It's Hot in Europe, and We're Traveling Differently

The summer tourism trade is heating up in Scandinavia
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2023 5:00 PM CDT
Cooler European Destinations Are the Hot Ones
Sunflowers suffer from lack of water, as Europe is under an unusually extreme heat wave, in Ury, south of Paris, France.   (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard, File)

As summers in Europe grow hotter, tourists are rethinking their travel plans, reports Forbes. Spain reportedly already broke records for heat and dry weather in April, and Southern Europe in general is dealing with the same dilemma. According to Travel Weekly, climate change data predicts temperatures in the region will likely be well above average throughout the summer, prompting travelers to increasingly book itineraries in "cooler" places like Iceland, Ireland, the UK, and Scandinavia versus Italy and Spain. Forbes reports that Massachusetts-based EF Go Ahead Tours has noted a surge in booked trips to favored summer destinations in what are typically cooler months. Travel to Italy from February to March, for example, jumped 175% compared to the same period in 2019.

It's the continuation of a trend the New York Times reported on in August 2022: that travelers were making or changing plans last-minute with higher temps in mind. One VP of a travel agency told the paper that she could not "remember the last time we had people calling and saying, 'Maybe we're going to skip Rome and opt for a more beach-accessible city.'" In noting the rising tide of tourists seeking to sweat a little less, Euronews recently published a list of Europe's seven "coolest places" temperature-wise that are accessibly by train. They include Amsterdam, Germany's Berchtesgaden, Copenhagen in Denmark, and Edinburgh, Scotland.

According to Travel Weekly, travelers aren't just opting for cool destinations in Europe. Agencies have also noted a rise in bookings for trips to places south of the equator, like Australia and New Zealand, which have their winter when summer heat is baking points north. It isn't like the usual destinations now experiencing unusual heat will fade from tourists' minds, though—Heidi Durflinger of EF Go tells TW that "February, March" are the best times to go to places like Italy. She notes that you won't need a jacket and can still enjoy the sun, and "it's less expensive to travel during the offseason" anyway. (More travel stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.