We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that summer 2022 is going to be unforgettable. To prove it, we've chosen the ten most beloved holiday experiences to fill your 2022 itineraries with. The only question is, how many can you tick off before summer's up?
Brought to you with Aperol Spritz
1. Reconnect with the joy of travel
Summer is all about seizing the moment. About finally jetting off on that spontaneous getaway with your mates. The warm rush of air as you step off the plane, that first dip in the ocean, and the taste of something cool and zesty on a sunny foreign terrace. It’s time to find new friends in old cities, make memories, and reacquaint yourself with all the enticing possibilities of travel.
That means curling your toes into the honeycomb sands of Europe's best shorelines (say, Ibiza's spectacular Cala D'Hort beach?) to a soundtrack of gently lapping waves or discovering the essence of a city in totally new and unique ways, like with a perfume-making workshop at Venice's world-famous Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo. However you choose to reconnect with the joy of travel this summer, just know this: you deserve it.
2. Feel the vibes at a music festival
What better way to feel in tune with those around us than at one of Europe’s great festivals? Sharing the timeless magic of good music and even better vibes in the open air with your mates is basically as good as it gets. Great acts, great tunes and a weekend of simple togetherness with only one thing on the agenda: having fun. Nothing beats it.
If dancing the night away in the balmy Mediterranean climate takes your fancy, make tracks for Barcelona's Primavera Sound (2-12 June), where Gorillaz, Massive Attack and Nick Cave complete the line-up. There’s also Mad Cool (6-10 July) in Madrid, which is quickly becoming one of the most popular festivals in the European summer calendar. Taking place over five days , this year’s line-up includes thrash icons Metallica and chart-topping stalwarts Kings of Leon.
Alternatively, London’s All Points East (19-28 August) returns to Victoria Park, with Disclosure, Tame Impala and The National doling out the sunny vibes, while in north England, Kendal Calling's (28-31 July) celebration of all things indie promises an unforgettable weekend thanks to headline acts that include Stereophonics, Supergrass and Bastille.
3. Master the art of aperitivo
The joyous tradition of the aperitivo – a hazy, sunset Aperol Spritz, with a few moreish bites on the side – has been a cherished ritual among savvy Italians for over a century. So much more than just an evening tipple, it’s an opportunity to gather with friends in a lively convivial spirit, sharing Venetian cicchetti – ‘little bites’ – and setting aside time to simply catch up.
And we can't think of anywhere better to experience it than Venice’s Terrazza Aperol. Located a stone's throw from the hallowed walkway of Accademia bridge, its inviting atmosphere provides the quintessential aperitivo experience.
4. Enjoy a sundowner by the beach
Balmy seas, shining sands and a long lazy afternoon to kick back and catch some rays – surely no summer break is complete without a revitalising day at the beach? For best results, be sure that when the sun dips low over the horizon and the sky turns to orange you and your mates have something cool, refreshing and similarly coloured to hand. These are moments to savour.
If its stupendously beautiful beaches you're looking for, look no further than Greek island of Paros, where Aperol Spritz will be painting it orange once again when its four-wheeled pop-up bar rolls into town. Join the joy with Aperol as its amphibious van makes its way to the island's stunning beauty spots, bringing perfectly poured spritzes and live DJ sets with it. What’s more, you and your friends have a chance to win a sunset cruise aboard the Aperol catamaran, with delicious finger food and your own private bar. Simply find the Aperol squad around the island and scan the QR code to see if you’re an instant winner.
5. Hit up Europe’s best rooftop bars
An ice-cold cocktail on a rooftop bar is a great way for you and your pals to really get your bearings in a new city. Take in the views, survey the skyline and drink in the moment – the best rooftop joints are all calm oases, and perfect vantage points to plot the next move with your light-hearted summer sidekicks.
Want knockout views of centuries-old architecture with the shimmering Mediterranean Sea behind it? Barcelona's your best bet – the city is blessed when it comes to trendy terrace locales. Elsewhere, London's generously flat city centre means you can see for miles and miles from even the measliest vantage point and there are plenty of rooftop bars to help you make the most of it.
6. Catch an al fresco concert
Nothing captures the carefree spirit of summer like live music. And if you manage to stumble upon a great performance quite by accident? Then so much the better. Just as savvy buskers know the best spots to ply their trade, savvy music lovers understand where they can pause for a restorative moment and catch a quality impromptu performance.
Overlooking buzzy Monastiraki Square, A for Athens gives you a front-row seat to the best of the city’s busking action. Piazza Duomo in Milan, meanwhile, is a magnet for exceptional live performers, as is Barcelona's Plaza del Pi, where you can grab a table outside one of the handful of bodegas and enjoy local musicians playing late into the night.
7. Settle into a classic flick at an open-air cinema
Outdoor cinema has gone from strength to strength in recent years. And it’s no wonder, really. Al fresco movies offer a priceless opportunity to share a beloved work of art – not on your laptop at home or in a sterile multiplex, but in carefree company, under the stars.
At Rooftop Film Club @ Roof East, London, comfy deckchairs, wireless headphones and premier views over the city complement a summer line-up of classic and recently-released flicks. Alternatively, Cine Thisio in Athens, which first opened in 1935, is housed at the foot of the Acropolis and keeps it real with vintage movies.
8. Connect with the locals
We travel for many reasons: gorgeous scenery; a balmy climate; new and fascinating culture. But the real jewel of any destination is obviously its people. And what better way to connect with the locals than at a proper authentic drinking den while sipping a sundowner or two? You’ll get the real inside scoop on a city, and quite possibly make friends for life.
As far as nightlife is concerned, few places do it quite as joyfully as Athens, where inviting neighbourhood bars spill out onto squares and side-streets, creating a friendly atmosphere to make new acquaintances. Equally, the vintage bacaros of Venice, with their affordable Cicchetti and expertly-mixed Aperol Spritzes, are a perfect way to get to know the city via a dawdling evening bar crawl.
9. Enjoy a picnic next to a sublime view
When the mercury rises, time-honoured al fresco pastimes reign supreme. And what could be lovelier than a classic picnic? Simply gather your best chums, a blanket and some choice savoury bites and keep your eyes peeled for the perfect spot.
Speaking of which, Loulos Beach in Mykonos, a joyfully secluded outcrop, is perfect if you want to share some bites by the sea, while Milan’s Parco Sempione, with its beautiful greenery and Renaissance castle, makes a fine picnic perch.
10. Take the perfect memento
Now that you’re positively brimming with travel inspiration, everything you need to make this summer unforgettable is right within your grasp. If there’s one more thing to remember, though, it’s to make sure you savour the beloved holiday rituals we’ve missed so much. Whether it's the pre-flight cocktail in the airport or your first aperitivo hour, grab your crew and capture the moment with a selfie – it’s the surest way make those joyous summer moments live on and on.
Enjoy Aperol responsibly.