This blog post was updated on July 8, 2021.
The longest day of the year – in a good way – is Midsummer when (as long as any clouds don’t dampen the party) hours upon hours of sunlight cast rays of fun across the northern hemisphere.
Here’s a look at three of Europe’s best spots to make the most of Midsummer.
Midsummer is one of the most important holidays of the year in Sweden with traditional activities including maypole dancing, wearing flowers in your hair, having picnics and drinking copious amounts of schnapps. With up to 24 hours of daylight (depending on how far north you are in the country) and a festive mood across the land, it’s an excellent time to visit Sweden and see the Swedes at their merry best. June 24th is the actually holiday but events and celebrations take place in the days before and just after as well.
June 24th is the biggest night of the year in Porto. The date marks the feast day for Sao Joao (Saint John), the patron saint of the city and the whole of Porto turns into one giant street party with people adhering to an ancient pagan tradition of bopping each other over the head with garlic plants (yes, really) and a huge fireworks display lighting up the night sky for all to enjoy for miles around.
A popular destination for Midsummer in England is Stonehenge, where “managed access” to the site is permitted. Usually, the iconic and mysterious rock formation is open to the public to visit but cordoned off for several feet. If a visit to Stonehenge to celebrate the solstice on the 24th sounds like your cup of tea, best make plans to get there early! Parking lots close by 6am with people arriving well ahead of that to experience what many describe as a most magical and inspiring sunrise.