Summer will be ending soon here in Switzerland, but we may still have a few weeks of sunny weather left! It’s not too late to plan one last holiday adventure — or to start dreaming for next year. With that in mind, we asked our well-traveled Les Roches bloggers and staff to share their favorite summer vacation destinations. Read on to discover our travel tips, and add your holiday recommendations in the comments below!
1. Nesso, Italy
Sometimes, just by crossing a border, you can feel like you’re a world away. The charming Italian village of Nesso rests on the shores of Lake Como, not far from Switzerland. Here, you’ll find a real taste of la dolce vita and life in the slow lane. From Nesso’s cobbled paths and Roman bridge, you can take in gorgeous views of the lake and a majestic waterfall. A beautiful nature walk takes you closer to the falls and through a natural canyon. For a scenic journey on Lake Como, take the ferry to get to Nesso.
Marco Pellegrini, BBA alumnus (2015)
2. Sydney, Australia
From hanging out on Bondi Beach to seeing kangaroos and giraffes in Taronga Zoo, Sydney is a bustling metropolis and a popular holiday destination. I visited Sydney during Australia’s summer season earlier this year and got to see my relatives, take a scenic stroll through the botanical gardens with views of the harbor bridge, ride a ferry past the iconic Sydney Opera House, wander through the historic Rocks district, and take a dance class at Sydney Dance Company. I also ate exciting food and drank delicious Australian wine. They take their F&B scene seriously, especially when it comes to happy hour and brunch!
Don’t forget, here you’re Down Under! Summer is December to March, autumn is March to May, winter is June to August and spring is September to November.
Alaine Handa, PGD alumna (2015), Travel with Alaine www.travelwithalaine.com
3. Elba Island, Italy
Think of Italian islands, and you may think of Sicily and Sardinia, but the bel paese has far more to discover. My husband and I are now at Elba Island, off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. We are here as it is his family’s summer vacation spot. It’s a great place for sun, sea, sand and seafood! Elba is well known in Italy, and also attracts many German and Swiss travelers.
Christina Seow, PGHD alumna (2014)
4. Siargao, Philippines
After spending the last two summers in Asia, I thought the Philippines would be exactly the same as Indonesia and I didn’t really want to go. I was just following my two best friends.
However, so far it has been the best discovery for me: Filipinos are the nicest people I’ve met, always smiling, helpful and kind.
And with more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines have so much to offer: We have been diving in a sunk vessel from WWII in Coron, exploring all the islands around El Nido, surfing in Siargao, swimming with whale-sharks in Oslob, driving quad bikes in the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, singing our first karaoke in Cebu, partying like crazy in Boracay… the trip is not even halfway over yet, and we still have so much more to do!
My favorite place so far would probably be Siargao, the island of surfers. It’s very quiet and not too famous yet. We spent six days there and could have stayed for one month. However, there is currently construction going on everywhere, and the island may soon be the new Boracay (the famous partying island of the Philippines). I would tell anyone to go there — but to go fast. Meanwhile, for landscapes, I would say that El Nido has been the most impressive.
Alexandra Jourdan Astruc, PGD alumna (2016)
5. Costa da Morte, Spain
Visit Spain’s treacherous “Death Coast” to get off the beaten path of flamenco and sangria. While you may not be guaranteed sunshine — bad weather and a rocky coastline have given the area its name — you will definitely see some stunning landscapes.
Take a road trip to visit traditional fishing villages and lighthouses overlooking the Atlantic, or grab your hiking gear to follow trails from rugged cliffs to the seaside. You can watch the sunset from Cape Touriñán, the westernmost point on the Spanish peninsula, and visit Cape Finisterre, once believed to be the end of the world. Even if the weather turns sour, you can still enjoy a glass of local white wine and freshly caught seafood at the end of the day.
Krisha Kinnersley, Les Roches staff
6. St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly, UK
Planning a holiday to England? Try something different and get in touch with nature on the Isles of Scilly. This archipelago of tiny islands is just off the rugged coast of Cornwall. On the south-westerly edge of the Isles of Scilly, the island of St. Agnes is totally unspoiled and astonishingly peaceful. Only 82 people call this little place home. Here, you can explore wild beaches, hidden coves and island life. With turquoise waters and golf carts for transportation, it’s a world away from the typical British landscapes.
Paul Charles, Les Roches staff
7. Cadaqués, Costa Brava, Spain
Cadaqués is undoubtedly one of the Costa Brava’s most beautiful beach villages. It was the home of surrealist artist Salvador Dali for over 50 years and a meeting place for other renowned artists such as Picasso, Miró and Federico Garcia Lorca.
In this small fishermen’s village, white-painted houses stand out against the blue of the sea and the sky. And you won’t need a car: nice restaurants, small boutiques and local attractions are all within walking distance.
Cadaqués features small coves of pristine water all around the coastline as well as the beautiful and unspoiled Natural Park of “Cap the Creus,” where you can visit the easternmost point of the Spanish peninsula.
It’s become my “go-to” destination every summer.
Carolina Pastor, Les Roches staff