Olympic Secrets: Best Summer Holiday Destinations (Vol. 2)

by Travelling Peach

1. Fiji
Recommended by: Arianne Jones, Team Canada Luge
Arianne says Growing up, I was very fortunate. My parents have always loved travelling so, when my sister and I were born, it just came naturally. I took my first flight aged 6 months and, for work or play, have been travelling ever since.’

‘During High School, my parents took us on a 3 month adventure around Australia and New Zealand, after which they brought a home in Fiji - this tiny little island with no internet, no TV, nothing - where we’d live for several months a year. It was one of the most unique family experiences you can imagine. Sometimes, when we needed to grocery shop, my sister and I would ride our bikes up a big hill to the local store. It was really funny because the bikes were too big for us so we’d often fall off and accidentally drop the groceries in the ocean. So many adventures happened there. We learned to scuba dive, snorkel and live that ocean lifestyle. It’s one of my favourite paces to relax and unwind.

2. East Coast, Australia
Recommended by: Saskia Clark, Team GB Sailing
Saskia says In the summer, I’d definitely recommend sailing around the East Coast of Australia. It’s one of the most strikingly beautiful places in the world. Then, during the winter, the Caribbean, St. Barts and Antigua are stunning.

3. The Gibran Centre, Thailand
Recommended by: Lizzie Simmonds, Team GB Swimming
Lizzie says The Gibran Centre in the middle of the Thai rainforest is incredible. After an hour-long drive through the jungle, you arrive at the elite sports centre where you can swim in the miracle springs and more. I love it there. Each night, incredible sunsets appear over the pool. It’s such a cool place.’

4. Cinque Terre, Italy
Recommended by: Eamon Sullivan, Team Australia Swimming
Eamon says ‘Italy has some great swimming training camps and, being a swimmer and loving carbs, some delicious food too. We spent the most amazing weekend in Cinque Terre, which has some beautiful little ports and villages dotted across the Italian Riviera coastline. Jumping off the ports, swimming around the cliffs and basking in the sun… It was a lot of fun.’

5. Singapore
Recommended by: Nathan Adrian, Team USA Swimming
Nathan says
Singapore is incredible; super modern with the most luxurious hotels. I stayed at the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which has an awesome rooftop pool. I spent a lot of time hanging out there but everything about Singapore fascinates me: the culture, the food, the history… The way that they were able to essentially separate themselves from the rest of the world to successfully create this incredibly powerful financial hub from nothing is amazing.’

6. Barcelona, Spain
Recommended by: Nathan Adrian, Team USA Swimming

Nathan says A really fun, vibrant city, with lots of places to relax. I always have a great time there, especially sitting outside on the beachfront, relaxing and having a lazy dinner with friends – the ones that last 3 hours, when you’re having a beer, eating, hanging out and just having fun.’

And fellow swimmer and restaurateur, Team Australia’s Eamon Sullivan agrees. He says Barcelona is brilliant. One of the coolest places I’ve visited. Whether you enjoy relaxing on long sandy beaches; shopping; lazy afternoons enjoying a glass of wine with some delicious seafood and tapas; or being more active and partaking in watersports, Barcelona has it all. It’s the perfect combination between city and beach and the whole atmosphere is welcoming and lively. A really fun place to visit.’

7. Lucerne, Switzerland
Recommended by: Victoria Thornley, Team GB Rowing
Victoria says ‘Lake Lucerne is also known as ‘The Lake of the Gods’ and it’s easy to see why. The lake itself is very small but it’s the most mesmerizing turquoise-blue colour. We row there annually for the World cup and, as you row, you can hear the sounds of cowbells and people pottering around the surrounding villages. It’s just beautiful.’

And fellow Team GB rower Jack Beaumont agrees. He says ‘Lucerne is my favourite place in the world. I have great memories of family holidays there as a child and of our team competing in the World Cup there. There’s a huge lake – not the one we race on – that’s surrounded by enormous snow-capped mountains and nature. It’s so picturesque and, whether you’re rowing or in one of the little restaurants, it’s such a cool place.’

‘In contrast, the lake we compete on is completely different but nonetheless incredibly beautiful. It’s in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by lush green mountains. I love it. The whole city feels special so I’d definitely recommend visiting. When we race there, all of the rowers catch the tram around the town to get to the venue. It’s the best atmosphere. All of the locals are really welcoming and it feels like the rowing buzz takes over the city for the week.’

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