Vogue's 10 Unexpected Places to Travel This Summer

Vogue Magazine asked a few travel experts to share their favorite unexpected summer vacation destinations. From Algarve on Portugal’s south coast to Sumba in Indonesia to the Greek island of Sifnos (all three of which were mentioned by more than one of our experts, by the way), here are 10 glorious ideas for where to go. Best of all? You probably won’t run into anyone you know.

Sifnos, Greece

Sifnos is a standout among the Cyclades Islands in Greece and should be top of the list for discerning travelers seeking a laid-back, culturally enriching escape this summer. This under-the-radar alternative to bustling Mykonos and Santorini is known to many as the island of flavors—and for good reason. Tempting dishes such as chickpea balls, mastélo (lamb cooked in red wine and spices), and the sweetest honey pie are to die for. The rustic island welcomes travelers into traditional Greek island life with its whitewashed villages, secluded beaches, perfect climate, and 227 churches and monasteries dotted along the coastline.
Where to Stay: The Elies Resort is a 32-room haven known for its romantic elegance, Cycladic-style rooms, and direct access to Vathi beach.
— Tom Marchant, cofounder and owner, Black Tomato

Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are made up of 18 small islands in the North Atlantic Ocean roughly between Iceland and Norway. On a map they look like pinpricks, but upon landing you realize that the islands are hugely imposing and sturdy and so beautiful you’ll have to keep checking your own pulse to make sure you’re actually alive. It isn’t the easiest place to get to, but after spending some time there, it’ll be even harder to leave. The people are immediately warm, wonderfully earthy, and interesting; almost everyone I met spoke multiple languages and had traveled extensively, not something you may expect to find in such a small, isolated society. The islands have their own language, literature, art, and—of course—food. Ancient techniques of preserving fish, meat, and eggs are still in use and you’ll encounter flavors that just don’t exist anywhere else. Try the skerpikjøt, which is lamb fermented by sea air—you won’t be sorry.
Where to Stay: Hotel Føroyar was designed by Danish architects Friis & Moltke and looks as if it has been carved directly into the land.
—Erin Spens, editor, Boat magazine

Adelaide, Australia

If Melbourne, with its colorful laneways, coffee shops, and heaps of top-notch restaurants, is Australia’s foodie capital, then the nearby state of South Australia would be the foodie state. Start in Adelaide, which feels a little like Portland in pace and love for food. Just an hour-drive away is the Barossa Valley, which makes some of the country’s finest wines from some of the world’s oldest vines. Right in town is the original Penfolds Magill Estate, and 20 minutes outside of town is the Basket Range wine region, which is leading the country’s natural winemaking movement. Go to Lost in a Forest for organic pizzas, more wine, margaritas and Negronis in a 130-year-old church. Since you’re there anyway, you may as well take a small plane over to Port Lincoln, just an hour away and home to the largest fishing fleet of the Southern Hemisphere where you can eat your fill of oyster, bluefin tuna, and abalone.
Where to Stay: The locals know The Mayfair to be one of the best in town—comfortable beds, large bathrooms, friendly service, and ideal location. In the Barossa, you could indulge in a vineyard retreat at The Louise with 15 private villas, each with their own terrace.
—Leiti Hsu, cofounder, Journy


Algarve, that beautiful stretch of land all the way in the southwest of the country, at the tip of Europe. The coast has always been breathtaking, with green mountains, spectacular cliffs, and hidden beaches all over. The surf scene is vibrant, and with that comes a carefree attitude toward life that is infectious. But in recent years, something else has happened: The country’s design scene has blossomed and new restaurants have been opening left and right.
Where to Stay: Pay a quick visit to Lisbon or Porto, then rent a car and head down the coast to Algarve and create some fantastic summer memories. Casa Mãe in Lagos opened last year; its owner, Veronique Polaert, is a French expat who has an incredible eye for design. She assembled the best and brightest from the region, commissioned furniture and artworks from local artists, and created an oasis in the middle of this historic city. The hotel has its own farm outside the city, so the food in the restaurant is simply wonderful.
—Anna Peuckert, cofounder and editor, 12hrs
One of my top picks for summer is Lisbon, both for the city itself and as a starting point for exploring smaller towns and villages—like Sintra and Colares, an ancient town known for its very old vines. Toward the north, Nazaré, Óbidos, and Peniche all have beautiful beaches that are off the typical tourist track.
Where to Stay: My favorite place to stay is a beautiful boutique hotel called Areias do Seixo, about an hour outside of Lisbon. Areias do Seixo offers both hotel rooms and villas. While the villas may seem like a great deal with three bedrooms, opt for the main hotel rooms, which are much more luxurious and beautifully designed.
—Leiti Hsu, cofounder, Journy

Åland Islands, Finland

Summer’s seasonal warm temperatures and long sunny days make it the best time to explore the undiscovered landscape of the Åland Islands in Finland. Travelers can get lost discovering Finland’s archipelagos, taking advantage of opportunities to cycle, hike, kayak, and swim around the island. June is also a great time to visit Helsinki, as the city comes alive with a series of festivals and events celebrating Finnish culture and design.
Where to Stay: Be sure to check in to the Hermit Cabin, a four-man cabin offering unparalleled seclusion and only accessible via kayak. This cute, rustic abode boasts its own sauna, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of adventure.
—Tom Marchant, cofounder and owner, Black Tomato

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is a favorite spot that doesn’t get talked about much in summer. I suspect it’s because the locals want it for themselves. The weather is perfect, there are only four hours of darkness at night, and the culinary scene is incredible. You can visit the fine-dining restaurant Kadeau at its secluded Bornholm Island location. It’s a short 30-minute plane ride and absolutely worth the journey; there’s also the Hotel Nordlandet where you can spend the night.
Where to Stay: The most luxurious yet intimate place to stay is without question the Hotel Nimb. It’s a boutique property done in a stunning Arabian style with only 17 rooms.
—Susan Ho, cofounder, Journy

Tofino, British Columbia

Tofino is an epic cold-water surfer’s paradise with peeling waves in protected coves that break on soft sandy beaches with only a few surfers in the lineup. The hamlet—just a speck in a massive harbor dotted with tiny islands covered with pristine forests—has delicious food, coffee, a great bookstore, and everything you need for a getaway. Hike through forests to get to hot springs, get around on boats to visit floating houses, watch bears shaking berries off shrubs and catching salmon in streams—there is so much to do and see.
Where to Stay: Wya Point is outside of town with no cell reception and poor Internet access but there are a series of yurts right on the beach surrounded by forests. We spent our time unplugged; most nights we cooked fresh crab picked up from a fisherman in town and sat around the fire drinking wine and local beer.
—Emily Nathan, founder, Tiny Atlas Quarterly


I just came back from Namibia, which is an incredible and often overlooked African destination that combines wildlife viewing, amazing landscapes, both desert and coast, and cultural interactions with the Himba people.
Where to Stay: Don’t miss a stay at Sossuvlei Desert Lodge, which has great stargazing (and star beds), or Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, where you can see the desert-adapted elephant. 
—Melissa Bradley, founder and CEO, Indagare


Indonesia’s Komodo islands are ideal for intrepid families and honeymooners who want an experience all to themselves, away from other tourists. Best explored via luxury sailboat, these remote islands offer the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. Visitors can hike volcanoes, enjoy diving lessons in coral atolls, try paddleboard yoga, swim with whale sharks, visit villages to witness traditional weaving, get up close to mighty Komodo dragons, and, of course, unwind and master the art of chilling.
Where to Stay: There’s no better home base than the new Dunia Baru, an über-luxurious boat offering seven exquisite en-suite cabins and ample space to relax over three decks. With iPad controllers and a Sonos sound system hooked up throughout, Dunia Baru effortlessly combines traditional techniques with modern technology for a truly over-the-top getaway.
—Tom Marchant, cofounder and owner, Black Tomato
The island of Sumba has been a secret favorite among surfers for years and its special resort, Nihiwatu, is drawing those who love beaches, pristine nature, and local interactions.
Where to Stay: Spend a few days at Nihiwatu and then explore the remote islands on the Aman boat, Aman-i-khan
—Melissa Bradley, founder and CEO, Indagare

Baja California, Mexico

It’s easy to forget that Mexico’s landmass is as big as Europe’s, and all the country’s in-the-know foodies know that Baja California is where the finest seafood is to be found as well as a burgeoning winemaking scene. I like to go high-low, eating everywhere from hole-in-the-walls to fine-dining restaurants, like Corazón de Tierra in Valle de Guadalupe by Diego Hernández, ranked on the Latin America 50 Best list. Hernández combines influences from international travel with a back-to-the-land approach and has experience working under Mexican greats like Enrique Olvera. All of this is about an hour’s flight away from LAX.
Where to Stay: The six-room boho-chic B&B Villa del Valle adjoins Corazón de Tierra. There’s nothing like being able to roll over into bed after just one more glass of Baja Californian wine. You’ll be very well-fed, and the owners also make their own wine. It’s also an ideal launchpad from which to visit the 60-ish wineries in the region.
—Leiti Hsu, cofounder, Journy

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