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9 best summer vacation ideas you can explore this year

best summer vacation ideas

With almost two more months of summer left, there’s still plenty of time to book a vacation and take advantage of those sun rays to the fullest. Unsure where to go? We’ve put together some exciting recommendations for you. From beach destinations to national parks and urban adventures, here are some of the best summer vacation ideas for this year:

1. Discovering Ireland


Image source:Henrique Craveiro on Unsplash

Looking for the perfect combo of adventure, sightseeing and nature? A trip to Ireland is your best choice. Summer months are a great time to visit Ireland, as the weather tends to be pleasant (11°C-18°C) and the days are the longest, so you’ll have more time on your hands to explore this riveting country.

With popular attractions such as the Blarney Castle, the iconic Cliffs of Moher, Giant’s Causeway and more, Ireland is the gift that keeps on giving. Also, Galway has the perfect mix of traditional Irish music, a walkable city, and a seaside town, all waiting for you to explore.

Top tip: swimming in the Irish sea is the best feeling in the summer. 

Discover it on our Ireland trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

2. Island hopping around Greece

image of boat in greece

Image source:Contiki

An island hopping trip around Greece is THE perfect summer getaway. Whether you’re into sightseeing or soaking up the sun on the beach, Greece is the ultimate summer vacation spot. Relaxing walks through cobblestone streets, delicious Mediterranean food, a vibrant party scene, golden sand and turquoise waters – shall we continue?

Do it on our Greek Island Hopping trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

3. Going on an African safari

east africa safari

Image source:Contiki

Is an African safari on your vacation bucket list? Summer is a great time to go on one, as the dry season is in full swing and you’ll also get a chance to see part of The Great Migration. This annual journey sees more than 2 million animals migrate through Tanzania and Kenya. As the Serengeti’s grass plains start to dry, the herds migrate in search of fresh food and water.

If you’re an animal lover or wildlife enthusiast, this is your chance to see wildebeest, zebra, antelopes, and other herd animals. Don’t forget your camera.

Do it on our East Africa Safari trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

4. Exploring Banff National Park

banff national park

Image source:Contiki

Nature lovers, you’re in for a treat! If you haven’t visited Banff National Park yet, then you should definitely add it to your summer list.

With over 4 million tourists per year, this stunning park is located in Alberta, Canada and is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The majestic beauty of this location is most evident during summer, when the days are longer and the weather is warm. There are plenty of things to do here, from hiking to trying out water sports, catching a glimpse of the local wildlife or just unwinding and reconnecting with nature for an extended weekend.

Discover it on our Canada and The Rockies trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

5. Sailing in Croatia

sailing in croatia

Image source:Contiki

Croatia is one of the best sailing destinations in Europe (and possibly the world), so if you’re a sea lover, then a sailing trip through Croatia is definitely a must-do. With over a thousand miles of coastline to explore, ancient cities, hidden coves and more, this summer vacation will definitely steal your heart.

If you’ve never sailed before and you’re afraid of getting seasick, you should know that sailing in Croatia is typically smooth and if you’re on board a small vessel, you’ll likely be travelling close to shore, which significantly reduces the odds of getting sick. 

However, if you are prone to motion sickness (while travelling in a car or elsewhere), then you may experience seasickness, so this may not be the right vacation idea for you. Try a hiking and biking trip in Croatia instead, exploring national parks, chasing waterfalls, and tasting local dishes.

Discover it on one of our group Croatia trips, exclusively for 18-35 year olds. 

6. Hiking the Inca trail

young female traveler hiking the inca trail

Image source:Contiki

If you enjoy an active trip and don’t mind testing your limits a bit, then the Inca trail is right up your street. This famous itinerary takes you high into the Andean mountains, where you’ll get to see Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. 

While the hike alone is not particularly difficult, it’s the high altitude that makes it challenging. It normally takes about 4-5 days to complete, but if you’re looking for a shorter experience, then you can always do a one-day trek, which normally takes about 6 hours on foot.

Do it on our Peru Panorama trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

7. Sightseeing in Japan

sightseeing in japan

Image source:Sorasak on Unsplash

From the unique architecture, food, local traditions, and famous temples, Japan is probably one of the most fascinating countries on earth.

July and August are the peak summer months, which means it will get quite hot (24°C-30°C), but if you are used to living in a warm climate, then this won’t be too different from home.

We recommend visiting Japan during July and August as you’ll get to experience the summer festivals, with people dressed in traditional clothing, delicious street food and even live music.

Discover it on our Japan in a Week trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

8. Yellowstone National Park

yellowstone national park

Image source:Meina Yin on Unsplash

With more than 500 active geysers and a multitude of hot springs, mud pots and hiking trails, Yellowstone is one of the most interesting national parks in the U.S. and an absolute must for your summer bucket list.

Established in 1872, this was America’s first national park and it still draws in significant crowds every year.

Discover it on our Yellowstone and Grand Tetons trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

9. Grand Canyon National Park

grand canyon national park

Image source:Contiki

Last but not least, visiting the Grand Canyon is one of the best summer vacation ideas for this year. With five extra hours of daylight than in winter, this gives you more time to hike and admire those breathtaking views.

Grand Canyon National Park has 130 different hiking trails, with various degrees of difficulty, so there’s something there for every type of hiker, whether beginner or advanced.

Discover it on our Grand Southern trip, exclusively for 18-35 year olds.

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