5 luxury European destinations for post-exams celebrations
You’ve slogged through hours of revision in the library, you’ve sat your way through seemingly never-ending exams, and now you’re finally finished for the summer — what better way to celebrate than with a holiday?
Student travel is too often based around extreme budgeting — sleeping sixteen to a dorm in hostel rooms, enduring long journeys on fume-filled buses, and eating-on-the-hop. So, what about those students looking for something a little more luxurious?
Luxury travel is possible for students. Whether you want to sip cocktails in your glad rags on a marina or don your leaver’s hoodie and hurtle into a high adrenalin holiday in a stunning setting, there’s something in Europe for every taste.
Here’s our list of the top five alternative luxury European destinations for students looking for a bit of post-exam indulgence. We cover those places that boast incredible architecture, culture and nightlife, fabulous beaches, with both gourmet and traditional food, and friendly, fun-loving locals.
For Instagram-Worthy Beaches: Hvar, Croatia
A beach holiday is a perfect antidote to the stresses of the exam period. But not all beach holidays are created equal. A quick jaunt to one of the many over-crowded, over-priced beaches in Southern Spain or the party Greek Islands can end up feeling more like a chore than a holiday. If you’re craving a low key, yet luxurious, beach getaway to unwind after the intensity of your exams, then you can’t go wrong with Hvar, Croatia.
Located on Croatia’s dazzling Adriatic coast, Hvar has rocky beaches, crystalline blue waters and miles and miles of near empty coastline. Spend the day floating idly in the waves, rambling over the rocks, peering into the unbelievably clear rock pools, and — if you can shake off the beach-bum lethargy — hop on a boat and explore the neighbouring islands. In the evening, get dressed up and head down to the marine for cocktails and dancing at one of the many iconic Croatian clubs.
For Revelling in the Riviera: Albania Riviera
Croatia may be less known than it’s Mediterranean neighbours of Greece, Italy and Spain, but if you really want to make your friends green with jealousy, you have to visit the Albanian Riviera. This Balkan gem boasts pristine beaches, ancient hamlets and fabulous bars.
Spend your days aimlessly wandering through the olive groves and exploring the hundreds of secluded beaches and hidden bays that make up this stretch of coastline. For incredible local cuisine, head into one of the picturesque hamlets and order yourself a delectable dish of exquisite seafood and vegetable side dishes.
For Urban Hedonism: Belgrade, Serbia
From Amsterdam to London, Berlin to Barcelona, Europe has some of the greatest cities in the world — but you’ve been there and done that. For those looking for an energetic, vibrant and exciting city that’s a little different, you’ve got to head to Serbia’s capital, Belgrade.
Known for its decadent accommodation, food and nightlife, Belgrade’s reputation as a young person’s city only captures a small slice of this young and seductive city. Belgrade has well and truly emerged from its troubled past and has some of the friendliest, fun-loving locals in any European capital.
Spend the day exploring the eclectic architecture (be sure to see the impressive Belgrade fortress) and people watch in one of the city’s many cafe’s. In the evening, head out to the bars and clubs. The fun-loving must try the Danube party boats, which rage well into the early hours of the morning and are unlike any other party you’ve ever been to.
For Island Living: Corsica
There’s something so seductive about island life — the slow pace, the long days of sunshine, the salty breeze that seems to wash away all of your stresses and strains. After all of the hard work, who wouldn’t want to leave it all behind and find their own little island paradise? And there’s no island more underrated but truly relaxing than the island of Corsica.
Corsica abounds in natural beauty, with over 1,000 km of coastline and nearly 200 gorgeous Mediterranean beaches. Spend the day meandering along the coastal cliffs, snorkelling in the clear waters, and immersing yourself in the scent of lavender and honey that perfumes the salty sea breeze. Although Corsica doesn’t boast the pumping nightlife of other destinations on the list, it does have incredible historical sites for history buffs out there — particularly the Roman ruins of Aléria which are well worth a visit.
For an Adrenalin Filled Adventure: Azores Islands
You’d be forgiven for believing that the Azores islands are a relic of the Jurassic world. Made up of nine incredible volcanic islands in the blue waters of the Atlantic, the Azorean Archipelago is unlike anywhere else in Europe and a complete treasure trove for adventure seekers. Verdant green mountains and rugged black cliffs overlook the endless expanse of the Atlantic.
This subtropical paradise is also one of the best locations for spotting whales and dolphins — and is off the beaten track in all the best ways. Spend your days hiking through thick subtropical vegetation, clamber up black cliff faces, skirt around the steaming geysers and stand beneath incredible waterfalls. For a truly luxurious end to your day, head to one of the many healing hot springs and thermal pools and watch the sunset over this dazzling isle.
Author bio: Robert Joyce is the managing director of personalised clothing company Yazzoo, which delivers high-quality screen printing and embroidery services.