brow. It’s often near perfect, with summer temperatures in the mid-70s and little humidity in the air. Come and experience places like Trolltunga with its breathtakingly scenic cliffs. Also known as the “troll’s tongue,” it was formed during the ice age when glacial water froze a chunk of the mountain, causing it to break off and leave a thin protruding ledge which hovers above the lake below. The four-hour trek to get there brings big rewards that include a photo opportunity of a lifetime.
Ireland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
No matter where you are in Ireland, odds are, you’re unlikely to have to deal with unbearable heat with average summer temperature throughout most of the country in the 60s. Northern Ireland boasts lots of attractions like the legendary Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede, and is nearly 100 feet above the striking emerald-colored water and jagged rocks below. If you’re brave enough to look down, you just might see a dolphin, or, even a basking shark which frequents the waters of the North Sea. Just 40 minutes outside of Dublin is Wicklow National Park with miles and miles of scenic trails for hiking the soaring mountains, passing glistening lakes and tranquil streams. In the summer when heather is in bloom, you’ll marvel at the of purple and maroon across the hills and fields of bog cotton.
The Scottish Highlands (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The jaw-droppingly stunning Scottish Highlands is a sparsely populated wilderness region with scenery that includes heather-covered mountains, countless sparkling lakes, cascading falls and even beautiful beaches. Although summer is the warmest time of the year, temperatures rarely get higher than the mid-60s and in this area you’ll find endless opportunities for hiking, fishing and exploring castles, as well as the chance to search for the legendary Loch Ness monster.
Faroe Islands (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The Faroe Islands are a hot destination, but don’t expect temps to be too hot. As more and more people look to get off the beaten travel path, airfare has decreased while an increasing number of travelers are discovering the delights of the archipelago. Mykines, the most westerly and most beautiful of the Faroe Islands, feels like a journey back in time with its village filled with small, grass-roofed houses. This wild, remote island surrounded by high cliffs is also one of the best for bird watching, particularly puffins, found here by the thousands. Summertime brings 22 hours of sunlight to enjoy it all, including the islands’ food festivals and outdoor concerts.
The Azores (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The beautiful nine volcanic islands that make up The Azores, dotted across the mid-Atlantic, are quite pleasant in the summer with average temperatures in the mid-70s. They’re also now more accessible than ever, thanks to Delta Airline’s direct service from New York City. This is a hiker’s paradise, allowing you to take advantage of the pleasant climate, walking the trails that range from gentle strolls along coastal paths and crater lakes to more challenging adventures like the hike to the peak of volcanic Mount Pico. There are underground caves, some of which house tranquil pools and waterfalls, to explore too.
Copenhagen (Hotel Prices & Photos)
High temperatures in Copenhagen at summer’s peak average just 63 degrees, and you can enjoy an idyllic refuge at Tivoli Gardens where concerts draw crowds to its open-air stage that sits adjacent to a rose-filled garden. Explore the Danish Riviera, just north of the city, enjoying the pristine beaches and fun holiday atmosphere, along with a wealth of museums and castles. The island of Funen, also near Copenhagen, was the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen and is home to colorful public gardens, castles and manor houses, while Aarhus, situated along the coast next to fjords, forests and Viking rune stones, hosts an Old Town that displays traditional Danish architecture from the 16th to 19th century.
Stockholm Archipelago (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The Stockholm Archipelago is one of the most remarkable regions of Sweden, yet it’s still a well-kept secret. Made up of over 30,000 islands, islets and skerries, of which only about 1,000 are inhabited, it offers a unique and cool summer escape with average temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s. It can be reached from central Stockholm via historic white boats, some of which date back over a century and are still steam powered yet well-preserved. Visitors can go on a day trip or stay overnight.
Finland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Finland enjoys some rather comfortable temps in the summer, averaging in the low 60s, and it offers some fabulous places for hiking, biking and kayaking like its newest national park, Hossa. It also hosts 4,000-year-old pictographs painted in blood and ochre by the country’s early Stone Age settlers.