With spring very much sprung, it’s time to start planning your summer vacation. Seeking to escape to some of the globe’s most exciting recesses? We’ve put together our top picks for a summer adventure whether you’re drawn by the thrill of hitting the slopes in the world’s southernmost ski resort or trekking in spellbinding scenery.
Best for: a skiing holiday at the “ends of the earth”
When to go: the season runs from the end of June to mid-October, so you’ve plenty of time to get your skis on and start booking your trip!
If a hot summer just doesn’t appeal, head on over to Argentina and its excellent selection of ski resorts.
Cerro Catedral is the country’s best-resourced and most loved ski resort (and the largest in the entire continent) thanks to its network of over 50 trails for all levels, although almost half of them are aimed at advanced skiers and snowboarders. What’s more, visitors can enjoy their time apres-ski in comfort and style at the high-quality accommodations in the Swiss-inspired chalets of nearby Bariloche.
Another top destination is Cerro Castor near Ushuaia in the far south of Argentina, a unique resort that is officially the world’s southernmost. With over 25 trails and 2533 ft. (772m) of descent, it’s an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate skiers, as well as those who just want to boast that they’ve hit the slopes at the “ends of the earth”.
Best for: adventure activities, including hiking in their national parks
When to go: July and August offer the warmest weather across the country and the best conditions for hiking
As you’re probably aware, 2017 sees Canada celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Confederation in a unique way: with free entry to all of the country’s 47 national parks.
From canoeing and kayaking in Thousands Islands to bird-watching in Kluane and hiking in the country’s inaugural national park, Banff, the options in Canada for those with a penchant for splendid scenery and adventure are endless.
Get more inspiration with our top picks for where you should be spending summer in Canada.
The United Kingdom
Best for: hiking the Brecon Way
When to go: July through to August brings the driest weather in this notoriously rainy country!
While the drop in the pound’s value against the dollar has certainly boosted the UK’s status as an appealing destination for a holiday, plenty of tourists don’t make the most of the Great British countryside, a landscape replete with lush fields, rolling hills and plenty of trails to trek.
What’s more, 2017 is the 60th anniversary of the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales and sees various events being held in the park this summer. Serious hikers can embark upon an eight-day trek along The Brecon Way, a 95-mile (152km) trail established in 2005 and which passes through the distinctive scenery of the park, including areas of moorland, deep, rugged valleys and plenty of sparkling rivers.
Best for: star gazing and exploring the Atacama Desert
When to visit: June and July are excellent times for a trip to the region, although night time temperatures can get cold in the Atacama Desert during winter, so make sure you pack warm clothes.
While parts of Chile, including Patagonia in the south, are best visited during the Austral summer, the north of Chile has a desert climate that makes it warm year-round. What’s more, the Atacama Desert is an incomparable place to see the stars thanks to its high-altitude location, dry, clear skies and low levels of light pollution.
It’s easy enough to book tours from agencies based in the Chilean capital, Santiago or from those lining the main street in the tiny oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama at the heart of the desert.
You can also take a weekend tour of ALMA, the globe’s largest and most advanced land-based observatory to learn about the research being conducted there by global scientists.
The Atacama Desert is also the location of a beguiling mix of wildlife (including three species of flamingos), volcanoes, salt flats and hot springs, so also there’s plenty to keep you entertained.