Global temperatures have been rising steadily and becoming very noticeable recently, particularly in peak summer months. The frequency and intensity of these extreme heat events have spurred action to reduce carbon emissions as well as conservation efforts to help countries combat heat-related illnesses, drought and other challenges local communities increasingly face.

As a Certified B Corp- travel company, we aim to use travel as a force for good, and our travellers’ wellbeing while on our trips continues to be our top priority. So, based on science from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), our teams have assessed which trips are currently running in high-heat areas and are taking measures to mitigate the impact of heat wherever possible. This includes changing routes, prime hiking and cycling times in the midday heat, and sourcing accommodation with air conditioning. We’re also decreasing capacity or removing trips entirely in destinations that experience extreme heat during the hotter months of July and August and adding some fantastic new trips in destinations that have milder climates instead.

So, to help you decide which country is best to visit around summertime, we’ve created our Cool Summer Collection which is filled with trips to destinations that typically experience milder, more pleasant temperatures. Read on as we share our top five favourites from the list.

5 Cool Summer Destinations To Put On Your List This Year

1. Northern Sweden

While Sweden experiences much colder winters than the majority of Europe, its short summers often range between a comfortable 15°C to 20°C, making it a great time to try our new trip, North Sweden: Active Summer Adventure. These temperatures provide ideal conditions for exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Sápmi, (known to most as Lapland).

On this trip, you’ll trek through the hushed forests in Rajamaa, cycle around Lake Muodosjärvi, meet local huskies and set off on a two-day wilderness expedition, where you’ll spend evenings in a remote log cabin. Along the way, you’ll interact with a forest Sámi, gaining unique insight into the present and past lives of the indigenous Sámi people. Sharing knowledge about traditional reindeer husbandry, they’ll also tell you fascinating folktales and legends, as storytelling is a key part of their heritage.

When evening comes on day three, you’ll also get the opportunity to learn about the Big Four Scandinavian predators: the grey wolf, brown bear, wolverine and the lynx, by spending the night trying to spot nocturnal wildlife in a hide 1km away from Metelivaara. Setting food outside the hide to encourage animal activity, you may be lucky to catch sightings of brown bears, sea eagles and foxes foraging. June, July and August are some of the best months to spot wildlife, as you will have long, lighter days and perfect temperatures for hiking, or what the locals like to call, “allemansrätten”, the right to roam through the wilderness.

5 Cool Summer Destinations To Put On Your List This Year

2. The Baltics

Other countries that experience milder, shorter summers are the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Situated in northeastern Europe, temperatures in the Baltic states are strongly influenced by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, resulting in pleasant summer temperatures that vary between 16-20°C. These countries, like Sweden, tend to have longer daylight hours too, (sometimes up to 19 hours), and are called, “white nights” by the locals. So, this window of time is perfect to try our Cycle the Baltics adventure.

On this country-spanning trip, you’ll get to explore old towns, enchanting castles and incredible national parks by bike. And thanks to pleasant temperatures in the summer, you can tackle these forest trails, lakeshore paths and cobbled streets with relative ease. Some key highlights along this varied ride include scenic routes through thick woods in Lahemaa National Park, cycles across meadows in Otepaa (known as Estonia’s Switzerland) and exhilarating rides surrounded by high dunes in the Curonian Spit National Park. These epic cycling routes are broken up with visits to Riga’s medieval Old Town, the botanical gardens in Palanga and the fairytale Trakai Castle situated in the middle of Galve Lake, Lithuania.  

5 Cool Summer Destinations To Put On Your List This Year

3. Iceland

Between June and August, Iceland is blessed with long daylight hours, dry inland weather and temperatures hovering between the late teens and early twenties, making it the perfect destination for hiking and exploring in the summer. The snow fully recedes this time of year, meaning you get to experience some of the country’s most iconic landscapes and remote hiking trails in all their vibrant colours, from deep green grasslands to bright blue lakes and brooding red shrubbery. This season is also fantastic for whale watching – so why not try our action-packed Iceland Explorer?

On this ten-day adventure, you’ll start by visiting some of the country’s most famous sights, including Thingvellir’s immense fissures, the Strokkur geyser, and Gullfoss Waterfall. On day three, your journey heads east, where you can view the mighty waterfalls of Skógafoss and Kvernufoss at their best in summertime thanks to milder temperatures melting the snow. Next up, you’ll travel to Dyrhólaey, the southernmost point in Iceland, where you may be able to spot minke, humpback, fin and pilot whales and seals from the promontory, during peak summer months. Studlagil Canyon is particularly spectacular this time of year too and you’ll get to visit it on day five. If the conditions are good, you’ll also be able to visit Diamond Beach, just across the road from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you can still see massive blocks of glacial ice scattered around like diamonds against the black sands, even in summer. These months are also popular for spotting bird life, particularly in the sheltered lagoon of Álftafjörður, where you can see thousands of whooper swans.

5 Cool Summer Destinations To Put On Your List This Year

4. The Cotswolds, England

If you want to explore a little closer to home, why not visit the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain – the enchanting Cotswolds? Covering over 2,000km, the honey-coloured villages, rolling hill landscapes and fascinating Iron Age hill forts, make this area a wonderful place for a staycation in the summertime. And during the months of June, July and August, you’re more likely to experience good weather with warm average temperatures that fall between 20°C and 26°C. One of the best ways to explore this region is by bike, so why not try our Cycle the Cotswolds: Oxford to Bath trip?

On this six-day adventure, your journey begins in the university city of Oxford with a walking tour before cycling to Burford, a town filled with Georgian townhouses, Cotswold stone cottages and cosy traditional pubs. Known to many as the gateway to the Cotswolds, you’ll set off from Burford the following day towards charming cafés in Bourton-on-the-Water and the market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. On day three, your route heads south, where you’ll spot the 17th-century weavers’ cottages in Bibury and cycle along the ancient Roman roads of Cirencester before riding through Minchinhampton Common, one of the largest grassland commons in the Cotswolds. Next, you’ll arrive in Bath, where you’ll ride past King Charles Highgrove Estate, and along the Fosse Way canal path. A visit to the famous Roman Baths that the city is renowned for in the afternoon, offers a fascinating glimpse into its past. This trip comes to a close with a wonderful circular ride via Lacock and Bradford-on-Avon.

5 Cool Summer Destinations To Put On Your List This Year

5. Loire Valley, France

Situated further north than other notable appellations like Bordeaux and Rhône, the Loire Valley generally has a slightly cooler climate in comparison, making it a great choice for a cool summer getaway. The Loire Valley has a continental climate tempered by a moderate Atlantic breeze which means it’s usually lovely and sunny in summer, without getting too hot. Average temperatures usually hover around the mid-twenties in July and August. Known as “the Garden of France” because of its abundance of fruit orchards and world-class vineyards, it’s the perfect place for exploring on foot, and our Loire Valley: Walks, Wine & Chateaux, ensures you see the region’s most breathtaking places.

So, for one week this summer, why not indulge in local wine tastings and visit some of the country’s finest fairytale chateaux? Highlights of our trip include a scenic walk and wine tasting along the Loire to Vouvray; a visit to the iconic 16th-century Château de Chenonceau followed by a tranquil stroll along the Cher River and exploring the majestic Château Royal d’Amboise, which houses the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci. You’ll also get the opportunity to discover the beautiful Saumur-Champigny vineyards and enjoy a guided walk in Saumur town. Afterwards, a tasting session with a local wine producer allows you to sample glasses of their AOP Saumur-Champigny wine amidst picturesque landscapes. Next, it’s onto the Renaissance Gardens of Villandry, where you’ll have time to explore the extensive grounds and castle. To cap off the week, you and your group will enjoy a final hike towards Azay le Rideau castle before bidding farewell in Beaumont-en-Véron. If you’re looking for the perfect summer getaway, look no further.

If this has inspired you to visit destinations that typically enjoy milder temperatures this summer, we’ve got plenty of options available, just click here to browse our Cool Summer Collection.