Mediterranean Must-Haves: Packing Tips for a Summer Getaway
Mediterranean Must-Haves: Packing Tips for a Summer Getaway
Posted on
April 01, 2024
achilleas petris

The countdown to summer is surely underway, and it is time to start dreaming of long and hazy days spent by the Mediterranean Sea. Whether spending time along the rugged Calabrian coastline of Italy or hopping the uncountable islands in Greece, a Mediterranean summer holiday is on just about everyone's bucket list, and if you are a lucky one headed to a seaside destination this summer, you won't want to organize your jet-setting weeks long itinerary, but also prepare a well-organized suitcase for your week (or two or three) worth of travels. 

Read on to discover must-haves for seaside summertime if you want to dress the part, feel effortless, and fit in like a local this summer season. 

Stylish yet comfortable footwear: From boating and beach clubs to winding down rugged coastlines, footwear isn't limited to just athletic-style sneakers. The options include a more classic and fashionable European summer-style shoe. For a feminine approach, think the famous Italian Capri-style sandals, simple and elegant open-toed hand-made leather sandals with leather and suede laces colorful laces, or Friulane-style shoes, a traditional footwear originating from Venice and popular amongst gondola riders, made from felt or velvet with a flat sole popular during the summer months. Both options are comfortable, lightweight, and can be taken from the beach to late-night dining 'al fresco.' 

For a unisex, slip-on option, a classic boat shoe, originally designed for use on boats and marine activities, is neutral in color, classic in style, and comfortable all hours of the day.

Lightweight Linen: From shorts and cropped ankle pants to kaftans and button-downs, packing any linen clothing for a summer holiday is a no-brainer, as linen is not only lightweight and breathable but also perfect for keeping cool in the warm Mediterranean climate in a polished, put-together look. If you prefer to shop artisanal, most Mediterranean countries, like Italy, France, and Spain to name a few, have a rich tradition of linen production and craftsmanship that can be sought out at local boutiques, shops, and factories, which make the perfect treasurable and wearable souvenir. 

Books to read: If nothing is better than sipping on a refreshing Aperol Spritz while lounging on a sunbed underneath a striped beach umbrella, pair it with a book! Leisurely reading is one of my favorite vacation activities when I am looking to unwind, relax, and clear my head. Reading in the summer should be fun, so don't forget light and easy reads that you can breeze through while soaking up the sun. 

Discover some of our favorite books, which explore themes of love and identity as well as food and culture in France, Greece, and Italy, here

Casual knitwear: There is no denying that between July and August, day-time temperatures reach nearly scorching, and the sunshine is blazing. But don't be surprised to catch a slight warm breeze as the sun sets and the evening rolls in, especially on an open coastline. I always recommend packing one or two cotton sweaters or breezy cardigans that are neutral in color and versatile in style. Casual knitwear is petite in size, making it easy to throw in a purse or wrap around your waist or shoulders for evenings out on the town or sailing at sea. 

Protective Sunscreen: Although a majority of those born along the Mediterranean have been blessed with olive oil skin and undertones, it doesn't mean that sun protection is mitigated. We all admire bronzy glow and post-vacation tans but don't risk severe burns and skin damage for a bit of extra color that could ruin a trip. When choosing a sunscreen for the Mediterranean sun, choose one with a high sun protection factor (SPF), ideally SPF 30 or higher. 

Water-resistant mineral sunscreens are also a fantastic choice worn from morning to night. 

Simple Swimwear: When packing swimwear for a summer vacation, consider opting for versatile, simple pieces that offer style and comfort that can be worn on rotation. Classic one-pieces, bikinis with basic designs, sporty swimsuits, and lightweight swim trunks are essential styles that can be worn for almost every seaside activity. Select staple colors like black and white, and if you want to add a bit of color, try lemon yellow or royal blue. 

Remember to pack a stylish cover-up or kaftan to throw on over your swimwear when transitioning from the beach or pool to dining or other activities. Most beach clubs and towns expect you to cover up after seaside or pool time, so don't risk being denied a seat at lunch or ticketed for walking around without the proper attire.

Statement Sunglasses: Sunglasses are a favorite summer accessory that makes the perfect statement piece while protecting from intense UVA rays. Sunglasses are also a fun way to play around with style, shape, and color without sticking out like a sore thumb. Whether you prefer a classic pair of vintage aviators to trendy cat-eye frames or 70s-inspired retro ensembles, pack a pair that makes you feel confident and suits your taste and outfit choices while traveling around Europe.  

Explore more of our travel blogs here.

Words by Gabriela R. Proietti

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