Starting to feel the heat? Before you book your cheap summer holiday check out our favourite hostels for keeping cool with BBQ parties, swimming pools, roof terraces and blissfully air-conditioned rooms…
1. Santorini Island
This Greek island is a sunny summer staple. The sunsets are the stuff legends, although perhaps it’s kicking back with a glass of local white Assurtiko wine that seals the deal right? And nothing beats reaching your island retreat by boat for that real feeling of summer escapism.
Spend mornings idly exploring the Art Space near Exogonia or the archaeological museum in Fira. Yes there are nightclubs, but Santorini is no Mykonos or Ios so drunk student Brits are kept to a minimum. Instead, it’s life in the slow lane so hire a scooter to explore the island, enjoy the quaint blue domed rooftops then cliff jump in Amoudi Bay into the turquoise sea. Bliss.
Cool hostel: Caveland
Cool air-conditioned rooms mean you can sleep easy in the summer months here. Caveland might be one mile from the black-sand beach but they offer a free daily transfer and their hillside location means you can make the most of the spectacular views at sunset from their terrace.
They organise trips in to town where you can indulge in charming taverna meals or the bars with the promise of a free ride home at the end of the evening. There is a swimming pool and yoga classes onsite and guests have free use of a nearby tennis court.
Dorms from €15pppn, private rooms from €10pppn | Book now
Or have a look at more cheap hostels in Santorini
For the best of both worlds when it comes to a beach holiday with all the heady nightlife and culture of a buzzing city, Barcelona has everything rolled in to one…
Cool hostel: Equity Point Sea
Located right on Barceloneta, Equity Point Sea hostel is just a few steps from the beach. Forget forking out for lunch at expensive boardwalk bars, you can head back to the hostel for a siesta loaded up with some fresh ingredients from the fabulous La Boqueria market and use the hostel’s self catering facilities. Alternatively pack up a picnic in the guest kitchen and head back to the beach. The 4, 6, 8 or 9-bed dorms are air-conditioned and boast en suite facilities. Hit Barcelona’s beachside clubs with the promise of a free hearty breakfast back at the hostel to refuel you the following morning.
Dorms from €16.90pppn | Book now
Or see more Barcelona hostels
3. Olympos, Turkey
Sun, sea, sand…salivating? Olympos, about 25 miles from Antalya, is an idyllic coastal resort with a gorgeous turquoise bay – perfect for boat trips, swimming, rock jumping and kayaking. Inland, travellers can retreat up the forest clad mountains with hiking opportunities to the historic Chimera Flames which have been burning for thousands of years.
Cool hostel: Bayrams Treehouses
Get back in touch with nature at one of Bayrams Treehouses. Picturesquely situated within an orange grove and just a 5 minute walk from the beach, Bayrams Treehouses is the ideal place to lounge in a hammock or puff away at Turkish water pipes. There is a restaurant and bar on site and a hearty breakfast and dinner are included which you can enjoy around a fire pit lounging on cushions. You can join a nightly tour to visit the flames and staff can help you arrange boat trips and activities.
Dorms from €12.98, private rooms from €13.85 | Book now
Or see more cheap rooms for hostels in Olympos
Doing a spot of InterRailing in Europe? Then, despite it being the height of summer, Florence is probably on your list. So look for accommodation with air-conditioning and be sure to enjoy trips out of town to Tuscany’s rolling countryside. You can also indulge in alfresco dining and the Boboli Gardens offer glowing views of the city as the sun lights up the tiled rooftops and reflects off the Arno River.
Cool hostel: PLUS FLORENCE
After a day of sightseeing, guests can take a dip at PLUS FLORENCE’s onsite swimming pool. They offer both private and shared rooms with air-conditioning and there are female-only dorms with some cute complimentary creature comforts. On balmy evenings, guests head to the roof terrace to enjoy drinks at sunset with views across the red roofs and the Duomo. PLUS Florence also organises trips out of town including cookery classes around Tuscany, bike rides and horse-riding.
Dorms from €18.50pppn, rooms from €26pppn | Book now
Or find more hostels in Florence
5. Hvar, Croatia
Outside the eurozone, Croatia has become a firm favourite on our cheap summer holiday list. And the arrival of the rich and famous descending on the gorgeous Hvar mean this particular island promises heady nightlife as well as spectacular beaches. It is costlier than most destinations in Croatia but that’s where the humble hostel comes in useful. A Napolean fortress presides over the old town which is a pretty cobbled street affair. Out to sea you can spot the Otaci archipelago and inland, amble on bikes through vineyards. By night, activity centres around the bustling beach bars.
Cool hostel: Hostel Villa Skansi
You’ll feel like one of Hvar’s beautiful people lounging on Hostel Villa Skansi’s terrace. Complete with chic garden furniture and views across the Med, there is an onsite bar and with background music, it’s a perfect place to start your night. You can rent a boat or scooters to explore the island. Both private rooms complete with balconies and high standard dorms have air-conditioning and en suite facilities. There’s even an outdoor shower and a large guest kitchen and BBQ! The hostel is a short walk from the ferry port and jus 3 minutes walk from the town centre.
Dorms & private rooms from €13.16pppn | Book now
Or browse more Hvar hostels
You can keep cool with the beautiful people on Miami South Beach. The famous strip of beach bars will tick all the boxes for travellers looking to party hard this summer. Days are spent lounging on the beach and nothing beats cruising along the seafront on a bike so it’s easy to keep costs down – especially if you pick up some picnic ingredients. Plan trips to the Everglades for thrilling airboat rides alongside the crocodiles or why not try an overnight excursion to paradise – the Bahamas. But if you are worried about forking out for nightlife in Miami – apologies if we sound like a broken record – but opt to stay in at a Miami party hostel and you you’ll be amazed at the number of freebies on offer to ensure you a fabulous night on the town.
Cool hostel: Deco Walk Hostel 1 Ocean Drive
Complete with air-conditioning and a roof terrace, Deco Walk Hostel 1 Ocean Drive is a great choice for a summer holiday in Miami. Located right on South Beach, the place is buzzing. By day, staff organise volleyball tournaments and come evening, there are BBQs and parties on the roof. If you are suffering from the ‘morning after’ feeling, there’s no need to get out of bed – all dorms are equipped with flatscreen plasma TVs and en suite facilities!
Dorms from €20.78pppn | Book now
Or check out more hostels in Miami
Another destination that offers travellers a bit of a city break as well as a beach holiday is Lisbon. Despite the nearby urban environment, the beaches boast a number of European Blue Flags for excellence and fill up with both locals and tourists. Although to escape the crowds it’s only a 25-minute train ride to the wilder stretches of Lisbon’s coastline. Escape the heat by exploring the shadowy and tiled passes of Alfama and the orange tree lines plazas of the Barrio Alto. The Lisbon nightlife might not get kicking until 11pm but evenings are balmy and the crowds from the bars spill out onto the streets.
Alfama Patio Hostel
With views of the Tagus River, the Alfama Patio Hostel offers a lush and green retreat in Lisbon city centre. Leading out from the living rooms and guest kitchen, travellers can relax in the garden patio area with a free pancake breakfast or an evening drink from the bar. On Saturdays, there’s a BBQ and a DJ at the hostel and the rest of the week you can join staff and fellow guests on a bar crawl of the Barrio Alto or a trip to a Brazilian music party. Groups of 5 or more can hop on the hostel’s own free shuttle bus to the beach.
Dorms from €12.80pppn, private rooms from €25pppn | Book now
Or find more hostels in Lisbon
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Thanks to Alex Graves for the images off Flickr. Please note, all images were suitable for use at time of publication according to the Creative Commons License.