Skip to main content

Summer Solstice

Citadel of Rabat, Gozo

Gozo (Flying to Malta)

Gozo may be the smaller of the two main islands within the Maltese archipelago, but the fact it’s a lesser known island gem ensures it is a desirable destination to unwind for Summer Solstice.

The best places to visit for the longest day of the year include the Hagar Qim Temples, a megalithic temple dating back some 3000-4000 years BC, representing an ancient archaeological feast as equally dramatic and profound in context as it is in physical form, resting high above a coastal cliff-top. Each year, many people gather at both Hagar Qim and neighbouring Mnajdra temples, where tours and refreshments are arranged in allowing visitors to bask in the achievements of mankind in the everlasting light of the Solstice.

Florence (Flying to Pisa)

There are fewer more arresting sights than witnessing rays of sunshine piercing through Florence's Duomo during the Summer Solstice period.

Visitors have described near mythical movements of light on the marble floor inside the Duomo as the midday sun's rays streak through the opening to create an illuminating sphere which moves as the sun passes over. This freak occurance has been commonplace since 1475, and recreates the bygone phenomenon, known as a gnomone, which used sunlight patterns to work out the time in a calendar year.

Entrance to the Duomo Cathedral during the event is free, so be sure to arrive early to witness the spectacle.

 

 

Florence's Duomo Dusk
Stockhold from Stansted Airport

Stockholm

Beautiful Stockholm has one of the biggest midsummer celebrations in the whole of Sweden. Locals dress in traditional clothes as they dance around a flower-decorated maypole, take part in traditional games and dancing, and tuck into hearty Swedish food such as pickled herring and potatoes.

A day to forget all the rules and throw caution to the wind, this weekend-long celebration finds many heading to the city, where a line-up of bands entertain revellers, and stalls and entertainment line the waterfront. Skansen, Stockholm’s huge open-air museum, chimes into life with music and traditional celebrations – don some traditional attire and join the party! 

Riga

Riga has long been a popular city break destination, but with gorgeous sea dunes and blueberry-filled forests just outside of the city walls, there’s more to the Latvian capital than first meets the eye.

Head here for the summer solstice and you’ll quickly discover what we mean. The traditional Līgo solstice celebration – this year held on the 23rd of June - sees locals give thanks to nature and fertility with bonfires, flower crowns, music and plenty of food and drink. The all-night party carries on until dawn, where revellers greet the sunrise on the bank of the river. Jump over bonfires, take part in traditional games, and sing and dance all night long – after all, it only comes around once a year…

Riga from Stansted Airport
Oporto Ribeira

Porto

An increasingly leading destination on many bucket lists, the romantic allure of Porto is also one of the best destinations to celebrate Summer Solstice.

Porto's Festa de São João is one of Europe's most vibrant street festivals, incorporated as part of month long celebrations adapted from Pagan summer solstice celebrations. São João is a 'Holy Saint' in Portugal, with the nation's inhabitants not holding back in honouring him since the earliest examples of the festival began in the 14th Century.

Visitors can expect lavishly prepared street food and street dancing during this colourfully jubilant homage to the theme of romance as a culmination of month long cultural celebrations, including esteemed music festivals such as NOS Primavera Sound.

 

 

Poznan

The renaissance charm of Poznan has risen up after the aftermath of World War Two to become a city of diverse intrigue.

A plethora of restaurants, bars and clubs provide ample entertainment during an evening spent in Old Town, while the buzzing atmosphere of central market square throughout the year represents a fitting Summer Solstice destination.

Poznan certainly don't let the event pass by unnoticed, with a lantern celebration known as Noc Kupaly seeing the release of thousands of paper lanterns being lit and released into the orange-tinted dusk, of which a record attempt has been made by the city to for the most paper lanterns released at the same time. 

 

 

Lake Malta, Poznan