Seven Affordable European Getaways for Your Gang

Seven Affordable European Getaways for Your Gang

Still trying to sort that getaway with your gang? Look no further. From Albania’s biggest party scene to a teeny, dreamy Greek isle, here are seven dazzling destinations to bookmark.

of the biggest challenges of adulting is keeping your social
calendar in check. As boyfriends, girlfriends and babies enter the
fold, the days of a spontaneous night out on the town can slip from
our grasp. That weekend dinner reservation? It’s been pencilled in
the diary for a full five working days. At least.

Between our summer shenanigans, we’ve been busy hunting down the
destinations that are ideal for a last-minute getaway with your
mates – saving you from a group chat meltdown. From the Czech Republic’s azure coast to the craggy
cliffs of Albania, these are the seven dazzling
destinations that won’t break the bank, but will serve a week of
great grub, good vibes and a glorious dose of vitamin D.

Budget-friendly adventures: seven European destinations to

Rovinj, Croatia


Istra, Croatia

Sitting pretty on Croatia’s northwestern coast, the fishing port
of Rovinj makes for a slower and more secluded escape than that
offered by its faster-paced siblings. Picture a gritty promenade
lined with colourful, rustic villas, and a blend of old-school
charm and contemporary attitude. While the destination remains
largely under the tourist radar, thanks to its remote location, a
contagious warmth is found woven through its restaurants, cafés and
bars. Foodies should swing by Monte, a delicious dining spot that was the
recipient, in 2017, of Croatia’s first Michelin star (we reckon
order the cuttlefish or don’t bother visiting at all). Further
inland, the rolling hills and bountiful forests are a source of
some of the world’s finest olive oil and cured meats, among other
local specialities. We’re pegging this as the next big culinary

Where to stay: The Melegran

Dhërmi, Albania



This is the place to find one of the longest beaches in Albania,
where pale pebbles are lapped by deep-blue waters and age-old stone
houses pepper the pink cliffs above. Separated from Italy’s heel by
the Ionian Sea, the low-key Balkan town of Dhërmi is sending a
siren call to Europe’s pleasure-seekers with the impressive
offering of sun-drenched boutique festivals cropping up along its
coastline. Party people should plan their visit for September, to
enjoy dancing from dusk till dawn at six-stage festival ION. Not your vibe?
No problem. Dhërmi’s striking natural landscape rivals its
top-notch party scene. We recommend taking a trek up the mighty
Mount Çika.

Where to stay: The Martins Boutique Hotel

Sitges, Spain



Just a 45-minute drive from Barcelona, stylish Sitges has long
attracted a creative crowd, with many painters, writers and
sculptors having found inspiration in the coastal town. Today, its
creative and liberal heritage is showcased in its many festivals
and celebrations. Culture vultures should head to the old town to
admire the gothic Church of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla, built in
the 14th century, or make a trip to the Cau Ferrat Museum – once
the home of modernist Catalan artist Santiago Rusiñol. Otherwise,
cherry-pick one of the sandy beaches for a spot of swimming and
sunbathing, before enjoying a pre-dinner stroll along the Passeig
Maritim – a boulevard lined with charming cafés and

Where to stay: Élite

Brno, Czech Republic


Czech Republic

Known as the “hidden heart of Europe”, Brno is garnering
well-deserved recognition as a charming city-break destination.
Mornings should be spent eating flaky pastries and sipping coffee
in Náměstí Svobody, the city’s main square, where locals gather
beneath traditional Czech townhouses for a chitchat. Ramble around
Brno’s centre, where cosy cafés are sandwiched between towering
cathedrals and crumbling churches. Come evening, slip down side
streets to find intimate wine bars hidden inside modernist Czech
architecture. Come in autumn as the city’s parks fill with colour –
October is when the Moravian Autumn festival and the Exposition of
New Music take place, with orchestras and concerts from across
Europe playing.

Where to stay: Hotel Passage

Milos, Greece



With over 70 beaches, each enclosed by rugged cliffs and the
Aegean’s Gatorade-hued waves, Milos is a sun-seeker’s paradise –
but that’s not all the island has to offer. Just a short walk
beyond the beaches lie ancient catacombs, castles, amphitheatre
ruins and the iconic Papafragas’ aquamarine swimming hole (look it
up, you’ll want to go). Meander through the island’s labyrinthine
capital, Plaka, or head north-east to Pollonia, for harbour-side
restaurants and wineries. Aqua Loca Beach Bar is our favourite place to
bask the afternoon away, partly for its sea-facing location, but
largely for its flavoursome cocktails.

Where to stay: Milo Milo

Biarritz, France



Biarritz reached peak “cool” in the 1950s when California surf
culture was tossed up on Europe’s sandy beaches. Though, surfing
here is still superb and the French resort town’s hedonistic
reputation hasn’t dampened much either. With a recharged dining
scene – offering everything from French patisserie to Spanish tapas
– and a slew of trendy boutiques, it’s difficult not to spend an
entire month there. Every friend group has that one person who
loves an itinerary; if that sounds like you, be sure to make room
for art galleries, like City Ocean, and coastal landmarks such as
the Phare de Biarritz. Sunset seekers, however, should plan their
evening walk along the beach where they can pit-stop at Pointe
Saint Martin lighthouse for panoramic views across Plage

Where to stay: Hôtel Le
Garage Biarritz

Porto, Portugal



Magic is stitched into the streets of Porto. It’s exemplified in
the way that by simply asking for directions in the street, you may
end up having dinner with whoever you approached, dancing late into
the night or at the very least sharing some port. Eating out in one
of the many tavernas is nearly always cheap and very cheerful:
everything from a cup of coffee to a sandwich is made with
characteristic Portuguese love and dedication. Skip along the
medieval Ribeira and get lost down winding cobbled stone streets
framed with old-world merchants’ houses, 15th-century churches and
bustling cafés. Then, cross over the River Doura for a mandatory
holiday snap on one of the city’s famous bridges. The grandiose
19th-century Palácio de Bolsa, formerly a stock market, was built
to impress potential European investors – just as Porto will not
fail to impress you either.

Where to stay: Rosa et Al


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