Chill out: Beat the summer heat with these cool escapes

written by Sahar Aman May 14, 2024

Raise your hand if you love a layer. These destinations are for travellers who love mist, plenty of shade, crisp mountain air and cozy sweater weather. Yes, all puns below are intended.  

If the thought of roasting in a city’s peak season heat makes you recoil from a summer trip, welcome to the coolest club in travel. Summer in the northern hemisphere is a vibe – bringing long, sunny days and plenty of outdoor activities and festivities – but being in the scorching heat isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t mean you have to cram all your travels into the off-season, this just means you can visit destinations overlooked by sun seekers. You could explore Iceland, hike through Patagonia’s rugged beauty or experience Scotland’s rich cultural heritage. The following destinations are tailor-made for a retreat from the heat. 

Denali National Park

Summer in Denali, Alaska, means mild temperatures and lots of daylight hours, which is ideal for exploring the park’s smaller mountains, tundra and foothills. It’s one of the largest national parks in the United States, covering over six million acres (about the area of Belgium) and home to diverse ecosystems, wildlife habitats and stunning landscapes, including North America’s tallest peak, Denali. On Intrepid’s six-day Hiking in Denali trip, travellers trek mountain trails (and a glacier) while spotting wolves, grizzly bears and moose and enjoying treats like pizza and local brews. 


Fjords, snow-capped mountains, charming coastal towns and temperatures that hover around 20˚C make Norway a great option for travellers looking for cooler escapes. From happening cities like Oslo to villages on the Lofoten Islands, there are different experiences for every type of traveller. Intrepid’s trips in the country let you visit must-see fjords, embark on a scenic train journey through the Norwegian countryside or simply soak in the tranquility of the Arctic Circle under the midnight sun.  


For anyone who loves an adventure, Patagonia’s rugged landscapes are the ticket. Down at the southern tip of South America, towering peaks meet icy glaciers and windswept plains. Temperatures stay close to 20˚C in the summer. With Intrepid, you can visit nature destinations like Torres del Paine National Park, hike the towering granite spikes of Fitz Roy, or cruise through the icy waters of the Beagle Channel in search of penguins.  


With misty moors, rugged coastline, ancient castles and diverse cities, Scotland has a great mix of history, culture and nature. In the summer, the average temperature is around 19°C and visitors have up to 17 hours of daylight to play in. On Classic Walks of Scotland, adventurous travellers can roam around craggy peaks, rolling hills and tranquil lochs. Culture lovers can hit the cobbled streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow on Highlights of Scotland. This small group trip also includes stops at places like Inverness, Fort William and the gorgeous Isle of Skye.  


Famous for its out-of-this-world scenery and geothermal attractions, Iceland lives up to its name even in summer when, thanks to the Gulf Stream, the climate is pleasant. In July and August, temperatures range from 10 to 15°C and visitors can take advantage of long daylight hours. With Intrepid, see stunning waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss on the Golden Circle in Depth trip, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon on Iceland Discovery, walk along ancient glaciers, learn about Viking history, visit cute coastal towns and villages and iceberg-watch. 

South Africa 

From beaches along the Wild Coast to the peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa offers a summer escape with lots of variety. Enjoy that Atlantic Ocean breeze as you explore Cape Town, where Table Mountain looks over streets with an eclectic mix of culture and architecture. Go on a safari to search for the Big Five in Kruger National Park. Hike through leafy green forests of the Garden Route or sample world-class wines in the picturesque vineyards of the Cape Winelands. The temperatures from March to May range from 20 to 28°C; between June and August, they average 15 to 23°C and temperatures fall between 18 to 26°C from September to November.  

The Canadian Rockies  

With average temperatures ranging from a comfortable 15 to 25°C, the Canadian Rockies offer a cool sanctuary for travellers wanting relief from the scorching sun. Here, you can head out on hikes through forests and around turquoise glacial lakes and breathe in the crisp mountain air. For a trip that covers plenty of ground with all the ooh and aahs, grab a spot on Intrepid’s Classic Canadian Rockies. You’ll add epic national parks like Banff and Jasper to the ‘gram and relax in alpine villages on a summer retreat with some of the nicest natural beauty found in the world.  

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