How about avoiding tourists this summer, and going to less crowed – and often much more interesting destinations instead? From the world’s tallest capital to a small Balinese island known only to surfers, we have selected some of best destinations for summer holidays to enjoy the sun.

Parga, Greece

Nestled in the Ionian Sea, Parga is the equivalent of a Greek god. Pine cliffs surround its colourful houses dotting the side of a mountain like an amphitheatre. Tiny craft shops and markets line the cobblestone streets, drawing the onlookers with the pottery, antiques and sweets of the city.

Seville, Spain

Flamenco symbol and bullfights, the Andalusian capital is a real cultural treasure and a great destination for summer holidays if you do not fear too much heat! Trams and bicycles will take you to its historic centre, remarkable for its cathedral, one of the largest in the world. Baroque wonders such as the Royal Alcazar Palace highlight Mudejar art, while icons such as the twelfth-century Giralda Bell Tower celebrate the spiritual roots of the city. Take pictures from the Metropol Parasol footbridge, go shopping in Soho Benita and stroll through the winding streets of Barrio Santa Cruz. Take a tour of the bars before applauding a flamenco show or listening to the crowd cheer on Sevilla FC. Take the time to visit the archaeological site of Italica, located a few steps away.

Koblenz, Germany

Germany is not necessarily one of the destinations for the summer holidays we think of first, but our neighbour has treasures that are worth the detour! At the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle, the city of Koblenz is a real gem dotted with castles and fortresses. Stolzenfels Castle and the Palace of Voters are fabulous sights, and the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress offers an incredible panorama of the old town and its surroundings. Take a picture from the Deutsches Eck, where the two rivers meet, explore the military museum and contemplate the beautiful Church of the Sacred Heart. The neo-classical theatre of Koblenz drains the elegantly dressed crowds while the KuFa Culture Factory is the place to attend concerts. Climb aboard a boat to go up the Rhine and do not forget to taste the famous acidic white wines of the region.

Andorra la Vella, Andorra

In the Pyrenees, the capital of Andorra is a huge open-air shopping centre with a picturesque city centre. It is divided into two sections: the north end, dedicated to the shops and the historical part which is to the south and the west. Visit the churches of Sant Esteve and Sant Andreu, both built in the 12th century. Explore the Casa de la Vall, exit on the medieval bridge of Margineda and picnic on the town square. Uncover some clothes or electronics, and then relax in Caldea’s sauna. Around the city is the « Green Ring », a nature reserve rich in trails that will take you through forests, orchards and Roman sites.