Winter has come and gone, and it's nearly the end of spring.. so what's next??
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of summer? Clear, cloudless blue skies, breezy winds and of course, sandy white beaches for some fun in the sun? And there's really no better place than Europe for the best summer vacation ever! Given that the hours are pretty long, we've come up with the ultimate summer checklist for every traveller, so remember to make the most of your time there?
P.S. KLM is having amazing deals for flights to Europe from Singapore (from SGD 857) and Indonesia (from IDR 9,900,000)! This promo is valid from 19 April to 03 May 2017, and the travel period is from 26 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
1. Frolic in Provence's enchanting lavender fields
Nature lovers, adventurers, photographers
Swing by Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque in the summer and you'll be in for quite a visual treat! Endless rows of the most incredible lavender fields will greet you and the fragrance emitted by these colorful flowers will soothe any worn out souls?
Credit: Mike Slone on Flickr Usually blooming in June to August and reaching its' peak in
July, these picturesque flowers are the perfect backdrop for stunning landscape shots? You'll have a blast running through the fields, with your hand stretched out and brushing against the soft petals with the gentle wind caressing your face.. We're feeling relaxed just by writing about this?
Credit: Matheus Swanson on Flickr
Don't forget to visit the nearby distilleries to grab your hands on freshly made essential oil, floral water, eau de toilette, soaps and more!
Credit: Sandrine Néel on Flickr
Luberon Natural Regional Park, 84220 Gordes, France
2. The summer funfair you'll remember for the rest of your life
No summer experience is complete without a visit to the local funfair! Head on down to La Fête Foraine des Tuileries in Tuileries Garden, one of Paris' biggest summer funfairs, for a fun-filled day that you'll never forget! Oh, and did we mention that entry is free??
Credit: @helenefloquet on Instagram For the past 30 years, this quintessential summer experience has been the go-to destination for youths, young families and even elderly folks in search of a great time. Usually held from late June to end of August, last year's installation alone had over 80 different attractions, which included
bumper cars, trampolines, climbing walls, giant slides, zip wires and ghost trains!
Credit: @nie.nie76 on Instagram
Aside from thrilling, adrenaline-inducing rides, you can also test your accuracy skills with retro shooting games we're all familiar with (and secretly bear a grudge against?).
Credit: @helenebgs31 on Instagram
If you're feeling peckish, choose from the funfair staples like waffles, toffee apples, crêpes, churros, ice cream and everyone's childhood favourite, candyfloss? Trust us, you'd need that sugar rush so that you can play your hearts out without tiring midway?
Tuileries Garden, 113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
BONUS: End your day lazing around on a pop-up beach
A pop up beach.. wait what?
We're not kidding! Since 2007, the French government has took it upon themselves to create temporary artificial beaches along the river Seine for locals who simply can't afford to travel during the summer time.
Credit: Sharat Ganapati on Flickr
Known as Paris Plages
, this highly anticipated summer event is held every July and August. Aside from lazing around on the hot sand, you can check out the free concerts too!
Seine, Paris, France
3. Catch the phenomenal midnight sun in Norway
Best for: Nature lovers, adventurers, photographers
A natural phenomenon that only occurs in the summer,
catching a glimpse of the midnight sun in Norway is every nature lovers' and photographers' dream? The sun appears to rest directly above the horizon, and given fair weather, can be visible for up to 24 hours! This amazing spectacle is visible all along the Arctic Circle from mid-June to early July. If you head further north to Svalbard or Greenland, you'll be able to see it from April to August.
Credit: johnny myreng henriksen on Flickr
For the best view of this stunning sight, make your way to the North Cape or Mount Rønvikfjellet in Bodø. The further north you go, the longer you'll be able to see the midnight sun. It's as if the day never ends?
Credit: B+ Fouzy on Flickr
Avoid mountainous regions, instead, stick to flat landscapes for that perfect shot!
You can check out this website
for a full list of areas and the various dates when the midnight sun is predicted to appear.
4. The smashing food fight you always wanted to have
Spain is known for having the most epic food festivals but nothing compares to La Tomatina , a festival where thousands of people throw heaps of tomatoes at each other. Yup... you read that right? It's basically a massive food fight
that you always wished you took part in?
Credit: @tourlahzehakhar on Instagram
Said to be created after two men began throwing tomatoes at everyone and everything in political protest, this incredibly messy event is held in the small Spanish city of Bunol, every last Wednesday in August since 1945. To protect the safety of the participants, the local government has since established a few ground rules. For one, the tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid any serious injuries and no other projectiles (other than the fruits) are allowed.
Credit: @dogaotesi on Instagram
If walking around in tomato-soaked clothes are to your liking, you can check out La Tomatina's official website
for ticket prices and special packages!
[P.S. Bookmark our list of Muslim-friendly eateries in Barcelona!]
Buñol, Valencia, Spain
5. Experience Amsterdam like never before!
Best for: Urban travellers, adventurers
There's really no better way to explore Amsterdam than by doing what the locals do; cycle! Around 83% of Amsterdammers cycle at least once a week, and for good reason. Roads are usually narrow so it's pretty expensive to own a car. Cycling has become the main form of transportation in Amsterdam, and locals absolutely love doing
it, especially in the summer☀️
Why not get some cardio done while breathing in fresh air and enjoying the sight of the bright, sunny sky? For the best bike routes, we'd recommend joining one of the many bike tours
held in Amsterdam which cover must-visit sights, well-known landmarks and even a short venture into the countryside! Who knows, you might even make some new friends while you're at it?
Credit: @fannycadenaa on Instagram
If biking isn't for you, you can also take part in the free walking tours
P.S. Check out KLM’s amazing deals to Europe from Singapore (from SGD 857) and Indonesia (from IDR 9,900,000)! Promo is valid from 19 April to 03 May 2017, and the travel period is from 26 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
6. Attend classical musical performances that'll keep you afloat
Classical music lovers
If you're a fan of classical or contemporary music, you'll love this next summer activity! Taking place every mid August, the Grachtenfestival
or Canal Festival is the largest classical and contemporary music festival in the Netherlands.
Credit: @dinapolis on Instagram Held in the heart of Amsterdam, the gorgeous canals form the perfect backdrop for classical music. Thousands of music lovers from all over the world flock
to this ten day festival, eager to hop on the nearest boat and meander their way from one performance area to another.
Credit: @avrotrosklassiek on Instagram
Performances are held on stages both near and even on the water, with the free Prinsengracht
Concert being the major highlight of the entire festival, taking place on the pontoon by the Pulitzer Hotel. So why not swing by Grachtenfestival
for a concert experience like no other??
Credit: @byrdkrueger on Instagram
Rokin 75, 1012 KL Amsterdam, Netherlands
7. Soak up the warm sun-rays in Barcelona
Beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts
Barcelona is home to the some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and that is by no means an exaggeration? Crystal blue waters and sandy white beaches are a given, with La Barceloneta and Nova Icaria Beach being the top contenders for the best beach in the city!
From taking a dip in the warm waters, building sandcastles to extreme water sports like windsurfing and kite-surfing, there's certainly something for everyone! Just don't forget to bring your sunblock, you'll be needing it?
8. Shop till you drop at the Paris Summer Sale?
Best for: Shopaholics
To quote the wise words of Audrey Hepburn, "Paris is always a good idea" and we couldn't agree
more, especially when it's sale season? Unlike most countries, the local government regulates sales and allow for only two major sales to take place per year, one in winter and one in summer. The summer sales in France typically start in late June and run through the end of July.
Credit: @elzbthvncnt on Instagram
And, as one can expect, the crowds can get pretty crazy, given that some store merchandises are up to 80% off? So if you're planning to shop till you drop in Paris, be prepared to push your way through the never-ending waves of crowds to snag that one discounted Parisian purse you've had your eye on for ages!
Credit: @mannon_frst on Instagram
9. Row, row your boat in the lakes of London
You can't leave London without trying every Londoner's favourite past time; boating! With massive lakes found all over the city, it's not uncommon to see people spending the whole day at the lake, either boating or having a nice picnic by the lakeside.
Credit: Garry Knight on Flickr
Popular locations include Hyde Park, Regent's Park and Battersea Park. Boating is open from April all the way to late October, depending on the location.
Credit: Garry Knight on Flickr
Rent from a variety of rowing boats, pedalos (human-powered paddle boats) or go for the classic swan or dragon boat! The tranquil, soft sloshing of the waters is enough to lull you into a sleepy slumber, just be careful to not lead your boat astray?
10. Catch the biggest names in pop live all in one venue!
Arts enthusiasts, music lovers
With some of pop's biggest names like Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Lorde performing at this year's installment, there's no denying the popularity of Glastonbury Festival! Best described as the UK's version of Coachella, treat your ears to amazing live performances and get up close and personal with your favourite artists?
Credit: Kevin Neagle on Flickr
The festival is also packed with countless dance, comedy, theater, circus, and other artistic performances? What's more, the money raised from this event will go towards benefiting good causes like Greenpeace and Wateraid!
Credit: Edward Simpson on Flickr
For a full list of the music line-up, do check out their official website
Credit: Edward Simpson on Flickr
Glastonbury BA4 4EE, UK
11. Have an open-air movie marathon at Sala Montjuïc
Film buffs, arts enthusiasts
You won't be able to see your local indoor movie theaters the same way after attending Sala Montjuïc
, Barcelona's favourite open-air film festival! As the name suggests, the entire Fossat de Santa Eulàlia moat in Montjuïc Castle will be filled with dozens of people lounging around while waiting for the movie to play on a huge projector screen.
Credit: @salamontjuic on Instagram
Past popular movies include Inside Out, The Wolf of Wall Street and Birdman, with a surprise film screened on the last day. Oh, and don't worry about the language barrier, as the movie will be screened in English with Spanish subtitles! There'll be a warm up concert before the screening, so you'll have plenty of time to kick back and relax?
Credit: @marinapiniello on Instagram
Feel free to bring your own chair or mat and pack yourself a simple picnic to last you through the night. Tickets are as low as €6, however only a limited amount will be sold on-site, so we'd advise to buy it in advance. You can check the official website
for more details. This year's Sala Montjuïc
will take place from 30 June to 4 August, so book your tickets now?
Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
12. Visit Lake Zürich, one of Switzerland's most well-known lakes
Best for: Water sport enthusiasts, nature lovers
Everyone has one of those days when they just
want to sit by a lake and take the time to reflect on themselves. So why not take a serene stroll by the famous Lake Zürich in Switzerland? Formerly a route for traffic and transport, it's now a popular destination for excursions?
Credit: Eugene Kim on Flickr
Dip your toes in the clear, blue waters (in summer, the temperature can go up to 20 °C!) or have a family picnic with a wonderful view of the lake. For the more adventurous souls, try your hand at water sports like stand-up paddling, windsurfing or waterskiing!
Credit: Luca Casartelli on Flickr
If you have money to splurge, you can hop on a cruise
and sail around the lake for a few hours⛴
Lake Zürich, Switzerland
With so many things to tick off your summer travel bucket list, it's definitely wise to plan ahead! So, what are you waiting for? Catch that next plane to Europe now✈️
P.S. Don’t forget to get amazing deals on KLM for flights to Europe from Singapore (from SGD 857) and Indonesia (from IDR 9,900,000 )! Promo is valid from 19 April to 03 May 2017, the travel period is from 26 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
This article was brought to you by KLM.