From Japan to Greece, top spots for the best summer holidays this year. Where to go for kayaking, walks, festivals and even floating markets!

It’s that time of the year again! Time in soak in the sun and it’s vacation season! Summer is all about relaxing in the heat and finding ways to cool down. In 2019, these are the top destinations for the best summer holidays. Great places and activities to plan your getaway:

Oregon for Opal Pool

What better way to cool down in the summer heat than to head to a natural pool? To get to the pool, you have to hike the historic mining town of Jawbone Flats. Just follow the signs, and you’ll find yourself a trail that leads to a bridge over a creek. This bridge will give you a spectacular view of the emerald colored pool. Nothing like a good hike and a wonderful view to start off the summer!

Opal Pool, Oregon

Photo: Bonnie Moreland via flickr

Italy for Food and Fine Dining

Italy is known for its exquisite cuisine, so why not learn more about different kinds of foods? There are many food tours offered in Italy that showcase some of the specialties offered in the area. You will find that most of the tours also offer a fine dining experience, where you can sit down and have a luxurious full course meal at some of the best restaurants in town.

Try Pesto alla Genovese in the port city of Genoa, sample the cooling gelatos in buzzy Rome and tiramisu in Venice. In Milan, try Risotto alla Milanese – wherever you go, the local specialties are mouth-watering and will leave you wanting more.

Read this Ecophiles guide for more: What are the Best Destinations in Italy for Foodies?

italian food

Photo via Pixabay

Thailand for Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is unlike any market you’ve ever seen. Go grocery shopping by traveling on a boat and row your way through the canal to find a floating market that you like best. It is an unusual scene, but its unique characteristics are what attract locals and travellers all over the world.

The Damnoen Saduak is the straightest and longest canal in Thailand and has been in the country for over 100 years, along with other floating markets. Experiencing a floating market is a great way to experience the culture of Thailand and enjoy some delicious Thai cuisine!

Thailand -Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Photo: Dennis Jarvis via Flickr

Vietnam for Hidden Caves and Night Markets

Vietnam is one of the most tropical places on earth, with temperatures that will really make you sweat! Despite its warm climate, Vietnam offers an experience that will really hit the spot for your next summer getaway. Some of Vietnam’s famous attractions are their caves. The country is known for having the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong. You can venture in the cave and experience a whole other world, as the cave has its own climate, river, and jungle!

Night markets are also what make Vietnam stand out. Here you can find Vietnamese street food, clothing stores, and so much more. With the lanterns lit at these night markets, Vietnam looks like a whole new world. Some of the most famous markets are Old Quarter’s Night Market in Hanoi, the Hoi An Night Market and the Ben Thanh Night Market in Ho Chi Minh city.

hoi-an, vietnam night market

Photo via Pixabay

Greece – Climb Mount Olympus

Start, or end, your magnificent summer getaway by climbing the highest mountain in Greece! You can feel one with the gods when you climb Mount Olympus. Going for a climb is a great way to go on an adventurous summer getaway, and this climb has 9,573 feet of elevation so you’ll definitely have the climb of a lifetime! Once you reach the top, you will see a panaromic view of the land below you. There may be times when it will be cloudy at the top, so the land will be covered in clouds, resembling the idea of what the heavens look like.

Ecophiles recommends these experiences in Greece:

Athens to Delphi Day Trip: Hike to most famous historic site in Greece

Sea Kayak Rhodes: Day trip to Lindos via Europe’s most beautiful bay

Mount Olympus, Greece

Photo: Jason Pratt via Wikimedia Commons

Caribbean – Kayaking and Nature Walks

Nothing says getaway like the Caribbean! The Caribbean is the go-to destination for any vacation. The beautiful tropical weather makes all your stress and worries go away. One of the best activities to have a fun getaway is to go kayaking. Kayaking in the Caribbean is all about paddling through crystal clear waters! On a sunny day, going kayaking in Caribbean waters will surely enlighten you. Fiji is lovely for its warm waters, and the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay is perfect for a paddle through glowing waters.

Nature walks are also a wonderful way to spend your getaway here. The Caribbean is full of wildlife and mother nature’s stunning work. Going on a hike, or even just a walk, is a great way to relax and embrace the wonders of the islands.

Read our guide to:

Hyped Caribbean Destinations to Avoid, Lesser-Known Islands to see Instead

St. John Trunk Bay

Photo: Fred Hsu via wikimedia commons

Japan – Festivals

Japan is big on bright lights, and really big on festivals. There is always some sort of festival happening in Japan, and a lot of them take place in the summer. These events usually showcase traditional dances, parades, flower fields and gardens, and of course food. Nothing says festival like food!

Some festivals also include shrines, where people go to pray and wish for good luck. The flower fields and gardens include a beautiful variety of flowers such as lavenders, poppy, sunflowers, and marigolds. Flowers may remind you of spring, but these flowers are in their prime during the summertime in Japan. Examples of festivals that are happening this summer include the Yosakoi Festival in Kochi.

This festival is one of Japan’s largest and it has been happening every summer for more than 60 years. This festival is a performance by dancers who really know how to engage a crowd. The first group of dancers carry the “naruko” wooden clappers and gyrate their hips. A team of Yosakoi dancers appear and they have their own style of dancing that’s called “Yosakoi-style”.

Yosakoi Festival, Japan

Photo: MIKI Yoshihito via Wikimedia Commons

Vermont – Dragon Boat Festival

This may be a more rigorous getaway, but this is definitely for the people who enjoy physical activity and are very competitive. For those who are unaware of what a dragon boat is, it is a very long boat that can seat up to 22 people. It is a team effort and wonderful way to work with others.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a community event that is held on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. This festival is also a charity event that helps raise money to support cancer survivors in their community. By participating, you get to have a great experience while supporting a great cause, apart from enjoying one of the best summer holidays ever!

Dragon Boat race philadelphia best summer holidays

Photo: Justin Henry via flickr

Philadelphia – Concerts and Markets

One of the best things about a getaway is that you can have a romantic trip with your partner, or just have a great time yourself. Philadelphia is perfect for both. In the summer, it offers free outdoor concerts. Chill out, enjoy some lovely food and wine, and listen to some new artists.

There are many flea markets in the area where you can browse and see some lovely little trinkets. Franklin Flea market is one of the lovely markets available to browse for vintage clothing and antiques. Reading terminal market is also a great market to grab some good eats. The market holds different vendors that provide a range of foods such as Thai food, juice bars, and ice cream!

Reading Terminal Market philadelphia best summer holidays

Photo: Fletcher 6 via Wikimedia Commons

Morocco – Hike the Gorges of Dades

Morocco is known for its desert and intriguing architecture. Morocco also has plenty of adventure on offer. Here, you can hike the Gorges of Dades. The Gorges of Dades are a series of rugged gorges that were carved out by the Dades River in Morocco. You can hike the Gorges to witness the fascinating formations that were created. There are also many colored walls, so expect some spectacular rock formations.

Gorges of Dades, Morocco

Photo: Rosino via Wikimedia Commons

You’re spoilt for choice for the best summer holidays spots – embark on your adventure!

Also read:

10 Stunning Vacation Spots To Hit Before Summer Crowds Swarm In

What are the Best Day Trips from NYC for an unusual getaway this Summer?