Summer travel destinations don’t always have to include sandy beaches and lush rainforests. Across the U.S. temperatures have been warmer than normal which can spell disaster for many cold weather seekers. Being from Southern California we have a hard time relating to the downright unbearable humidity on the east coast. With that said this list of premier travel destinations has us convinced that cold weather travel is the real deal. With these one-of-a-kind adventures you can escape the summer heat with small group and self-guided trips to snowy peaks, floating glaciers and northerly fjords.
Not every traveler chases the sun, and some even dread the thought of summer’s sticky cities and crowded beaches. Luckily, there are more exciting ways to beat the heat than staying put and turning up the AC. From cycling South Africa’s breezy Garden Route to camping in eastern Finland, award winning adventure tour company Exodus Travels offers summertime adventures to the cooler corners of the globe. With more than 42 years of experience crafting and leading extraordinary trips to 100 countries worldwide, discover Exodus’ top 10 cool climate trips departing this July and August.
Cyclists can escape the heat in the high altitudes of Dolomites and avoid sweat inducing climbs on this new center-based bike tour in Italy. The area is criss-crossed by a network of quiet lanes and purpose-built cycle paths to nearby medieval towns, perfect for enjoying at a steady pace. Average daytime temperature: 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $1,615 USD
For a unique respite from central Europe’s scorching heat, cyclists should head to the Baltics. The 11-day bike tour begins in Estonia’s capital of Tallinn, and ends at Lithuania’s enchanting Trakai Castle. Average daytime temperature: 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $1,695 USD.
In 14-days travelers trek across South Africa’s Garden Route of shifting sand dunes, thick canopy forests and stretches of rolling vineyards. South Africa reaches its coolest temperatures in July and August, making it the perfect time to conquer Table Mountain, go whale watching, and join a safari in Addo National Park. Average daytime temperature: 55-64 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $2,885 USD.
An active 14-day adventure takes travelers on a float plane to spot active Grizzly bears at the end of their annual winter hibernation. Basking in the pleasant weather, the small group will cruise across Prince Willian Sound to explore nearby mountains, glaciers and thundering rivers. Average daytime temperature: 61-64 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $4,015 USD.
In 15-days hikers dominate Europe’s Haute Route, passing beneath 10 of the 12 highest mountains in the Alps, and enjoying the cool winds rolling off the surrounding glacial lakes. In the evening, travelers can count shooting stars before retiring to their remote alpine huts or canvas tents. Average daytime temperature: 68-73 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $2,715 USD.
Wildlife lovers fly out to Basecamp Kuikka located in remote eastern Finland, near the Russian border, and spend a night in a hide observing brown bears in their natural habitat. With 12 to 16 hours of sunlight in the summer, Finland is a wildlife photographer’s dream. Average daytime temperature: 57-61 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $1,015 USD.
Avid hikers can explore Norway’s epic fjords, pristine national parks and charming farmhouses in 8-days with Exodus. In the summer, Nordic flora and fauna come to life, and the daily hikes across glaciers are made more enjoyable by the mild climate. Average daytime temperature: 61-64 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $2,805 USD.
Africa isn’t the first continent that comes to mind for cool climate-seeking travelers, but Namibia’s summer temperatures can be surprisingly mild, dropping down to single figures and even freezing at night. Safari-goers will visit a local Himba village and spot wild zebras, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and lions in Etosha National Park. Average daytime temperature: 64-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $3,225 USD.
Travelers discover southern Iceland on an 8-day journey to lunar-like landscapes, water-spurting geysirs, fishing villages and hot springs. Iceland’s 20 hours of summer sunlight creates endless photo opportunities, and if anyone needs to warm up, there is always a hot spring close by. Average daytime temperature: 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $3,055 USD.
In 10-days modern day explorers will discover one of the most remote locations on earth during the summer, Greenland’s blooming flowers contrast the aquamarine icebergs and whale watching is at its prime. Average daytime temperature: 41-45 degrees Fahrenheit. Rates from $4,075 USD.
Want more Summer travel ideas? Check out this list of pristine destinations for the sun seeking adventurer.
For those of you who prefer to travel on two wheels check out best trips for the adventure cyclist 2016.