When most of us think about summer, we picture the beach, a book and maybe an Instagrammable adult drink. However, this concept can get old pretty fast. The travel bug creeps in as summer wears on, and certain destinations become especially enticing due to the weather, cultural festivals, natural wonders and more. Many of these countries may not immediately come to mind when thinking about planning a summer vacation, but the best trips are usually to the most surprising destinations.
If you want a summer vacation far from tourists, then Mongolia is your best bet. In fact, this country is visited by fewer than 400,000 tourists a year. With the lowest population density in the world, this country is an ideal destination for those seeking to get in touch with nature. The summer is an especially perfect time to make the trick as the temperatures a warm, the skies sunny and its natural landscapes breathtaking If you do make the journey, check out the wildlife of the Mongolian steppe. You’ll be able to see animals, such as the Siberian ibex, in their natural habitat.
Small, but wonderful, this Central American country is located on the Yucatan peninsula, right on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. While other tourists are cruising from island to island, Belize remains relatively ignored by beachgoing visitors. The many cayes and islands of Belize are perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving, and if you just want to relax under the sun you can find your own slice of paradise on one of its idyllic beaches, such as Cayo Corker.
Beach paradise in Albania? If you are looking for a summer vacation in a pristine and unexplored place then you need to start looking for flights to Tirana, the Albanian capital. In this small Balkan country you will find some of the best beaches of the Adriatic Sea. Most are still free of mass tourism, making them unspoiled delights in the summer. In addition, Albania boasts its own Alpine mountain range dotted with fairytale villages, waterfalls and hiking trails.
This vast Russian region is a truly surprising choice for summer, but it's the best season to visit this isolated territory. Siberia is fascinating and breathtaking, with natural landscapes that include idyllic lakes and snow-capped mountain peaks. Take a mini-cruise on the Arctic Ocean or a voyage along the legendary Trans-Siberian train. Visit the world's deepest lake, Lake Baikal, and hike through isolated nature.
Belonging to the former Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan is located in the heart of Central Asia. The country does not have historical monuments of great interest, but it compensates with its spectacular mountainous landscapes and stunning lakes. Hike through sprawling fields backed by towering mountains, spend the night in a yurt and enjoy natural beauty so overwhelming, you'll come home with a camera full of pictures.
Landlocked countries usually have it a little rough in the summer, as crowds flock to the coast for a little beach action. In the case of Paraguay, that doesn't seem to matter. Given its dramatic natural parks and spectacular waterfalls, it might be an atypical summer trip but it's filled with astonishing discoveries. Explore tropical forests broken by roaring waterfalls or explore ancient ruins on horseback. One thing's for sure, you'll never be bored.