As climate change worsens, visits to southern Europe may become intolerable

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In addition to crushing crowds, summer 2023 in Europe has been marked by another significant challenge—the increasingly unbearable temperatures.

Throughout Southern Europe, a multi-week heat wave smashed records in July. From Spain to Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea, temperatures soared, reaching 109 degrees in Rome, Italy on July 18 and 113.5 degrees on the very same day in the Catalonia region of northeast Spain, according to Weather Underground.

These sorts of record temperatures are not only likely here to stay, but may well grow worse as countries around the world continue to fall significantly short of targets to address global warming.

Amid this backdrop, Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton is predicting that in the coming years, travel to Southern Europe during peak summer season will simply be a no-go.

“In five to 10 years, I think it will prove challenging to travel around southern Europe during July and August,” Thornton recently told the publication Financial Review. “Most people just won’t want to, it will be far too hot.”

Visiting destinations like Greece in July and August will simply be untenable, predicts Thornton, who is one of three top executives from the company expressing such concerns. Thornton’s sentiments were echoed by Intrepid Co-founder Darrell Wade and the company’s President of the Americas, Matt Berna.

“As a global business, you simply can’t escape it,” Wade said in a post he penned for about the increasing frequency of climate-related events. “This stuff is impacting how we run trips, how we get insurance, where and when we travel, health procedures. It’s changing everything.”

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