10 Escapes To Tide You Over Until Summer

We're not sure we can wait until summer for that holiday feeling. For a beach hit alongside more metropolitan attractions, these urban seaside destinations will put a spring in your step until it's time for full-on summer getaways.



Home to winding cobblestone streets and waterfront bars, this Croatian fishing port will make you feel like you've stepped straight into summer - regardless of the season. The historic Church of Saint Euphemia sits in the heart of the town; for a small fee, climb to the top of the church's bell tower and take in 360-degree views of town and the sea. Spend the rest of your day sampling regional olive oil, cured meats and wine al fresco. Day two? More of the same.



With rows of pastel-coloured buildings and a harbour full of luxury yachts, this fishing village is quaint but monied. Taking a trip to this little Italian Riviera gem comes with a hefty price tag, but it's postcard-worthy views are what you're after. If you're up for a bit of a steep hike (and a stiff drink), check out Al Faro di Portofino. Located right next to the Faro lighthouse, this cocktail bar is a prime spot for enjoying limoncello at sunset.



Don't expect clear skies and warm weather from Denmark's second-largest city - you're in Scandinavia, after all. A cutting-edge, dynamic town with a number of beaches relatively close to the city centre, Aarhus will pander to most visitors. For the art lover, the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum is the hot ticket in town. For the food connoisseur, check out one of the city's Michelin-starred restaurants, namely Gastromé and its impressive seasonal menu, where current offerings include pommes soufflé and oscietra caviar.



Valletta was named the European Capital of Culture in 2018 - an impressive title for such a tiny city, positioned in one of the world's smallest countries. Valletta's size shouldn't phase you - scouring the city's baroque architecture and daily cultural events is sure to keep you entertained. The Mediterranean destination is also known for year-round sunshine, making it ideal for a pre-summer holiday minus the crowds.



You don't need to visit during Asilah's annual arts festival to understand why the coastal town has garnered a reputation as one of Morocco's top creative hubs as well as surf haven. Quaint streets and Mediterranean-influenced architecture aside, the town isn't just a visual delight. Alongside a wide array of traditional Moroccan fare, the region's proximity to the Iberian Peninsula means that Spanish-inspired plates also abound.



Lisbon may be the traveller's go-to when seeking out a seaside Portuguese destination, but lately Portugal's "second city" has been stealing the spotlight - and understandably so. If you're after a long weekend defined by river cruises, window shopping and lots of wine, Porto is the place to go. Book lovers be make sure to check out Livraria Lello. The bookstore is one of Portugal's oldest and was frequented by J.K. Rowling when she lived here.

Palma de Mallorca


Fans of sunshine, grandiose cathedrals and lively bohemian neighbourhoods will feel right at home in Mallorca's capital city. Tapas tour by day; cocktail bar hopping by night. If you're a culture buff, the city's museums and galleries should be at the top of your to-do list. Located in the heart of Palma's old town, Palau March Museum is a work of art on its own right - the former palace now operates as a gallery and features a selection of classic and contemporary works.


Sicily, Italy

Sicily's capital deserves to be high up on your holiday itinerary. To start, the port city of Palermo's pristine coastlines and numerous cathedrals are beguiling whiles its culinary offering is also second-to-none (and we don't just mean the cannolis). You can't go wrong with a stroll through one of the city's four ancient street markets. Visit Ballarò for a colourful selection of fruits and vegetables at a bargain you can't beat.



Menton is often dubbed the "pearl of France" and it's not hard to see why. Sitting on the French Riviera in close proximity to Italy, the coastal town boasts year-round sun and a whimsical charm, setting it apart from France's bustling cities. While tourists flock to Nice and Monaco, take advantage of this gem's natural beauty. Prioritise Menton's botanical gardens - Fontana Rosa is as picturesque as it gets.


United Kingdom

Though Margate tends to be the place to go in Kent, Whitstable is half as populated and no less charming. Take a walk down Harbour Street and you'll come across cosy cafés and old-school shops. Be sure to stop by one of the town's pubs while you're there too - The Monument is perfect for a pint and a bite to eat. What better place to get into the summer spirit than with good old fish and chips by the seaside?