Summer is nearly here, and the school holidays are just a few weeks away. So, have you booked your summer break or are you still considering what to do? Whether you’re an intrepid adventurer or a sunseeker, nowadays, there are so many interesting ways to spend your time, so how do you choose? If you haven’t booked your holiday yet, we’ve pulled together 10 ideas for you to consider:
Sun worshippers’ paradise
If you’re looking for sun, surf and sand overseas, the UK summertime can be problematic unless you stay within the Mediterranean. It’s monsoon time across most of Asia, but there are a couple of exceptions…
1. Bali, Indonesia – despite recent volcanic activity, Bali boasts a stunning array of tropical beaches, especially if you travel across to the exquisite Gili islands. Stay in luxury huts and cabins, unwind on powdery white sand beaches, and swim through warm turquoise seas – sheer bliss!
2. Mauritius – whether you like to sunbathe on stunning white sand beaches, or snorkel around glittery coral reefs, this island has a range of hotels from standard accommodation to luxury resorts. There’s also plenty of activities, if you do get bored – why not play a round of golf, or head inland to discover waterfalls and tropical birdlife?
Whether you’re an archaeology buff or you’re a wannabe Indiana Jones, if you’re inspired by ancient temples and ruins, Greece, Turkey and Asia have a vast amount of incredible historical sites and landmarks – here’s just a few to whet your appetite:
3. Knossos, Crete – just outside of Heraklion lies the palace of Knossos. This important historical site was once home to the ancient Minoan civilisation and is famed for its mythical Minotaur and labyrinth. Klados Travel offers an exclusive augmented reality tour of the site where you can see computerised images of how the city once looked whilst standing in front of the ruins. Make sure you take a sun hat and plenty of sun cream; Crete temperatures can hit 40 degrees in the summertime!
4. Ephesus, Turkey – despite being on Turkish soil, this incredible ancient citadel is considered to be one of the best preserved historical sites of Ancient Greece, which occupied this area thousands of years ago. Ephesus was one of the most important trading centres in the Old Mediterranean world and the site is truly stunning. Stay locally at Kusadasi, which is a charming seaside town full of restaurants and cafes.
5. Angkor Wat, Cambodia – nothing prepares you for this breathtaking temple complex, which boasts a range of different temple styles and endless opportunities to explore. The nearest town to Angkor Wat is Siem Reap – stay here and you will enjoy a range of gastro delights ranging from tasty Cambodian curries to high-quality international cuisine too. There are endless shops selling everything from cheap souvenirs and clothing right through to high-end boutiques. Although the best time to travel is during the dry season, November through to May, if you’re prepared to take a brolly, you can find some great deals during the wet season from June to October too.
If you’re passionate about nature and wildlife, there are some amazing locations where you can get up close to the animals. These two locations are perfect for this time of year:
6. Orangutans in Borneo – a trip to the Sepilok Orangutan Centre near Sandakan in the Malaysian part of Borneo will allow to you see these majestic animals in their diminishing natural environment. Sadly, orangutans are close to extinction due to deforestation. Whilst you are in this area, you can also take a canoe safari up river and into the jungle, where you will see the funny long-nosed proboscis monkeys, and you may just see a snake or crocodile too!
7. Big cats in Namibia – it’s the dry season in many of the southern countries on the African continent, so it’s a great time of year to enjoy a safari. With its varied landscape, Namibia offers you the chance to track cheetahs, desert lions, leopards, elephants and rhinos, whilst being guided by expert conservationists. Steppes Travel offers a range of high-quality tailored tours across this region.
Sightseeing in the UK
If you’re someone – or a family – who enjoys staying on home soil, the UK has so much to offer, you won’t even need to step on a plane. There are many boutique hotel websites where you can get great deals on luxury accommodation including Mr and Mrs Smith, The Hotel Guru and Secret Escapes, and a growing number of gastro pubs and restaurants offering a vast range of culinary delights.
Here are three beautiful places to visit in Great Britain:
8. Cornwall – our own mini Mediterranean; as well as enjoying its own micro-climate in many areas such as St Ives, this region has something for everyone. Cornwall boasts a sprawling coastline full of superb beaches, rock pools and quaint harbours. There are various high-quality adventure playgrounds for children and the excellent Eden project has a range of activities for the young and old alike. There are also various walking trails across the county if you’re a budding rambler, as well as a wide range of physical activities including watersports – why not learn how to surf?
9. Dorset – if Cornwall is a bit too far to drive, and you’re interested in natural history and fossils, then the Jurassic Coast is a great place to explore. Starting at the Lyme Regis Museum, take a guided walking tour across the fossil beach and you are highly likely to pick up a fossil or two as a memento. There’s plenty to do in this area for children and adults including a Marine Aquarium where you can handfeed the fish. The town boasts a beautiful harbour and beach area, as well as delicious gastro fish and chips.
10. Scotland – this country has a vast amount to offer and a surprising amount of beaches – see this article ‘12 of the best beaches in Scotland’. But, above all, this area is famed for its glorious lochs and there are plenty to boot. If you enjoy a long trek or a gentle ramble, there are some stunning walks around Loch Lomond (which has luxury hotels close by) and the famous Loch Ness. You can also hire boats on many of the lochs too. If you’re an active person, why not try your hand at some Highland Games? There are plenty of experiences available and, if you’d prefer to just watch, why not check out the summer events by reading the Highland Games guide?
Whether you choose to laze away on a sun-scorched beach or you’re planning an Alpine hike, don’t forget to do some financial planning to help your money stretch a little further…