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Everybody loves the sunshine. That’s why so many of us chase it across the globe, picking holidays in places where we can soak it up. But what if you want to take chasing summer to the next level? What if you want one whole year (or a whole month) of travelling, fresh experiences and glorious, brilliant sunshine?
Well, then we’ve got some good news for you. With this round the world trip itinerary, you’ll always be on the bright (and sunny) side of life.
London > Marrakech > Doha > Cape Town > Johannesburg > Kuala Lumpur > Sydney > Miami > Sao Paulo > London
London, UK (September)
While the weather’s still just right – not too hot, not too cold – it’s a great time to enjoy London’s lush green spaces. Usual haunts like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park are always a good choice, but we’d recommend a trip out to Hampstead Heath. In addition to its many pools and ponds, make sure to visit the Pergola’s colonnade walkways – the fact that it’s overgrown with greenery just adds to its sense of timelessness. And it gives you this feeling that summer’s here to stay.
Which, in your case, is true. Because you’re about to fly to your first stop on your sun-circling tour, where temperatures are still in the high twenties.
Marrakech, Morocco (October)
Autumn blues? Not happening here, unless you count the lavish blue walls inside the Marjorelle Gardens, a place so fabulous Yves Saint Lauren used to live here. In addition to sunshine, intricate tile designs and red buildings, you can find intoxicating smells in the maze of Medina souks, the colourful markets of the old town. Whatever you do, try to stay at one of Marrakech’s traditional riads – pockets of bliss and luxury in the middle of town, complete with pools and rooftop terraces.
Marrakech is also at a perfect crossroads for adventure. Want some salty ocean air? Go to Essaouira, a coastal city that’s equal parts romantic, chic and rustic. Or head for Ourzazate, the gateway to the Sahara and home to an impressive sandstone fortress. Either way, you’ll be in a Game of Thrones shooting location.
Doha, Qatar (November)
Yes, Doha is a little stopover oasis. But it can be so much more too, if you stay a while longer. That way, you can take all the time you want to laze on its fine beaches. Then, it’s time for fancy high tea with a view of the gulf. Maybe you’ll check out Instagram and see your friends sharing windswept videos and rain-soaked photos. Good thing you’re here! And if you want to do something entirely different, you can spend the night under the stars by camping in the desert.
However, Doha is also a haven for culture. A shining example of this is the Museum of Islamic Art, whose modern architecture is reason enough to visit. It’s also free to visit. No matter what you end up doing, though, you’re going to feel like a royal.
Cape Town, South Africa (December)
Ah summer, it’s nice to see you again. Now that you’re on the south side of the world – the sunny (or rather sunnier) days have just begun. You could head straight for the beach, but with not one but two signature rock formations – flat Table Mountain jagged Lion’s Head – it’s only right that you start with some breath-taking hikes. You’ll also find hidden rock pools on many hiking trails. Very rewarding after all the activity.
But you don’t need to get too sportsy to enjoy the Cape’s natural wonders. There’s a cable car going up to Table Mountain, and the national park around it is home to the massive Kirstenboch Botanical Gardens. And while we’re on the topic of leisure, no Cape Town visit would be complete without spending time at a vineyard – or spotting penguins at Boulders Beach, for that matter.
Johannesburg, South Africa (January)
This country is so beautiful you probably don’t want to leave just yet. So don’t! Instead, move on to the capital Johannesburg, where you can dive deeper into culture. Namely, the most colourful street art scene in Africa. The Maboneng Precinct is officially one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. The colourful spirit is also reflected in the city’s cuisine. Don’t be surprised to see a burger with a rainbow coloured bun.
For some wildlife experience, you can drive to the Lion & Safari Park an hour north of the city. Here you’ll find dozens of lions, including adorable cubs who you will take to calling Nala and Simba, that are being protected in their natural habitat.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (February)
It’s always sunny in Kuala Lumpur. So why February? Easy. Because it’s one of the more dry periods. But also because it means the New Year crowds have left the gorgeous beach destinations north of Kuala Lumpur, like Penang and Langkawi. Another bonus? You’ll be here in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations, and a dazzling display of red lanterns, dancing lions and fireworks.
The Petronas Towers are without a doubt worth visiting, but don’t miss out on the elegantly designed Jamek Mosque. If you have time, pay a visit to the Batu Caves, a Hindu holy site with carved stone temples. In general, let yourself wander off the main streets – you might be surprised what colourful sights await you. And whatever you do, do not come back without trying everything at Hutong Food Market.
Sydney, Australia (March)
It’s shoulder season now in Sydney. As in, you don’t have to look over your shoulder for crowds. As summer comes to a close, there will be less people around, which means only one thing. More sunshine for you. And more room to relax at what is perhaps Australia’s most Instagrammed water of body – the Icebergs ocean pool at Bondi Beach. Sydney’s vibrant culinary scene – combining Asian influences, British traditions and tropical produce – also adds to the summery sensation. In fact, it’s worth travelling across the world for.
Obviously, no Sydney trip would be complete without saying hi to Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. But if you’d like to wander off the well-worn path, Manly Beach should be your port of call. The ferry ride itself will be worth it. You can also get a taste of the outback with trips to Broken Hill and Blue Mountains.
Miami, USA (April)
Welcome to Miami! We know you want to head right to South Beach, but it’s been a long (though comfy) journey from Sydney. So take some time to rest. In the meanwhile, let us give you some good news. April is the best of both worlds, with much less rain and slightly cooler temperatures – around 26 degrees. So drift on over to South Beach or Miami Beach or, if you’re looking for something more local, 21-45th Street Beach.
But there’s a lot more to Miami than beaches. There are also epic 80s TV shows and that one Will Smith song (just kidding). This city is an Art Deco lover’s dream, and Ocean Drive’s neon pink and purple hues are just the beginning. You can also get a glimpse of some subtle Spanish flair at the delightful archways of Wynwood Walls. Not so subtle? The bright, bold Cuban flavours in Little Havana, a magical explosion of sweet, spicy, exotic and hearty.
Sao Paulo, Brazil (May)
Sure, Rio de Janeiro has the Carnival and the famous beaches with songs written about them. But Sao Paulo, at twice the size, is where Brazil’s cultural heart beats. Worth visiting are the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (a.k.a. MASP), as well as Pinacoteca, whose classic architecture – and the park around it – will wow you just as much as its contemporary Brazilian art. For something more lo-fi, there’s Beco de Batman (literally Batman Alleyway) and its open air grafitti museum.
Sao Paulo is blessed with many green areas – a good place to take a break, seeing as it takes a while to get from one end of the city to the other. Pining for the seaside? You can head down to the golden sands of Santos Beach in an hour, hour and a half tops.
London, UK (June)
And we’re back home, just as the weather’s getting nice again! That means 3 more months of (admittedly British) summer, capping off your year in the sun.
Is there an easy way to book all those flights?
You’ll have over 1,100 destinations to choose from, with flights from 13 world-class airlines: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.
We put together a quick guide to make using it even more of a breeze.
You can save plenty, rack up miles and take advantage of travel benefits – like access to airport lounges*.
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