The time to wear less and go out more is approaching, and everyone is excited to have fun in the sun again. This year, it's certain that all the best destinations will be packed. For some, that's part of the appeal; for others, not so much. We’ve kept that in mind as we selected these 10 best summer vacation destinations:
Only reopening its borders to foreign tourists two years after COVID, the trends show that many are excited by the restored chance to attend Japan’s summer festivals, visit its many parks, eat seasonal foods like refreshing shaved ice desserts and cold soba noodles, and engage in other outdoor activities as the perfectly sunny and dry weather allows. Tokyo, especially, is expected to be one of the most popular summer vacation locations in 2023.
2. Cancun, Mexico
While summer is typically the low tourist season at this destination, this year is set to see that change. Known for stunning beaches, snorkeling and diving are some of the most popular activities here. Other forms of outdoor fun include jungle tours, zip lining and exploring natural parks. Cancun’s nightlife is especially vibrant when the average daily weather is 25°C, and the food is good all year round.
3. The Maldives
This destination is famous for its gorgeous backdrop in shades of blue and green. From most angles, it's a surreal sight, straight out of the most beautiful landscape painting. Between May and October, the country will see short downpours occasionally, but The Maldives remains one of the best vacation destinations with the warmest climates.
4. Cappadocia, Turkey
The few weeks in between can get a little too hot – up to 40°C – for plenty of adventure, but Cappadocia is a dream in the early and later parts of summer. Spending your summer vacation at the land famous for hot air balloons means there is very little chance for any literal rain on your parade. Whether getting in a balloon or watching in awe from the ground, the remarkable views are also more appreciable with clear skies.
5. Marrakesh, Morocco
This time of year, Marrakesh offers a vibrant culture and festive atmosphere that is especially enjoyable. The city's stunning architecture closely matches the awe-inducing Atlas Mountains nearby, which visitors can also explore. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy camel or horseback riding, among other activities. Marrakesh is a destination that offers both cultural immersion and outdoor adventure.
6. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Temperatures in Siem Reap at this time of the year are warm and balmy, with occasional rain showers that help cool down the heat. You can enjoy outdoor activities such as visiting the Tonle Sap Lake, biking through the countryside, or taking a hot air balloon ride over Angkor Wat. Also, explore the local markets and sample the delicious street food. This is a must-visit destination for those who want a summer vacation without crowds and good deals on flights and accommodation.
7. Pokhara, Nepal
Here, the Annapurna mountain range and Phewa Lake offer incredible hiking and boating opportunities. Visitors can also enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities like paragliding, zip-lining, and bungee jumping. Additionally, the city has a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere that makes it an ideal place to unwind and recharge, and the lightness of summer makes it a great season to experience the city.
8. Cape Town, South Africa
Outdoor enthusiasts will find a paradise with a combination of beaches, mountains, forests, and wildlife reserves. With the dry season running from April till October, summer vacationers get to enjoy mild and pleasant weather, making it ideal for hiking, mountain biking, or wildlife spotting. The city is also known for its excellent food and wine, with fresh seafood, local produce, and award-winning wines at numerous restaurants and vineyards. Visitors can indulge in outdoor activities and culinary delights in this idyllic location.
9. New Zealand
The traditional summertime is actually the coldest time of year in NZ, with cold, damp weather and even snow. So, this place is perfect for summer vacation without crowds and the discomfort of heat. The land offers stunning natural scenery and is known as the world's adventure capital, with activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, and white-water rafting.
10. Colombo, Sri Lanka
This destination boasts a diverse range of attractions, from stunning beaches to cultural landmarks, unique cuisine, and exotic wildlife. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by exploring the Fort district and trying delicious local dishes. Additionally, nature lovers can visit nearby reserves, such as the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Yala National Park, to witness fascinating wildlife. A trip to this destination guarantees a wealth of activities for visitors to enjoy.