Summer is here, which means that most of us in the Northern Hemisphere are getting ready for our summer getaways!
If you still haven’t planned yours and don’t quite know where to start from, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’re bringing you the 11 hidden gems that are perfect for an enjoyable vacation this summer.
We made sure to include beautiful, dreamy spots located all around the world, so no matter where you are, you can still quick-plan a trip to one of these magical sites. We thought about everything -- whether you’re looking for a city break or a beach getaway, you’ll find something for yourself in our travel bucket list below.
- Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
In recent years, the Croatian coastline has been growing in popularity — maybe also in part due to the fact that Game of Thrones was filmed in the gorgeous Dubrovnik, or one of the biggest music festivals -Ultra Europe- being held in Split.
Even so, Dalmatian coast is now on the travel map for those seeking a beautiful summer location in old cities filled with history. The water is an incredible blue, and if you’re lucky, you can even catch the sight of swimming dolphins. There are limitless choices along the coast in Croatia, and countless islands such as Hvar or Pag, so make sure you take your time finding the perfect locations for the kind of holiday you’re looking for.
- Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Located right at the tip of the famous Yucatan peninsula, this magical island is all you need for a romantic summer break. To get to Isla Mujeres, you need to take a short 15-minute ferry ride from Puerto Juarez, located a few minutes from downtown Cancun. Even though this island is very close to the popular party jungle that is Cancun, you’ll find that Isla Mujeres has quite a different vibe. With a name that translates to ‘The island of women’ and an ancient history that dates back to the Yucatan Mayas, this place has a remarkable mystical energy surrounding it.
Whether you’re looking for an active vacation, or prefer an itinerary solely consisting of relaxing under the palm trees with a Piña Colada in your hand -- Isla Mujeres has it all.
Some of the extraordinary things you can’t miss if you ever find yourself there are swimming with whale sharks; dolphin watching; sea turtle hatching; MUSA underwater museum that changes over time as the corals grow and marine life is established; scuba diving and snorkeling; boat rides around the reef side of the island, and many more.
- Berlin, Germany
On a list packed with islands and seaside towns, Berlin might come as a (sceptical) surprise. This metropolis is beautiful regardless of the time of year you choose to visit it, but during summer… it’s something special. The locals, or Berliners as they call themselves, absolutely love their city and nature that can be found everywhere in Berlin, so as soon as the weather warms the streets, parks and meadows can be found full of laughter and positive people.
As Berliners are known to be big nature lovers and foodies, there are plenty of open-air food markets that will delight and surprise you with delicious food from around the world. If you’re more into the casual glass of wine, or itching to try those German beers (they’re really good!), you’re in luck because there’s plenty of rooftop bars and parties in Berlin throughout summer. The best part? If you need a refresh from the summer heat, Müggelsee -- a gorgeous lake in the eastern suburbs of Berlin -- is just half an hour away. Basically, this city full of history that can be felt from the very streets you walk and buildings you pass, will provide you with a summer adventure you’ll never forget. Fair warning, you might find it hard to leave once you’re there.
- Canary Islands, Spain
You’ve probably already heard of the Canary islands but in case you haven’t… well, you’re about to get the 411 on why these islands are the perfect summer getaway! You can choose between seven islands different in climate, vegetation, food, and customs -- that all fall into the cluster called Canary islands -- it just depends on what you’re looking for in your vacation.
If you’re looking for a relaxing family friendly holiday, Lanzarote or Gran Canaria will be your little piece of paradise. In case you’re craving a surfing holiday, check out Fuerteventura and it’s strong winds. Or maybe you’re interested in having fun and being able to experience events or festivals, in that case, you’ll love Tenerife — the most popular island in the bunch, but also the most expensive. Either way, no matter which island you choose, you can’t really go long.
- Redang Island, Malaysia
This tropical paradise is the ultimate holiday destination if you love the tropics, but don’t like traveling to islands that are overly exposed to commercial tourism. The island is located on the east coast of the country and can be accessed by car, coach, ferry, or plane -- so it’s fairly easy to get to. If you’re up for some adventure and want to experience the Malay culture, we suggest taking the coach or renting a car -- Malaysia has a great roads system and it’s a good way to enjoy the scenic countryside.
When it comes to what you can do while on vacation, Redang has it all. Pamper yourself at a spa; go snorkeling or take a boat trip to explore the island’s diverse marine life; go turtle watching; trek to see the diverse wildlife the island is famous for; and don’t forget to enjoy the nightlife. Karaoke is extremely popular in the area, so besides nightclubs and beach bars, you can find plenty of karaoke clubs. Malaysian cuisine is well-known all around the world for a good reason -- so don’t miss the local and traditional dishes that you can get at amazing prices.
Pro tip: The island’s visitors say that sunrises and sunsets at Redang are a marvel, so make sure not to miss out!
- Prince Edward Island, Canada
This island is one of the three Canadian maritime states famous for its plethora of red sand beaches and the story of Anne of Green Gables. If you’re looking for a vacation where you can both expand your knowledge on (and even relive) some history and literature, and relax on a beach without the usual, excessively high temperatures, this is the perfect vacation spot for you.
You can get to this dreamy island by coach or ferry -- and once you’re there, there’s plenty to do. Explore the quaint towns of the island, or enjoy a coastal drive by the picturesque cliffs and beaches. You can go camping at one of the island’s beautiful sites -- on land or by the sea -- or explore the island’s signature lighthouses.
- Ischia Island, Italy
Back to the Mediterranean! If you choose to visit this piece of paradise, this time you’ll find yourself swimming in the Tyrrhenian Sea instead of the Adriatic. Known for its hot springs and mineral thermal waters, this volcanic island is located at the west coast of one of the most romantic European countries. To get there, you’ll need to take an hour-long ferry ride from the city of Naples.
And once you arrive -- the first thing on your bucket list should be visiting the incredibly magical Aragonese Castle. Bring lots of water for the walk back from the castle (on the way up you can take an elevator) and a good camera, because you’ll get to see an incredible view overlooking Ischia, some churches and chapels, an ancient crypt, and much more. When you’re not sightseeing, make sure to enjoy the delicious Italian cuisine and the island’s gorgeous Mediterranean beaches.
- Lake Hillier, Australia
This gorgeous and unique lake is located on the largest island in the Recherche Archipelago, off the south coast of Western Australia. Naturally, this eye-catching salt-water lake is renowned because of its pink color — appearing bubblegum pink from the air, and a slightly more clear pink from up close. Unfortunately, seeing this island isn’t the easiest without some pre-planning — you can take an Airplane scenic flight or using a cruise to the island if you’d like to experience it up close and take beautiful pictures to show off back home. The good news is that if you’re feeling adventurous you can also swim in it — be warned though, the lake is super salty! The Recherche Archipelago, in general, is a great choice for an adventurous and one-of-a-kind experience, especially if you decide to take up snorkeling — trust us, you won’t regret it.
- Barreirinhas, Brazil
Barreirinhas is one of the municipalities in the state of Maranhão found in the Northeast region of this exotic country that is home to many commercially unknown marvels. One of them is the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Located on the Northeastern seashore of Brazil, the park is protected by the Brazilian state for its unique ecosystem formed on white sand dunes. The dunes stretch around 31 miles into the continent, and cover 383,000 acres of land. When the annual rains come during the fall months in Brazil, the dunes’ valleys fill with water and form beautiful lagoons -- some of the dunes can be up to 50 meters high, and lagoons are often both deep and wide, resembling tropical lakes. The best time of year to visit the park is the Brazilian winter -- from May to September, the lagoons are still full and the weather is warm and sunny.
Spend your days exploring the beauties of the unique Brazilian culture, or riding the sand dunes in a jeep (make sure it’s with an experienced guide!) and stopping for a dip in the lagoons -- yes, you can even swim in them -- so this is definitely the place to go if you want to enjoy your vacation somewhere tropical and take some breathtaking pictures while you’re at it.
- Cumberland Island, USA
This Georgian treasure is the perfect spot for a day trip if you’re into short getaways, or a camping adventure in case you’re into longer trips. In order to get to the island, you have to take a 45-minute ferry ride from the St. Mary’s harbor.
Some of the fun activities you can partake in (besides swimming and lounging at the stunning beaches) include biking, guided tours through the incredible Dungeness Ruins, paddling, visiting the Island’s museum, or watching the wild horses that have been inhabiting the island for hundreds of years. If you opt for camping, there are five campgrounds at Cumberland Island, two of which have modern plumbing facilities, while the other three are completely primitive; you can choose between camping at the seacamp or backcountry sites. The best months to visit if you want to both avoid the bugs and take a dip in the ocean are May through September.