Need some travel inspiration? Here are eight summer vacation destinations to get you started on your search for the best holiday yet.
We are counting down the days until summer vacation and we’re off to explore the wonders of the world. Nothing brings us more joy than traveling to far-off places, meeting new people, trying new food, immersing ourselves in different cultures, and seeing the world with our own eyes instead of through the lens of someone else’s social media.
Choosing where in the world you want to go is the fun part, but let’s be honest, the world is wide and large. If you, like us, need a little help narrowing down your perfect summer travel plans, Savoir Flair has rounded up some of our preferred destinations around the world perfect for scratching your travel itch. Some of these countries are just a quick plane ride away, while others are more of an investment in time, but all of them will leave you with memories and moments you will be talking about for a lifetime.
A holiday in Brazil is a dream come true. The country is so vast that there are never-ending possibilities of places to see. You could hit them all and never grow bored, never even finish uncovering all that this fertile land has to offer. Up for some adventure? Take a ride down the Amazon River from Manaus to Belem, stopping to trek through the Amazon Rainforest for a couple of days. Head south to Iguazu Falls and witness one of the most miraculous sights you’ll ever see as over 275 individual cascades pour over the Brazilian/Argentinian border. Or strut the infamous beach of Copacabana like you’re the girl from Ipanema.
Another option is following the vibrant colors of Salvador to Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte in Bahia, where some of Brazil’s finest cuisine meets glorious beaches, an infectious joie de vivre, and a turtle sanctuary dedicated to helping local turtles hatch their young in a safe environment.
Hawaii is not just a beach bum spot or a surfer’s paradise – although it is both to be sure. It’s also a lush, green, and bountiful part of our planet. Endless beaches, pristine water, enormous waves, jungle hiking, waterfalls, secret waterways, volcanos, black sand, red sand, white sand, you name it – Hawaii has it all.
Waikiki may be a bit too crowded with tourists for our taste, so we suggest staying on the nearly deserted island of Lanai (there are only two resorts on the whole island), or basking in the waterfalls on the verdant island of Kauai – the greenest island you’ll ever see with absolutely zero predators anywhere, which explains why you’ll see chickens everywhere you go because they just keep multiplying. However, Relais and Chateaux’s Hotel Wailea on the golden island of Maui will forever have our hearts. It is a literal paradise.
Spain gets a lot of love when it comes to European travel pretty much year-round, and rightfully so. However, we have found that the neighboring country of Portugal is a hidden gem of culinary extravagance, historical experiences, cultural diversity, idyllic beaches, and a unique style of music that speaks to your soul. Walking along the cobblestone streets, listening to the fado floating out of open windows, marveling at the stunning architecture, and tasting pastel de nata direct from the monks at the Tower of Belem is the stuff dreams are made of.
Do what we do: rent a car and drive up the coast, being sure to stop at all the little villages and vineyards along the way, without neglecting Madeira, Lisbon, Cascais, and Porto.
Off the coast of Italy is Sardinia – the jewel of Italy – where the water is so blue and clear that boats look like they are floating in the air as they sail by. The island has mountains, quaint little Italian towns, and beautiful beaches around every bend. Mix that with the many options available for agro-tourism – where a luxurious form of farm-to-table dining experiences have unfolded – and Sardinia is a haven of delights ripe for exploring.
We know it’s tempting to stay in one place and never leave your resort, but we much preferred staying at Poltu Quatu, a gem of a hotel tucked away into the most stunning bay, and renting a car so we had the freedom to drive up and down the island, stopping at any beach we felt like dipping our toes into. We also recommend hiring a private boat for a day so you can hit up La Maddalena Islands. Tell your skipper not to take you to the touristy ones but to the deserted islands instead. If you have the time, you can also set sail for the nearby town of Corsica to discover a little bit of that ancient, French town. You only live once, right?
Ever since Outlander came out, we might have become a little obsessed with the highlands of Scotland. Rich, rolling hills, castles that defy history, lush, green landscapes, and that gorgeous Scottish brogue are only some of the reasons we adore making our way around Scotland. It screams old-world charm and still boasts the abundance of nature we crave so much when we are trying to escape the big city.
Go galavanting around the countryside visiting local taverns, lochs, and some of the many mystical stone henges, before hitting up the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for its quintessential theatrical and cultural experience. In fact, if you’re going to Edinburgh, we highly recommend a stay at The Balmoral, a palatial Rocco Forte hotel that isn’t just luxury in the heart of the city, it’s also home to the Michelin-starred restaurant, Number One.
If you love history, architecture, nature, delicious fresh food, and sunny seasides, we encourage you to look up flights to Greece. Athens – the capital city named after the Greek goddess Athena – is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a recorded history spanning over 3,400 years. It’s home to the famous Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Ancient Agora, and so many more historical monuments. It’s often regarded as the birthplace of democracy and it is an absolute adventure for anyone who is fascinated by the past.
You can also spend a few days in Athens taking in all its incredible history and culture, and then hop on a puddle jumper to explore one of its many islands for a taste of that salty beach life – we love Corfu and Mykonos, but honestly, we aren’t picky when it comes to Greece. It’s the best of both worlds: ancient and modern, city and beach, and views that rival a National Geographic cover shoot.
While getting to Zanzibar can be a little tricky, once you’re there, it has a unique and magnetic charm. African cuisine, history, diversity, incomparable beaches, and one-of-a-kind flora and fauna are indigenous to the island. Plus, it’s only a quick hop if you want to visit Kenya or Tanzania where the legendary safaris of the Serengeti and Masai Mara are waiting to be explored.
In fact, we’d be lying if we didn’t say our bucket list/dream vacation is a stay and a safari on the private reserve at the Great Plains Mara followed by luxurious pampering at the private, all-villa resort The Residence Zanzibar.
The overlooked jewel of Africa – Mauritius – has been garnering more and more interest from travelers seeking a slower pace and a tropical reprieve from the day-to-day. We highly recommend a reinvigorating trip to the chilled-out, beautiful, and zen paradise that is this island off the coast of Africa replete with white, sandy beaches, deliciously blue skies, and cool, crystal waters. Besides the scenery, the charming, friendly, and welcoming Mauritian people have found their way into our hearts. They are so warm, welcoming, and generous, it’s a treat just sitting and talking with them under one of the many coconut trees. If you need a place to stay, Lux* Resorts and Hotels own quite a few properties in Mauritius that are just perfect for holiday seekers (we loved Lux* Grand Baie and Lux* Belle Mare). Summer never tasted so good.