Summer is the season for escape. The season for plots and conspiracies, incubated in tropical heat, to escape.

They could be imaginary itineraries, hypothetical round trips or an idle spin of the globe on Google Earth—but the kernel of an idea must exist.

Allow us to help.

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From volunteering in a social commune in Israel or discovering the science of whisky in Scotland, to drinking volcanic wines in Greece and dressing up as a zombie, there’s something for every traveller in our summer travel special issue. If you can swing an “official" work trip in the coming months, preserve the globetrotter’s dream itinerary for this summer.

Why ignore the Indian summer? Forests near Delhi, caves in Meghalaya and a music festival in the hills of Uttarakhand are some unusual but fulfilling places to visit. Or explore getaways immortalized in the works of Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh and other writers.

And for homebirds, there’s always some way to make a staycathon interesting.

So go ahead, plot and conspire.

THE JET SETTER’S SUMMER HOLIDAY GUIDE

Our itinerary for those of you who can swing an ‘important’ business trip to London in June and Spain in August

CITRAWARNA, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

21 May

Malaysia’s equivalent of the Republic Day parade without the all-pervasive security, CitraWarna was conceived by the Malaysian government to showcase the culture of its states. The parade originally featured traditional dancers from across the country in Kuala Lumpur’s Merdeka Square, and now includes food, fireworks and shopping offers. It’s no substitute for reading about the long and complex history of migration in South-East Asia, but will give you an amuse-bouche-sized taste of all the ethnic groups in Malaysia today.

NEED TO KNOW

• AirAsia uses Kuala Lumpur’s Low Cost Carrier Terminal as a hub: Search for deals to Australia, Indochina and the rest of South-East Asia to extend your holiday.

• If you’d rather stay in Malaysia, skip the tourist trap of Genting highlands and head further north to Cameron Highlands for a farm resort holiday.

HAY FESTIVAL, HAY-ON-WYE, WALES

26 May-5 June

Wordsworth: Hay-on-Wye. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

NEED TO KNOW

• The ticketed events may cost anything from £4-19 (around 300-1,400), so use the website filters to decide a genre or form you’d like to see and book online.

• The surrounding countryside is perfect for an English summer idyll—medieval castles, splendid views of the Wye river and the countryside. In case you want more than intellectual exercise, there are plenty of adventure tourism options for biking, rafting and camping enthusiasts.

PHILLY BEER WEEK, PHILADELPHIA, US

3 June onwards

NEED TO KNOW

• Get yourself a Philadelphia CityPass which grants access to six of the city’s main attractions: the Franklin Institute Science Museum, Adventure Aquarium, Philadelphia Zoo, a 24-hour pass on the Phila Trolley and the Big Bus Company, the playful Please Touch Museum for children and the grim Eastern State Penitentiary.

VENICE BIENNALE, VENICE, ITALY

4 June-27 Nov

Art alive: Be there for India’s debut at the prestigious Venice Biennale, one of the oldest art fairs in the world. Wikimedia Commons

NEED TO KNOW

• Entry to Italy will mean getting a Schengen visa, which opens up almost all of mainland Europe for further exploration.

• If you’re in the mood for more art, head to Paris, which plays host to many interesting art events in summer.

E3/GAMESCOM/TGS, LOS ANGELES, US/COLOGNE, GERMANY/TOKYO, JAPAN

7 June onwards

Video games are going to take over the world, so what better way to educate yourself in their ways than by stalking them across three continents. E3 (in June), GamesCom (in August) and the Tokyo Game Show, or TGS (in September), are the industry’s biggest events. If the term “industry event" makes you blanch, don’t worry. These are more like noisy, colourful exhibitions—full of strange sights and bleeding-edge technology. And it’s not just about the games. Don’t miss the performances and the after-parties.

NEED TO KNOW

• The exhibition halls tend to be dominated by the large game studios and companies. But don’t miss the small indie titles at the edges.

• Head to GDC (Game Developers Conference) Europe in Cologne a week before GamesCom. It’s a fascinating peek into the art and craft of video games, as opposed to the commerce.

WIMBLEDON, LONDON, ENGLAND

20 June-3 July

Power shot: Watch Rafael Nadal, full throttle, at Wimbledon in June. Julian Finney/Getty Images

NEED TO KNOW

• For more ideas, visit Londonist.com and see ‘Time Out London’ (www.timeout.com/london/).

COPA AMERICA, ACROSS ARGENTINA

1-24 July

Enjoy the football madness at Copa America. Martin Venegas/AllsportUK/Allsport

NEED TO KNOW

• Cordoba and Buenos Aires are tourist hubs, but the biggest group matches will be in La Plata and Mendoza. Save the capital for later—it’s the final venue anyway.

• If you’re in the stands, please find a section with like-minded fans before you start cheering wildly.

TOUR DE FRANCE, ACROSS FRANCE

2-24 July

On two wheels: Enjoy the French countryside during Tour de France. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Visit Brittany with its megalithic sites and pink granite coastline; some of the best preserved medieval villages in the world on the route from Blaye-les-mines to Lavaur; the iconic Catholic pilgrimage town of Lourdes; and the remote mountain towns in the Italian alpine region of Pinerolo (the tour goes over four summits). Hundreds of cathedrals, castles and vineyards dot the route. So while the competitors sweat it out, you can enjoy artisanal breads and wine, the freshest seafood and umpteen varieties of meats and cheese. Visit www.letour.fr for the route map.

NEED TO KNOW

• It will be challenging to book hotels or home stays in many of the small towns the tour passes through, and most places even in the larger cities and towns get a fair amount of tour enthusiasts, so book early www.discoverfrance.com offers holiday packages around the tour, and you can choose between hard cycling, moderate cycling or non-cycling options.

FESTIVAL OF SAN FERMIN, NAVARRE PROVINCE, SPAIN

7-14 July

Gear up: Keep out of the way of bulls in San Fermin. Ker Robertson/Allsport

NEED TO KNOW

• Book rooms well in advance: Pamplona is a small town and accommodation runs out quickly.

• Only four people have died in the running of the bulls in the past 30 years, but that’s no reason to be careless: Run sober and stay on the designated course.

• Read the official guide to the San Fermin festival at http://www.pamplona.es for maps, videos and pamphlets.

BIG CHILL, EASTNOR CASTLE, UK

5-7 Aug

Sound of music: Groove at the Big Chill festival. Courtesy Daptone Records

NEED TO KNOW

• Like its European cousins, the Big Chill is a camping festival. Make sure you pack proper gear and tone down expectations of hygiene.

TOMATINA, BUNOL IN VALENCIA, SPAIN

31 Aug

Festive: A still from the upcoming film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, shot during Tomatina.

NEED TO KNOW

• Once you’re done with the festival, head to Barcelona for art, architecture and paella.

• If the end of August doesn’t work for you, head to Sutamarchan, Colombia, in the middle of June for their imitation food fight.

Write to lounge@livemint.com

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