Work hard in winter, play hard in summer! From Cape Town to Ladakh, we pulled down the best ten summer locations which will turn your international trip into an awesome one. The list includes scintillating cities, charming islands, and amazing natural wonders that simply n’ surely going to leave you wonderstruck.
Ladakh is a place like no other, an exacting place with profusion of natural beauty. Superabundance of attractions, in the form of tranquil Valleys, High Mountain passes, picturesque villages, undulated landscape and pristine alpine lakes make this place the heaven on earth. The monasteries are an integral part of Ladakh’s culture and traditions. Scores of chortens, fluttering prayer flags and Mani stones welcome you to the land of Buddhism. That’s not all; Ladakh is a perfect spot for bird watching and wildlife exploration, thanks to its sheer wealth of wildlife. The high altitude mountains make it an ideal spot for adventure activities of trekking, mountain-climbing, mountain biking, river rafting.
9. Hoi An-Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is impressively appealing, and a photographers’ paradise. Witness the hues and shades emanate from the buildings overlooking the river, multi-coloured wooden boats and bright colourful lanterns fluttering in the breeze throughout the city. Hoi An Ancient Town is essentially a living museum, offering a breathtaking mix of ornate Chinese temples, 17th-century Tan Ky House, fascinating architectural and decorative elements, a Japanese-designed bridge, the Trade Ceramics, wooden shop-houses, French-colonial houses, and old canals. Spend time wandering its picturesque winding streets, hanging out on the long stretches of white sandy beach, cycling through the surrounding paddy fields or revelling at its fabulous street food specialties.
Innumerable temples and historical sites are the charm of the city, and that’s not it, this place holds so many surprises together that one can’t help but be awed. Photo opportunities galore at ‘Mother temple’ of Besakih and Tegallalang Rice Terraces. From scenic vistas to cultural performances, there is something for everyone. The island’s rich arts scene is another top draw, and several excellent museums and galleries celebrate Island’s evolution and traditions. Mount Batur welcomes trekkers and tourists to watch the sun rise above the lush mosaic of mist-shrouded mountains. Surrounded by azure seas and edged with golden beaches, Bali is of course a surfer’s paradise. Animal lovers are in for a great time at the Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. If shopping for art is more your style, don’t miss the Ubud Art Market.
The scenic natural harbour city of Marseille throbs with vitality, from where it sits on the Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful scenery apart, the food, the art, the French way of life-all of it is captivatingly best. Marseille is a city just made for wandering around. From its historic old town, its blended architectural styles, and wonderful choices of museums that will send you back in time. Splendidly situated on a hillside above the Vieux Port, this colourful neighbourhood Le Panier is the cultural heart of Marseille. Incredible blue waters and lime stone cliffs, the Calanques National Park is by far the best sights of Marseille. Incredibly impressive is the mosaic interiors of Notre Dame de la Garde, and for the beautiful views of the city it provides.
6. Cape Town-South Africa
Table Mountain, Cape Town
There are not many places on this planet that provide the scenic beauty and diversity as Cape Town does. See mountains meet the sea in scenes of dramatic contrast. Sweeping beaches, towering hilltops, and picturesque vineyards adorn the landscape of Cape Town. One of Africa’s most alluring cities, Cape Town brims with adventure, culture, and culinary arts like no other. A cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain gets you panoramic views of the sea and mountains flanking it. Cape Point dazzles with towering stone cliffs, breathtaking bays, beaches, rolling green hills and valleys. Hout Bay’s fairy tale harbour views, ‘Seal Island’ cruise, Boulders Beach’s African Penguins and amazing sights from the Cape of Good Hope…you’ll never fall short of finding something remarkable amazing in this South African city.
Aesthetic designs, rows of colourful houses, innovative restaurants, creative music and fabulous nightlife-all add to Reykjavik’s almost quirky style. The Hallgrimskirkja church is breathtakingly beautiful, and reminiscent of something from Lord of the Rings, and can be seen from across the city. The Old Harbour has become a magnet for tourists as they attend concerts and lively shows. Head out on whale-watching boat trips, a scenic helicopter ride over the city or visit a museum. Spot the rare and gorgeous Northern Lights from downtown Reykjavik, but the best place to see them within the city limits is by the seaside at Seltjarnarnes. Or simply hit the Nauthólsvík beach.
4. Bergen- Norway
Norway’s second largest city, Bergen is one of the most picturesque destinations in an already altogether picturesque country. Think of Norway, think of the rows of multi-coloured houses, build of wood. Bergen has lots of it. The seaside restaurants at Bryggen waterfront district, serve some great fresh seafood. Explore the scenic fjords around the city and the neighbouring islands. There’s umpteen to see within the city, including a trip up Bergen’s popular funicular railway to Mount Fløyen; see all of Bergen in just 6 minutes. Often called the gateway to the fjords, Bergen’s scenic journey on the Oslo-Bergen rail line passes through forests, plateaus, and fjords, hold your breath, epic views are guaranteed.
Set alongside crystal blue lakes and framed by alpine mountains, Zurich seamlessly blends the best sights of Switzerland. The picturesque lanes of the central Old Town, on either side of the Limmat River, reflect its pre-medieval history, and all its abundant rich sights, eye-wateringly pricey shops and effortlessly cool nightspots. Go shopping along the famous Bahnhofstrasse or in the Niederdorf old town, enjoy a nice walk along the lake with a picturesque view of the Alps, or make your way up to the Uetliberg, Zurich’s renowned mountain. Choose between many museums and beautiful parks to visit. Although it buzzes with business activity, Zurich is one of the finest towns to visit, especially on foot.
2. San Francisco-The United States
San Francisco, USA
There are few cities as recognizable as San Francisco—blue beaches, great bars, refined dining. The “City by the Bay” is steeped in history and has an endless array of things to do. The exciting city brims with sophisticated dining scene and cosmopolitan culture. With its myriad hills and spectacular bay, San Francisco beguiles with natural beauty, vibrant neighbourhoods, and contagious energy. The soaring red-orange towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Fisherman’s Wharf, Twin Peaks or China Town- and many are best left to you. Of course no trip to San Francisco is complete without a ride on a historic cable car.
The second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia, has some of the Mediterranean’s most seductive beaches, with crystal clear turquoise water and slow pace. Besides unspoiled nature, there are evocative remnants of Sardinia’s ancient nuraghic culture, Carthaginian and Roman ruins, Pisan churches and Spanish Baroque. When you’ve had your fill of those, you can have Sardinian wines, fresh sea food at elite restaurants or engage in soothing ritual of the passeggiata (evening stroll). Magnificent are the Nuraghe or Bronze Age archaeological structures that are scattered all over the island and are often surrounded with remnants of Nuragic villages; and there is the Giant’s Grave, Neptune’s Grotto, and Su Gorroppu Gorge. The best way to get a sense of the maze-like seaside town of Alghero is to take a walk along its walls.