An Unusual Summer Scorcher or a New Normal?

An Unusual Summer Scorcher or a New Normal?

This year’s heat wave in southern Europe has sparked interest among travelers in finding cooler destinations. Luxury travel operator Black Tomato has observed a shift in interest from travelers who want to avoid the searing summer heat in Mediterranean countries. Scandinavian destinations such as Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland have seen a pronounced rise in bookings.

Expedia Group has also noticed a “Scandi summer” trend among vacation home renters, with German travelers showing increased interest in southern Norway and southern Swedish counties. Vacation home searches have also seen a notable increase in Edinburgh, Riga, and Tallinn.

In Spain, while popular coastal spots like Costa Blanca, Costa Brava, and Mallorca have maintained steady interest, there has been a rise in home rental searches along the northern coast, including Costa Verde, Costa de Cantabria, and the Basque Country.

The recent wildfires in Greece have prompted some travelers to seek alternative destinations. The Lofoten Islands in Norway have become appealing to families as an alternative to the Greek islands, particularly for those who want to avoid intense heat. Other popular destinations include Canada, U.S. National Parks, and European hidden gems like Slovenia.

Some travelers are postponing their trips to summer and exploring “shoulder season travel” to avoid extreme temperatures, wildfires, flooding, and hurricanes. Puglia and Sicily in Italy are performing well, especially in the fall, offering warm and sunny weather with fewer crowds.

Due to rising summer temperatures in Europe, more people are seeking higher elevations and mountainous terrains. The Dolomites in Italy and the Swiss and Austrian Alps, including destinations like Lucerne and Solden, have seen renewed interest.

Despite the heat wave, many travelers have chosen to stick with their plans to visit southern Europe. Cancellation rates have remained relatively low, indicating that travelers are still soldiering on with their summer travel plans.