Head to these destinations to cool down this summer

After a long year at the grind, we all deserve a chance to relax and refresh this summer.

However, following temperatures of more than 40°C in many parts in Europe, we thought it would be good to highlight destinations that aren’t experiencing a heatwave, for a chance to cool down this summer.

Choose from mountain resorts to lesser-known beaches, or even a staycation on the River Thames. Read on to find out more.

Vaujany in Isère, the French Alps, with Summer France – current temperature, 18°C
Vaujany, in Isère, is an authentic and affordable French mountain village that has escaped over development and retained its original charm – think neighbours letting their chickens out in the morning, old friends watching the world go by with a strong coffee, and a free ‘Petit Train’ that trundles around the resort allowing guests and visitors hop on and off when necessary. Ideal for families, it has beginner climbing trails; an aquatic centre home to a children’s area; kid’s shows in the centre of the village; and the opportunity to learn how to ride (and groom) a pony; plus more… This summer, Le Collet, a multi-activity family area at 1,700 metres, has re-opened after extensive renovations and improvements. Discover a huge playground with tennis courts, pony trekking, archery ranges, a bike park, petanque bowling green and more. Scooters, bikes and skateboards can be used on the new pump track, brand-new water games have been designed, and shady picnic areas are now provided for parents and children to relax. Stay at Résidence Les Épinettes****  with Summer France. Located in the centre of Vaujany, just minutes from the main cable car, shops and restaurants, its spacious modern apartments, heavenly pool and spa area, and good value price makes it perfect for kids and big kids alike. Guests can make the most of the fully equipped kitchenette, large sitting room with television, balcony or terrace with spectacular views, and comfortable bedrooms with contemporary bathrooms. Plus, Ski France also offers flexible arrivals and stays; there’s no need to pay more money for weekend flights. A week’s stay, from 4 August 2023, costs from £521 total for up to four people sharing a self-catered cabin studio. Accommodation only, flights / ferry, transfers, food and activities extra.
Summer France (0203 475 4756, www.summerfrance.co.uk)
Isère: www.isere-tourism.com/home

Moliets-et-Maa, southwestern France, with Pierre & Vacances – current temperature, 19°C
Situated between stylish Biarritz and beautiful Bordeaux, Moliets-et-Maa is a town and beach resort forming part of the extensive Atlantic Coast. Combining a cobalt-blue ocean, golden sands and smooth cycle paths with ample surfing, golfing and skating opportunities, plus internationally renowned gastronomy including vin de sable (wine produced from vineyards grown in the sand), it is an ideal destination for an active family break. Swing from the trees in the Adrenalin Park, perfect that kickflip on a skateboard, and horse ride along the beach. Stay at Holiday Village Moliets, which is surrounded by the most beautiful pine forests and bordered by two golf courses. Active guests can enjoy spending time in the resort’s four pools, including a heated pool, paddling pools and a scuba-diving pool. And the beach, 1.5 kilometres away, is easily reached on foot or by bicycle. A seven night self-catered stay at Holiday Village Moliets, arriving 3 August 2023, is priced from £1,864 total for a studio apartment that sleeps up to five people. Flights and transfers extra.
Pierre & Vacances (0870 0267 145, www.pierreetvacances.co.uk)

Verbier in the Swiss Alps – current temperature, 16°C
Most associate the famous Swiss resort of Verbier with adrenalin sports, A-listers, and an abundance of wealth – but there are a surprising amount of affordable-cultural activities in this mountain haven too. Don’t miss the Palp Festival exhibition, which will take on a subject as fascinating as it is frightening: death. Whether creating a playlist for a funeral, writing a death notice, going on a tour of flowers that can kill or visiting a haunted house, this year’s exhibition in Bruson will give guests a different perspective. In addition, stroll along a path, facing the majestic mountains of the Combins, between La Chaux and Les Ruinettes, to encounter monumental works of art at the 3D Sculpture Parc. This year, Haroon Mirza will be the artist in residence in Verbier, developing a project focusing on the issue of climate change linked to water and energy, using materials, technologies and elements from Verbier’s Alpine environment. Otherwise, there are plenty of other activities; why not go biking or hiking, relax into some yoga or at one of the spa hotels, or tuck into delicious food before joining in with the incredible night life? With its nine newly renovated rooms, central location, and bike storage, stay at the welcoming (and cosy) three-star No 8 Bed & Bar this summer. Choose from a Standard, Superior or Quadruple room depending on budget and who’s travelling. A week’s stay, from 2 August 2023, costs from £1,938 total for up to four people sharing a Quadruple Room. Flights, transfers and meals extra.
Verbier: https://verbier4vallees.ch/en

Morzine in the Portes du Soleil, with VIP SKI – current temperature, 16°C
With its peaceful pine forests, magnificent views of Mont-Blanc, and wide range of sporting activities, it’s no wonder Morzine, in the French Alps, is a popular destination throughout summer. Morzine’s beautiful car-free village – home to 34 hotels, 52 bars and restaurants, 15 mapped mountain biking routes, 200 km of signed paths, 25 lifts in the Portes du Soleil, and many different shops – has retained its authentic Haute-Savoie charm. The resort is ideal for nature lovers, with camping, foraging, and climbing on offer, and Morzine just played host to the famous Tour de France, and has plenty more events taking place later this summer. The Manoiris the perfect place to enjoy a summer holiday here – the chalet’s interior retains influences of its rich history tastefully juxtaposed by the addition of luxurious, contemporary amenities. There are five spacious en-suite bedrooms, including three family rooms with extra beds for kids (for half the prices of adults) two lounges, a flat screen TV, a magnificent dining room, a hot tub with a view to die for, and a fabulous cinema room complete with pool table. VIP SKI is currently offering seven nights for the price of six for trips to Chalet Manoir this summer. A seven-night stay at The Manoir, arriving 19 August 2023, is priced from £560 pp for adults and £280 pp for children based on three people sharing a family room on a bed and breakfast basis. Flights and transfers extra.
VIP SKI (0203 820 0030, www.vip-chalets.com/)
Morzine: https://en.morzine-avoriaz.com/summer

The Thames, Greater London, with Le Boat – current temperature, 17°C
Le Boat, the No. 1 provider of self-drive boating holidays on inland waterways across the UK, Europe, and Canada, is ideal for a staycation. A Le Boat trip along the River Thames between London and Oxford has so much to offer – and with both boat bases, Benson and Chertsey, being less than two hours from London via public transport, it’s easy to start the boating adventure. Although no experience or licence is necessary to take out a boat, all guests are given in-depth briefing on every aspect of the boat, plus a short driving lesson, before heading off on their home-from-home. Moor up and explore historic monuments, go for a stroll in the countryside or grab a pint in a welcoming pub. Alternatively, stay on board and relax with a good book, sunbathe on deck with an ice-cold drink, or set off to the next destination. Le Boat has a large fleet of canal boats sleeping up to 12, allowing entire families, and groups of friends, to stay on board and explore their chosen region. And the boats are divided into Budget, Comfort, Comfort Plus, and Premium, meaning everyone can pick their price point. A boating holiday also gives everyone on board the chance to get involved, no matter the age or experience. Those wanting to sample fine-dining, world-class shopping, and amusement parks to keep the whole family entertained, will enjoy a trip along the Thames. The River Thames provides a magical combination of lush green countryside, historic castles, royal palaces and gardens, and countless attractions to keep the most restless traveller entertained. A seven-night self-catered stay on the River Thames, starting and finishing at Le Boat’s base in Chertsey, on board a Crusader, arriving 1 August 2023, is priced from £2,129 total for up to six people sharing. Transport to and from the base is not included.

Le Boat (023 9222 2217, www.leboat.co.uk)