Every so often we get the traveling bug and give you a list of our favorite unconventional getaways. There were the top spring break destinations to help you fully escape the classroom, Memorial Day getaways to help you recuperate after a long weekend, and even a breakdown of Zalipie, Poland’s famed painted village. Now, with your summer vacation on the line, we’re turning to the professionals to learn what travel destinations are trending on Instagram and Pinterest. In a sense, we’re finding you a list of places you can travel to just like we’d investigate the latest beauty trend or insane fashion piece. It’s time to save some money and let social media do all the busy work of finding a picturesque spot to while away your summer. Here’s what the populous internet says are the best locations to visit for an exotic, Instagram-worthy warm weather vacation.
I should come as no surprise that the colorful city of Barcelona is on this list. An artistic inspiration for creative minds like Gaudi, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso throughout the ages, it is a design capital without the corporate infestation of New York or LA. If you want your digs to reflect this undisturbed wonder of a town, shack up at the city’s Unique Palazzo right in the historical Gothic Quarter. There’s nothing like an 18th-century palace to get you in the spirit for adventure.
Few would have predicted it early in the decade, but Greece is quickly becoming the tropical getaway of choice for people all over the world. The coastal town of Santorini makes a particularly picturesque travel destination with white stucco cliffside dwellings strewn against the deep blue Aegean Sea. There in the hills, you’re always a stone’s throw away from beautiful beaches and a fresh glass of vino. Does a European vacation get any better than that?
BORA BORA, POLYNESIA
You’ve probably heard of this tropical destination in People Magazine or some other celebrity publication. It’s the cream of the crop when it comes to southeastern paradises for the rich and famous. This illustrious reputation may scare you off at first, but upon closer inspection, it appears you don’t have to have deep pockets to enjoy the thrills of Bora Bora. With some help from Airbnb, a simple beach bungalow on stilts can be yours for only a couple hundred a night.
But what about Tokyo, you ask? Well, if you like the sleek, towering glass buildings of a modern city, then there’s probably no reason to choose the traditional Kyoto of Japan’s famous capital city. However, if you’re looking for more of a peaceful respite, the ancient city turned university town has everything you could want. Stay in a Japanese machiya and sample the local kaiseki while touring some of the world’s most stunning Buddhist temples. It will make for an adventure you won’t soon forget.
Iceland was a favorite photographic destination long before Instagram or Pinterest existed. In the 50s and 60s, photographers from all over the world would flock to Reykjavik and other Icelandic towns to capture their colorful, minimalist architecture. Today, tourists visit year-round to see the famous geysers, Instagram those iconic vibrantly painted doors, and just enjoy the city’s unique mixture of historic and contemporary sites. If you can, stay in a downtown apartment for easy access to all this vacation spot can offer.
SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS, UK
If you are one of those people who wants to live in a world like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, the awe-inspiring mountains of northern Scotland will feel like paradise. There are no warring parties to interrupt the serene countryside and if you plan it right, you can stay in a Gothic fort or some other ancient castle surrounded by lush woodlands. Few country excursions can match the majesty of these regal highlands.
When you make your trip to France, stray from the beaten path a bit. Paris and Mediterranean shore are beautiful travel destinations, but nothing quite beats a quiet week in the Alps. Courchevel is located right on the country’s eastern border with Italy near landmarks like Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Whether you’re an avid skier, a beginner, or lover of cozy châteaus, this gorgeous French town will rejuvenate your spirit with unlimited fun and wonder.
TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS
All the best of Europe without the hassle, this island has seen a recent spike in tourist attention due to its rich history and momentous Carnaval. The largest island off the coast of West Africa, it’s Spanish heritage makes it a cultural and celebratory hub crowded with temples, museums, and stunning colonial architecture. Book yourself a stucco penthouse to be near the vibrant downtown area. There’s never a dull day when you’re vacationing in Tenerife.
SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT
A giant among Egyptian beach towns, this sparkling travel destination boasts a Spanish-inspired villa with contemporary dove-white buildings and embellished Arabian architecture. The blue waters are a famous draw for deep sea divers and on-shore attractions like an infinity pool and delicious local cuisine fill out the rest of the experience. With a well-rounded experience like that, it’s no wonder Sharm El Sheikh is Pinterest’s number one summer vacation spot for 2017.
From popular haunts rediscovered to new tourist destinations, your 2017 summer vacation could be spectacular. Don’t waste your time planning Florida trips and New York weekends on your one week off. Go for something more adventurous and exotic. You deserve a real trip away.
— Timothy Vest