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Where would you go in late June/early July?

Hi everyone,

It's my first time posting in this forum and after reading many posts and travel reports, I thought I would reach out for some advice on where to pick for a short break this summer.

My boyfriend and I are looking to explore somewhere new in late June or early-mid July for a few days (between 5-10 depending on location). For a few months I've been researching various places to go and looked into visiting Italy (Naples, Amalfi Coast or Puglia) however I feel this would need a little more money and time!

In the past weeks I decided upon one of the following options and since narrowed down my ideas - Tuscany and surrounding cities, Barcelona, Lake Garda or Dubrovnik, Croatia & Kotor, Montenegro.

I've now decided it's between Barcelona or Dubrovnik & Kotor. However I'm really struggling with a decision and wondered if anyone can share their advice to my questions or tips from personal experience.

We're going on a longer holiday later this year, but fancied going on a short break to enjoy good food, amazing scenery, old charm, fun nights (nothing too crazy either a picnic with ciders or dancing the night away somewhere local) and some fun day activities (I.e. Boat trips).

I really like the idea of Barcelona as I think we would have lots of fun exploring, eating and dancing which are all things we love to do. However I'm a bit worried if Barcelona would be manageable in late June/early July with crowds. I know it is usually a busy city, but I don't know how pleasant it would be in the hot weather. We've visited Bucharest before in about 40 degree weather so we're used to hot cities - however not sure it would be ideal. I'm also a little concerned if we would actually experience the true Barcelona or if we would get caught up with tourist haunts - if anyone has any tips on experiencing the authentic Barcelona (I.e. Good, local restaurants or salsa bars) I'd love to know!

Then on the other hand, we have Dubrovnik and Kotor... Croatia has fascinated me in recent months and a few days ago I started reading about Montenegro and just feel it looks magical. I was wondering how feasible it is to fly into Dubrovnik and spend a few days here - exploring the town but also nearby islands and the getting the bus or ferry to Kotor Bay or Sveti Stefan for a few extra days? Again I understand Dubrovnik is a very touristy destination which we're not overly keen on, but feel it could balance out in some way with Montenegro? We wouldn't hire a car so would be reliable on public transport which I believe is generally okay in Croatia.

At the moment I'm swaying towards Barcelona as I feel I'd love to give more time, research and money into exploring Croatia & Montenegro but before I fully decide - if anyone can share their experiences or tips I would be grateful.

I've been reading so many blogs, watching lots of videos and reading through hundreds of posts but I'm feeling so confused! Last year we visited Santorini (Oia and Fira) and Naxos and found Oia to be extremely busy but manageable due to its sheer beauty, but for some reason Fira just didn't click with us.

Apologies for the super long post! Happy travels :)

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