A South Africans' Guide to the Hottest European Escapes

Escape South Africa's winter with a warm European summer holiday. Explore Greece, Italy, Spain, and more with Thompsons Holidays. 

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As winter casts its chilly net over South Africa, what could be better than an escape to the warmth of a European summer? From the sun-kissed beaches of Greece to the historic charm of Italy, Europe calls with a promise of balmy days and unforgettable adventures. So, why not swap your winter coat for a swimsuit and go on a journey to soak up the European sunshine? Here are a few must-see European countries to consider for your summer trip 

Greece: Island Hopping Bliss 

For South Africans craving sunshine and blue waters, Greece's islands offer the ultimate escape. Start your journey in Athens, where ancient wonders like the Acropolis await, before setting sail for the Cyclades. Hop from Mykonos, with its lively beach clubs, to Santorini, where romantic sunsets paint the sky in shades of pink and gold.  

Insider Tip: While Santorini steals the spotlight, consider hopping over to lesser-known islands like Paros or Antiparos for a more laid-back and authentic Greek experience. 

Book your trip to Greece with us today.  

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Italy: A Feast for the Senses 

Italy, with its rich history, mouth-watering cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes, is a dream destination for South Africans wanting warmth and adventure. Begin your Italian odyssey in Rome, where ancient ruins and Renaissance splendour collide. Then, journey to Florence, where art and architecture await around every corner, before indulging in a culinary pilgrimage to Tuscany's vineyards. End your trip in Venice, where gondola rides along winding canals and visits to historic landmarks promise to enchant. 

Insider Tip: Skip the lines at the Vatican Museums in Rome by booking an early morning or late afternoon guided tour, allowing you to marvel at Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling with fewer crowds. 

If Italy is calling your name, browse our Italy holiday packages here.  

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Spain: A Mediterranean Gem 

Dynamic and cosmopolitan, Spain captivates with its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine. Begin your adventure in Barcelona, where Gaudí's whimsical masterpieces like the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell await. Indulge in the city's vibrant food scene, sampling tapas and paella in bustling markets and cosy eateries, before unwinding on the golden sands of Barceloneta Beach. From there, venture to Madrid to explore the city's world-class museums and lively nightlife. 

Insider Tip: Experience the essence of Spain by venturing to Andalusia's hidden gems like Granada or Seville for flamenco dancing, Moorish architecture, and mouthwatering tapas. 

Let us help plan the perfect trip with our Spain travel packages 

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Portugal: Sun-Drenched Serenity 

Portugal, with its laid-back charm and stunning coastline, offers South Africans a tranquil escape from the winter chill. Begin your journey in Lisbon, where colourful streets and historic landmarks await. Then, venture to the Algarve, where golden beaches and dramatic cliffs will leave you in awe. Don't miss the picturesque town of Sintra, with its fairytale palaces and lush gardens, before indulging in fresh seafood and fine wines along the coast. 

Insider Tip: Escape the crowds of Lisbon and Porto by exploring Portugal's charming fishing villages along the Alentejo coast, where you can savour fresh seafood and unwind on pristine beaches. 

Don’t miss out on beautiful Portugal, book a holiday package to Portugal 

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Turkey: Where East Meets West 

A melting pot of cultures and civilisations, Turkey offers South Africans a fascinating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Start your adventure in Istanbul, where ancient wonders like the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque await. Cruise along the Bosphorus, soaking in panoramic views of Europe and Asia, before venturing to the otherworldly landscapes of Cappadocia. End your trip on the turquoise coast, where ancient ruins and unspoiled beaches await. 

Insider Tip: For a truly unforgettable experience, embark on a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia's surreal landscapes at sunrise, where fairy chimneys and ancient rock formations await. 

Why wait? Start planning your holiday package to Turkey today.  

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Croatia: Adriatic Adventure 

With its crystalline waters and medieval towns, Croatia is a playground for South Africans wanting sun and sea. Begin your journey in Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic," where ancient city walls and marble streets transport you back in time. Explore the idyllic islands of Hvar and Korčula, known for their stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, before venturing inland to Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its cascading waterfalls and emerald lakes. 

Insider Tip: While Dubrovnik's Old Town is a must-see, consider exploring the lesser-known city of Split. Dive into its vibrant local culture at the bustling Diocletian's Palace, then escape to the nearby islands of Hvar and Brač for a more relaxed and authentic Croatian experience. 

Explore this stunning gem with our Croatia holiday packages 

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Best Time to Visit Europe 

For South Africans looking to escape the winter chill, Europe's summer months offer the perfect opportunity to soak up the sun and explore new destinations. June is an ideal time to visit, with comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds, making it easier to enjoy popular attractions without the hustle and bustle of peak season. Whether you're exploring the historic streets of Rome or lounging on the beaches of Mykonos, Europe in June promises unforgettable experiences and sun-kissed days on the beach. 

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Why Choose Thompsons Holidays 

Book your European travel package with Thompsons Holidays. With our industry expertise and insider connections, we’ll customise your dream itinerary hassle-free. From flights to accommodations and local insights, we’ll ensure an authentic and stress-free adventure. Plus, our dedicated support means peace of mind throughout your journey.  

Europe offers a plethora of warm and welcoming destinations for South Africans looking for warmer days – and with Thompsons Holidays as your trusted travel partner, you can enjoy the journey of a lifetime with confidence and ease. So, pack your bags and get ready to bask in the warmth of a European summer! 


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