Summer means warm weather, sunshine, school breaks, and exciting vacations. From idyllic Greek islands to New England fishing towns to historic European cities, you can enjoy the beautiful weather and sunny days just about anywhere in the world. Best of all, many of the world’s best destinations are blessed with the ideal weather for summer, free from rainy seasons and freezing temperatures with snow and ice. Whether you’re planning a romantic retreat, a family trip with the kids, or an adventure on your own, take a look at the best destinations for summer vacation to plan your relaxing seasonal break.
Crete, Greece for cultural tours
The island of Crete is one of the best beach destinations in Greece, perfect for a summer vacation. The island is home to white- and pink-sand beaches with warm, turquoise seas and a picturesque backdrop of dramatic ruins and charming villages. You can spend your days by the water, soaking in the sun, or you could tour ruin sites and natural features like the Samaria Gorge. Some of the best beaches in Crete can be found in Chania, Rethymno, and Heraklion, each of which offers plenty of attractions away from the sand. Crete has numerous seafront resorts with beach access for your summer stay.
Rome, Italy for family sightseeing
Filled with iconic landmarks, Rome is one of the best places in the world for a sightseeing trip. If you want to experience the city’s outdoor architecture and landmarks, summer is the best time to visit. You can soak in the sun and explore places like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and the Roman Forum. Of course, you can still experience the indoor attractions during the summer months, such as the Borghese Gallery and Museum and the Vatican Museums. You could also enjoy swimming and hiking at Lake Albano, a scenic lake with quiet beaches and hiking trails in the countryside.
Queensland, Australia for watersports
If you long to dive the Great Barrier Reef, a trip to New Zealand in summer should be on your bucket list. Located off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is an iconic natural feature of beauty and biodiversity, home to thousands of species of marine life like sharks, whales, dolphins, fish, and sea turtles. You could dive or snorkel in the reef during the summer months to experience the scenic beauty and wildlife for yourself. Queensland has a lot of other nature experiences to try in summer as well, such as sailing at the Whitsunday Islands or seeing wildlife at the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.
Edinburgh, Scotland for historic landmarks
The northern destination of Edinburgh experiences cool weather most of the year, making summer an excellent time to see the city. With the comfortable temperatures, you can explore the city’s landmarks like Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and Arthur’s Seat. There’s plenty to do indoors, however, like touring the National Museum of Scotland and shopping on the Royal Mile.
Bar Harbor, Maine for coastal adventures with the kids
Summer is a great time to visit Maine and experience its beautiful beach areas, such as Bar Harbor. The coastal town features sandy beaches and a harbour for water tours, a quaint main thoroughfare with seafood dining and shops, and coastal walks for views of the Atlantic Ocean. Bar Harbor is also close to the Acadia National Park, a spectacular park on Mount Desert Island with woodlands, rocky beaches, and granite peaks teeming with wildlife.
Machu Picchu, Peru for wilderness treks
Peru in summer is relatively dry and warm, giving you the ideal weather for hiking and outdoor exploration of Machu Picchu. The Incan citadel in the Andes Mountains is a must-see landmark with cultural and political significance that offers one of the best hikes in the country. While you can access the landmark without hiking, the Inca Trail is a stunning trek that takes you past beautiful landscapes. Summer is a great time to explore other wonders in Peru, such as the Colca Canyon and the Sacred Valley ruin sites.