Summer 2021 is going to be a corker. The high season is already heating up thanks to a surge in bookings across the easyJet network over the last few weeks, and some destinations have clearly come out on top. From sun-drenched isles like Majorca to sophisticated cities like Lisbon, here's where everyone’s headed once travel starts booming again.
Alicante takes all of Spain’s main draws – gorgeous beaches, vibrant history, excellent food, endless sun – and mashes them all together in an attractive city. It’s your gateway to the Costa Blanca coast, which lures peak-seasoners year after year for its legendary stretches of sand. But look inland, and you’ll find roaring nightlife, excellent restaurants and beguiling historic sites that will keep you busy on those between-beach days.Book a holiday to Alicante now
Crete is a Greek-island outlier in more ways that one: first, it’s the largest by far, clocking in at 3,219 square miles; second, it’s got a proud history and culture all its own, sustained by the warm locals who are always game to share their cherished traditions alongside a shot of raki. It’s also ideal for families, thanks to its shallow-water beaches and water parks, plus history lovers with a fondness for Greek mysticism – legend has it that Crete is the home of the half-man, half-bull minotaur.
Read more: check out our guide to Crete.Book a holiday to Crete now
Loved fiercely by year-round regulars, Tenerife’s popularity is well deserved. It truly has all the hallmarks of a great holiday destination: sun-drenched beaches, lively nightlife and a galaxy of high-quality resorts. Plus, its southern position ensures the island stays pretty balmy 12 months of the year, and its vertiginous terrain means mountain-scrabbling adventure types are well catered for.
Read more: check out our guide to Tenerife.Book a holiday to Tenerife now
This Ionian island is the gold-standard in blissed-out holidays – its stunning lengths of honey sand are revered by beach buffs, and its well-developed resort scene means the island is loaded with quality boltholes. Plus its diverse ecosystem and gorgeously lush landscape make it a dream for travellers who appreciate nature’s handiwork.
Read more: check out our guide to Corfu.Book a holiday to Corfu now
Majorca. Just the name of this Balearic island conjures visions of balmy shores, free-flowing tapas and quiet, verdant countryside. Its popularity endures because it has so much to offer – from idyllic beaches to soaring peaks that attract the lycra set. Or, if you’re more the seafaring type, you’ll find ample boating opportunities here, whether you’re after a flashy yacht charter or a dinky eco-sailing vessel.
Read more: check out our guide to Majorca.Book a holiday to Majorca now
The Portuguese capital has stolen the spotlight away from Barcelona as the hottest sunny-city escape. You’ve probably noticed the proliferation of custard tarts and canary-yellow trams on your feed every summer as all the clued-up travellers you follow make the pilgrimage down to Lisbon for a fun, food-fuelled, pic-heavy holiday. Follow their lead – this captivating city is at peak cool.
Read more: check out our guide to Lisbon.Book a holiday to Lisbon now
If you want old-country charm, secluded beaches and, frankly, stupidly delicious food, then put the Italian island of Sardinia on your radar. You have three points of entry here: the southern city of Cagliari, the sleepy seaside town of Olbia, or the stunning town of Alghero. Each one makes an excellent base from which to explore their respective corners of this enchanting island, so don’t worry if you can't see it all in one trip – returning to Sardinia is no hardship.
Read more: check out our guide to Sardinia.Book a holiday to Sardinia now
The gateway to the dreamy Algarve region, Faro is worth a stop-off for its pretty old town – crammed with cobbled plazas and castle-like cathedrals – excellent restaurants, and laidback vibe. If you make this pretty city your base, there’s a litany of world-beating beaches just a short drive away; or, if you choose to chug on, we recommend bedding down in resort-packed Albufeira or golden-shored Lagos.
Read more: check out our guide to Faro.Book a holiday to Faro now
Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is without a doubt the country’s most beautiful corner, all azure waters fringed by forest-blanketed shores. If you want to explore this beguiling region, Antalya should be your starting point – this colourful city is not only shooting distance from some of the world’s most iconic sites (like the moon-like thermal pools of Pamukkale or the gushing falls of Duden), it also boasts its own impressive cache of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman buildings. And, of course, you’re never too far from a gorgeous beach to flop on.
Read more: check out our guide to Antalya.Book a holiday to Antalya now
The second-largest town in Andalusia, Malaga makes an excellent base to explore Spain’s most intoxicating region. Of course, you don’t need to leave the city to get a proper hit of that Andalusian wonder – it’s all about the mighty Moorish fortresses, whitewashed casas and tapas bars here. Spend the day sunning yourself on one of the golden-sand stretches of the Costa del Sol – just a short drive away – and return at sundown for a sangria-fuelled evening of bar-hopping, seafood munching and generally loving life.
Read more: check out our guide to Malaga.Book flights to Europe Book holidays to Europe