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Is it possible to season hop around the world?
The term season hopping is completely made up, but I was curious if I could spend a year living in only one season by moving around the world with it. Then, as usual, I took it even further.
With this ultimate 4-year itinerary, you can now spend one year in each season. Following this route will take you around the world (multiple times) while you chase winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Each year consists of four stops in four countries and looks like this:
- Country #1 – December/January/February
- Country #2 – March/April/May
- Country #3 – June/July/August
- Country #4 – September/October/November
Over the course of four years, this itinerary would take you to 16 countries. Each country is then expanded with weather averages, unique places to stay, things to do and more.
Ready to start season hopping? Let’s begin with my favorite… fall!
Year 1: Season Hopping for Fall
Changing leaves, crisp cool air, and pumpkin-spiced everything. I’m an October baby and fall has always been my absolute favorite season.
The ultimate autumn itinerary for year one of my season hopping adventure is:
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Sydney, Australia
- Cusco, Peru
- Burlington, Vermont
Temperature: 47 to 61 F
Stay in: one of the many windmills for rent around the city.
Temps in the 50’s are ideal for crisp fall days. Some fall-like activities that make Lisbon worth a visit on this season hopping itinerary are camping and hiking in the beautiful Portuguese countryside. Also, visiting the famous Sintra Castle or nearby vineyards for a wine tasting shouldn’t (and definitely wouldn’t) be missed.
Fall in Sydney looks pretty nice. The changing leaves and cool temps are even more ideal because the city is cheaper and less crowded at this time of year.
Some fall activities to keep you occupied here are festivals, markets, and even an outdoor cinema in the city. I would also schedule a getaway to New Zealand for a week or two to go hiking in the changing foliage.
I spent July and August in Cusco in 2017. This city immediately came to mind as a fall destination over these months because the days were so crisp and sunny. In fact, during our two month stay we got rain only once.
Hiking is abundant and we even went to Llaullifest, a forest festival, to drink pumpkin beer and enjoy bonfires with a view of the stars. Nights in Cusco in these months are cozy and cold, perfect for the heavy Peruvian foods and craft beer in the city.
Does anywhere in the world do autumn better than the northeast US?
When season hopping for the fall, a stop here is a must. The state boasts some of the most spectacularly colored trees along with hiking, apple picking, pumpkin patches, Halloween festivities, and more.
Plus, it’s only a quick drive down to NYC for the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Year 2: Season Hopping for Winter
Ohhhh damn it’s about to be a cold year!
I’m not a huge winter fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the aesthetic (or that I won’t seriously consider getting a job in Antarctica).
The extreme seasons of winter and summer are much easier to season hop for than spring and fall… or so I thought. Actually, though, planning a year-long winter was surprisingly hard. The southern hemisphere is much warmer than the northern hemisphere so you can’t really just drop down there for snow in the summer months.
But, after some research, I got ya covered.
The winter season hopping itinerary takes us to:
- Berlin, Germany
- Nuuk, Greenland
- Longyearbyen, Norway
- Reykjavik, Iceland
Temperature: 30 to 38 F
Stay in: a cosy houseboat on a lake.
There is nowhere in the world more magical than Germany in the winter. I spent Christmas in Berlin and the Christmas markets, falling snow and European architecture made it feel like my childhood dreams come to life.
German food is delicious and every day in December I felt like the whole city was celebrating the season. Without a doubt, this is definitely the best way to start your winter tour of the world.
Temperature: 14 to 42 F
Stay in: one of the iconic old town houses.
Nuuk is the biggest city in Greenland, but it’s still tiny. In fact, the entire population is only about 17,000 people!
When you’re here, you can relax and watch the snow fall on the surrounding ocean. Or, check out some icebergs, try to spot some narwhals or polar bears, read a good book or ten, learn to cook some local cuisine (like seal, whale, or reindeer soup) and enjoy views of the Northern Lights.
Temperature: 35 to 46 F
Stay in: a modern apartment with amazing sea and mountain views.
I’m a little obsessed with Longyearbyen.
The city is located on the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Circle and is one of the northernmost inhabited places. Even better, anyone can move there and get permanent residency… as long as you can afford the high cost of living, that is.
The population of Longyearbyen is only about 2,000 people but they have restaurants, breweries, and festivals year round. In the summer months, some popular activities are trying to acclimate to 24 hours of sunshine, kayaking by glaciers, dog sledding, and hiking in the snowcapped mountains.
Fall in Iceland has all the winter staples like short days and chilly temps, but in Reykjavik you can also swim in the warm Blue Lagoon year round or even dive between tectonic plates.
If I visited though, I know my favorite part of Reykjavik would be the downtown area full of little cafes, museums, book shops, and lots of cosy nooks and crannies. In winter, this is a must, and Reykjavik definitely delivers.
Year 3: Season Hopping for Spring
Spring feels pretty good after a few months of snow, so I can only imagine how nice it would be after a year!
Blooming trees, warm sun, those days where you get optimistic about the weather and wear a dress only to freeze to death (is that just me?)… It’s all great.
This spring season hopping itinerary will take you to:
- Medellin, Colombia
- Tokyo, Japan
- Vancouver, Canada
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Medellin is nicknamed “the city of eternal spring” for a reason. Daniel and I lived in Medellin for six months, and I can confirm that the weather was phenomenal in January and February.
The best way to enjoy this year-round spring weather even in the depths of winter is by hiking in Parque Arvi, going paragliding over the city and exploring the surrounding pueblos like colorful Guatape or the idyllic little town of Jardin.
Temperature: 41 to 73 F
Stay in: a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.
Tokyo and spring are almost synonymous. I’ve yet to visit, but Japan is very high on my list of dream destinations.
Of course, spring is the best season to go in because it coincides with the cherry blossom. During this time, the world goes pink and the pictures look magical. Of course, the food and hiking aren’t too bad either 🙂
Vancouver has surprisingly mild summers, so it’s a perfect North American stop for spring weather when the rest of the continent is suffering through scorching temps.
Some of the most spring-like activities in Vancouver are strolling along the Seawall Water Walk and hiking in the nearby parks and forests (like the Capilano Suspension Bridge). Also, a weekend trip or two to Seattle and Portland wouldn’t be so bad either.
Temperature: 52 to 76 F
Stay in: a boat in the Puerto Madero harbor.
Because Argentina is in the southern hemisphere, September, October, and November are spring in Buenos Aires.
Here, the city blooms in it’s own way. The trees blossom, the parks are active, and festivals start popping up. Some very spring things to enjoy in Buenos Aires are open air markets, lively cafes, and the colorful La Boca neighborhood.
Year 4: Season Hopping for the Summer
As you may expect, this is definitely the easiest season to season hop in. The only difficult part about putting together this category was avoiding the varying rainy seasons around the world.
To go season hopping for the summer, visit these four places:
- Koh Tao, Thailand
- El Nido, The Philippines
- Negril, Jamaica
- Cairo, Egypt
Temperature: 72 to 84 F
Stay in: a villa with an infinity pool and ocean views.
Daniel and I were lucky enough to spend New Years Eve on Koh Tao and can confirm that this Thai island is truly paradise. With some of the best diving in the world at super affordable rates, we were able to get certified and spend our first few days of the new year exploring the colorful coral reefs that the island is known for.
If your ideal summer includes pristine beaches, outdoor cafes draped in lights, and romantic hidden bays, Koh Tao is the place for you.
El Nido is on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Although it boasts summer temps in every month it’s important to time your visit around the rainy season.
In El Nido, April and May are the driest months of the year. Just like in Koh Tao, diving, swimming, and enjoying the sun will fill your days here.
Temperature: 75 to 86 F
Stay in: a cottage with a private cove.
Jamaica is fairly new addition to my bucket list but I’m becoming more and more interested in paying it a visit.
Negril, on the western side, is reportedly one of the best beaches to visit on the island. It’s less crowded than the popular resort town of Montego Bay and has lush green jungles, beautiful beaches, and plenty of cool waterfalls to explore.
Temperature: 59 to 93 F
Stay in: an apartment with terrace views of the pyramids.
Last but not least on my list of season hopping destinations for the summer is Cairo. I can lay on beaches for quite a while, but not a whole year.
In Cairo, the Khan al-Khalili market and the pyramids are a must visit, but another highlight is just the awesome food, henna, and shisha in the city. There are also plenty of nearby trips to take to places like Luxor and Alexandria to keep even the most adventurous traveler satisfied.
The Complete 4 Year Season Hopping Itinerary
Well, there you have it.
That’s season hopping in a nutshell.
I’m just going to keep this itinerary in my back pocket until Daniel and I win the lottery and can turn it into reality! Until then, a girl can dream, right?
Ready to go? Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to your next destination and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in the city.