The second month of summer has just begun, inviting us to design a unique escape in the nicest parts of the world. Festivals, breathtaking landscapes and endless entertainment options await you this month. Discover special trips and immerse yourself in the magic of summer below!
Ramadan in the Middle East
You may have been advised to avoid traveling in the Middle East and other areas with a Muslim majority during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. We recommend the exact opposite! From late June to late July, most Muslims fast from dawn till dusk, showing devotion to their religion. It is a month, that the atmosphere and the daily pace of an entire region changes dramatically, making the Middle East an ideal destination for any traveler.
Non-Muslims are welcome to participate in many aspects of tradition and is likely to invite you to a hearty meal after sunset or for a light lunch in huge tents, smoking shisha and playing traditional games until the wee hours. It’s impossible not to get carried away by the intense spirituality during the day and the festive mood at night. You must remember that people here are working fewer hours during this month, so most restaurants are closed during the day and regardless of your own beliefs, you should not eat or drink in public, respecting their traditions.
You might be thinking that a visit to Switzerland during the summer is like drinking decaffeinated coffee to wake up! You are wrong. The country’s charm lasts all year round, either covered in snow or the sun reflecting the landscapes of crystal lakes. There is no better destination to see up close this beautiful scenery, from the lyrical landscapes of the Lake of Geneva. Change your ski boots with hiking shoes and hot chocolate with wine, enjoy your swim in the largest lake in Western Europe and visit one of the best jazz festival in the world.
Vineyards decorate the slopes along the banks of Lake Geneva, which belongs to the list of World Heritage of UNESCO, forming the wine region Lauvaux, where you can wander among the vines and enjoy delicious wine walks through the villages.
Summer in Japan is the season of festivals, fireworks and junk foods. If you want to enjoy all three of them, visit Kansai in July, to join two of the biggest festivals in the country. The Gion Matsuri, the most famous festivals in Japan, takes place throughout the month in the ancient capital of Kyoto. Do not miss the big parade on 17 July, when the city is flooded with impressive floats and locals singing.
A week later the nearby Osaka hosts the Tenjin Matsuri on 24 and 25 July. Here a procession of locals and Mikoshi move through the streets towards the river, where they expect dozens of illuminated boats. The highlight of the celebration comes with a fireworks show. In both festivals you must taste the best fried products of Kansai, as tako-yaki, yakitori, okonomiyaki, yaki-soba and many other.
Explore the outdoors, Iceland
In July, the Icelandic days last about 20 hours and the weather is mild. It is peak season and while the most popular attractions such as the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik swamped with people, the warm weather means that the icy winter roads are open, inviting you to explore the unknown parts of Iceland.
Hiking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking are just some of the activities that will keep you out of the house. Discover the beauty of fjords, glaciers, gorges, meadows and numerous small islands and learn all about the legends of elves, creating a fairytale atmosphere. Visit Hornstrandir, an uninhabited peninsula which is one of the last great wilderness areas of Europe or the popular Thorsmörk, a green valley protected by glaciers.
By Nicole P.