This year’s summer crazes

by cathy.baldwin

Whether it be hula-hooping in parks or rollerblading down the high street, what should you expect the locals to be doing on your next summer holiday? Let our destination experts explain...you may just be tempted to join in.

“2010 is going to be the summer of the bicycle. From 30 July, the new Barclays Cycle Hire scheme (www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/12444.aspx) means you can pedal around central London for up to half an hour for just a £1 access fee.”

“Looking for a skill that will impress your friends and might initially scare you to death? New York daredevils head to the Trapeze School in the Hudson River Park to learn tricks of the circus worthy sport while taking in great city views—that is if they can keep their eyes open (newyork.trapezeschool.com).”

“The summer craze is discovering the city's hottest new terraces. My tips go on these three: the newly restored Pavillon du Lac (www.paris.fr) in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, pavement tables at the Costes brothers' La Société (www.restaurantlasociete.com) in St-Germain-des-Prés and the Philippe Starck-designed roof terrace at the restaurant Kong (www.kong.fr).”

Kitesurfing – not for the nervous, this death-defying, adrenaline-charged sport takes place on water or on specially adapted boards that fly over the sand, particularly on quieter beaches out of town. For details, see www.kitefrenzy.com and click on ‘Escuelas’ for local schools.”

Staying in the city is the summer craze. Rome puts on hundreds of concerts and happenings between June and September under the ‘Estate Romana’ (Roman Summer) banner: information at www.estateromana.comune.roma.it.”

“Like every summer, out on the water is where you’ll find the locals. On a sunny evening, Amsterdammers love to pootle around the canals in their little open motor boats. The closest, tourist equivalent is Canal Hopper, a 12-seater sloop for which you can buy hop-on, hop-off day-long tickets - see www.canal.nl/en.”

“Whizzing around the city in a little yellow GoCar. They may look ridiculous, but these vehicles are a great way to see the sights, and there is GPS and a commentary to keep you on the right track. More information can be found on www.gocartours.es/en/madrid (+34 91 5594535). From €35 for an hour.”

“Venetians’ chief summer passion never changes: getting off dry land and on to the water. Join them by hiring your own motorboat (www.cristianobrussa.com) to get out among the minor islands, or be ferried there in a traditional bragozza (www. veneziainbarca.it).”

“Difficult to say what a craze will be until summer is well-advanced, for crazes creep up quite unexpectedly and from the oddest places. (Who could have predicted the hula-hoop?) So, rather than wait for the trend and follow it blindly, I suggest we start one – by imposing beach cricket as the hip new Côte-d’Azur activity. It will be simple. Everyone travelling to the Riviera this summer brings bat and ball, wickets and bails. Côte-d’Azur fashionistas are terribly influencable. Within weeks – days! – le cricket de plage will be the rage. We’ll see Russian billionaires behind the stumps, Naomi at silly mid-on and, as ever, very few maidens.”