February and March are usually the times of year I start itching to get out and travel. Ever since we went on that epic adventure to Florida last summer, I’ve had the urge to go out and see the world more than ever. In this post, I’m going to be looking at six surprising summer holiday destinations to help anyone else who might be craving some summer adventures!
Although I’m saving up to go back to Disney World, I’m also in love with some of these surprising summer holiday destinations. Some of them might be on your own travel wishlist, but if not, then you might get some ideas and inspiration here.
If you’ve got any suggestions to add to the list then make sure you let me know in the comments. There’s bound to be some amazing holiday locations that I haven’t even thought of!
This post contains some affiliate links to places you can find out more information and/or book a trip to one of these amazing places.
Six Surprising Summer Holiday Destinations
It might not be one that springs to mind straight away (or even at all) but the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi could be your surprise summer holiday hit. The largest city in Georgia sits on the banks of the river Kura, and is as Instagram-friendly as it is affordable! Think arty and exotic culture mixed with pastel-hued houses and Art Nouveau-inspired architecture and you’re on the right lines.
You’re not limited to Tbilisi though. Georgia has gorgeous Black Sea beaches you can explore to the west of the country. Then there are fantastic snow and skiing resorts in the Greater Caucasus Mountain range to the north-east of Tbilisi. Gudauri is one such ski resort, which also allows Heliskiing – where you can access skiing or snowboarding via helicopter rather than a ski-lift.
You can fly to Tbilisi from almost all of the major UK airports and it’s a lot more affordable than you might think! There are loads of different types of accommodation and I was really surprised by how cheap some of it is! You can get around the city on the metro for about 10p a ride, which is unbelievable really. Additionally, you can rent a city centre apartment for about £25 a night! So, if you’re looking for a cheaper way to spend a summer holiday, Georgia might just be perfect for you.
One of my good friends lives in Budapest and she’s always telling me how amazing it is! Hopefully this summer I’ll actually make the trip over there to see it for myself. A gorgeous city that’s split in half by the Danube River, Budapest is home to a vibrant nightlife, ancient spas and charm from a bygone age.
The capital city of Hungary is a real hidden gem. In the summer especially, Budapest is a great place to experience the luxurious spa-parties that are held at bathhouses across the cities. You can enjoy open-air and indoor pools at these parties that go on long into the summer nights. You can also see the city by boat on one of these river cruises that are around £12 per person.
Budapest has a cool metro system that you can use to get around and visit all the sights. They also have ‘ruin bars’ – where any derelict buildings left in the city are converted into pop-up styled eclectic pubs to grab a cheap beer in. Now that’s repurposing at it’s best!
You can fly to Budapest from almost all of the main UK airports, and accommodation there is also really reasonable. If you’re looking for culture and relaxation that’s a little on the quirkier side, Budapest might be the surprise summer holiday destination for you!
I’ve always wanted to visit Marrakech but I’ve never quite made it there yet. This bustling city in North Africa is home to a colourful and engaging culture, incredible food and surprising sights. I’d love to stay at this incredible luxury desert camp if I ever do make it out there! Possibly a big out of my budget but a girl can dream.
Marrakech is a hybrid experience, with a unique mixture of African and Middle-Eastern cultures everywhere you look. There are loads of interesting things to explore. Check out the textiles and arts on sale and souks and the market square or relax at a Hammam – a steam bath that’s inspired by Turkish culture.
It doesn’t all have to be about the busy streets of the city’s main marketplace and square though. Just outside Marrakech, you can visit the natural beauty of the Ouzoud waterfalls. For thrill-seekers, you can go on a desert tour for the day with both quad bikes and camels! I’d love to try out one of these cookery sessions, but I’m not exactly skilled in the culinary department!
I know, I’ve written about it before, but Ibiza really is an amazing island to visit. Plus, it could be a surprising summer holiday destination because it’s not all about the party lifestyle.
If you head off to San Antonio, then you’ll probably find yourself right in the thick of all that. However, there are other parts of the island that are a lot more relaxed for families to enjoy.
Ibiza is another melting pot of cultures, and in summer people from around the globe head there in search of hedonism and relaxation in equal measure. Check out one of these guided tours of Ibiza Old Town or set out on a catamaran to watch the sunset over Cafe Mambo. I’ve been there myself to watch the sun go down and it is beautiful.
Be prepared for some immense heat if you do head there in July or August though! Ibiza in the summer probably won’t be a cheap getaway. However, with some pre-budgeting and careful planning then it doesn’t need to be too expensive.
So you’ll all know how much I loved Walt Disney World in Florida, but one surprising summer holiday destination could be Disneyland Paris! Summertime in Paris is hot without being stifling, so it could be the perfect time to hop across the channel and check out Europe’s version of Disneyland.
Right now there’s a fantastic offer on for free Disney Dining for summer arrivals, which could mean massive savings. I wish I’d made use of this when we went on our Disney trip. It probably would have made eating on the go a lot easier. This offer also includes discounts off your hotel stay. Plus, it gives you 100 Euros free Disney spending money!
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the Disney magic but haven’t felt ready to make the trip to Florida, then this could be the surprise summer holiday destination you’ll never forget.
I think this might be the main surprise summer holiday destination on my wishlist. With gorgeous mountain scenery and crystal waters, Montenegro is a miniature jewel in the Balkans crown. The bay of Kotor is home to many beautiful attractions, nestled between the towering mountains and the Adriatic sea.
The old city of Kotor is packed with drama; ancient cathedrals, squares and palaces mix and match with modern-day live entertainment, cafes and boutiques.
One of these is Perast, a tiny, almost abandoned town that’s as picturesque as it is atmospheric. This coastal hideaway is also home to a variety of summertime festivals and events. One of these involves a procession of barges and boats out to the nearby Our Lady Of The Rocks Island. There’s no beaches for sunbathing in Perast, but that shouldn’t put you off!
There’s also Budva, the bustling heartland of Montenegro’s tourism. There, you can hit the beaches for sun-drenched days and enjoy the vibrant nightlife culture after dark. Budva is also home to a large hillside waterpark, as well a range of luxury accommodation. Having said that, you can grab a bargain on the holiday rentals in Montenegro – I found these apartments near Kotor for only £15 a night!
Six surprising summer holiday destinations – where will you visit next?
Have you got a summer holiday coming up to a surprising destination? Or have you been to any of the ones listed here? Let me know in the comments and share your travel tips too!
If you’ve got any other suggestions for holiday spots that are a bit off the beaten track then let me know over on Twitter or here. You might also enjoy my Travel Wishlist boards over on Pinterest too.