Where to Travel this Summer

Summer holiday planning? You’ve come to the right place. Dance until dawn in the German capital of cool, enjoy shots of zesty limoncello poolside in Sicily, live like a local in Mexico’s edgiest surf village or opt for a sleepover beneath the stars in Namibia.

Oh, Summer. How we've longed for you and, on those bleak winter days, even prayed for you. As Europe gallops towards the heat of summer, our favourite villages, towns and cities across the northern hemisphere well and truly reclaim their sparkle. Colourful parasols pop up across the golden sands of Sicily, wicker chairs line the pavement bistros of Paris and sprawling desert plains welcome the return of Earth's most treasured wildlife. Whatever your ideal summer holiday looks like, we've found the places that make for a magical ride. So, buckle up and read on for our 17 favourite destinations to visit this season.

Dazzling Summer: the best destinations to visit this season

Sicily Italy



Getaways to Italy often look like this: topping up your tan while working through plates of pizza margherita chased with icy, zesty shots of limoncello. But the appeal of Italy's southernmost tip goes beyond sunshine and the perfect tomato sauce. When exploring Sicily's romantic, rocky landscape speckled with olive groves, sweeping sandy shores and bustling towns, it's difficult not to be seduced by the island's wild beauty and local grit. Whether you're toying with the idea of a casual long weekend or are craving a full-blown culinary hideaway, Sicily has you covered.



Troncones is often thought of as being simply a sleepy fishing and farming village, but this destination has far more to offer than its catch of the day. With eco-friendly hotels having slowly popped up along its coastline, the tiny town (seriously, there are only 500 full-time residents) is for those who prefer to truly lose themselves within a local lifestyle. Surfers should make a beeline for the waves of Manzanillo Bay, while everyone else should snag a snorkel and paddle around its colourful reefs, keeping eyes peeled for baby turtles.

Berlin Germany



Berlin isn't your typical European capital. Divided until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the sprawling (but not densely populated) city of three-and-a-half million often exudes the impression of a metropolis still finding itself. But the carefree energy and relatively low rents of this cultural powerhouse have long attracted those ahead of the curve. Home to countless galleries, design-led boutiques and an effervescent nightlife that always showcases the best in cutting-edge music, this is the ultimate mid-summer city-break destination.

Dhermi Albania



Sun-drenched boutique festivals are cropping up all along the sparkling coves of the Albanian Riviera, and we're bookmarking the dinky town of Dhërmi as a dance destination to watch. Separated from Italy's heel by the Ionian Sea, the low-key Balkan town is sending a siren call to Europe's pleasure-seekers. Kick-start your summer with an eclectic mix of music and wellness at Kala Festival, return for a hedonistic September fling at the six-stage ION, before drawing your season to a chilled-out close at Inner State, where the itinerary includes vegan feasts, stargazing sessions and lucid dreaming workshops. Dhërmi's striking natural landscape rivals its top-notch party scene, so we'd recommend extending your stay to explore the beaches hidden under its pink-toned cliffs or hike up the mighty Mount Çika after your long, hot summer of fun.


June marks the beginning of prime wildlife-spotting season in Namibia - but we wouldn't judge if you decided to visit solely for stargazing. An absence of light pollution means the night sky here is a sight to behold. The majestic dunes and sprawling desert plains set the country apart from other safari destinations. You won't find many tourists here, but you certainly will find the world's best-loved animals.

Paris France



Paris is always a good idea. One of the great art repositories of the world, the city harbours a pretty illustrious pedigree, with Renoir, Picasso, Monet, Rodin and Manet among those to have called the French capital home. Despite its antiquities, the cache of modern and contemporary art found here is no less wondrous - be sure to check out some of the smaller, independent galleries. When you get hungry, iconic postcard views and wicker chair-lined terraces await - from humble boulangeries to triple-Michelin-starred bistros. The shopping is equally scintillating. Browse emerging and established designers in sumptuous department stores, scour vintage shops and flea markets, or scan the riverside bouquiniste book stalls for first and rare editions.



Our newest Aegean obsession? The free-spirited Ios - a myth-infused Cycladic isle that runs on a dawn-till-dusk party philosophy. While it's a world away from the chaos of Kavos, be warned: the island's blissed-out best spots are well hidden, and you'll have to avoid a fair few €1-shot spots while hunting down true hedonistic Elysium. Join the carefree ex-Mykonos crew lounging on kilim cushions at the glamorous Ios Club in Chora, famed for its soft-focus sunsets. By day, take a trip to Diaseli, a traditional, family-run cheese business, where you can join tasting sessions featuring not only the island's unique cheeses, but heather honey and olive oil, too.



Reykjavík ranks as the world's northernmost capital: in the summer, the sun doesn't set on the Icelandic city. With candy-coloured buildings set against an alabaster landscape, visitors will find themselves close to some of nature's greatest wonders - including the Blue Lagoon. "Reykjavík" translates as "Smoky Bay" and, as the name suggests, the weather can be tempestuous. Still, that doesn't stop this tiny city drawing crowds. Where else could spawn eccentrics such as the celebrated musician Björk and have a bar dedicated exclusively to The Big Lebowski?



While tourists flock to the storied Amalfi coast, those in the know head straight to Ischia for their holiday getaway. The volcanic islet boasts the best of Neapolitan food and secluded bays touching the Tyrrhenian Sea. Come for the archetypal Italian slow pace of life and a quaint village feel in the island's tiny comuni. Differing from its glamorous neighbour, Capri, Ischia isn't about plush boutiques and sophisticated bars, instead, offering an abundance of family-run trattorias, natural thermal spas and colourful houses stacked along cobbled passageways.

Tallin Estonia



The Estonian capital is also the country's largest city and, with a blend of Scandinavian, Russian and European influences, its streetscape makes for a vibrant crossroads of cultures. Start by making tracks to the 14th-century Old Town, where you'll find Town Hall Square - you'll probably recognise it because of its Christmas markets, which pop up on Pinterest every winter. From there, we'd suggest joining one of the free walking tours to best get a feel for the city, picking up a bucket-load of fun trivia facts as you go. Insider tip: trying the traditional bread soup, leivasupp, is a must.

Woodstock New York US


New York, US

Utter the name of this Ulster County town and it conjures images of hippy types dancing and singing to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Held in 1969, when the US was preoccupied with the Vietnam War and civil rights protests, Woodstock festival had a huge impact not only on the music industry, but on ideas around the freedom of expression, too. The "three days of peace and music" actually took place about an hour-and-a-half's drive away, in Bethel, but that hasn't stopped Woodstock town from becoming the beacon of eclecticism and magnet for free spirits that it is today. Just two hours' north of New York City, its streets are lined with local-owned restaurants and cafés, boutiques and small galleries. It's also the starting point for one of the best hiking routes in the Catskills.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano


With medieval towers, a walled old town and charming trattorias surrounded by rolling vineyards, San Gimignano is the epitome of Italian chic. Travel south from Florence through verdant fields to reach the town's crumbling 13th-century ramparts, beyond which you'll find honey-hued buildings and family-run eateries dating back generations. Spend mornings brunching in Piazza della Cisterna, where locals gather for a gossip and nonnas wave from doorways, before navigating the cobbled alleyways to a generous handful of churches and museums. Summer is no doubt a popular season for holidaying in Tuscany, but scorching weather (and crowds) can be quickly remedied with a large glass of chilled pinot.

Tbilisi Georgia



Situated between Europe and Asia, within close proximity to the ancient Silk Road trade route, Tbilisi's advantageous position has not only defined much of its turbulent past, but created a distinct cultural blend that has influenced the city's religion, language, arts, cuisine and architecture. A hodgepodge of crumbling balconied buildings, stern Soviet structures, grand European piles and Moorish architecture comprises the charming setting for a slew of design-led hotels, high-fashion boutiques and buzzing restaurants and bars loved by the city's liberal elite. Throw in the dramatic mountains nearby, delicious food and warm Georgian hospitality, and you have a city that's worth visiting over and over again.

Pals Spain



Located just a 90-minute drive east of Barcelona, the small Catalonian town of Pals feels worlds away from the party-fuelled city crowds. Flanked by stretches of dense vineyards, rolling rice fields and the dazzling Bay of Empordà, these streets look as though they should be crammed with horse-drawn carts and an elderly population, but that couldn't be further from the truth. A town that is best explored on foot (and borderline impossible to discover by car, thanks to its narrow passageways), Pals is the place to dance between independent galleries and walk-in workshops, discovering the creative energy that rules these sun-scorched streets.

Olbia Sardinia



North of Tunisia and south of Corsica, the sultry island of Sardinia ranks as the Med's second-largest isle. One of the quieter Italian destinations in terms of tourist footfall, what this place lacks in swarms of selfie sticks, it more than makes up for with its therapeutic landscape. Owing to the variety of its ecosystems - think dramatic mountains, wild woodland areas, rock-strewn coastlines and stretches of sun-kissed sand - the island is often referred to as being a microcontinent. Though it may be sparsely populated, there are plenty of vibrant pockets to explore. Head to the free-spirited city of Olbia, partly for its flavour-packed foodie scene, but largely for its dusty hiking trails - the River Park Padrongianus is our favourite adventure playground.

Tivat Montenegro



Sandwiched between Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, the small Balkan country of Montenegro (meaning "Black Mountain") is sprinkled with flower-strewn meadows, medieval towns and picture-perfect beaches, making it a great call for those seeking a go-slow European escape. Head to the Bay of Kotor, aka the Boka, and make the tiny town of Tivat your playground. Home to hillside villas, a forested coastline and long stretches of golden sand, this place has recently undergone a major regeneration project, welcoming the glitzy and glamorous Porto Montenegro. Lined by a harbour where some of the world's most sought-after superyachts are moored, the town flaunts an impressive roster of trendy boutiques. Exclusive, sexy and rich in culture, we're pegging this as the next Monaco.

Baku Azerbaijan



Azerbaijan is slotted between Georgia, Armenia and Turkey, at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, and bound by the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains. We suggest making the historical and dazzling capital of Baku your base. An ancient walled city dating back to the seventh century, Baku's cutting-edge architecture is a honeypot for design lovers and creatives. Throw in its diverse culinary offering and myriad shopping opportunities, and you're looking at a destination that offers a real feast for the senses.

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