Help a wanderer wander.
July 16, 2016 3:39 PM   Subscribe

I have eight days of vacation time and a freshly renewed passport. Where in this wide world should I go?

I'm a relatively experienced solo traveler who takes the occasional quasi-spontaneous international jaunt. I feel one of those coming on and as luck would have it, I've got 8 days of free time coming up - August 27 - September 3. What's the most wonderful place in the world to visit at that time?

As far as money is concerned, I can't break the bank, but I'm not on a shoestring budget, either. I'd like to keep airfare + accommodations no more than around $1300 (I've been finding 7 nights + air rates to central London in this range), and less would of course be good. Honestly, I'm not so concerned about recommendations within a budget - I'm mostly after recs for where to go and what to do.

Stuff I'm thinking about:
- Do you know of a festival anywhere in this world during that week that are unmissable?
- A beach would be very lovely, but I'd really like an excellent nightlife. Because I'm really wanting . . .
- . . . to go to some nightclubs. The big, warehouse-y type with thundering bass and sweaty dancing.
- I really love modern art.
- I'm a big lover of food and drink.
- I'm also interested in "wonders of the world"-type experiences and I love scuba diving, although it's been some time since I've gone and I'm not sure if my cert is current.

Looking forward to your recommendations!
posted by sevensnowflakes to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Where are you leaving from?
posted by mskyle at 4:27 PM on July 16, 2016

Response by poster: Leaving from Austin, Texas.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 4:51 PM on July 16, 2016

Man, a few years ago I'd have been shouting "Lebanon" as loud as possible. Fantastic nightclubs; natural wonders; the astonishing ruins at Baalbek, Anjar and elsewhere; great food; a vibrant contemporary art scene and even reasonable beaches. Personally I'd still be happy to go, but with the way the region is these days, a lot depends on your tolerance for risk and perceived risk.
posted by howfar at 4:59 PM on July 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

All the things on your list (except for maybe the festival) shouts South Africa to me. But your budget probably won't stretch there. But it has great night life, beaches, awesome scuba diving, a great art museum, and outstanding food.
posted by guster4lovers at 5:06 PM on July 16, 2016

I'll put a vote in for Valencia, Spain (especially if you speak a little Spanish). It's got a fun nightlife and a lot of great early medieval structures and art plus the City of Arts and Sciences, which is a group of architecturally interesting, modern buildings that double as museums/aquariums. August/September would be great for the beach.

The real draw here is that you could use it as a hub for trips to Buñol for the La Tomatina festival on August 31st (tomato throwing festival!) and to Palma on the island of Mallorca, which has a gorgeous cathedral, beaches, and looks like some opportunities for scuba diving.
posted by clarinet at 5:54 PM on July 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by tooloudinhere at 5:55 PM on July 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Beaten to Barcelona! But Valencia would be a good choice too.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:10 PM on July 16, 2016

Burning Man?
posted by ananci at 9:32 PM on July 16, 2016

There is no better answer to this question, given your dates and criteria, than Burning Man.
posted by curtains at 9:44 PM on July 16, 2016

Reykjavik, Iceland
posted by Capri at 4:51 PM on July 17, 2016

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