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If you live in a warm climate as I do (Singapore and Bali), sometimes you just want to escape to a “cool” destination – literally and figuratively. Holidays, especially during the summer months, are expected to be where sun, sand and water are found. However, even a beach can sometimes be too warm to enjoy. So, where can you go for a fun holiday that isn’t too scorching?


The Azores — This archipelago off the coast of North Africa may not be on everyone’s radar, but it’s far from boring. The average temperature in the summer is 26 °C (79 °F). It is the perfect temperature for hiking, boating and swimming. The reason for the cool temperature is its maritime climate. There are also unique sights to see, such as “lava-fried” ruins, high vistas and sperm whales. The Portuguese traditions of the local fishing villages add authenticity to the trip. Another reason to visit during the summer is the amount of sunlight, which can last up to seven or eight hours during the summer season.


Koster Islands, Sweden — While many go to the more popular cities (e.g. Stockholm and Gothenburg), there are other parts of Sweden that deserve just as much attention. The Koster Islands, an archipelago north of Gothenburg, has cool temperatures in the summer that range from 29.7 °C to 30.5 °C. What is interesting is that the Koster Islands are home to Sweden’s first marine national park, Kosterhavet National Park. They also offer plenty of hiking, kayaking and cycling (and great seafood). The islands are nature reserves with a landscape full of heather and juniper bushes, sandy beaches and bedrock from volcanic activity. The islands are car-free and the main transport is by ferry, which adds to the relaxing atmosphere.  


Dublin, Ireland — Although a popular tourist destination, Dublin offers cool temperatures during the summer months ranging from 16 °C to 20 °C and 18 hours of sunlight during July and August. It is full of history and architecture, with buildings dating back to the 13th century. And there are plenty of landmarks (and bars) to see. If you are adventurous, you can take a tour of the many cliffs or go hiking along them. There is also the famous Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery, which offer tours.


There are many “cool” cities to visit during the summer months, with the majority in northern Europe. They are a welcome reprieve from the typical summer destinations and many aren’t too expensive. Every once in a while, it is good to go to a place that has a different climate. The destination will encourage you to try new activities as well as cuisines and customs.