Summer – the season for two-week getaways, beach adventures and poolside lounging. The one we all LOVE. Right?
This year, things are different. But that won’t stop us from daydreaming (and then planning) our adventures for next year – so where are the best places to go in Summer 2021?
You have three wonderful months to play with:
There’s blooming June, the crowd-pleasing month that builds the hype and officially ushers in our beloved summer. It’s also a month in which many destinations come fully alive. You’ve got July, the month summer is in all its feel-good glory, the beating heart of our favourite season. Half the world packs its‘ bags but, fear not, there are plenty of hidden spots tucked away from the madness to go around. And, finally, August – the hottest month of the year, basically everywhere. But why stay at home, sweltering on a packed commuter train, when you could be wild swimming in Norway or catching rays on a beautiful beach in Portugal?
You’re about to find out. In this list of the best places to go in Summer 2021, we’ll cover:
And each one has been chosen for a great reason, all offering something different for whichever kind of summer adventurer you are. Beach bum? Hazy evening hiker? Wild jungle explorer? It’s all in here. These are the best places to go in Summer 2021.
Average temperature: 31ºC / 88ºF
Cultural attraction: Head to Selingan Island to see green sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach at night.
Hot and dry in the summer months, Borneo experiences lower rainfall at this time of year – meaning you still get a summer holiday, but in a country totally alien to your senses. It’s fruiting season in the rainforests at Sabah, meaning you’re more likely to spot a gorgeous orangutan, foraging for the evening’s dinner. And, because there’s less rain, it’s easier (and much more pleasant) to hike the surrounding vistas or try wild caving in adventure playgrounds like Mulu National Park.
Average temperature: 24ºC / 75ºF
Cultural attraction: Hike the hills and then visit the imperial city of Fes, where the annual Fes Festival begins at the same time.
Whilst the temperature in Morocco can be fiercely hot, a month like June isn’t necessarily a bad choice. It’s the start of the summer and so you can expect up to 10 hours of sunshine and lots of clear, warm days – but with plenty of respite from the heat. Cooler in the mornings and evenings, catch the sunrise or sunset on stunning hikes through the Ait Mizane valley or head to the Atlas highlands for milder temperatures. Rain is few and far between but the landscape is far from acrid – there are plenty of early-season wild orchids, poppies and blue gentians blooming, painting the hills in colour.
Average temperature: 25ºC / 77ºF
Cultural attraction: The Festa de São João do Porto (Festival of St John of Porto) on 22-24 June. It’s a huge street party filled with traditional music, inflatable hammer fights and fireworks. What? Exactly.
One of Europe’s finest yet most understated destinations, Portugal comes alive in the summer – and surprises millions of solo travellers every year, with it’s array of diverse culture, historic architecture and paradisiacal beaches. Take Lisbon and Porto, two Insta-worthy cities packed with beautiful streets and chill corner cafes. When summer really kicks into gear, the streets are lined with locals as festivals take hold of the cities and there is buzz all around. Perch on an outdoor table with a glass of Portuguese rose and admire the action or explore this nation’s incredible foodie scene – whatever you do, you’ll feel the romance of this vibrant country.
Average temperature: 19ºC / 66ºF
Cultural attraction: Glacier-fed lakes dot across Banff, surrounded by mesmerising forests and breathtaking mountains. Sit lakeside and take in a big gulp of that fresh, pine-laden air.
Summer is when almost all of Canada migrates to mountainous hideaways in the stunning Rockies. Why buck the trend? Don’t worry, you can still find a secluded lakeside spot of your own (avoid public holidays) and spend warm, hazy days admiring the majestic scenery that stretches out before you in Banff National Park. Take a dip in azure lakes or hike one of the many trails leading through the rocky terrain, as the mercury settles at a pleasant 22°C in July.
Average temperature: 25ºC / 77ºF
Cultural attraction: Don’t miss Pohada Festival, the country’s largest open-air summer fiesta from 11-14 July.
Whilst the rest of the world flocks to beaches in Spain, Slovakia slips through the tourist net – ripe for a solo adventure without the crowds. Meandre around the Old Town in Bratislava and admire the charm of its castles and palaces. Grab a glass of local honey wine by the Danube or admire the magnificent architecture reminiscent of its neighbours, Budapest and Vienna, but minus all the people. Then there’s hiking in the Tatras Mountains for a spot of Slovakian wilderness, providing a secluded haven of waterfalls and lush valleys.
Average temperature: 17ºC / 63ºF
Whether you’re an international visitor or a Brit on a staycation, Scotland will surprise and delight even the most seasoned of solo travellers. July is just about the best month to visit too, with seasonal temperatures mild – but unbelievably better than the rest of the year. Expect long twilight evenings on the beautiful lochs and glens of the Highlands and plenty of adventure in Scotland’s Great Outdoors – from canoeing to canyoning, and more. There may be some rain – but with vistas like this, misty mornings and stormy showers are made breathtakingly dramatic.
Average temperature: 18ºC / 64ºF
Cultural attraction: Wonder at Norway’s northern islands and mountain ranges painted in an orange glow, from midnight sun hot spots like The North Cape and Mount Rønvikfjellet.
The Norwegian wilderness really is awe-inspiring – and, in the summer, you can get right amongst it, exploring Norway’s stunning fjords and mountainous peaks. Kayaking, hiking and cycling are popular summer activities here, and its forest-laden lakes reach an acceptable 18 degrees for wild swimming. What’s more, these midsummer months offer long hours of daylight in Norway, meaning there’s plenty more time to keep up the adventure long into the night.