Lonely Planet asked our UK travel editor what’s on trend right now in Europe – and whether there's still time to make the most of the heat.
Croatia - more popular than ever.
The big summer getaway has begun in earnest. How so? Dubrovnik Airport carried more passengers on 1 August than in the entire month of February, though with 15,000 people passing through it was a relative backwater compared to the big Spanish hubs.
Croatia continues to be the up and coming celebrity of European travel though, seeing visitor numbers up by 15% by plane and 9% by ship based on last year’s already bumper crop. And speaking of celebrity, Shawshank Redemption star Morgan Freeman was among the stellar names in Dubrovnik for a meeting of Hollywood big-wigs.
Turkey is sizzling - and there's still time to book
Another place enjoying a blast of the good times is Turkey, where things are heating up jolly nicely for a sizzling summer. Istanbul is basking in its status as European Capital of Culture alongside lesser known treats like Pécs in Hungary and Germany’s Essen, with a seemingly endless number of cruise ships sending happy castaways into the mammoth interior of Aya Sofya.
There is respite in the city away from the main tourist area of Sultanahmet (the heart of old Istanbul), so wander widely to see the best of the city without too many of your fellow visitors in tow. Elsewhere in Turkey resorts like Bodrum and Dalaman are hosting plenty of flights from the UK and Germany and it’s not too late to get a good deal for this summer. To do best, book later this month and travel early in September.
Camping is cool in the UK
The times continue to change in the country that invented the phrase 'it’s really bracing' and meant it as a compliment. Yes, the sun may appear to have disappeared as soon as the school holidays started but British holidaymakers are not only exploring their own country, they’re doing so with only a thin sheet of canvas between them and the elements.
Recent Office of National Statistics figures show that camping has overtaken staying in a Bed & Breakfast in popularity. There might be as many as 6 million nights spent in tents this year in the UK. This may be due to the revival of interest in camping, or the desire to save a few pennies. Either way, camping goes from strength to strength.