Sunburns, endless amounts of sweat, scorching temperatures and sweltering humidity are just a few of the things that may come to mind when thinking of summer. While summertime may have its perks, there are plenty of reasons to beat the heat in search of cooler weather and a change of scenery.
We’ve compiled a list of the top destinations to cool off this summer, all while experiencing awesome attractions and cultures! Average high temperatures of these destinations for June through August fall between 50°F and 75°F (10°C and 24°C), so you can rest assured knowing you can comfortably explore these new places.
1. Moscow, Russia
Average High: 73°F (23°C)
Average Low: 54°F (12°C)
Moscow, the capital city of Russia, inspires travelers with its art, history and amazing architecture. Many of the most famous sights to see in Moscow are located in Red Square, the historical and geographical center of the city. Here, visitors can find The Kremlin, which has been the Russian governmental building for nearly 900 years, as well as St. Basil’s Cathedral, known for its iconic, colorful onion domes.
You also can’t visit Moscow without seeing a show at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre, which hosts both opera and ballet performances. Finish your day relaxing at an authentic Russian bath and unwind in the steam room and sauna!
2. Reykjavik, Iceland
Average High: 57°F (14°C)
Average Low: 46°F (8°C)
As pretty much everyone knows by now, Iceland offers some of the world’s best and most diverse natural attractions. Ready for a road trip? You can drive around the entire island by driving the 2,550-km (1,500 miles) Ring Road. Short on time? Opt for the shorter 300-km (186 mile) route known as the Golden Circle. The main stops along the route are Thingvellir National Park, Geysers at Haukadalur, Gullfoss Waterfall and Kerid Crater Lake.
One of the most popular attractions in Iceland are the geothermal hot springs, specifically the Blue Lagoon, where visitors can spend hours bathing in the medicinal waters. Another can’t miss? The Northern Lights. Although they can be elusive during the summer months, the Northern Lights can be seen as early as mid-August. Plus, with cheap tickets to Iceland under $300, it’s easy to find an excuse to get away.
3. Queenstown, New Zealand
Average High: 50°F (10°C)
Average Low: 39°F (4°C)
With gorgeous natural landscapes including lush valleys, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes, New Zealand seems to offer it all. Bring out your inner daredevil with endless high-adrenaline activities such as abseiling, skydiving, quad biking, rock climbing, bungee jumping and even zorbing! Queenstown is home to the Nevis Highwire Bungy, the highest bungee jump in the entire South Pacific region, and Nevis Swing, the largest swing in the world. If you have time to explore more cities in New Zealand and Australia, check out our guide to some of the best outdoor activities in New South Wales.
4. Zermatt, Switzerland
Average High: 75°F (24°C)
Average Low: 55°F (13°C)
Zermatt has the largest and highest summer skiing area in Europe, with 8 ski lifts remaining open all summer from 7am to 2pm. You’ll want to plan your day carefully, since the slopes are icy first thing in the morning, but can be wet and heavy by lunchtime. The ideal time to ski is mid-morning with pristine “spring” snow for about a 2-hour period when the snow surface softens.
After you hit the slopes, explore the whimsical mountain village of Zermatt to get a feel for the local lifestyle. During the summer months, you’ll see a procession of goats walk along the Bahnhofstrasse every day at about 9 am and 5 pm.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Average High: 66°F (19°C)
Average Low: 46°F (8°C)
Cape Town is an ideal spot for to beat the heat this summer—you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite summer activities without the sweltering heat. Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain that overlooks the city of Cape Town and is one of the most iconic landmarks in South Africa. Hike or take a cable car ride up to the top for sweeping views of the city and harbor. Feeling adventurous? Go cage diving into some of the most shark-infested waters in the world! Experience even more wildlife at the world-class Boulder’s Beach, home to the African Penguin Colony.
Still haven’t satisfied your craving for summer adventure? We’ve got more summer travel inspiration to make this summer the best one yet! Want help getting your summer travel plans off the ground? We’ve got the cheap flights and hotels you need.