Monday, 23 September 2013

The Top 10… Holiday Destinations for Summer 2013

by Sophie Whitehead

OK, so September’s that funny month where the summer ends, the weather changes, it's ‘back to school’ (the often mixed oxymoron of expressions – you love it or you hate it) but, worst of all, it's when you remember quite how much, deep down, you love the summer. And, quite how much easier the summer is to normal life.
For now is when the wellies come out of the closet, the jackets go back on the hooks, the woolly socks come out and the jeans go back on. The thermostat is turned right up as people's moods go right down, for, as much as everyone tries to stay positive, waking up to pitch black every morning really is not quite as much fun as it seems. In fact, it really does seem that the summer just came out for a day.

So, on this low, sombre note, I thought: what better than to write an article which will pick people's spirits up and leave them dreaming and aspiring for next summer, or sooner, holidays. Reading this article will be a time for recollection: maybe of your own summer holiday or one you have planned, or simply as just a small insight into those holidays you wish you had. I present to you: the top Ten holiday destinations for 2013 (my source: the great World Wide Web).
I serve not as a holiday brochure, more just as an insight to where those of you who are lucky enough to be able to fly away, do, or (to the other half of us who get to spend year after year in good old England (we love it really ?)) where we dream of going someday. What's more, for all the ‘holiday-goers’ out there, my little article might even provide some inspiration for your next jet-set paradise location. No need to thank me, honestly.
So here we go:

10: Madagascar

Best for: unusual activities mixed with quiet, tranquil environments

At number 10, the surprising Madagascar. It would seem, after enduring many years of political unrest and uncertainty within the country, Madagascar has finally "seen the light at the end of the tunnel" and this year many people took off to the country in the middle of the Indian Ocean to enjoy the untouched serenity of the world's fourth-largest island. With a radius of roughly 587 km sq and a population of roughly 22,005,222, it is truly a place to be overwhelmed in, as both its fauna and beautiful landscapes will have you mesmerised from the minute you land. Tip for those thinking of going next year? Book now before this hotspot reappears in travel agents' windows, because, let me assure you, based on last year's stats, it will.  

9: Dominican republic

Best for: a taste of the Carribean islands for the lowest prices

Imagine waking up to the sound of the ocean and the sight of miles of white sands stretched out from your hotel room. Being presented with the choice to do as much as you could want or as little, without feeling remotely guilty for ‘lazing’ around. A dream? No. The answer: the Dominican Republic. In the first part of 2012 alone, this dream utopia, which forms with other islands to make the Greater Antilles in the Carribean region, witnessed a great 8.4% rise in tourism, possibly due to the fact that it has to be the world's easiest island to access, with more and more airlines offering stops to the island's eight international airports every year, as well as many cruise ships stopping by to allow holiday goers a chance to see a truly magical way of life, or just the fact that it really is so perfect for whatever you want it to be. Voted as the second best honeymoon destination in the world, it is the perfect place to whisk away the newly-wed or to bring a family. Whatever you choose, you can ensure it will be filled with sand, sea and impeccably guaranteed sunshine.

8: Turkey

Best for: getting away to a special place, off the beaten track

A quick word of advice to any food lovers out there: this is THE place to go. With some of the best cuisine from around the world, mixed in with a kaleidoscope of sights --- from the tallest mountains to the whitest beaches to the most ancient of artefacts and a country rich in diverse cultural heritage, Turkey is at number eight for summer locations. With occasional temperatures exceeding 45 degrees centigrade in the summer months (July-August) and with some of the most interesting sights to see: Istanbul and tours of the Black Sea especially, you can see why Turkey came to be so popular. My recommendation to any holiday goer out there: Turkey’s worth a shot. But make sure you pack your sun screen.

7: Iceland

Best for: ‘discovering yourself,’ excellent value for money

Ok so if I still have your attention, which I very much hope I do, our next location, situated between the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, is dear Iceland (now also commonly known as the supermarket where you can buy highly discounted food stuffs, but that’s not the place we’re going to focus on now.) Back to my point: Iceland is very much on my ‘do before I die’ list, and it would appear many people agree with me. Anyone who visits Iceland is sure to develop an unconditional love for it and, in addition to kind, hospitable local residents, the succulent dishes which make your mouth water just thinking about them or the breath-taking scenery which you never want to leave, the fact that Iceland has recently suffered a ‘currency crash’ (the krona was reduced 75%) means it is also much easier on the wallet, so that EVERYONE can enjoy the holiday, even the bill payer. Maybe that’s why it’s so popular…?
Tip: nothing stays the same way forever, so make sure, if you haven’t already, you visit the Arctic euphoria before the economy heals itself or the secret of a nearby paradise is spoiled by too many packs of tourists.  

6: Solomon Islands

Best for: aspiring divers, value for money, eco-resorts

Things change, people change, climate changes, life changes. Everything changes. The Solomon Islands have not. One of the world's few un-touched treasures still remains completely as it has been for the past thousands of years: a pure eco-retreat lying to the East of Papua New Guinea and to the North West of Vanatutu, it covers a land area of 28,400km2 and is the perfect place for the perfected explorer to travel back to his or her roots. In the past, difficult and sometimes dangerous travel choices, as well as limited infrastructure, a civil war and severe malaria problems have kept people afar but now, with perfect airport communication systems and the introduction of malaria tablets, tourists flood back to the country they once loved. Not to mention it’s got some of the best scuba diving facilities in the world. No understatement.

5: Ecuador

Best for: FOOD

Like many things when trying to decide where to go for the next ‘vay-cay,’ food is high on the list. Will I like it? Will it be too spicy/too rich/too exotic/too plain/too salty/too sugary? Will it just be plain awful? Rest assured that when one travels to South America, food is NOT a problem. Nor is weather for that matter of fact, but that’s not the point. Positioned North of Columbia and with Peru on the East and South is our relatively small country of Ecuador, and exactly 1000km west of the mainland of this is where you would find the beautiful Galapagos Islands – another key destination for the aspiring tourists out there. Before, travelling to this southern paradise would be difficult but now, with the help of a new railroad system, travel has never been easier. With a radically revamped railway, a ton of activities to do, a culture to explore, the food to die for, not to mention a population surge which is only just starting, Ecuador is definitely the place to explore sooner rather than later (probably, amongst other things of course, why it reaches the high ranking of number 5).

Continued soon…what country will reach the crowning position of No.1? 


  1. A great article thank you for posting! Here at Queens Hotel we are proud to be in close proximity to world class attractions including the Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and wish you and all your readers our very best.

  2. I would really like to go to Madagascar as it looks like a really beautiful part of the world

  3. I want to go to all of those places now!! Personally, I thought that Cyprus and the Lakes in Italy were awesome. Morocco was also a great holiday!!

  4. Sam Griffiths 7Y13 January 2014 at 14:27

    I wish I could go to some of these places.

  5. the Dominican Republic looks so nice and warm, it would be a wonderfull place to go

  6. Sophie Mitchell 7Y13 January 2014 at 14:28

    I love iceland, I have never been but would love to go. I diddn't know you cold see the northern lights in Iceland, There you go, learn somehing new everyday!!!


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