Back to articles and guides

Early summer sun getaways

Early summer sun getaways

Summer’s drawing closer, so why not make the most of sun-kissed Europe before the crowds gather and temperatures soar? Check out our top picks for out of season breaks!

From velvet beaches, to glassy lakes, rolling hills, and picturesque villages – there’s something for everyone.

The Italian lakes for beguiling beauty and perfect views

Lake Como

The lakes of northern Italy make for a truly memorable retreat – abounding in activities, arts and history. A short drive from Milan, the five major lakes consist of Maggiore, Lugano, Como, Iseo and Garda.

Go to Como for glamour, cypress-fringed towns and fragrant gardens. For diversity head to Garda – the largest lake and a haven for outdoor adventurers. Iseo is far quieter, hemmed by mountains and popular with trekkers and cyclists. Find sedate villages on the northern shores of Maggiore and some idyllic vistas at Isola Bella. You’ll find spider web cobble stone streets, chic boutiques and lively cafes in Lugano.

Fly direct from Heathrow to Milan – the gateway to the lakes.

Santorini for history and lazy days on indigo shores


When someone says “idyllic Greek getaway” what do you imagine? For many of us it will be blue domed, sugar cube houses stacked on cliff tops with the scent of lemons heavy in the air and the intensely blue Aegean below. Welcome to Santorini – stunningly beautiful and ever-so popular. For this reason, coming earlier in the summer means less bustle and more time to enjoy the sights.

Don’t miss ancient Thera, the hilltop village of Ola, and a tour of one of the many outstanding wineries. Also make sure to take the time to enjoy simple pleasures, like eating alfresco while gazing at the spectacular scenery.

Fly direct from Heathrow to Santorini.

Asturias for quiet mountain roads and rustic villages


Gorgeously green with dramatic coastlines, colourful ports, hundreds of beaches and towering mountains – Asturias in northern Spain has it all.

Asturias’ capital, Oviedo, is ideal for culture lovers with history and art plus a burgeoning food scene to explore. Head to western Asturias and discover terracotta topped houses in the peaceful fishing towns of Cudillero and Luarca and great sandy bays with dizzying cliffs.

Head southwest and you’ll find verdant valleys and winding mountain roads perfect for cruising around or a day of cycling. Drive the alternative routes into Castilla y León such as the AS228 via Puerto Ventana and the AS227 via the outstanding 1486m Puerto de Somiedo – all of these cross dramatic passes with breathtaking views.

Fly direct from Heathrow to Asturias.

Lake Geneva for wine and majestic mountain vistas

Lake Geneva

From Geneva, the train east around Lac Leman slices through the rolling countryside where steep vineyards climb skywards and quaint towns perch above the water. The glassy lake is always in view, mirroring the snow-capped mountains and wisps of passing cloud.

This journey will take you through the vibrant town of Lausanne, the Lavaux wine region with a storybook chateaux, manor houses and beaches, and Montreux where you’ll discover great music and spellbinding gardens.

Fly direct from Heathrow to Geneva – the beginning of your journey.

The Black Forest for fairytale forests and hiking

The Black Forest

A place of legends, lore and fairy tales – where dark forest canopies meet twinkling lakes and gigantic cuckoo clocks. The Black Forest is everything it promises to be. Driving through this region you feel transported in time. Peek through pine clad hills at the infamous forest pathways where Hansel and Gretel found the wicked witch.

From Stuttgart drive to the up-market spa town of Baden Baden – beautiful gardens, swish spas and fab German cuisine await. After, wind your way down the forest taking in Triberg for the ginormous cuckoo clock and an amazing waterfall walk, Lake Titisee for hikes and stunning views, and Freiburg for laid-back fun.

Everywhere you go there are charming towns, friendly people and nature on your doorstep. The warm early summer weather is just right for outdoor adventures. This is a beguiling place that you won’t forget!

Fly direct from Heathrow to Stuttgart – to begin your Black Forest adventure.

Provence for lavender fields and breathtaking clifftop drives


Iconic lavender fields, honey-hued stone villages, sparkling beaches and hilltops with eye-catching views – Provence France simply transports you. Base yourself in the mighty Avignon surrounded by crenellated walls or in Arles, the tiny town that inspired Van Gogh.

You can spend your days driving or cycling winding countryside roads – through olive groves, purple carpeted fields, snow dusted mountains and inviting rivers. Head towards the Med and look out for when the swathe of deep blue finally emerges from clifftop passes. Take in art, nature, go river swimming, laze by the ocean or enjoy top notch dining – you won’t regret coming to this magnificent region!

Fly direct from Heathrow to Nice or Marseille for Arles and Avignon.

Malta for laid back beach days and snorkelling


Malta has plenty to see and do but is characterised by its laid-back, easy going atmosphere. You can take boat trips across the cobalt Med, eat seafood delights in harbourside restaurants, jump from craggy cliffs to the water below and amble through historic sites.

Malta’s a hot spot for snorkelling and diving – take a trip from one of its warm red beaches into piercingly clear waters to enjoy caves, wrecks and marine life. Don’t miss the Blue Lagoon, its pearly sands and turquoise shores are postcard worthy. And for an afternoon of interest try the intertwined backstreets of Vittoriosa, lined with flowers and so tiny you can’t get lost!

Fly direct from Heathrow to Luqa, Malta.

Heathrow Parking

Park & Ride

Long-stay parking with fast, regular shuttle buses to your terminal. From £4.95* a day at Terminal 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Learn more about Park and Ride

Meet & Greet

We park your car while you take a quick walk to departures. From £7.80* a day at Terminal 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Learn more about Meet and Greet

Products are no longer available to purchase.

Read more

Read our guides and articles

Before you go

Whether you're jetting away on a city break or following the sun to the beach get ready to travel with our expert tips and guides.

Review our pre-travel checklist

Your pre-travel checklist

Preparing for your holiday should be exciting, not stressful.

Share this article