Looking for inspiration on how to spend your holiday allowance this year? Here Sonja Healy, founder of luxury travel style site Supernomad, shares her recommendations for the best places to head to this summer.
What are your top destinations for people seeking sunshine and white-sand beaches?
A personal favourite is Sri Lanka; the white sand beaches of Bentota, Unawatuna and Tangalle along the southern coast are top of my list as they offer water sports, great surf, fishing and/or turtle watching and snorkelling – something to keep the entire family happy. But on the whole, you can find a vibe and scene that suits most travel tastes in this wonderful tear drop island. Ancient Buddhist temples, majestic landscapes, a myriad of micro climates and the most polite, gentle locals make for a cherished holiday.
Rather uniquely also, two monsoon winds providing rain to the two corners of the country at various periods results in Sri Lanka being a beach holiday destination a year-round possibility (the north-east winds make the south-western coast sunny with calm seas from November to March, whereas the south-west winds make the eastern coast waters quiet with constant sun shine).
Where are the best places to experience the hustle and bustle of city life?
I know I’m biased but you really can’t beat London. I personally love that such a vibrant, multicultural, throbbing metropolis manages to be made of up of small village-like pockets, each with their own vibe and distinct look.
With most galleries and museums being free to enter, I’d definitely recommend a good dose of culture soaking with these (definitely don’t leave out the Victoria & Albert Museum), and when the sun’s out head to the South Bank where a lively street market scene sits alongside the cool restaurants and bars that cradle the National Theatre by the River Thames. My absolute favourite food market is Borough Market by London Bridge – and I love Roast restaurant which overlooks the hustle and bustle if you’re after a quieter, more refined break from shopping.
Head for a roof top cocktail at the Duck and Waffle at the top of Heron Tower in Bishopsgate for unbeatable views, and for a really different dining scene go slightly ‘underground’ with a pop up instalment such as the great Pale Blue Door - definitely something unique.
Everyone needs a short break to refuel. What are your recommendations for a long weekend getaway?
I’m Scandinavian so it would also be immoral for me not to recommend a great weekend blast of Scandi-cool in the great cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm or Helsinki.
In Europe, Barcelona is up there in my list at the moment. A short flight and a quick airport/city commute make this city particularly easy for a quick weekend trip. It’s not often that a city can provide culture, cuisine, a lively night-life scene and a sandy beach. And everything is close enough to be able to walk to. Airbnb has also made this sort of short weekend break such a great way to not blow the entire annual holiday budget, while staying at the heart of where the city action is.