We love summer holidays, and we think it is the perfect time to explore new places and alternative vacation spots that are less known and less crowded. Get away from the crowds of sunburnt tourists and over-crowded campsites with our list of 10 alternative vacation spots for the summer holidays.
- Budapest, Hungary
With a rich history, beautiful architecture, lively nightlife, incredible food and an abundance of thermal baths to relax and recover in, Budapest is a quirky alternative summer holiday destination. Visit for the breath-taking views and sacred wonders combined with lively terraces, beautiful parks and lavish spas this city has to offer. Being bored is definitely not an option in this lively Hungarian city that needs to be on your summer holiday list.
- Segovia, Spain
Segovia, Spain is a place of romance and history. The ancient Roman aqueduct, fairy-tale castle, awe-inspiring cathedral, exquisite Romanesque churches, and mystical monasteries make this a perfect alternative to a crowded beach this summer. Read more about why we think this is a great place to visit in our blog post about visiting Segovia.
- Sylt, Germany
High up in the north of Germany, right on the border with Denmark, lies the remote North Sea island of Sylt. With high sand dunes, lush wide beaches and an abundance of wildlife, Sylt is a premier vacation spot that no one seems to have heard of. What were once ancient whaling villages, have now been turned into seaside resorts along the island’s pristine, sandy beach, that stretches for more than 40 km. Hire an old-fashioned canopied beach chair made of hardwood and wicker, and lined with blue and white striped cloth and sit back and relax in this remote location this summer.
- Lisbon, Portugal
One of our favourite destinations, Lisbon is a lively and picturesque city filled with reminders of an incredible history. Castles, open-air markets, fantastic traditional foods and live music, this harbour side city will have you coming back for more. Read more about this fabulous city in our post 48 Hours in Lisbon
- Kyoto, Japan
Ancient temples, tea ceremonies, centuries-old craftsmanship, kimono-clad Geisha, and Zen gardens; Kyoto is the perfect polar opposite to a crowded beach holiday. Stay in a traditional Ryokan inn and experience the exceptional food, culture and flawless hospitality that Japan is so well known for.
- Siem Reap, Cambodia
Get up early to watch the sunrise above the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap then spend your days exploring this 12th century royal city complex. Cambodia is the perfect holiday destination for history buffs, foodies and adventurers, and Siem Reap is the cultural centre. Be amazed by the rich history of this region, while enjoying sumptuous spas, world-class dining and a unique cultural scene. This is one summer holiday you will never forget.
- New Zealand
If you really want to escape the summer crowds, why not take a skiing holiday on the other side of the world. Beautiful in any season, New Zealand is guaranteed to make you feel far from the maddening crowd. From skiing on picturesque snowy peaks, soaking in thermal hot pools, to visiting awe-inspiring glaciers, this country is packed with fantastic experiences around every corner. We spent a weekend in Wellington, New Zealand and declared it one of the world’s coolest little cities, read about it here.
This South Pacific paradise is the perfect getaway this summer. Made up of over 300 small islands, Fiji is the place to relax on beaches with the most perfect views this beautiful planet has to offer. Read more about escaping to paradise in our blog post here.
- Costa Rica
If you are looking for an eco-tourism destination this summer, our pick is Costa Rica. Home to the largest protected areas in the world this is the place to enjoy exotic wildlife, pristine beaches, rainforests and volcanoes. With 20 national parks, 8 biological reserves, more than 1200 km of coastline and plenty of eco-conscious boutique hotels, Costa Rica is the perfect green choice for your summer holiday.
- Meno, Botswana
Forget camping in your usual holiday spot this year. Instead, enjoy a safari room in the Meno a Kwena Bush Camp in Botswana. Watch wildebeest, elephants and zebras wander by while you relax with a cocktail outside your tent. Follow the San Bushmen out on a guided walk or take a wildlife watching boat trip down the Boteti River. With only nine tents in this luxury safari camp, you don’t need to worry about crowds on this safari holiday!
Our planet offers so many incredible locations that are just waiting to be explored. Picking just one place to visit this summer is the hardest part. Where will you go first?