Where has all the sunshine gone?
Luckily for you, HostelBookers are in the midst of a summer sale, meaning you can save upto 40% off some of our top sunny properties.
So read on for some of the best value beach holidays and city breaks with sunshine (near enough) guaranteed so you can come back a bronzed god/goddess…
Faro might not be able to rival the likes of Cyprus or Southern Spain for high temperatures, but with an average of 3,170 hours of sun a year (the highest in Europe) including more than 11 hours of sun a day during the summer season and one day of rain, on average, in June and July, the capital of Portuguese Algarve is as safe a bet for some summer sun as you can get.
Besides it’s nigh on constant sunshine, Faro is a busy and thriving town that gets particularly lively in the evenings- especially in and around the university. For art and culture lovers there’s plenty of buildings and architecture worth taking a look at including Roman and Arab ruins dating back to the 9th Century and beyond.
With most of the Algarve’s finest beaches in striking distance, Faro is a great base from which to explore the rest of the Algarve and beyond.
If you’re after something a little different from your holiday and have a need for speed, head to Faro in the penultimate weekend of July to watch one of the biggest motorcycle rallies in the world- the Faro International Motorcycle Rally.
Where to stay: There are plenty of Faro hostels to rest your head after a day out enjoying all 12 of its glorious hours of sunshine. However, if you’re after the ultimate in comfort and luxury without the price tag, head for the pleasant and tranquil surroundings of Hotel Residencial S. Algarve.
It gets pretty damn hot in Seville! During July and August the highs regularly pushes past the 35C mark and it hardly ever rains.
However, there’s much more to Spain’s fourth largest city than its temperate climate. Seville is more than 2,000 years old and is home to some of the most stunning architecture in all of Europe. The Cathedral of Seville, built on the site of the city’s old Mosque, bears both Visigoth and Arab influences, while the Alcazar is another blend of Moorish and Christian traditions and styles.
Andalusia is known as the party state in Spain, and Seville, as the state’s capital leads by example. Perhaps because of the heat (the average low is just shy of 20C), many locals like to meet and drink at pre-arranged venues like the Plaza San Salvador or by the River Guadalquivir – a method know as botelloning.
If you plan to party Seville style, Plaza Alafa or nearby Calle Betis are where it’s at- just remember that locals don’t go out until 11 or 11.30 pm so be prepared for a long night out!
Where to stay: You’ll need somewhere cool and comfortable to escape the heat during any stay in Seville. Thankfully there are a number of budget hotels and youth hostels in Seville that fit the bill, including the Oasis Backpackers Hostel Sevilla which currently has 20% off 12-bed dorms in HostelBookers’ summer sale. The plunge pool is perfect for cooling dips and the spectacular roof terrace is the place for an evening tipple and delicious paella as the sun goes down. Interiors are modern with lovely attention to detail. They offer a free breakfast and a laundry service as well as daily tours for tapas tasting or flamenco shows.
With average highs pushing 30 C, little to no rain and a 1,000 km-long coastline full to bursting with beautiful sandy beaches, secluded coves, beautiful bays and pretty peninsulas, Crete is a genuine paradise for beach lovers and the perfect destination for a beach holiday.
The best of the sun is to the south of the island, although in all honesty you’re likely to blessed by cloudless blue skies and blazing sunshine wherever you stay.
Chania is the island’s unofficial capital and this is where you’ll find most of the Brits and holiday makers but many of the nicer beaches can be found in some of the quieter areas to the South and West of the island.
The beauty of Crete is that you can do as much or as little as you want. If relaxing is what your after, you can bask on a comfortable sun lounger with a slice of juicy watermelon in one hand and a tasty cocktail in the other and look out over turquoise seas glistening in glorious, golden sunshine.
If being active is more your thing you can get involved in any number of different water sports or go exploring the island’s rich heritage. Crete is famous for being the home of the Minoan civilization with tens of thousands of visitors visiting Knossos each year to check out the remains of the fascinating ancient civilization. The Samaria Gorge with its breathtaking views and stunning landscape is another island highlight.
To make the most of exploring the island, hire a car.
Where to stay: This is completely dependent upon what kind of holiday you’re after. If you’re looking to party then you’ll want to get yourself a hostel in or around Chania. If you’re looking for a more laid back holiday you might want to consider somewhere a little quieter like Summer Lodge. Check out the HostelBookers website for a full list of Crete hostels.
Set in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea with Turkey to the North, Cyprus has been a popular tourist destination for years thanks to its well-earned reputation for constant sunshine and pristine beaches.
The hottest temperatures can be found in the island’s capital, Nicosia, where temperatures regularly reach 36 or 37 C. Canarca and Paphos also often rise above 30 C but in all honesty it’s hot wherever you end up including the island’s clubbing Mecca, Ayia Napa.
Beyond the all-night parties and pimped up sound systems of Ayia Napa, Cyprus also has a thriving café culture and a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for you to explore.
Whether you’re planning to party or looking to learn more about Cyprus’s 10,000 year history, one thing you won’t want to miss out on is the food. Halloumi, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and fall of the bone lamb kleftiko are just a few of the dishes par-excellence that you just have to try. As an island in the middle of the Med it goes without saying that the sea food is also outstanding!
Where to stay: For private accommodation with access to an on-site bar and swimming pool in the heart of Ayia Napa, Napa Prince Hotel Apartments are amongst the best in Cyprus.
In Rome, temperatures have been known to peak beyond the 40C mark. Swelteringly hot, but thankfully the average daily high summer temperatures are a far more comfortable 30 or 31C.
Rome is home to the likes of the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the beautiful Villa Borghese Gardens. The city is blessed with some of the most iconic buildings and attractions in the world.
Rome is also ultra-trendy, chic and, of course, romantic. You’ll see many a couple strolling hand-in-hand in the glorious summer sunshine or sharing one of the city’s world famous ice creams.
Add to all this Vatican City, more bars and restaurants than you can ever hope to try in a life time and some of the most beautiful looking people in the world and you have yourself a perfect city break vacation.
Where to stay: Rome is not the cheapest of holiday destinations but there are a number of affordable Rome hostels available, including PLUS Camping Roma. It now has 20% off in HostelBookers’ Summer Sale. It’s just 15 mins from the Vatican City and public transport leaves from the front gate. Choose from tents or private cabins with air-conditioning sleeping up to 5 people and some with self-catering facilities. There’s a swimming pool, beach volleyball, Jacuzzi, pizzeria and poolside bar with evening entertainment.
Best of the rest
With summer temperatures easily exceeding 30C Santorini deserves a mention in any list of the best places to go for guaranteed summer sun. The island in the Aegean Sea enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year and at the moment you can enjoy 20% off dorms rooms in HostelBookers Summer Sale at Caveland. A hostel set into an 18th century winery with a swimming pool, tennis courts and yoga classes.
Lisbon is officially Europe’s sunniest capital and Oasis Backpackers´ Mansion Lisboal currently has 20% off summer sale beds. Another top sunshine city is Barcelona, which consistently posts temperatures above 30C, seldom drops below 20C even at night and offers the best of both worlds if you’re undecided between beach holiday or city vacation. Barcelona Center Chill Groove Hostel has the heat in mind with air-conditioning and outdoor space for all. It now has 20% off 4-bed dorm rooms in HostelBookers’ Summer Sale.
If you can’t afford to go abroad and are looking to stay in good old blighty, the place most likely to see sunshine is… Bognor Regis. The city beat its fierce rival, Eastbourne, to the crown of sunniest place in England with a grand total of 1,902 hours of sunlight last year. Like we said, it’s best to go abroad this summer!
Thanks to Nanagyei, koadmunkee, Glen Bowman, greenacre8, Eldaglin, Mrs Logic & Bukowsky18 for the Flickr images. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.