Cool Destinations for a Big Summer Splash

With winter now waaaay behind us, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the summer sun! And what better way than with a summer getaway or take longer and have a real holiday!  Of course, when you think of summer, the picture that comes to mind is usually of perfect white sands, infinite azure seas lapping at palm-tree lined lagoons, or perhaps you’d rather a relaxing cruise to take you to that sunny isle.

Sure, we all love a tropical island as much as the next traveller, and we’ll explore that just below, however, we want you to think about some of the really cool destinations that are just begging to be explored.  Check out our list of the most popular destinations this summer!

Everything Tropical 

When thinking of summer most of us will think of the warm turquoise seas of the South Pacific. 

As one of Australia’s one of the most popular cruising destinations, the allure of the islands are second to none. Meet the locals and experience their lifestyle. Laze on a sunny beach somewhere or swim amongst shimmering fish and brilliantly coloured corals. Lose yourself in an adventure where you can swim, snorkel, and dive. Go hiking or trek to the top of a volcano or sty and play under a waterfall – it’s up to you.  

Our recommendations include New Caledonia – for World Heritage listed marine parks and French-inspired cuisine, Fiji’s pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters are hard to beat and perfect for a longer stay. Take a cruise through the Yasawa Islands for that desert island feel and local flavours. Tahiti and Bora Bora – undoubtedly the closest you’ll get to a real paradise. You can cruise to many islands or pick just one to fly and stay – luxury resort anyone?

Italy 

Want to add a dash of culture to your summer holiday? Head to the cradle of the Renaissance movement and the Roman Empire! Italy is an art and architecture paradise and has the world’s most UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites. Italy is home to inspirational artworks like Michelangelo’s David, the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, Da Vinci’s Last Supper, and the list goes on.  

We highly recommend a visit to Florence’s Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi, one of the most prominent art galleries in the world, where you’ll find a collection of priceless works from the beauty of the Italian Renaissance, as well as new works from important modern artists. And with other iconic cities of Rome, Venice, Milan, Piza, Assisi and more, you may have to combine a few trips!

Don’t forget to stop in at the beautiful Amalfi Coast, the picturesque hill towns of Tuscany, the ruins of Pompeii under still active Mt Vesuvius, or head down south to Sicily. Take trip back time, the ancient cities of Agrigento, Selinunte, Syracuse and Segesta to discover centuries-old golden mosaics, ancient monuments, complemented by Phoenician marinas and Baroque market towns alive with local harvests and Sicilian character.

And then there is the food, the wine and atmosphere – this boot shaped country is a gastro-adventurer’s delight – traditional pizza, pasta carbonara or amatriciana, fritto misto, the inevitable gelato and delicious tiramisu. Careful or you’ll gain a few extra kilo’s here, for sure! 

Scotland 

Love exploring the great outdoors? Then Scotland is the holiday for you. Wide expanses of heather-filled landscapes dotted with stunning architecture, alongside age-old cities and imposing castles just begging to be explored. Couple this with the laidback lifestyle and friendly people, and you’re in for an exciting adventure. Think of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital and home to haggis & neeps, deep-fried mars bars, world-class museums, Victorian architecture, the crenelated Edinburgh Castle where the Military Tattoo is held every year, or her biggest city Glasgow – this city is a cosmopolitan treasure trove of Art Nouveau galleries to its stunning Northern streetscapes, enough to satisfy any traveller’s wanderlust. 

Greek Isles 

The gorgeous Greek Isles all showcase beautiful beaches – black, red and white sand; ancient ruins, and cultural riches making them some of the most picturesque places on Earth. Let us recommend Santorini. Cruise into this unforgettable destination to climb up to the white-washed houses perched on the caldera-edged and then explore local handicraft markets and souvenir mecca. Check out all of the Instagram pics of Fira, Oia, Akrotiri – the blue topped churches, enjoy a hot volcanic sea-spa, the exceptional Greek delicacies that delight the tastebuds, and vibrant skies with sunsets to die for.

Mykonos is another popular island with much to do and see, including the windmills of Chora, if you like history make sure to take a boat ride out to the archaeological site of Delos where sculpted lions will greet you with a roar, the Amenistis light house, charming churches and monasteries, and of course the beaches… our pick is the much quieter, more traditional Agios Iannis Beach.

These are but two of the many Greek Isles – we’ll let you discover the rest for yourself!

Russia & Northern Europe 

What about a real change of pace (and weather) for your holiday, we highly recommend Northern Europe, Russia and the Baltics. All of those lovely Norwegian fjords soaring high above you – it’s a snow-capped wonderland. Luxury cruise ships will explore these natural landscapes like the Vikings of old, explore character-filled cities and eccentric cultures of Scandinavia. And there’s more. Perhaps catch a glimpse of magically colourful Northern Lights, a visit the world’s second oldest theme park in Copenhagen – Tivoli Gardens or the Little Mermaid statue of Hans Christian Anderson fame. Discover Estonia’s charming Gothic spires and historic ambience of Tallinn, the masterpieces housed in the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, Moscow’s Red Square and golden onion-domed churches – we wonder what your memories will be from your trip to the Baltics? 

Alaska 

We are loving the idea of America’s Last Frontier. Cruise Alaska’s impressive Inside Passage, her pristine coastlines, majestic glaciers, and look for exciting wildlife all backdropped by the Rocky Mountains. Much of the area is accessible only by sea or air, including the frontier towns of Skagway, Ketchikan and Alaska’s capital Juneau. Our favourite highlights are dog-sledding (like the famous Iditarod Sled Race, only not so far), a helicopter ride then a walk upon the glaciers, feasting at a salmon BBQ and go whale watching. Of course, you can extend any Alaskan cruise with an excursion into Denali National Park for the ultimate environmental experience, or jump onboard the Rocky Mountaineer Rail for one of the world’s most iconic journeys through the Canadian Rocky Mountains from glorious Banff and Jasper through to cosmopolitan Vancouver, making for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as a unique twist to the usual sand and sea summer combo.

Raring to go yet? Let our Discover365 Cruise and Travel Solutions Specialists help you to get where you really want to go! Go on, call us today on 1300 830 786

Where will you be this summer? Send us your summer holiday ideas at traveltales@discover365.com.au