10 destinations for a summer holiday outside the med

Whilst there is no doubt that the allure and glitter of the Med in summer is appealing, and for many, synonymous with the summer holidays, there are so many exciting alternatives. Let us inspire you to come up with some exciting summer plans you may not have even thought of; tap into your adventurous spirit and head to the peaks, seek out the best deals for tropical escapades or opt for under the radar, lesser known European alternatives to rival (even beat) the Med in both beauty and price.

Our advice: Think outside the box, think outside the Med. View our top 10 destinations below.


1. Mauritius

For those seeking island paradise (at a fraction of peak season prices), Mauritius in July and August sparkles with white sugary beaches to die for, coral reefs teeming with colour and family-friendly resorts aplenty. With temperatures early to mid twenties this is a holiday for both floppers and the more active who can get stuck into hiking in the wildly beautiful rainforests, or try their hand at every watersport under the sun. The whole island is exceptionally family friendly; unbeatable kids clubs for the young ones and fun for older kids (and adults) in biblical proportions. AND the summer prices perhaps even more affordable than Europe at this time of year… Need we say more? A couple of our favourites: Shanti Maurice, or Paradis Beachcomber.

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2. Indonesia

Bali and Sumba – the latest island additions to our portfolio – are stunning year-round. The UK summer falls in the dry season (lower humidity and less rainfall); so guaranteed sun but also perfect for a spot of adventure. There is such variety on offer here – from conquering active volcanic peaks, learning how to surf to horse riding along the beach or soaking up the culture and savouring the regional cuisine. Not to mention some of the best hotels we have stayed in so make sure you make time for some pampering too…always time to find your inner self with a cleansing ritual, or deep meditative, daily yoga. Amankila or NIHI should do the trick!

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3. South Africa 

Although South Africa is brilliant at any time of year, if you’re looking for good rates, July / August is the time to book your South African adventure. And despite being winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the cooler weather makes for superb big game opportunities in the Kruger where you will find animals congregating around water sources (have a look at Londolozi). Whale watching is perfect between July and November along the Western Cape. Head to Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay to spot southern right whales come to shore to give birth.

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4. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is another year-round destination, with a generously balmy and consistent tropical climate. Yes, there is a Monsoon season, though it differs on both ends of the country – therefore easily worked around by our experts when planning your trip. We encourage you to get off the beaten track and get under the skin of this vibrant and fascinating country, guided by those who know it best – the locals. Have a look at our newly launched raft of exciting itineraries and culturally immersive experiences for some inspiration!

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5. St Lucia

Our summer holidays fall during the Caribbean “wet” and “hurricane” season, however what many don’t realise is that St Lucia lies below the hurricane belt so the likelihood of hurricanes is far outweighed by the gorgeous weather. Although slightly more rainfall than peak months, showers are short and sharp and the “wet” season still averages 7-8 hours of sunshine a day! For those wanting to put their dancing shoes, the St Lucia Carnival runs at the beginning of July and is a riot of colours, intoxicating rhythms, Caribbean energy and splendid parades. Some of our favourite hotels: Cap Maison for its charm or Sugar Beach for its quite sensational setting.

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6. Stockholm Archipelago

Back-country Sweden should be on everyone’s bucket list and the summer is a brilliant time to experience it. Barely an hour’s drive from the capital the waterlands of Stockholm’s wild northern archipelago are breathtaking. Recently launched is a fascinating three-day guided adventure to delve into this world-famous, expansive waterscape with rugged cliffs, stunning greenery and fascinating wildlife and nature. In the company of a small group, led by experienced guides, you’ll fish your own starter, paddle through the outer archipelago of Roslagen and enjoy the best archipelago cuisine has to offer. The accommodation itself is an experience; one night you sleep in a tent on a small island overlooking the sea, while the following night is spent in a luxury archipelago host house.

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7. Costa Rica

July and August is a great time for lush landscapes, fewer tourists and some truly phenomenal wildlife opportunities. Green sea turtles arrive for nesting on the Caribbean coast and Tortuguero National Park becomes a hotspot for witnessing this phenomenal natural event. Not only this but humpback whale sightings are common as these majestic creatures migrate from the Antarctic to the warm waters of the Pacific to give birth and nurse their calves. The rainforests burst into life with diverse flora and fauna, and unparalleled wildlife opportunities for spotting exotic wildlife, including monkeys and our favourite sloths.

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8. Seychelles

The Seychelles is pretty glorious year round! The cool season runs between April and October temperatures of around 28 degrees – as well as beautifully clear waters for snorkelling. So… guaranteed tropical island weather yet cool enough to explore and enjoy an action packed holiday as this archipelago is perfect for those needing more than just a sun lounger. Whether that’s kayaking through mangroves, paddle boarding, windsurfing or sailing, some of the best diving in the world or zip lining through rainforests, hiking or biking through rainforests, or big game fishing, Seychelles has it all. Look at Constance Ephelia or Denis Private Island for inspiration.

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9. The Alps 

Summer in the Alps is a complete all round winner. Alpine chalets (at a snip of the winter price) transform into stunning summer villas, ski lifts become bike lifts, and pistes turn into endless hiking trails. There is Mediterranean sunshine and Caribbean blue skies… yet without ever feeling too hot or sticky… and the views combined with a dose of fresh mountain air is good for the soul. Choose from one of our gorgeous chalets such as Chalet Le Cygne or Chalet Iamato, or perhaps one of our super family friendly hotels.  Schweizerhof in Zermatt, for example, is quite exceptional with one of the best Kids Club in resort.

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10. Maldives

With tropical warmth, swaying palms and picture perfect white sands and some of the world’s best hotels for unadulterated luxury and desert island luxe. The Maldives is always an excellent choice. The weather in July or August is inter-monsoonal period, which brings hot sunshine and short sharp showers of rain. This means you can be back out on the lounger again in no time. This is a great time of year to bag the best deals and avoid the crowds. In August you may even get to dive with whale sharks and manta rays. Look at Soneva Fushi for families and Baros for island romance.

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Start planning with us…

Now really is the time to start planning – you get the best prices, offers, availability and peace of mind. So, if you are beginning to think about 2024 travels then it will be worthwhile chatting to one of our team (with no pressure). They are here to bounce holiday ideas across the globe and for the year just for you. Send them a quick email on the links below to start planning…

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