Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for all year: summertime. With a more relaxed schedule – and attitude – hot, hazy sunny days, the kids out of school and those barbecues fired up, July heralds the official start of everyone’s favorite season. Whether it’s flying overseas or sticking to more nearby destinations, sipping margaritas by the pool or slipping away for a long weekend, for the next month, anything goes, so here are four fabulous ideas.
For endless sunshine, great food, tons of wine and the kinds of Mediterranean blues that dreams are made of, look no further than the Greek island of Corfu. Located in the Ionian Sea off mainland Greece’s northwest coast, this picture-perfect island is a haven for those in need of some serious rest and relaxation. With a rich multicultural history (occupied by the Italians, the French and the British!), Corfu is also considered one of the most cosmopolitan Mediterranean destinations – the first Greek University, the first Philharmonic Orchestra and the first School of Fine Arts were all founded here. With so much art and culture to experience, plus plenty of beaches, olive groves and cypress-covered mountain peaks, you’ll see why locals and tourists alike are in love with this Grecian destination.
Where to stay in Corfu
Looking for a hassle-free vacation that guarantees good food, amazing weather, great beaches, tons of activities – both on and off the water – and every convenience you can find at home? Then Maui is your summer holiday destination of choice. Adventure enthusiasts can rejoice on this popular Hawaiian island as they’ll find everything from zip lines that whizz through bamboo forests to hiking trails that snake their way along ocean side cliffs and lava fields. Kayak alongside sea turtles and humpback whales, or surf some of the best waves in the world. Marvel at tropical waterfalls and swim in the swirling waters of their pools, snorkel along the coral reefs for a glimpse at the underwater world, or combine the ocean and the sky and wind board up and down the coastlines. With a world-class cuisine all its own – Maui now grows 90% of its own produce on the island – from food trucks to fine dining, who could ask for anything more?
Where to stay in Maui
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
If all you have time for this summer is a couple days off for a long weekend jaunt, why not make your way south of the border for the bright, boisterous and all around good times of Cabo San Lucas? Located on the Southern tip of Baja California, Cabo is known for its carefree attitude, incredible beaches, wide variety of watersports and bustling nightlife. Sip on tequila or mezcal until the sun begins to rise, or spend your days lazing on the beach indulging in the local Mexican fare and refreshing cervezas. Ride horseback along the ocean into the sunset, or dance the conga line under the stars in the sand. From packed bars, restaurants and clubs, to more secluded beaches and desert destinations dotted with cacti, Cabo is an action-packed place perfect for any time of year.
Where to stay in Cabo
The Swiss Alps, Switzerland
When people think of the Swiss Alps, they imagine a snow filled setting, with skis, fireplaces and fondue. But there’s a lot more to enjoy in this country than just a winter wonderland. In the summer, the crowds disperse, the warm weather sets in, the grass grows wild and green, and the scenery is just spectacular. Take in that mountain air and unspoiled nature, and take advantage of the quieter side of Switzerland. From Zermatt to Verbier, Gstaad to Saas Fee, there are plenty of options to choose from to get away from the grind and experience the Alpine summer. With hiking, biking and plenty of refreshing rivers and lakes to choose from in between, you’ll mingle with the locals who flock to the mountains to escape the heat of the cities. And who can resist the country’s fine wines and cheeses (not to mention chocolate)? And if you really must ski, in Zermatt you can enjoy all-season skiing and snowboarding on the Matterhorn’s Theodul Glacier. Who knew?
Where to stay in Switzerland