Having a summer holiday to look forward to is the best way to make it through the winter months with a smile on your face. With the cold quickly creeping in, sun, sea, and sand are sure to be welcome in the near future.
However, rather than choosing somewhere close to home, immerse yourself in a brand new part of the world by opting for a long-haul trip. The travel time is well worth it, as you’ll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful beaches and vibrant cultures in the world.
Not sure where to start your long-haul adventure? Here are some of the top destinations to add to your ultimate 2020 summer holiday bucket list.
Boasting a wealth of ornate architecture, ruggedly beautiful landscapes and a unique old town, Morocco’s charming culture is distinguishable at every corner. The old town boasts a distinct aroma of herbs and spices on every street, one that is guaranteed to make your mouth water. It’s the perfect excuse to stop by a market – known as souks – and tuck into one of the many delicacies on offer.
Vibrant and bustling, these souks carry much more than just cuisine. You could spend hours browsing the large selection of goods on offer, which includes everything from jewellery to handwoven rugs. From there, head to one of the aforementioned architectural wonders. The most famous are the gates to Fez, Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakech and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, although there are many others should you wish to go off the beaten track.
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Average flight time from Dublin: 3 hours 35 minutes
Known for having some of the best beaches in the world, Barbados is rich in culture yet naturally luxurious. The bright turquoise sea is a welcoming sight, whether you want to take a relaxing dip or see the famous turtles with a snorkelling trip. Have a nap in a hammock hung from one of the many tropical palm trees on the soft white sand before tucking into a meal of fresh seafood.
Barbados has more to offer than the beaches, however. The capital city, Bridgetown, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the best place to get a taste of the culture. Offering a mix of vibrant market stalls, opulent brand name stores and a friendly atmosphere, there are many different sides to Bridgetown.
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Average flight length from London: 9 hours
Having quickly risen up the ranks of unmissable destinations, Sri Lanka should be on everyone’s 2020 summer holiday ideas list. The island’s tropical climate is a welcoming embrace, one that you’re sure to be greeted by as you step off the plane. Whether you’re going to explore one of the many fascinating ancient ruins or simply sun yourself on the blissful beach, the Sri Lankan experience is like no other.
Immerse yourself in nature by hiking through one of the many trails on the island. Not only will you be rewarded by exotic blooms and trees, but you may stumble across one of the many rare animals that call this destination home. Boasting 26 national parks alongside these trails, Sri Lanka should be a bucket-list topper for those who adore animals and nature.
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Average flight time from Dublin: 11 hours 30 minutes
Offering lazy days by the beach and buzzing nights out, Thailand is an incredibly versatile destination. World-renowned for its delicious and diverse cuisine, foodies are guaranteed to adore the many dishes on offer. Featuring fresh shrimp with a sweet and sour tang, the Tom Yum Goong is an unforgettable choice.
If this isn’t a convincing part of the package, the tropical nature of Thailand surely will be. Expect vast coastlines of white powder sand that melts into translucent blue water, all of which are framed by vibrant greenery. Enjoy serene days exploring nature and temples, including the striking yet slightly hidden Wat Pha Sorn Kaew. When day turns to dusk, head into one of the many bars dotted around the city to discover the wild side of Thailand.
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Average flight time from Dublin: 13 hours 30 minutes
Known for its dreamy nature parks, surf-worthy beaches and thrilling theme parks, California has something to offer every traveller. Explore the most incredible hiking trails in Yosemite National Park; framed by California’s rugged Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is one of the most breathtaking parks in the world. Hosting some of the oldest trees and the most breathtaking waterfalls in the world, it’s worth visiting California just to explore this heavenly park.
If you’re more of a sun seeker, head to one of the many beautiful beaches on the coast of California. Whether you’re looking to grab a board and surf the waves or a relaxing day sunbathing, Malibu’s soft sand and incredibly blue sea is bound to be inviting.
There’s much more to California than nature spots, however; it’s also home to a plethora of theme parks. From Disneyland to Six Flags Magic Mountain, there’s no shortage of thrills to be had.
Average flight time from Dublin: 11 hours 5 minutes
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Whether you’re the type to chill out all day every day or you’re looking for a thrill, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect destination in our list of 2020 long-haul summer holiday ideas. Now it’s time to plan your trip, get your flights booked and start the countdown to your big adventure.