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As soon as I hear the word “summer“, I begin dreaming of white sandy beaches, but a fresh mountain cabin or a beautiful lake sounds very good too, mind you, visiting a new city isn’t bad either, so how can we choose among the many options? With summer vacations just around the corner, we prepared a list of fabulous summer destinations we are dreaming of going, and we’re sure you will find here some travel inspiration to help you decide where to enjoy the sunny days ahead, according to the type of person that you are:
If you are a Beach Bum
You need your annual beach-fix to feel you had real vacations? I hear you. Nothing says summer vacation like listening to the sound of waves and seagulls while lying on the white sand, reading a good book and sipping a Caipirinha.
Dreaming of wild, deserted beaches like me? Then, that’s the right spot for you! And the beauty is that you don’t need to cross the ocean and go to some remote country, Costa Vicentina is only a two-hour drive south of Lisbon. You won’t find significant developments or fancy nightclubs there, but cool beach-bars and fish restaurants. The vast and wild beaches with breathtaking cliffs and dunes are seriously low-key, and a favourite spot for surfers who enjoy there the simple life and the big Atlantic waves. One of the most beautiful places of the region is the village of Odeceixe, by the river Ceixe, which marks the border between the Algarve and the Alentejo. Besides the beautiful beaches, the area is very much agricultural, with vineyards, wheat fields and forests. There are only a few hotels and B&Bs in charming renovated Portuguese farmhouses and even an entire village, better book in advance your stay.
Less famous than Santorini and Mykonos, this fabulous Greek spot offers so much to see, besides the fabulous white beaches with cobalt sea, that you will want to go back again several times. The first must-see place in the Peloponnese is, of course, Olympia, house to the first Olympic Games almost 2250 years ago! Go for a walk or drive along the coastline and see all the castles and fortresses that used to protect the peninsula; the most beautiful, which you shouldn’t miss, are Koroni and Pylos castles. And when you get tired of the sun, go visit with a small boat the Diros cave networks where you will see the most fantastic rock formations and stalactites.
If you are Countryside Person
If you are a mountain aficionado and just love the peaceful quiet and fresher climate of the countryside, perfect for long hikes or tranquil relax, here are some fabulous vacation spots for you:
Although I am a beach person, I visited the cute village in the Swiss Alps during the hottest days of summer and I must say the fresher air was quite a relief. The picturesque Zermatt is a beautiful place to enjoy your holidays in the foothills of the Matterhorn peak, but make sure to book in advance. There is plenty to do in the gorgeous mountain retreat; hiking, cycling and mountain climbing, visiting the breathtaking Gorner gorge, which has been carved since the Ice Age, with its crystal turquoise water and the 220 million-year greenish rocks, taking a stroll around the Schwarzsee or a cable-car ride up to Matterhorn to enjoy the stunning view!
One of the most fantastic regions in the world to visit must be Iceland. It is the place for nature lovers who enjoy trekking with breathtaking views of canyons and waterfalls, the Northern lights, although you will have more chances of seeing them from September on, whale-watching tours and of course, the magnificent Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa in a lava field, because everybody needs a break once in a while!
If you are a Culture Vulture
If you think that travelling means exploring new cultures and history, there are many great places where you can enjoy museums, castles and beautiful churches filled with works of art, but most of them are quite crowded during the holidays so better avoid the most famous cities; otherwise you will have to elbow your way around the sights.
For those who are tired of the obvious Paris-London trips, and want to stay clear from crowded touristic places, this Belgium city is a hidden gem with lots to offer. Ghent is a medieval city with lovely houses along the canals, which we recommend you see from a different perspective by taking a boat sightseeing tour. Visit the medieval castle Gravensteen, St Michiels and St Niklaas churches, Belfort and St Baafs cathedral, and stroll around the cute Ghent centre.