Before you make plans to revisit your penthouse in New York or your reserved suite at the Peninsula in Hongkong, take a glimpse at our list of premium summer destinations. Can’t deny that these places come with a hefty price tag, but what’s a holiday without sunbathing on white washed sands while sipping on a pina colada.
We’ve scoured the world’s finest to prep up a list of the most summery holiday destinations. From the bustling city of Rio in Brazil to the picturesque beauty of Santorini in Greece and of course, the ski resort of Gstaad in Switzerland.
Here’s a must-visit list of summer destinations for 2015.
Rio Di Janiero, Brazil
The bustling city of Rio de Janeiro has been one of Brazil’s most popular and frequented tourist destinations for decades. Its vibrant city centre is bursting with culture and pulsating with a deep sense of history and heritage. Rio de Janeiro is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, inviting sportsmen and –women, as well as their millions of fans, to focus their attention on this bustling destination. While you’re in the city, conquer the incredible surfing waves off Prainha, explore Tijuca’s lush, dense rainforests, laze on the shores of Ipanema Beach or marvel at the sheer scale of the statue of Christ the Redeemer as it overlooks the city far below.
Turks & Caicos, Caribbean
One of the most untouched beaches in the world, Turks & Caicos has beautiful breathtaking waters, legendary diving spots, snorkeling and fishing. Just a short flight from the east coast of the US, the island is a tropical classic. It’s an ever-more-popular destination for upscale vacationers looking for low-key fun in the sun. Because of the islands’ laid-back and slow-paced nature, you won’t find nightlife comparable to Aruba or Barbados, but beach shacks and bars remain open for evening entertainment — island-style.
The original Italian island retreat, Capri has been a favoured holiday spot since Roman times. This limestone rock is famed for its unparalleled scenery and sea views and the Blue Grotto. A mix of history, nature, worldiness, culture and events that daily blend together to bring Capri to life. Honestly, the two main centres, Capri Town and its uphill Anacapri, are almost dedicated to tourism with arguably high prices. But explore beyond the cool cafes and designer boutiques, and you’ll find that Capri retains an unspoiled charm, with grand villas and overgrown vegetable plots.
Seychelles, Indian Ocean
Imagine crystal blue waters, white washed beaches and lush green hills in the background; no, this is not a dream, just another day in Seychelles. One may think that this is a pure honeymoon haven with its romantic setting, but those looking to explore more than a pure suntan; this archipelago offers a number of high-energy distractions. There are jungle and coastal walks, boat excursions, and diving and snorkelling to keep you buzzing. Ecotourism is big – there are marine parks and natural reserves filled with endemic species that are easy to approach. The Seychelles is more affordable than you think. On top of ultra-luxurious options, the country has plenty of self-catering facilities and family-run guesthouses that offer local colour.
Santorini is a perfect depiction as to why tourists simply adore the plethora of Greek Islands in the Mediterranean. The awe-inspiring sunsets, the stunning landscape and warm weather, make Santorini fit for a postcard. Santorini rises dramatically from the sea on a crescent shaped basin, or caldera, formed by an ancient volcanic eruption. Its whitewashed villages tumble down its cliffs, dotted with magnificent churches and windmills. Head for Oia on the north coast for the most sophisticated hotels and fashionable nightlife, and make sure you visit the capital of Fira, but be warned: the designer stores and bars can get very busy.
Stretching from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea, is the region of Tuscany. Its landscape, artistic heritage and stand-out cities – first among them Florence – make Tuscany arguably one the main hubs of international tourism. In this region, nature has many different facets, starting from the coast that alternates long and sandy beaches, like the Versilia beach, with rocky cliffs and steep headlands. The islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, a crystal-clear sea and rich seabeds, are peerless. Tuscany has two very diverse faces – the art cities such as Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa on one hand, and the countryside on the other. The small towns, villages, castles, villas and vineyards of Tuscany make a welcome change from the traffic and noise of some of the larger Tuscan cities.
Maldives, Indian Ocean
A tropical paradise of pristine beaches, turquoise lagoons and swaying palm trees, the Maldives are a string of coral atolls in the Indian Ocean.They are a Mecca for scuba divers, who come for the stunning coral reefs and abundant marine life. There are several luxury resorts and the islands are internationally recognised as a model for sustainable, eco-friendly tourist development. Every resort in the Maldives is its own private island, and with over 100 to choose from the only problem is selecting where you want to stay. With some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world, the clear waters of the Maldives are a magnet for anyone with an interest in marine life.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
With the snow-dusted Alps in the backdrop surrounding a sparkling lake, dotted with wooden cottages and upscale shops, St. Moritz sure looks a million dollars. The residents of this quaint town often brush shoulders with King Carl Gustaf of Sweden – St. Moritz is a much preferred weekend getaway amongst celebrities and royals. With an expansive menu ranging from sleigh rides to ballooning to internationally renowned music festivals, skiing is another way to top up the tan between cocktails and multicourse dinners. With its premium ski hotels, gourmet restaurants, luxury chalets and snow clad landscapes, the ski resort of St. Moritz is has come to be known as a glitzy ski resort and is often frequented by international celebrities and the crème of the society.