Thinking about a European escape this summer? Same. So we crunched the numbers to find the cheapest dates to book a trip (and it turns out the best time to book is rapidly approaching).

According to our data, the week of February 24th is one of the cheapest weeks to book travel to Europe. Yes, sound the alarms. Open the group chats. Stop using group chats and get with KAYAK Trip Huddle. Basically, drop everything. Because it’s time to plan that Eurotrip

Now that you know it’s time to book, you may be wondering where to go. While the mainstays of Paris and Barcelona are great starters, here are 4 alternatives that will put you ahead of the travel curve.

Instead of Barcelona, go to Valencia.

It’s easy to compare Barcelona and Valencia: both have equally stunning architecture, incredible food and scenic beaches. But with traveller interest peaking, Valencia is clearly becoming the new star of Spain.

While there, your high school Spanish will serve you well in basic conversation, but you’ll quickly realize that signs and landmarks are using a language that’s not exactly Spanish and sounds more like Portuguese. This is Valenciana, a dialect/language unique to the region. The Spanish “mercado” becomes “mercat” or “calle” becomes “carrer” — you’ll quickly get used to it. Another thing you’ll get used to? Paella. This famous regional dish is served at almost all local restaurants, here are a few to get you started on your foodie adventures. If you’re after some beach time, La Malvarrosa is the city’s more popular beach, but if you take the metro out a bit, Port Saplaya gives you all the sand time you want, without the crowds. Otherwise, you can’t miss sights like the futuristic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (an opera house-science museum-aquarium hybrid) or the infamous Holy Grail at the city’s main cathedral.

Flights to Valencia

Accommodations in Valencia

Instead of Lisbon, go to Porto.

Portugal seems to be Europe’s latest hotspot, and while Lisbon continues to be a popular option, more and more travellers are considering Porto. It’s officially time to start planning your vacation to the city on the sea.

Your first stop should be the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, a beautiful open space built atop a bluff with fresh flowers in bloom all summer long. Continue your tour with a stop at Livraria Lello, generally referred to as one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Claus Porto is a perfect spot to pick up souvenirs and gifts that are as colorful as the city itself. And, of course, no vacation to Porto would be complete without sampling their famous beverage. Take a walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge (#thoseviews) to Vila Nova de Gaia. This area is home to amazing boutiques where you can taste Port wine all evening long. We recommend you visit the Croft Port wine cellar, where you can sip out on the terrace or among the barrels.

Flights to Porto

Accommodations in Porto

Instead of Paris, go to Marseille.

While Paris is still the city of light and dreams, Marseille is like its edgy younger sibling that is finally coming into its own.

Start your day with a pastry at Patisserie Sylvain Depuichaffray. Then, visit the Noailles neighbourhood to get spices, nuts and dried fruits at Saladin World of Spices or a new pair of kicks at Corner Street. For dining and sightseeing, you’ll want to head to Old Port. Get classy at Une Table au Sud — a Michelin-starred restaurant that sources local ingredients for all their dishes. Just be sure to order their bouillabaisse, the chef’s take on the city’s traditional fish soup. Walk La Corniche, a paved trail along the shore. From there, you’ll have a perfect view of Chateau d’If. You should also make a point to visit the Musee des Beaux Artes, an art museum set inside a stunning castle-like building (go get those Insta-snaps).

Flights to Marseille

Accommodations in Marseille

Instead of Santorini, go to Mykonos.

While Santorini is the stuff of Instagram-dreams, Mykonos sits a few islands north with no shortage of beaches, history and nightlife. You can spend your days soaking up the sun on the beach (and getting the party started early) or exploring ruins and losing yourself in the streets of Hora, the capital. Take a step back in time at the Paraportiani Orthodox Church before visiting the nearby Mykonos Windmills (a can’t-miss photo opportunity) and Little Venice. Then, it’s time to hit the beach. You have options of party-focused spots like Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach where the music’s bumping, or quieter beaches like Ftelia – especially great for windsurfers. At night, there’s no shortage of clubs throughout the entire island such as Scorpios on the beach and Skandinavian Bar and Club in town.

Flights to Mykonos

Accommodations in Mykonos

Interest is up and prices are down to several other under-the-radar European cities this summer. Find the least expensive fare from your home airport to destinations across the pond. Wherever this summer takes you, we’re here to find you the right flight and hotel, so you’re confident you’re planning the perfect trip.

All data is based on median airfares conducted on CA KAYAK site with travel dates of May 22, 2020 through September 7, 2020 and search dates of February 6, 2020 through September 7, 2020. All data was pulled from KAYAK’s internal database. Prices may vary based on users’ own searches.

About the author

KAYAK Since 2004, KAYAK has been revolutionising the travel industry. Metasearch for travel? No one was doing it. Until we did. Today, we process billions of queries across our platforms each year for travel information, helping millions of travellers around the globe make confident decisions. With every query, KAYAK searches hundreds of travel sites to show travellers the information they need to find the right flights, hotels, hire cars and holiday packages.

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