We are fortunate that there is summer somewhere throughout the year! To make it even easier to plan your summer getaways throughout the year, we’ve compiled a monthly guide to the best destinations where you can have fun under the sun throughout the year!
JANUARY: KO SAMET, THAILAND
Famed for its crystal clear waters and sandy white beaches, Ko Samet is definitely a must-visit island when you’re in Thailand. Once believed to be inhabited by pirates, it is said that lost treasures are still buried around the island.
There is something for every beach lover in Ko Samet with its numerous small bays dotted along the eastern side of the island. Take a pick from activity-filled Diamond Beach a.k.a Hat Sai Kaew, Hat Hin Khrong, Hat Khlong Phai, Ao Phutsa, Ao Thapthim, Ao Naun, Ao Cho, Ao Thian, Ao Wai, Ao Kio Na Yok and Ao Karang beaches. The only beach on the western side is Ao Phrahis.
Most of Ko Samet is part of Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park and will incur an entry fee. Accomodation is available on the island itself and ranges from budget to luxury. Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Samet is just a 3-hour drive from Bangkok and a 45-minute ferry from the Ban Phe Pier on the mainland.
FEBRUARY: GOAT ISLAND MARINE RESERVE, NEW ZEALAND
Goat Island, the local name for Cape Rodney/Okakari Point Marine Reserve, was New Zealand’s first marine reserve. It was established in 1975 and in less than 10 years it became a rich ecological area, teeming with fish and other sea life.
Easily accessible by car, Goat Island offers more than just a picnic by the beach. There is so much to do on this island including a marine science center for kids, fish-spotting in rockpools, swimming, snorkeling and diving with the sea life. For those who don’t want to get too close to the fish underwater, there are options of exploring the surroundings with a Clearyak clear-bottom kayaks or glass-bottom boat tours.
February is considered late summer and you’ll definitely see more fish in these crystal waters than humans. There are no places to stay on Goat Island itself but you can find accomodation options around the coastal town of Leigh or drive to Auckland.
MARCH: NEGRIL, JAMAICA
Amazing beaches, great Caribbean food and friendly faces can all be found in Negril, a town in western Jamaica. As Jamaica’s “Capital of Casual”, you’ll experience Jamaican culture with impromptu reggae concerts, beach-side lobster shacks and gorgeous sunsets.
Negril is also the home of the longest beach in Jamaica – Seven Mile Beach, with, you’ve guessed it, seven miles of beautiful soft white sand and calm waters. The world-famous Pelican Bar can also be found off the shores of Negril but for those who want to stay on dry-land, there are tonnes of beach bars and restaurants along Seven Mile Beach for you to grab a Jamaican Rum Punch.
For the adventure-seekers, Negril offers beautiful cascading waterfalls to spend the day, parasailing tours and even cliff jumping spots.
Accommodation at Negril ranges from beach bungalows to all-inclusive resorts. Negril is about an hour and fifteen minute drive on the coastal highway from Sir Donald Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay.
APRIL: CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
Consisting of 10 different islands, each offering a different experience, The Cape Verde Islands are a beach lover’s paradise – especially the islands of Sal and Boa Vista. White and golden sandy beaches that stretches for miles, turquoise waters and the cool seabreeze await you at Cape Verde Islands.
Sal- a golden pearl of sand in the middle of the turquoise-blue ocean. For many years, the island was a centre for salt mining, which is also where the name Sal (salt) derived. With its many kilometres of beaches that are up to 200 metres wide, Santa Maria Beach on Sal probably offers the most ideal conditions for a classic beach holiday. For something a different, check out the mirage at Terra Boa – it appears as an ocean right in the middle of the desert.
Blessed by vast stretches of untouched golden sand, surrounded by crystalline waters and boasting a relaxed and low-key atmosphere, Boa Vista is home to one of the finest beaches in the world – the remarkable Praia de Chaves, which is a long, broad sweep of golden sand, leading to a magnificent landscape of dunes. You may catch a glimpse of whales in the islet of Sal Rei, a feeding ground for humpback whales and a magical sight if you are lucky enough to experience it.
There are direct flights from Boa Vista to Sal with TACV the local airline.
MAY: BORACAY, PHILLIPINES
For those who have yet to visit one of the world’s best beaches, it’s time to start planning for May! An tiny island in Central Phillipines, Boracay is known for its powdery white sands and daily sand sculptures that have been posted countless times on Instagram.
With 17 beaches around the island, the most famous of them all is White Beach. Located on the western part of the island, White Beach is the main beach where breathtaking sunsets can be seen daily around 18:00PM daily.
White Beach is divided into three Stations. Originating from the time when boats were allowed to bring tourist directly to the beach from the mainland, these stations were initially boat drop-off stations. Today, it helps to identify the areas of the beach in terms of accomodation and facilities. Station 3 is laid back and houses many backpacker hostels and budget accomodation. Station 2 is the epicenter of White Beach lined with restaurants, bars and mid-range hotels and resorts. Station 1 is where you’ll find most of the luxury resorts and shallow waters ideal for swimming. Further up north is also a Station 0 with 5-star beach resorts and private beaches.
From Manila, there are two airports closest to Boracay : Godofredo P. Ramos Airport (Caticlan Airport) and Kalibo Airport.
JUNE: FULONG, TAIWAN
If you can only visit one beach during your stay in Taiwan, make it Fulong Beach! A mere train-ride away from the bustling capital of Taipei, Fulong Beach is popular with locals during the weekend.
Fulong Beach is basically one big golden sandbar, so you have to cross the Rainbow Bridge in order to get there. The calm and sheltered water of the Shuangxi River, which empties into the ocean around the beach makes this an ideal spot for wind surfing and kayaking.
During the months of May to July, Fulong Beach hosts the Fulong Sand Sculpting Art Festival. Known for its soft, highly cohesive white quartz sands, Fulong beach has been acknowledged by the World Sand Sculpting Association to be the best for making sand sculptures in Taiwan. You have to catch the amazing display of sand sculptures on display during these months.
Do take note of an entry fee for the larger private beach area. There is a smaller public beach that is free towards the direction of DongXing Temple that many do not know of.
Click here for our SUMMER GETAWAYS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR – PART 2 featuring more unique destinations for the second half of the year!