Best Long Haul Destinations for Summer Sun
Hand-picked collection of some of the best exotic places to go for a sunny summer holiday, including Bali, Borneo, Botswana,
Koh Samui, Malaysia, Mauritius, Peru, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Vietnam, Zambia and Zanzibar.
With prices guaranteed to be the same or better than going direct, with the security of ATOL protection and 24/7 support whilst your away, together with our expert knowledge, please get in touch by phone (it's always best, if possible) or email and let us know your brief. We'll do the rest. We're on 0203 019 3722
The dry season in Bali runs from May to September - with an average high of 29ºC to 33ºC. There are so many fabulous places to stay on the island, and one of our favourites is the sublime Como Shambhala. Set in lush jungle on the Ayung River, close to spiritual Ubud, this world-leading destination spa will balance your mind, rejuvenate your body and thoroughly revitalise your overall wellbeing. For a sophisticated beachfront boutique resort, you can't beat The Legian on Seminyak Beach or, if you'd like a fabulous one to three bedroom pool villa, neighbouring The Club at The Legian is ideal. To go further off the beaten track, perhaps fly on to Moyo Island (an hour away) and stay on the beach at Amanwana, from where - if you wanted to - you could explore the archipelago in style aboard Amanikan.
Best from March to July, Borneo is a fabulous adventure holiday destination and our travel specialist can tailor-make the perfect itinerary for you. And, top of the list of places to start or finish your holiday in the region is Gaya Island Resort - a luxurious retreat just off the coast of Kota Kinabulu. Backed by lush green forest, overlooking the glistening coastline of Maloham Bay, and with incredible views of towering Mt Kinabalu. This tranquil island resort is set within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and only accessible by a 15 minute boat ride from the mainland, with a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of activities available.
Botswana is arguably best from May to October during the dry season, for warm, sunny days and cool evenings with clear, starlit skies - and in almost the same time zone as the UK, so no jet lag. Why not combine the Moremi Game Reserve within the incredible Okavango Delta, often described as the 'predator capital of Africa' and thought by many to offer Africa's best game viewing, with Chobe National Park - perhaps the most biologically diverse park in all of Botswana. Both are featured in our suggested 11 Night Classic Botswana Safari
Winters (May to August) are dry with beautiful warm days, but evenings and early mornings can be chilly. This also happens to be probably the best season to enjoy a magical malaria-free safari from Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge. Set along the 30km of privately owned, lush green banks of the river after which it is named, in the heart of South Africa's unspoilt Eastern Cape province, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a world-class Big Five safari experience in 22,000 hectares (54,000 acres) of pristine private wilderness. This could be combined with a stay on the beach in KwaZulu Natal or the wild coast north of Durban, or you could fly home via Zanzibar (perhaps staying at Zawadi) for beach-chic boutique luxury.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui has a tropical climate and the best time to visit is from February to September, which is relatively dry but there is some rain every month. February to April are the driest months, whilst October to January are the monsoon season. So, during the European summer, this little island provides a delightful destination with options for solos, couples and families. Top pick for a luxury wellness retreat is Kamalaya, whilst Absolute Sanctuary offers an upmarket budget option for those seeking fitness, pilates, spa or yoga. For families, there's Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa on the beautiful white sands of the island's Mae Nam Beach, combining a great array of fantastic facilities within a relaxed resort atmosphere, perfect for families of all ages. Further along the same beach, there's top notch Belmond Napasai with a superb selection of villas and suites.
The east coast of Peninsular Malaysia is a lovely destination during Europe's summer months and Tanjong Jara is a wonderful option for a beach holiday. Designed to reflect the elegance and grandeur of 17th century Malay palaces, Tanjong Jara is a luxury boutique beach resort with an authentic taste of the region's spirit and the gentle Malay art of service and hospitality. Set on a long crescent of golden beach fringed by palm trees, overlooking the turquoise waters of the South China Sea, the resort's fairly remote location creates an appealing local-feel, whilst still offering the high standard of facilities and accommodation that you would expect from a luxury hideaway.
Most people think of Mauritius as a winter sun destination, but if you fancy a summer holiday on an exotic tropical island (without any jet lag), at prices better than the Med in peak season, then this Indian Ocean option should definitely be on your list. The north west of Mauritius is an excellent summer holiday destination as it avoids the wind and rain experienced on the east coast. A couple of great family options here are 4.5* Victoria Beach Resort & Spa and 5* Trou aux Biches
While Marrakech is stiflingly hot in the summer, Morocco's wild Atlantic coast is blessed by cooling breezes which keeps the temperatures at around a very pleasant 26°C. So, if you're looking for a family holiday on the beach, you should definitely consider great value Paradis Plage (45 minutes north of Agadir) set on a massive 3 mile beach, with surfing / body boarding, spa, yoga and a kids' club. Similarly, but larger in scale (with more facilities and services), there's Sofitel Essaouira Mogador beside the charming walled town of Essaouira. For couples, we would recommend heading a little further north up the coast to boutique La Sultana Oualidia.
April to November is the best time to visit Machu Picchu so, if you want to immerse yourself in Peruvian culture, learn about the Incas and visit all the best spots along the way from Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and then up to the ancient Inca Citadel at Machu Picchu, our Peru specialists can tailor-make the perfect itinerary for you. or an idea of what we recommend, please see our suggested 9 night Highlights of Peru or, for a summary of our recommended places to stay, please see Best Places to Stay in Peru
Best season for gorilla spotting is June to September and Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is the perfect place to venture into the mountains to view gorillas in their natural habitat. This comfortable, contemporary Lodge is in the foothills of the mighty Virungas, the chain of 15,000 feet volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. See our suggestion for an 8 Night Tailor-Made Tour of Rwanda
As the Seychelles are close to the equator, it's a good year round destination with temperatures ranging from 24C to 31C. From May to October a trade wind tends to put the temperature towards the lower end of that scale, but it's still a gorgeous option for couples seeking a luxury Indian Ocean hideaway during Europe's summer months. Prices range from reasonable to stratospheric, but two of our favourite luxury boutique island hideaways (mid-range price) are the heavenly Six Senses Zil Pasyon on Félicité Island and Banyan Tree Seychelles on Mahé, with a fabulous beach frontage of 800m overlooking what has been described as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.
The driest months on Sri Lanka's north east coast and the central highlands are from June to September. This enables visitors to combine time on the coast at a boutique resort like Jungle Beach, with a visit to the heart of the country in the Cultural Triangle around Kandy (perhaps staying at Vil Uyana near Sigiriya, with the added bonus of being able to witness the famous Minneriya Elephant Gathering, the largest grouping of elephants at one time in Asia), and, south of Kandy, stay in one the colonial bungalows collectively known as Ceylon Tea Trails in the beautiful Hill Country. We can tailor-make the ideal itinerary for you, whether you're travelling as a couple or a family.
The best time to visit central southern Vietnam (around Nha Trang and Cam Ranh) is March and April, although anytime during the dry season (January to August) is good. The average temperature is 26°C with a high of 32°C in summer (June, July and August). Happily, there are one or two gorgeous boutique beach resorts here! Great value Fusion Resort Cam Ranh has luxurious suites and pool villas set on a beautiful white sand beach on the Vietnamese Coast. Offering unlimited spa treatments and excellent service, this is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a holiday. Families welcome. Alternatively, accessible only by boat, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a fabulous, barefoot, luxury resort, mixing legendary Six Senses service, food and facilities with a totally relaxed atmosphere and a stunning beach location.
Best from June to September. Often overlooked in favour of the more famous safari destinations, a Zambia safari is for those who really want to feel the beating heart of Africa and the soul of the bush - and you will be astonished by the sheer concentration and surprising diversity of wildlife here. Our suggested 11 Night Classic Zambia Safari can be tailored to suit you, and this exceptional safari show cases the country's best destinations: starting with a stay in game-rich Luangwa Valley before flying on to the magical Lower Zambezi, followed by a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls. June to September is also a perfect time to visit neighbouring Zimbabwe. See our suggested 12 Night Class Zimbabwe Safari combining Mana Pools, Lake Kariba, Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls
Situated so close to the equator, Zanzibar enjoys lovely year-round holiday weather. Temperatures average between 24°C and 27°C throughout the year with 7-9 hours of sunshine per day. There are a handful of fabulous places to stay. Such as Zawadi, a boutique beach-chic adult-only all-villa hideaway overlooking the Indian Ocean that's perfect for couples, whilst it's nearby sister hotel - Baraza - is larger (but still with only 30 villas) with lots of land and water sports on offer.
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