The big chill
IF YOU’RE feeling the heat and crave a break in a cool place, fear not, at PDM we know of plenty of destinations where there’s a distinctly refreshing chill in the air. The rules of cool are simple – in general, the further you travel from the Equator, the closer you are to a body of water, the higher you are above sea level and the less you exert yourself, the cooler you will be. Here is our pick of the best cool destinations:
On both Canadian coasts, you will find ocean-side destinations, where cool breezes make for comfortable days. Vast Nova Scotia, jutting from the country’s eastern shore, is home to one of the world’s natural wonders (and cooling systems): the Bay of Fundy, where the highest tides on earth ebb and flow as much as 60 feet each day. Spend time rafting, searching for dinosaur remains, panning for gemstones, driving the spectacular Cabot Trail circle, sailing the Bras d’Or Lakes, feasting on fresh Atlantic salmon, and exploring old and new Halifax.
Surrounded by cooling water, the city of Vancouver and Victoria Island in British Columbia are popular summer destinations. They boast splendid gardens, great restaurants, beaches, and cultural and sporting attractions. Plus there’s a range of accommodations to suit every budget.
The only problem is that Vancouver is so nice at this time of year that it tends to get a bit crowded. If you need your space, consider heading even further north … and take a boat to Alaska.
Catch the inexpensive ferry or, if you want to see the Inner Passage in style, take a cruise. Cool sea breezes, blue vistas that extend for miles and, suddenly, sparkling turquoise glaciers ahead. It’s not all relaxation though – a cruise around Alaska can also incorporate a helicopter flight to the top of a glacier, a train ride deep into the wilderness of Denali National Park, or a sky-trek to remote freshwater lakes, where brown bears pluck dinner from cool streams.
The temperature in Iceland barely rises above 15.5ºC, even in July. Yet that’s not too cool to hike the amazing countryside and unwind in the fabulous Blue Lagoon, a place with soothing waters that are naturally warmed to over 37.7ºC.
All Scandinavian countries provide plenty of fresh air, access to the sea, and sane summer temperatures. Denmark has the most to see, with Copenhagen and even cooler Aalborg in North Jutland. Or, fly to Greenland and go glacier skiing, tour the mighty polar cap, and explore Nuuk.
If you travel south of the Equator in June, July and August, you will find ice cold, white, granular snow. Ski areas and resorts in the southern hemisphere are generally open from May to November – the perfect escape from the sizzling summer heat.