In a country where the weather is either sunny or rainy, there's always that temptation to swap the humid tropics for cooler and drier climates.
You don't have to wait until year-end to enjoy colder temperatures elsewhere. Skip the sunny island life and head straight for these 10 destinations that boast exciting activities, beautiful sights, and most importantly, temperate weather.
With an abundance of forests, lakes, mountains, and hot springs, Hokkaido is the perfect destination for any nature lover. In summer, you'll be blown away by the endless idyllic meadows of flowers. July is the perfect month to visit the vast lavender fields and sunflowers are the most vibrant from mid-July to early August. The best part? The temperatures remain relatively cool despite the season at 16- 23°C, so you definitely won’t be sweating or squinting in your picture-perfect photos.
Tatler Tip: There's no better way to explore Hokkaido than taking a guided walk through its picturesque landscape.
Notorious for its freezing climate, summer is the best time to visit Stockholm in Sweden, when temperatures range between 13 - 22°C. It is also the season when sunlight lasts the longest, rising as early as 3:40am and setting late into the night at 10pm. Named the European Capital of Culture, Stockholm is home to The Drottningholm Palace, Skogskyrkogården (The Woodland Cemetery) and Birka—three of Sweden’s world heritage sites. The city is also vibrant in arts and culture, with various art galleries, and as many as 100 museums dedicated to different disciplines. For fans of architecture, simply take a walk around Gamla stan and the Östermalm district for a visual feast.
Tatler Tip: Feel right at home even if you are miles away by checking in to Ett Hem, designed by Ilse Crawford.
Like its neighbour Sweden, Norway tends to be extremely dark and chilly in winter. If you are not looking to chase the Northern Lights or participate in winter sports, summer is the perfect season to experience the sights and activities of this capital city, with temperatures between 13 - 22°C. In Oslo, you get the best of both worlds—a metropolitan city surrounded by nature. Immerse in Norwegian culture with the many museums and art galleries, most notably the Viking Ship Museum, which houses three Viking ships for your exploration. And if you’re in need of fresh air, it is just a hike away to the forested hills of Nordmaka or a ferry ride away to the islands of Oslofjord for some shoreside lounging and summer dips.
Tatler Tip: While you're in Norway, you should definitely take a detour to Scandinavian neighbour Finland, which is celebrating its 100th year of independence this year!
The capital city of Denmark (the happiest country on Earth 2016), and home to Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen is the stuff of fairytales. In the height of its tourist season in July, temperatures fall between the comfortable range of 13 - 21°C. Take a cultural tour of the city’s vibrant architecture by bicycle, a Copenhagener’s preferred mode of transport. Visit the many palaces and castles housed in the royal city, especially Kronborg Castle—a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amalienborg Palace, in which the royal family still resides. Also, be sure not to miss the world-famous sculpture of The Little Mermaid at Langelinje Pier.
Tatler Tip: Not sure where to satisfy your tastebuds now that Noma is gone? Head to Amass for your fill of New Nordic cuisine prepared by ex-Noma chef, Matt Orlando.
If you’re a fan of festivals, Berlin is the city to be in summer, where you can enjoy long sunny days with temperatures between 13 - 23°C. Notable festivals include the German-French Fair, German-American Folk Festival, and Holi Festival of Colours Berlin. When you are not partying and enjoying a pint of German beer, head east of Unter den Linden to soak in Germany’s culture and heritage at Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you enjoy art, history, or archaeology, these museums boast an impressive collection of artefacts and treasures. If you have a taste for street art however, talk a walk down the open-air East Side Gallery, which immortalises the Berlin Wall with 105 paintings by artists around the world.
Tatler Tip: Shopaholics can find their haven at the monumental Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe). German chefs Thomas and Mathias Sühring also recommend visiting its impressive two-storey food hall.
Summer is the best time to visit Reykjavik in Iceland, which can be extremely cold and windy in the winters. In these sun-filled months, temperatures run between 8-13°C, despite boasting up to 20 hours of sunlight. The city is perfect for slowing down your pace and taking in the sights. For starters, visit the towering Hallgrimskirkja Church, which sits imposingly in the centre of the Reykjavik. Head up to the viewing platform for breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding landscape. For a pampering experience, take a day tour out of the city to visit the Blue Lagoon, the country’s famous geothermal spa and soak in its naturally heated, milky blue waters.
Tatler Tip: Fancy a more intimate experience at the Blue Lagoon? The Moss Hotel and Lava Cove spa is slated to open this autumn, with luxury suites that offer private access to the lagoon.
July in Vancouver is prime time for tourism, with tourists flocking in to enjoy the balmy summer. With temperatures ranging from 12 - 23°C, 13 hours of sunlight a day, and minimal rainfall, it is the perfect climate for your summer activities. Lounge by Vancouver’s many beaches and enjoy local seafood, visit its summer festivals and markets, or take a walk down Granville Street Bridge for a breathtaking view of one of “the most beautiful cities in the world”. Adventure-seekers can participate in water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking or get their dose of adrenaline from cliff-diving, bungee-jumping and sky-diving.
Tatler Tip: If bustling cities aren't your thing, we recommend a retreat at Fogo Island Inn in Fogo Island, with suites that boast stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the sky and sea.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
For a cooler climate, head over to Buenos Aires in Argentina to enjoy its winter season in July and August, when temperatures range from 8 - 15°C. Known for its vibrant scene of tango, street art, architecture, and theatres, it is one of the most important cultural centres in the world. For architecture buffs, you’ll find a perfect juxtaposition between Europe and Latin America influences, from Italian Renaissance to art deco. Visit in August and you’ll be delighted to be part of its annual Tango Buenos Aires Festival, hailed as the largest tango festival in the world. Be sure to catch a show at the revered Teatro Colón—which comes in third as the best opera houses in the world.
While it’s summer on the other side of the hemisphere, it is winter down under. Despite the season however, Brisbane is known for its ideal climate all year-round, with temperatures ranging between 11 - 21°C. The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is the perfect combination of city living and the great outdoors. Experience its vibrant arts and music scene along South Bank, or if you’re feeling adventurous, take a short drive to the islands where you can take part in water sports and even feed wild dolphins!
Tatler Tip: Bring home a piece of your Australian holiday with these handpicked bottles.
Auckland, New Zealand
Like Australia, the months of June, July, and August mark the winter season in New Zealand, where temperatures range between 10 - 15°C. Auckland is perhaps best known amongst movie buffs for its proximity to the Hobbiton Movie Set, as seen in The Lord of the Rings franchise. Besides its picturesque locations, Auckland is also perfect for the adrenaline junkie. Take in the sights as you skydive from 16,500ft over the North Island, or dive into the SEA LIFE Aquarium where you can get up-close and personal with the sharks. With both the city and landscape within reach, there’s never a dull moment.