With summer right around the corner, many of us are searching for the best vacation spots around the world—be it in Spain, Italy or Greece in Europe, Philippines or Singapore in Asia, or even way down south to Australia or New Zealand. And getting there doesn’t have to be expensive (and uncomfortable) either with our discounted flights in business class. So to help you enjoy the best this world has to offer no matter which continent you decide on, we recommend the following places to visit suited for a perfect summer getaway, plus, interesting things to do and see in each one.
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Spain is one of the best vacation spots in Europe, with cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, it’s easy to spend weeks discovering different parts of the country, and summer can be the best time to go. Start by flying into Madrid and heading to Museo Cerralbo, once home to an aristocratic family in the 19th century and now a museum featuring luxurious baroque furniture, art pieces by famous artists such as El Greco, Ludovico Carracci, Jacopo Tintoretto and more, and the most beautiful chandeliers you may ever see. In the evening, reserve a seat at Sobrino de Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world opened in 1725, serving mouthwatering Spanish dishes that will leave you wanting to come back for more.
After a few days in Madrid, hop on a bullet train to Barcelona to see Sant Felip Neri, a small and old square located in the Gothic Quarter that used to be home to guilds for coppersmiths and shoemakers, a church built in 1752, and a school (it’s probably the quietest spot you can find in the entire city). If you’re looking for something really interesting to do in Barcelona, then head to Horta Labyrinth, a pristine maze located in the district of Horta-Guinardó that you can actually walk through. Do you think you can find your way out?
If you’re in Spain during the last week of August, head to Bunol for La Tomatina Festival, a food festival where people from all over the world gather to have a tomato food fight—a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else!
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Greece is another one of Europe’s best places to visit. Many will stop over in Athens before continuing onto one of Greece’s many islands such as Mykonos or Santorini. If you happen to spend a day or two in Athens, we recommend you head to the Church of Agios Nikolaos, built in the 11th century and situated in the neighborhood of Anafiotika. The church was built by the grandson of Michael I, emperor of Byzantium. Athens also has a unique spot called To Trano sto Rouf, an old, well-preserved train that sits at a station where you can have dinner and drinks either onboard or right at the station. The train offers its visitors theatrical shows and performance onboard, so make sure to check the schedule before going to see what you can expect that evening.
Greece has 227 inhabitable islands (out of 6,000 total), and although Mykonos and Santorini are the most popular, there’s also Naxos. Legend has it that Zeus grew up there, plus it’s home to a marble doorway called Portara that’s 2,500 years old—the only remaining temple devoted to Apollo. Or, you can head to Crete for offroad excursions, cave explorations, day cruises and wine and olive tours.
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Italy is the fourth most-visited country in Europe, and with cities like Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice, it’s no wonder visitors flock to this gorgeous country to discover all that it has to offer. Heading to Italy for the summer? Don’t miss out on the Tuscan Sun Festival in Florence during the month of June featuring a week full of art exhibitions, performances, food and wine tastings and so much more. Or, if you’re heading south, stop by Rimini, a vacation hotspot for Italians where you’ll find streets lined with restaurants, cafes, shops and a bustling nightlife.
Stopping in Rome? Don’t miss out on the Baths of Caracalla, the second biggest and better-preserved ancient baths in Rome built around 212 CE, or the Largo di Torre Argentina where Julius Caesar was killed and interestingly enough, a cat sanctuary as well. Italy gained its independence on the 2nd of June, and if you’re around, join in on the festivities that day, which include a huge parade, air show, music in the gardens of the president’s home, and tons of food and drinks to keep you merry.
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Singapore is one of Asia’s most fascinating cities, known for luxurious hotels and breathtaking views. If Singapore is on your list of places to visit this summer, make sure to see a historical part of the city called Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the last traditional village that still stands today. Or, have a unique dinner experience at NOX-Dine in the Dark. As the name suggests, your entire meal is served by waiters that are blind or visually impaired in complete darkness, heightening all your other senses. Aside from the botanical garden and Gardens by the Bay, Singapore has so many other parks to explore, including the MacRitchie Reservoir Park, where you can rent a kayak or canoe, hike various trails, and capture the beauty of the surrounding rainforest.
During the summer, Singapore hosts a variety of festivals for you to enjoy, including the Singapore International Festival of Arts from mid-May to the beginning of June, and the Singapore Food Festival in July—it’s always a party in this glamorous city.
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The Philippines is another country in Asia that has won the hearts of many, making it one of the most desirable destinations in the world to visit. “It’s always fun in the Philippines” is not just a saying, it’s a way of life. This beautiful Asian country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is considered one of the best vacation spots for anyone at any age. The summer months can be brutal when it comes to the weather, which is why spending time on various islands is highly recommended. Make your way to Boracay for the nightlife, resorts and white beaches, where you can catch a sunset cruise on a sailboat with friends or significant other or go snorkeling in the warm, clear water. Looking for something a bit quieter? Then Palawan is the right island for you, where you can explore underground caves, escape to hidden lagoons, zip line at Ugong Rock and encounter exotic and native wildlife at Calauit Safari Park.
Being on a beach for more than a week can get tiring, which is why you may want to spend a few days in Manila. The country’s capital is home to the oldest church in the nation, San Agustin Church, built in 1607 during Spanish colonization. You can also spend time in Manila Bay where you can enjoy snacking on delicious street food and watching performers entertain the public, plus, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants around the area, as well as one of the largest malls in the city.
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Australia is a diverse country/continent that has some of the best vacation spots, each one unique in its own way. Since Australia’s summer is during our winter, heading down south anytime between June through August can be appealing for those who want to escape the heat. Melbourne, Brisbane and Syndey are the most popular places to visit in Australia, and each one of those cities has something unique to offer its visitors. In Sydney, you can enjoy a two-day hike in the Royal National Park (which is very busy during the summer), or take part in the Vivid Sydney, a light, music and art festival from end of May to mid-June. Two hours outside of Sydney are the Blue Mountains, where you can go explore underground caves, hike through the forests, discover waterfalls and spend time hearing old tales from Aboriginal guides.
Brisbane and Melbourne have completely different vibes than Sydney. These two Australian cities have a lot going on during our summer months, including live sporting events (we hope you like rugby!) and a mid-winter food feast at South Bank in Brisbane. Or, a Whisky, Wine and Fire festival that runs from the second to the third week of July, and a QVM Winter Night Market featuring more than 100 vendors selling handmade gifts, clothes, artwork and more, as well as countless food stalls and drinks to keep you warm all night. If you’re up for a day trip, rent a car and head to Yarra Valley, located 30 minutes outside of Melbourne to enjoy hiking through rainforests, riding on a train that’s over 100 years old, or visiting a sensory garden in the little village of Olinda.
7. New Zealand
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New Zealand is such a naturally beautiful country to visit in Australasia. And although it’s not the most visited destination in the world, it can make an amazing vacation spot to spend a few weeks during the summer months. Like Australia, New Zealand’s winter is during our summer, but that doesn’t mean your vacation has to be any less exciting. In Auckland, you can dine on the freshest cuisine at North Wharf and Silo Park along the Harbor with vendors selling all sorts of delicious food, and it’s a great place to catch the sunset. 40 minutes outside of Auckland is Waiheke Island, known to have some fantastic vineyards with tours and tastings. If you’re looking for a real adventure, make your way to Wairoa River for water rafting or zip lining in the forest. New Zealand is also known for having some amazing natural wonders such as glowworm caves in Waitomo, or the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers in South Island that you can hike through. No matter where you go, New Zealand is one of the best places to travel to for nature lovers and adventure-seekers.