When most people think of summer travel, they think of beaches and warm weather. And while heading to a warm-weather destination is always a good time, there are plenty of “cold” destinations with nearly perfect weather in June, July, and August.
To help make planning easier, here are some of the best places to visit this summer, from the Caribbean to Europe and beyond.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
For an exotic getaway close to home, Puerto Rico tops the list of ideas for where to go this summer. Its beaches, like Playita del Condado and the luxurious VIVO Beach Club at Isla Verde, with a huge sandy beach, water sport rentals, and even a beachfront brewery, rival those further south in the Caribbean.
For adventure in San Juan, be sure to visit El Yunque National Forest. It’s one of the most beautiful places to hike in the country, especially if you like the idea of ending your hike with a swim at the base of a tropical waterfall. You can even go horseback riding for an unforgettable experience.
For some underwater adventure, spend a day at the Escambrón Marine Park, where you can snorkel, dive, or paddle across more than 200 healthy reefs and a recreation of the lost city of Atlantis.
The small island of Bonaire is world-famous among water sports enthusiasts for having some of the clearest water, best conditions, and healthiest marine ecosystems on the planet.
Dive right into your Bonaire vacation (literally) at the Bonaire Marine Park, the oldest marine reserve in the world. The entire area around the island is part of the park, and the underwater populations are thriving. You can spot more than 450 species of fish, sea turtles, and rarer creatures like sea snakes and octopuses in the reef and among the shipwrecks around the island.
Of course, the beaches in Bonaire will leave you wanting for nothing. Head to the laid-back Lac Bay to try your skills at windsurfing, or sink your toes into the sand at picture-perfect Te Amo Beach, one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. You can even take an ATV tour and explore caves at the Washikemba Reservoir.
If thinking about where to visit this summer has you longing for an escape from the heat, head to Reykjavik, the capital of one of the most awe-inspiring countries on earth: Iceland.
You can’t miss a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon, a massive geothermal hot spring. The water is beneficial for your skin and is a stunningly beautiful color thanks to the way the natural silica in the water reflects sunlight. You could also travel to the active Geysir Hot Springs if you want to get up close to geothermal activity without soaking in the water.
Near the Geysir Hot Springs is Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the top waterfalls in Iceland. This stunning sight rivals Niagara Falls. The multi-colored reflections of rainbow light over the water make for some gorgeous photos.
Along with exploring Iceland’s natural wonders, adventure enthusiasts can book a white-water rafting tour to see the beautiful mountain terrain around the Hvitá River.
Summer is the perfect time to be in beautiful Barcelona, with world-class sightseeing just steps from Mediterranean beaches.
If you like the work of rule-breaking architect Antoni Gaudí, then visit La Sagrada Familia, a basilica built on an almost unfathomably large scale. It’s been under construction for more than 100 years and is one of the most impressive landmarks in Europe. You can also book a tour of Casa Mila or Casa Battló, two buildings designed by the master architect that feel like walking through a piece of living art.
Plan to spend a few unscheduled afternoons strolling through the ancient Gothic Quarter, which is full of charming shops and historical buildings, or Las Ramblas, the most famous promenade for people-watching in the entire city.
Read: Three Days in Barcelona
St. Kitts & Nevis
Arguably one of the most beautiful destinations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts is the epitome of a tropical paradise.
One of the best things to do in St. Kitts is sample local rum, which you can do at the Fairview Great House. Once you’ve found your favorite, walk down the street to tour the Clay Villa Plantation House and Gardens, or opt to lounge on the beach instead. Cockleshell Beach has calm, blue waters, while South Friars Beach is known as one of the island’s best snorkeling beaches.
No matter what you do, try to make time for a visit to Mount Liamuiga, a stratovolcano and one of the tallest peaks in the Caribbean, whose silhouette dominates the island’s landscape. You’ll gain 3,000 feet of elevation over three miles on this challenging Caribbean hike, but the amazing views from the top are well worth the effort.
If you’re deciding where to go this summer, why not make 2021 the year you scratch one of your dream trips off your bucket list? Book a trip to Santorini, an island so beautiful that it’s become one of the world’s most recognizable locations.
The charming town of Oia is one of the most beautiful places to visit on the island. It’s certainly the most famous, with its iconic all-white homes and blue-domed roofs the subject of many travel photos. The town cascades down the cliffside, so nearly every street boasts fantastic Mediterranean views.
Spend the afternoon browsing the tiny souvenir shops and cafes. More than a few artists have found themselves inspired by Oia’s landscape, so there are plenty of galleries in town if you want to pick up a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
As savvy travelers know, Greece has excellent wine. Be sure to visit the medieval city of Pyrgos, well-known for its wine-tasting bars and traditional tavernas. For a little extra adventure, set sail on the sparkling blue water along Santorini’s coastline, visiting sights like Volcano Island, as well as a few secret coves and swimming areas.
Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin this summer with the trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos. The island is one of the most beautiful and unique destinations on Earth.
The island is famous for its rare wildlife, so be sure to head to San Cristobal Island’s Punta Pitt, a nesting site for colorful blue- and red-footed boobies. For marine life, one of the best places to visit is Vicente Roca Point on Isabela Island. You’ll have the chance to see the island’s rare endemic shark, as well as marine iguanas and penguins.
One truly memorable final place to visit is the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. It’s one of the few islands in the world where the Galapagos giant tortoise lives, and since it’s critically endangered, it’s more important than ever to support the station’s research efforts. The beautiful animals can be nearly three feet tall.
Discover all of these fantastic summer destinations—and more—on a luxury cruise vacation with Celebrity Cruises. You’ll travel in style aboard one of our award-winning cruise ships while indulging in world-class dining, impeccable service, and luxurious accommodations. See all of our summer cruises on our website and book your vacation today.