15 Places Where Summer Never Ends
Because winter's not the boss of you.
Winter is coming, so it’s time to get going and head for a one of these glorious sunny spots where summer is the only season.
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The 1965 cult surfing flick Endless Summer popularised the wave appeal and black sand beaches of South Pacific island Tahiti, and the possibility of a literal endless summer resides just 17 kilometres away on the the tiny volcanic island of Mo’orea. It has a hot tropical climate so predictable that one source says “there is honestly little point in checking the forecast in the days before your trip.” The fact that it’s such a short hop over from the busy Tahitian capital Papeete makes the relaxed and welcoming reception illustrated of Mo’orea’s green hills and turquoise lagoons even more idyllic.
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Geographically closer to Morocco than its nation state of Spain, this archipelago boasts all the benefits of being part of Europe, but without the chilling cold that descends over the continent during winter. This island getaway hosts some pretty heavy tourist traffic to its most famous spots Tenerife and Lanzarote, but there is plenty of unspoilt beauty to go around: the islands of La Palma, La Graciosa, La Gomera, and El Hierro offer plenty of rugged, unspoiled natural delights.
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Our great southern land features enviable temperatures year round, and the Top End region offers both a tropical climate and an opportunity to experience Australia at its most naturally beautiful – beaches, islands, expanses of wetlands and grasslands, and links to must see locations like Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park. There’s no better jump off to start exploring it all from the Top End’s capital city, Darwin.
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Known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers something for every stripe of traveller. Beaches, tropical forests, lush green mountains, ancient artefacts, and wildlife national parks are dotted across the country, and are best enjoyed all year round.
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With year round heat due to its proximity to the equator, and pleasant sea breezes from the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is a perfect candidate for sun chasers. And that’s all before the scenery. This island paradise lies just off the coast of Tanzania, and while it’s still relatively under the radar as a well-known holiday destination – a place this stunning won’t stay a secret for long.
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Cuba’s changing relationship with the western world means that it’s opening up like never before. All the expected things are there: the majestic old cars, the distinctive colourful architecture, the cigars, the rum, and of course the music. Increasing tourism may soon start having an impact, so now is the time to check out this unique Caribbean time capsule.
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Palm Springs may be best known nowadays as the location of Coachella’s epic music fest, but it has a long history as the United States’ prime destination for a spot of R&R. The therapeutic dry desert heat that once drew people with bronchial ailments, now appeals to those seeking celebrity-style health spas, wellness retreats and the city’s famous hot spring bathhouses.
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Making up part of the Caribbean’s Dutch Antilles, the appeal of the ABC Islands is elementary. Aruba is the biggest and most visited, a favourite of the cruise ‘n’ casino crowd and has some stunning soft sand beaches. Bonaire is the prime spot for snorkelling, diving and watersports, and Curacao will satisfy the history buffs and the adrenalin junkies, with notable sites and rugged cliffs to climb up and abseil off.
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Bali’s enduring popularity lies in offering something for absolutely everybody – party monsters, family units, wilderness retreaters, and everything in between. Part of that magic is the fact Bali is such a sure thing weather wise, so whether you’re escaping the northern hemisphere snow or the southern chill, a warm welcome will be found in Bali.
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The best place to pretend that winter doesn’t exist is in the middle of the desert. Dubai lies where the Arabian Desert meets the Persian Gulf, so you get the best of both worlds – it springs up like an futuristic oasis of sharp angles and cutting edge design. One for those who like their summer getaways sleek and modern.
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Rio de Janeiro
Just the word Brazil conjures up famous sights and sounds that are instantly linked to Rio de Janeiro: Ipanema beach, Samba music, the world famous Carnival at Sambadrome and Christ the Redeemer looming over it all. The key to taking best advantage of Rio’s climate is sticking to the coastline, to escape the sometimes scorching inland heat. And what a coastline: Ipanema, Copacabana, and some of the most luxurious beaches in the world.
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Spring breakers and holidaymakers flock to this hot spot at southern tip of Mexico for good reason. Fullthrottle fun is guaranteed in Cabo San Lucas via beach parties, jet skiing and snorkelling and more than 350 days of sunshine every year.
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Being in the Mediterranean Sea means that the nation of Cyprus is just a short hop over from mainland Europe. Known for its hospitality, yummy cuisine and great all round offerings for every type of traveller, Cyprus is steadily gathering a reputation as Med’s true MVP.
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The cluster of nine islands that make up the Azores archipelago are officially part of Portugal, but getting there will take you almost halfway to the centre of the North Atlantic Ocean. Not only does it offer a truly remote getaway, it has some seriously otherworldly scenery to boot. Take the island of Sao Miguel – the Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Lagoon of the Seven Cities) is a crowning green oasis of two connected lakes inside a dormant volcanic crater.
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Cape Verde, off the northwest coast of Senegal, has been tipped as ‘the new Caribbean’ and it’s easy to see why. Turquoise seas? Check. Fishing villages with with colourful houses? Yep. Year round sun and surf? Yes, yes, and yes. One thing it has over the Caribbean: a startling natural wonder called Blue Eye on the island of Sal.
(Lead image: Taryn Stenvei)