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7 Places to Visit this Summer to Avoid the Crowds of Paris

March 25, 2024

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All eyes are on Paris this summer for the 2024 Olympics. And while we can never get enough of the City of Light, we’re eyeing a few alternative destinations for the warm-weather months ahead. Why? With the French capital — and, really, the whole country — gearing up for a massive summer, travellers from around the world will be descending on the destination in unprecedented amounts.

In other words: if you’re not going to the Olympics, you might want to consider another European destination this summer so that you don’t end up in the throes of crowds. Luckily, there are plenty of great alternatives for a chic continental sojourn filled with good food, good wine, shopping and European flare. Here are a few options to consider.

If you’re ready to plan your summer getaway to Europe, reach out to us to get started. We can recommend the best destination for your travel vibe, and unlock excellent hotel perks to boot.

1. Montenegro

One&Only Portonovi


Nothing says European summer quite like the rocky shores of the Mediterranean. For a unique escape that you won’t see all over your Instagram feed, head to Montenegro. This lesser-known coastal gem is reminiscent of Croatia of years past, complete with idyllic natural beauty and lively seaside villages — with far fewer crowds compared to the rest of the Med. In between lounging on the beach (obligatory cocktail in hand), don’t miss a hike (or white-water raft ride) through the dramatic landscapes of Durmitor National Park.

Where to stay: One&Only Portonovi, a chic luxury retreat on Boka Bay, is a celebration of its breathtaking natural environment and rich local heritage.

WeGalavant Perks at One&Only Portonovi: £75 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

2. Edinburgh


Make like your cool, whiskey-drinking friends and head to the ever-energetic Scottish capital this summer. With its Gothic architecture and cobblestoned streets, Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most atmospheric urban centers. It’s also perfect for a summertime sojourn: walk the Royal Mile to explore medieval history, enjoy the city’s authentic pubs and check out the world’s largest art festival. Every August, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe transforms the city with thousands of performances (including plenty of bagpipes).

Where to stay: A legendary hotel and landmark clock tower, the Balmoral Hotel is a regal and luxurious mainstay that is a true love letter to Scotland.

WeGalavant Perks at the Balmoral Hotel: £75 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

3. Florence

La Gemma


You can’t go wrong with a summer holiday to Europe’s Renaissance jewel. Spend your days soaking up history with visits to iconic landmarks such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio. Or, live out your Dolce Vita dreams by strolling through the city’s labyrinthine streets, filled with artistic treasures, spritz-soaked cafés and serene gardens & parks. Plus, day trips to the surrounding hills of Tuscany — complete with plenty of Chianti — await. 

Where to stay: If you’re planning on shopping in Firenze, don’t miss La Gemma, a new boutique hotel that opened in 2023. It’s just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s best locations for retail therapy.

4. Munich


A trip to the vibrant Bavarian capital offers a bit of everything, and then some. We’re talking historic landmarks, epic natural beauty and a thriving summer scene. Visitors can explore world-class museums like the Alte Pinakothek and the Deutsches Museum, or relax in the English Garden, one of the largest urban parks in the world. Summer in Munich also means beer gardens, where visitors can enjoy traditional Bavarian brews and eat as much bratwurst as their heart desires. 

Where to stay: An elegant and upscale hotel in the heart of Munich, Rosewood Munich offers a blend of contemporary luxury and Bavarian charm.

WeGalavant Perks at the Rosewood Munich: £75 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

5. Switzerland

 Burgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa


Switzerland boasts a heavy dose of wanderlust, between its storybook villages, snow-capped peaks and vibrant cities. First, the Alps provide a dramatic backdrop for hiking, biking and mountaineering. Then, there’s the country’s pristine lakes, such as Lake Geneva, Lake Lucerne and Lake Zurich, all of which offer amazing opportunities for boating and lakeside relaxation. And in cities like Zurich, Geneva and Lucerne, visitors can explore charming old towns, world-class museums and cultural scenes come summertime.

Where to stay: For a spa moment, we love Burgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa, a polished and ultra-immersive resort overlooking Lake Lucerne. 

WeGalavant Perks at the Burgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa: £75 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible

6. Greece

Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino


Whether you’re picturing its postcard-perfect coast, historic hilltop villages or buzzy beach clubs, you can never go wrong with a trip to Greece. While the islands — from Milos to Mykonos — are what everyone buzzes about, there’s plenty to be explored off-the-beaten path. We’re especially excited about the Peloponnese region, which is accessible directly from Athens via a three-hour drive.

The Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino opened in 2023 and boasts ‌classic Greek charm, along with active pursuits (water sports, rock climbing, golf, tennis and more).

Where to stay: Snag a suite at the Mandarin Oriental, with ultra-sleek suites and a luxe beach club.

WeGalavant Perks at the Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino: £75 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

7. Austria

Salzburg Austria


If you’re dreaming of an unexpected European getaway this summer, Austria will deliver. Travellers have plenty to explore in the country’s stunning landscapes (including its crystal-clear lakes, such as Lake Wolfgangsee and Lake Hallstatt). But its urban centres — complete with cathedrals and lively markets — are just as worthwhile. Our eyes are on Salzburg this summer, with a buzzy new Rosewood hotel beckoning. 

Where to stay: Opening this spring 2024, Rosewood Schloss Fuschl is a 15th-century castle that’s all about next-level wellness. 

If you’re ready to plan your summer getaway to Europe, reach out to us to get started. We can recommend the best destination for your preferences, matchmake you to the perfect hotel and add A+ perks to your itinerary.

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