Where should you take your holidays this summer? What are the coolest places to visit for summer 2023?
Such questions rattle around the heads of everybody who wants to enjoy their hard-earned summer holidays. Finally, it is time to disconnect from work and everyday commitments and give yourself a reasonable break.
Not only holidays! The destinations for the 2023 summer we are proposing are proper trips to discover distant cultures and places. Where to travel in 2023? One of the most popular destinations this year is Jordan, with the treasure of Petra and its desert landscapes which seem directly from Mars. For the shortest trips, at the top of the list we find Portugal. From the beaches of the Algarve coast to Porto, it is considered one of the best low-cost destinations according to Lonely Planet. Likewise, Indonesia predominates in long-haul travel, while Bali conquers the podium with its mix of dream beaches and charm. But other destinations may surprise you. Let’s take a look at options, together!
Europe: The top five places to visit for summer 2023
If you are seeking a holiday trip and want a short-haul destination that does not take you out of Europe for the summer of 2023, do not worry. Our beautiful continent offers a wide choice for all tastes! Sea, relaxation, hiking, on the road… just choose the right destination!
Ancient villages, landscapes that warm the heart and soul, golden beaches and endless views of the Atlantic Ocean. And let’s throw an enviable cuisine into the mix: Portugal is the preferred destination for a trip to Europe, especially for the 2023 summer.
Lisbon to Porto
The Portuguese coast overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is among the most beautiful in Europe: high cliffs, waves that barrage the shore ferociously and towns caressed by the sea breeze are a mere fraction of your trip to these lands. Setting off from Lisbon, the effervescent capital, climb northwards, passing from Cabo da Roca with its very high waves, Obidos and Nazaré, the spiritual Fatima until reaching Porto where it is essential to visit the cellars to sample the local wine.
They are not the first European destination that comes to mind – and perhaps this is a good thing! – but the Azores are the “forgotten gardens” of the Atlantic Ocean and one of the best places to visit in summer for anyone who loves nature and hiking. This remote archipelago abounds with adventures. Just consider its volcanic peaks, small cobbled villages, wonderful coastlines and vast green meadows. These islands of peace and silence are where you can rediscover contact with Mother Nature – and also with yourself!
Lisbon and Algarve
Not only the west coast but also the south coast deserves a visit – the Algarve is becoming one of the choice destinations, especially for summer, since the sea and landscapes have nothing to envy from those of distant California. Between Sines, Lagos and Albufeira fill your days with lazing on the beach, hiking between the cliffs, kayaking among the waves and spectating the sunset with a cool beer in hand!
Greece is the queen of summer destinations – especially for those who set off from Italy. With hundreds of islands scattered between the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, crystal clear water, characteristic white villages on the coast and enviable cuisine, we could not help but include it in our ranking – with four itinerary proposals!
The Lesser Cyclades are the least known Greek islands and the least frequented by mass tourism. From Naxos to Koufonissi, from Skinoussa to Iraklia, these islands have nothing to envy from their more famous sisters, Santorini or Mykonos, on the contrary, they win the day for their unspoiled landscapes, tranquillity and peace.
Kos and the Unexplored Islands
Also in this case, we leave aside the most beaten and tourist trails: if you are looking for islands where you can find authentic Greece then our advice is to fly to Kos and visit the surrounding islands, such as Nysiros, where you can hike on the volcano, or Leros and Kalymnos.
You cannot complain about Rhodes because this Greek island has everything you could want from a summer trip. Crystal clear sea, villages with pastel coloured houses, perched castles where you can admire spectacular sunsets, beaches for windsurfing and kayaking, excellent cuisine and places where you can spend the evenings. A better destination for the 2023 summer is hard to find!
Zakynthos and Corfu
If you are looking for relaxation and a good dose of fun then your ideal islands of Greece are undoubtedly Corfu and Zakynthos: lush nature, dreamy views, fabulous Greek cuisine and beaches where you can enjoy the sun and the sea. And if we add nightlife, we have a lottery winner. If you want to discover more about Corfu, read our guide!
Let’s suppose the sea is not your cup of tea and you are more active loving immense landscapes, nature and road trips. Then Iceland is among the best places you could visit this summer: this island in Northern Europe, where you can admire the magical phenomenon of the Northern Lights in winter, while the snow cover lifts revealing all its colours in the summer.
You can choose to see it in its entirety with an all-around tour of the island – just take the road that follows the coast, starting from and returning to Reykjavik. Incredible landscapes will not be missed. From the majestic waterfalls of Skogafoss and Dettifoss to the black beach of Reynisfjara, from the lagoon of Jokulsarlon to the whales of Husavik.
If instead of by four wheels you prefer conquering Iceland on foot, then the ideal trip takes you hiking in Landmannalaugar, one of the most beautiful routes in the world. Cross lunar-like landscapes, impetuous waterfalls, canyons and hot springs and of course, you sleep in a tent, under the starry sky.
Let’s continue speaking about rich green destinations, which are perfect for an active holiday, hiking and more. From the mountains to the valleys, from the caves to the waterfalls, passing through lakes and cities, despite the small size of this State, nothing is missing in Slovenia!
It is the perfect destination for a week-long road trip, departing from the capital, Ljubljana. Here you can admire its famous bridges (Triple Bridge and Dragon Bridge), a castle with a panoramic tower, and the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, well recognisable by its characteristic green dome. Continuing the journey, we recommend you visit the Velika Planina shepherd’s village and the Logarska Valley, among the most suggestive alpine glacial valleys of the Old Continent. And do not skip popping over to Lake Bled, a decidedly iconic and picturesque place, where you can try your hand at various sports activities. If you also want to spend a few days on the beach, there are also 46km of coastline waiting to be explored in Slovenia. Do not miss Piran, a small village with Venetian influences that will leave you enchanted, and Portoroza, if you are looking for a bit of nightlife.
So you can’t stand the summer heat? Then the perfect destination for you is Norway. We get it that Iceland has been running circles around its rivals when it comes to Northern Europe trips in recent years (and rightly so, let’s add!), but let’s not write the underdog Norway off, with its wonderful fjords and islands. It will leave you speechless.
A self-respecting tour should start or end in Oslo because it is a city that deserves to be visited. It is a city wedged in a fjord and surrounded by mountains. Imagine that view. You can visit museums, cathedrals and theatres, but also explore nature by island hopping up to Langøyene, or strolling through Vigeland Park to admire over 200 bronze, granite and iron sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. We also recommend that you move north, to be exact to Tromsø, the Arctic capital. From here you can organise a trip to discover the Lofoten Islands, an archipelago connected by what is considered one the most beautiful roads in the world. You can admire fishing villages, trek, spot sea eagles and venture into the fjords.
Speaking of fjords, are you wondering which you should not miss at all? Here they are: Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord and Lysefjord. The list is still long and visiting them all requires a lot of planning (they are located in different areas of the country). So you also get an excuse to go back, right?
World: the seven places to visit for summer 2023
Where should you go on holiday in August? But what if we left the term “vacation” on hold and took a nice trip overseas to try something new? There are quite a few options for the 2023 summer outside Europe and if you only have the summer months to arrange your holidays do not be afraid of the seasons! Among all the destinations we have compiled a list of seven key places to keep in mind: which will you pick?
Indonesia has been among the queens of summer destinations for years. This is not just for its tropical climate but mainly because it is truly an earthly paradise. Even here, choosing the right island (or islands) can be a daunting challenge but remember to include Bali in your trip. It attracts travellers from all over the world practically all year round.
The nearby Gili Islands are a must if you love the crystal clear sea and water sports, especially snorkelling. On the other hand, Java is an ideal destination for hiking enthusiasts. Excursions to Mount Bromo or Mount Ijen to admire the wildfires are a must for all travellers passing through Indonesia. Alternatively, Komodo is one of the best places to visit for summer 2023: here you can find the Komodo dragon, a gigantic lizard (Varano, for the scientifically-minded) that can only be witnessed in this remote corner of the planet. This island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its pristine landscapes and its unique wildlife will leave you speechless. We can guarantee that!
One of the experiences that everyone should have in their lives is a trip to Jordan. The main reason is to admire Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. But not just that! There are so many activities to do in this country. Zooming about by jeep in the desert of Wadi Rum, canyoning in Wadi Mujib, pampering yourself in the mud at the Dead Sea, sleeping in the desert under the starry sky, walking through the markets of Amman. If you are looking for a trip packed with emotions, Jordan is the right destination!
Think Mexico and doesn’t your mind immediately hop to the mariachi who sing “Celito Lindo”, tasty tacos, hats that do not go unnoticed, chillies, maracas and tequila? The country of the Maya is all this and much more! Here you stroll among colonial cities, mangrove jungles where cenotes hide for breathtaking dives, ancient pyramids, pink lagoons and Caribbean beaches. There is no better destination to completely unplug!
A classic for a trip abroad is Thailand, which is confirmed as one of the top places to visit in summer. Bangkok is a truly avant-garde city that offers entertainment and nightlife. Going further north you can discover this land’s ancient culture, by visiting Ayutthaya and the ancient capital Sukhothai and immersing yourself in the jungle making friends with monkeys and elephants. However, beaches and islands win the day in the south: here the buzzwords are… relaxation and party!
A journey that is an ode to the beauties of the world: natural, historical, artistic, cultural and gastronomic. The summer season is perfect for Peru. If you are choosing the destination for your 2023 summer, do not forget this incredible South American country. The undeniable experiences here go far beyond the magnificence of Machu Picchu. Among the inescapable things, consider Lake Titicaca and the majestic Rainbow Mountains.
Japan is a country where tradition and modernity blend to create a perfect mix. From the frenzy of Tokyo to the temples of Kyoto, from the deer of Nara to the history of Hiroshima. It is the perfect destination for anyone who loves metropolises and is fascinated by technology and opposing cultures. Summer is the ideal season to organise a trip to Japan outside the usual tourist routes. You can choose between the north, visiting the immense landscapes of Hokkaido, or the south, to enjoy the incredible beaches of the islands of the East China Sea.
The largest island in the Caribbean, with a thousand facets and a controversial history. Summer is a perfect time to organise a trip to Cuba and enjoy the white sand beaches and crystal clear sea. But not just relaxation! Travelling to Cuba also means discovering a unique culture, exploring tobacco and sugar plantations, ambling through the streets of Havana and Trinidad, crossing gazes and smiles with the locals but above all being enveloped by the warm rhythm that pervades everything.