It’s time to start planning summer vacations! This is a great year for travel (pretty much any year is), and there are some surprising and not-so-surprising popular travel destinations on this year’s list. Of course, summer is Europe’s busy season, so you know many of these top spots will be there, but if you’re brainstorming for ideas on the best places to visit this summer, here is a list of the most popular ones based on what is trending right now!
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
When you think of Abu Dhabi, you probably think of a flashy and wealthy city rich on oil exports. That would be a correct interpretation of what it is, but only in addition to everything else it has to offer.
For starters, Abu Dhabi is a gorgeous modern city that sits on an island in the Persian Gulf. It is currently thought to be the safest city in the world, which is perfect for a wandering group of vacationers. Within Abu Dhabi’s coastline lie over 200 islands, scattered across the Arabian Gulf, ready for exploration. Two of the easiest to reach islands, Saadiyat and Yas, are more developed and ready to entertain, while some of the more remote isles are home to exotic wildlife.
Just recently, Abu Dhabi also opened a branch of the Louvre, which holds over 700 exhibits. It is also home to large mosques and other pieces of beautiful architecture, so there’s plenty to tour, and plenty of cultures to absorb in the city’s streets as well as on its coast.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
If Amsterdam is on your bucket list of places to visit, do so during the summer months. Sure, it is the busy season, but that is because the temperatures are perfect during the summer! The Netherlands is known for being chilly during all of the rest of the year, but in the summer the temperatures peak in the high 60’s and low 70’s, which means everyone comes outside and the festivals begin! If you choose to visit Amsterdam this summer, you can look forward to an impressive food scene and an overabundance of festivities, all outdoors.
This country is famous for its beaches and Caribbean vibes, but it also offers rich biodiversity in its protected rainforests and national parks. You can visit the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for views you can’t easily find anywhere else. You can walk along the pathways that take you through the clouds and witness the colorful tropical birds and the wildlife living all around you. Then, you can head to the beach!
Costa Rica has something to offer those who want to get out into the rugged climate, hiking volcanoes and traipsing through the rainforest, and it also has something for those who wish to relax by the beach with a Pina Colada. It makes for the perfect vacation spot for any traveler who needs a healthy dose of both vacation styles.
Unlike many summer vacation spots, this one does not open onto a beach or involve a coastline full of aquatic activity prospects. You don’t always need that for a fulfilling vacation, though. Matera lies on a rocky outcrop in southern Italy, and it comes complete with the famous Sassi di Matera cave dwellings, medieval rock sculptures and churches and elegant 13th-century frescoes.
Matera is a city for sightseeing. Some of the most popular sights are the Palombaro Lungo, a giant cistern carved from the rock, the Chiesa di Madonna della Virtù & Chiesa di San Nicola del Greci monastic complex and the Belvedere, which is a looking spot that offers views of the ravine and Matera. This is the location in which The Passion of the Christ filmed the crucifixion.
Sometimes, you just want that perfect summer vacation that always comes to mind when this time of year approaches – the beach, the Caribbean, relaxation, and lots of sun. The Bahamas is one of the most popular go-to destinations during the summer, even though it is also the archipelago’s hurricane season. Even during the rainy months of May and June, there is still plenty of sun to soak up. Spend your time on the white sand beaches or out in the water snorkeling and scuba diving, but just make sure to partake in the cuisine while you’re there, too. You may not have heard about the country’s famous swimming pigs, but in Exuma, Bahamas, you can go and see this interesting site for yourself. Use that experience to put a little twist on your classic vacation.