5 Wardrobe Essentials for Traveling in Southern Europe

Southern Europe is characterized by its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and its three peninsulas: the Iberian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, and the Italian Peninsula. If you’re traveling to any country within this region, you’re in for warmer, beachier weather than you would be anywhere else in Europe. Regardless of where in Southern Europe you’re traveling and what time of year you’re going, make sure you include these five wardrobe essentials in your suitcase. 

5 Wardrobe Essentials for Traveling in Southern Europe

Flowy dresses

Nothing quite screams Mediterranean vacation like gorgeous light and flowy dresses. You’ll probably want to pack a few of these, as you’ll be wearing them for walks around town and dinners out. Even the cooler months can have hot and humid days, making dresses a staple year-round. 

For ultimate comfort and functionality, opt for midi or maxi dresses. For greater versatility during the winter months, you can swap dresses for skirts that can be paired with short- or long-sleeve tops, depending on the weather. 

Lightweight bottoms

Dresses and skirts are only practical if you plan to get around by vehicle or short, casual walks. If you’re planning a more active trip around Southern Europe, you’ll want to wear shorts and pants instead. 

In general, you’ll want to pick bottoms composed of light, breathable materials like linen. You can also pack workout gear like active leggings and shorts for hikes. If you choose to wear short shorts, make sure you protect your exposed skin from the sun by slathering on sunscreen. This is especially important when you’re out on a boat, as the UV rays reflect off the water. 


Whether you’ll be lounging around your rented villa on Mykonos Island or walking around Montenegro, you’ll want at least one pair of sandals. Comfortable sandals like Birkenstocks are a great choice for walking around during the day. If you’re a fashion-forward person, a pair of less comfortable but trendy sandals may be worth packing for going out to dinner in the evenings. 

Keep in mind that it can also be dry and dusty in some Southern European countries, so sandals – no matter how comfortable – may not be the proper choice for a grueling hike. If you’re planning to be active, make sure you pack your favorite trainers as well. 


A trip to the Mediterranean would not be complete without a dip in the ocean – or at least the hotel pool. There are no rules when it comes to swimsuits. Whether you prefer bikinis, tankinis, or one-pieces, you’ll get plenty of use out of them on your trip to Southern Europe. 

If you plan to spend lots of time at the beach, it’s a good idea to pack a beach cover-up. This will help you stay warm while also protecting you from the harsh rays of the sun. 

Loose over pieces

If you’re traveling to Southern Europe in the winter, layering will be your best friend. Warm days can cool down quickly and unexpectedly once the sun starts to set. A lightweight shirt will fit into your purse without taking up much space and can easily be thrown on when you feel a chill. 

In the summer months especially, you’ll want to avoid heavy jackets or sweaters. A light shawl or cardigan is often all you’ll need. 

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