Where to go this summer: 11 must-see destinations

By Jane Levere, CNN

(CNN) – It looks like this summer will be an unforgettable travel season, especially after the Covid-stricken summers of 2020 and 2021.

“Not only are we seeing exponential enthusiasm for travel, but we’re also anticipating incredible new experiences, events and summer deals,” said Carole-Anne Hughs Wood, chief marketing officer for Embark Beyond, a luxury travel agency based in New York.

New York, Disney World and the UK, which is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, all have big things going on.

“The excitement this summer of getting out and seeing the world, both near and far from home, is certainly unparalleled,” she added.

Andrew Steinberg, a luxury travel agent affiliated with Ovation Travel Group, said summer travel bookings were like “the floodgates have opened. People have been trapped inside for a long time, they’re looking at things in Netflix subscription numbers are down now – – people want to experience, touch and feel real life again.”

Here are just a few of the many experiences in destinations around the world that can once again offer the joy of traveling this summer:

Australia

While it is winter Down Under, the northern part of Australia has a sufficiently temperate climate for outdoor activities.

Destinations like Cairns, the gateway to tropical North Queensland; the seaside village of Port Douglas; and Hamilton Island will be gentle enough to swim and experience the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Another must-see here: the Whitsundays, an archipelago of 74 tropical islands off the coast of Queensland, next to the reef.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parkwhere the large red sandstone monolith formerly known as Ayers Rock sits, is also a great spot at this time of year.

Singapore

One of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world, Singapore is made up of one main island and over 60 smaller ones off the Malay Peninsula.

Don’t let its size put you off – a myriad of activities await. The city is home to the island of Pulau Ubin, where diverse habitats and varied wildlife can be explored. and the southern ridgesa 10.2 km stretch of green space that stretches across the hills of Singapore’s most popular parks and gardens.

Wellness treatments and massages are offered at the Deverana Spa at the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore Hotel.

The food and drink options are endless, from the 49 restaurants on Singapore’s 2021 Michelin star list to multiple hawker centers serving inexpensive local comfort food.

Israel

Holy land for many world religions, Israel offers many fascinating attractions.

These include the resort town of Eilat on the Red Sea; the Dead Sea; and the mountain fortress of Masada, a bastion of the Jews in their war against the Romans.

Other must-sees in this small country, about the same size as the state of New Jersey, are the holy city of Jerusalem; Tel-Aviv, a lively, cosmopolitan and Mediterranean city; and the Sea of ​​Galilee, the site of the New Testament biblical story of Jesus walking on water.

Israel is famous for its hearty breakfasts featuring everything from vegetable salads, hummus, cheeses and fish to eggs, breads and pastries.

And for a wide variety of cuisines, there’s Tel Aviv, a melting pot of immigrants from dozens of countries. The five star David Kempinski Tel Aviva new beachfront hotel that opened on the city’s boardwalk this spring, is getting rave reviews.

Greece

With few restrictions and an increasing number of direct flights to Greece from the United States, this country, and in particular its islands, are particularly attractive this summer.

Santorini and Mykonos often top travel lists, while Crete, the largest Greek island, can be associated with either. Some of the most beautiful Greek beaches are located in Zakynthos, while on the mainland, the Peloponnese peninsula is famous for its ancient ruins and modern vineyards.

Some of the new hotels in Mykonos that are worth checking out include the Kalesma Mykonos and the Cali Mykonos, which is scheduled to open in July. Katy Link, Greece travel specialist at Embark Beyond, warns travelers to beware of hotels here being sold on fake websites.

France

This ever-popular European country offers a wide variety of attractions and adventures this summer outside the capital of Paris. The opening next month in Marseille will be Cosquer Mediterraneanlife-size replica of the prehistoric Cosquer cave, adorned with paintings and engravings.

Astronomy enthusiasts can visit the southern observatories French Alps International Dark Sky Reserve, the third and most recent French reserve; wine lovers can imbibe Bordeaux Wine Festival in June; and jazz lovers can enjoy the Jazz in Juan festival in Antibes Juan-les-Pins in July with John Legend, Trombone Shorty and Van Morrison.

Britain

The celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, which began in February, continues until early autumn. Special events on June 2 will include the Queen’s Birthday Parade in London and beacon lighting at Buckingham Palace and across the UK.

The Tower of London plants a colorful field of millions of flowers, the first permanent transformation of its moat into a new natural landscape. There will also be special exhibitions of portraits of the Queen, her coronation robe and her succession robe, and the outfits she wore to celebrate her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees respectively at the Palace of Buckingham, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. .

Artifacts illustrating the Queen’s love of animals and the great outdoors will also be on display at her country home in Sandringham.

Panama

The most famous attraction of this Central American country is of course the Panama Canal, considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world and built at the beginning of the 20th century to reduce the travel time of ships between the ocean Pacific and the Caribbean Sea.

Nearby, Panama City’s old quarter, Casco Viejo, dates from 1673 and is a Unesco World Heritage.

Nature lovers will appreciate the Baru Volcano National Park in the province of Chiriqui. The volcano is the 12th highest peak in Central America and billed as the only place in the world where, on a clear day, you can see the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at the same time.

And at Coiba National Park, off the Pacific coast in the Gulf of Chiriqui, visitors can experience tremendous biological diversity, as well as world-class diving sites. They may want to spend the night here at Secas Islandsan eco-resort on a private island.

Big lakes

Viking River Cruises is launching a new expedition ship this month, the Octantisthe company’s first ship dedicated to adventure cruising.

It will be able to accommodate 378 passengers and will include conference and fitness centres; outdoor terrace; spa; swimming pools; modern and classic Scandinavian design; a laboratory where passengers can take part in the ship’s scientific research; four restaurants; and two submarines, each of which can accommodate six people.

The Great Lakes itineraries, sailing from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Milwaukee, still available for booking at the time of publication, will sail in late May and late June and early and mid-September.

Walt Disney World

This mythical destination – which will continue the celebration of its 50th anniversary which began last October to March 2023 – offers several new attractions.

The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is billed as an immersive two-night adventure where travelers can have “a tailored experience and travel further on a Star Wars adventure” than they ever imagined possible.

After arriving at the Walt Disney World Resort terminal, they’ll board a launch pod and meet up with the 100-cabin starcruiser Halcyon, where they can interact with characters and dine on exotic galactic cuisine. Travelers can also wield a lightsaber; explore the ship’s deck, systems and controls; visit its engineering room; and take an exclusive transport to the planet Batuu.

Also launching this month in World Discovery at Epcot is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a coaster that will rotate 360 ​​degrees and invite visitors to participate in “an intergalactic pursuit through space and time with the Guardians of the Galaxy”.

New York

As always, the Big Apple welcomes visitors with new hotels. The opening in midtown Manhattan last month was the Hard Rock Hotel New York on West 48th Street, which pays homage to the recording studios and music stores that once lined this street by featuring live music in all public spaces.

It also offers a bar and lounge on the 34th floor; a New York Yankees-themed steakhouse; a rock shop; and guest-selected playlists.

Also downtown, on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, will be the luxurious Aman New York, opening August 2, an 83-suite hotel in the iconic Crown Building. This will feature Italian and Japanese restaurants; a vinotheque; garden terrace; jazz club with live entertainment; and a 24,800-square-foot spa with a 65-foot indoor pool.

The opening is also scheduled for August. Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s New York, which will mix “Parisian panache with Tribeca cool”. The property will include 97 rooms and suites with a design inspired by French Art Deco; an outpost of historic French brasserie Fouquet’s; a spa; rooftop terrace and Cannes screening room.

And the Wall Street Hotela luxury boutique hotel, will open next month, housed in the early 20th-century Beaux Arts Tontine building.

Montreal

The calendar of festivals for the summer of 2022 in Montreal is “full to bursting”, indicates the website of this city of Quebec.

Among its festivals, there will be the Go Velo Festival, for cyclists; the three-week Montreal Fringe Festival; the MURAL festival for international graffiti artists; a fireworks festival with the participation of six world-class pyrotechnic companies; a jazz festival; an outdoor circus performers festival; Montreal Pride; and a fashion and design festival.

It’s also a town that swears by its bagels, so visitors will want to leave some time out of their busy festival schedule to sample them. Major vendors include rival bagel makers Saint Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagels.

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