It’s that time of year and if you haven’t booked your summer holiday yet, don’t panic; we have some inspiration for you. Whether you’re a beach dweller, adrenaline junky, culture-vulture or nature lover, there are so many options for you in this big and beautiful planet of ours. In fact, it was a challenge narrowing the list to a mere 10 holiday destinations!
Without further ado, here are our top 10 summer holiday destinations for 2017:
Hiking active volcanoes and trekking through jungles amid toucans, monkeys and jaguars might not be for the faint-hearted, but there is a respite in the soft sands of Cost Rica’s coastline. Nature lovers find themselves in heaven amid the lush and vibrant rainforests while sun-worshippers take full advantage of the laid-back culture and warm turquoise waters.
Miyajima Island, Japan
Summer is the season of festivals and fireworks in Japan. Visit Miyajima Island for the Water Fireworks festival and be sure to hike up Mount Misen for panoramic views of the island, snap some cute pictures of deer and absorb some culture.
Beautiful Bagan is home to a mind-blowing 2,200 religious monuments and temples. These mysterious ruins are scattered across an area of around 50 square kilometres and was once inhabited by up to 200,000 people. Now an official archaeological zone, residents are largely located around the periphery of the site, leaving the majestic structures to stand as an intricately webbed time-capsule of ruins. As Myanmar’s rather impressive answer to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, this is rising in popularity and well worth visiting before it becomes as famous as the Indiana Jones backdrop.
Yosemite National Park is an icon of America’s majestic natural beauty with its wild flowers, giant sequoias, plunging valleys, cascading waterfalls and glistening glaciers. For active families and adventurous travellers, this stunning protected area offers hiking, rafting, fishing and rock climbing throughout the summer months.
With America’s re-opening of diplomatic relations and the Cuban government’s move towards a free economy for tourism, Cuba is set to change. There are already some signs of new bars, restaurants and accommodation in and around Old Havana and the growth is likely to be rapid. If you want to catch Cuba while the fullness of its rustic charm is still in full-swing, our advice is to head there sooner rather than later.
The Greek Cyclades
With Greece still in the midst of an economic crisis, now is the time to go as prices are lower than ever and there are less tourists. Enjoy stunning island-hopping trips, ancient ruins and magnificent landscapes at the Greek Cyclades this summer!
Be sure to check Smart Traveller or your local travel authority prior to travel. Currently Smart Traveller advises tourists to exercise normal safety precautions.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. Its quaint cobbled lanes weave between multi-coloured townhouses, medieval churches and picturesque squares along the banks of the Douro River. Revered as the birthplace of port, it is something of a mecca for wine enthusiasts and its blossoming cultural scene boasts an array of galleries and restaurants within which to feast on visual and gastronomic delights.
New Zealand’s balmy summer runs from December to February each year and offers something for everyone. From alpine hikes, bungee jumping, skydiving and stunning lakes in the South Island to wine country, Hobbiton and Hot Water Beach in the North Island, rest assured you’ll have the most amazing time. Just make sure you bring your camera to capture all the great moments!
With over 170 islands to explore, Tonga offers a cornucopia of paradise beaches and activities. With the azure ocean always on your doorstep, activities like sailing, surfing, diving and even humpback whale-watching will keep the adrenaline pumping between long and lazy afternoons soaking up the sun. If you are looking for white-sands and crystalline water but want to share it with fewer tourists than other parts of the South Pacific, this dreamy archipelago might just be your ideal destination.
Any summer holiday destination list would not be complete without an African adventure. While the continuous trade in ivory threatens to wipe out wild elephant stocks in our lifetime, ethical tourism is fighting back with a vengeance. If you are planning to go on safari, be sure to choose from one of the many ethical options where ex-poachers have turned game-keeper and local people are paid a fair wage. Be part of the solution as you enjoy some of our planet’s largest and most exotic animals.
Did we miss a top summer holiday destination of 2017? Let us know in the comments below