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Travel Ideas in July

Best places to travel in July 2021 & 2022

July gives you many destinations to consider if you’re looking to experience them in their prime. Explore the great outdoors while the sun shines in the US’s northern states, Norway or Switzerland. Balance beach relaxation with culture or wildlife in Costa Rica, French Polynesia or Vietnam. Or, in Kenya, be among the first of the season to see the Great Migration herds arrive as they make their frenzied crossing of the Mara River.

July is also one of the only months you can cruise the Arctic or hike in the mountains of Ladakh. And, in Japan, you can escape the summer humidity in the Japanese Alps.

Festivals and events around the world in July

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Japan

Japan’s summer can be hot and humid, but up in the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido’s wild national parks, the air is cooler, making for ideal hiking conditions. July is also one of the best times to climb Mount Fuji, which is inaccessible in colder months, and for wandering the country’s many immaculate gardens.

While rain is possible, particularly towards the beginning of the month, visiting at this time gives you a chance to experience a few Japanese festivals, if you don’t mind a busier atmosphere. In Kyoto, the Kyoto Matsuri sees huge floats being marched through the streets. Dating to the 9th century, it began as a religious ceremony to appease the gods.

Furano lavender fields, Furano
Furano lavender fields, Furano

Vietnam

Central Vietnam in July is hot and dry, creating ideal beach conditions. There’s more to do in the region besides, though. You could explore the ancient capital of Hue with a guide, who’ll shed light on its temples and citadel. Spend time taking in the sights of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or go hiking in the Truong Son mountains, enjoying far-reaching views over the surrounding peaks.

Elsewhere in Vietnam, rain is more likely, but temperatures are just as balmy and you can make the most of fewer crowds, taking your pick of some great-value hotels.

The Citadel in Hue
The Citadel in Hue

Kenya

As conditions become drier, Kenya remains green and full of life in July. Visit now and you might catch some of the Great Migration’s earliest crossings of the Mara River — wildebeest in their hundreds and thousands are forced to face predators that lie in wait, from crocodiles to big cats.

While occasional showers are possible, there are fewer visitors than in subsequent months, so you’ll often have wildlife sightings to yourself. Game drives wherever you are in the country give you a chance to see animals big and small, while the drier conditions make for rewarding walking safaris. It’s also a good time to combine a safari with a beach break.

Wildebeest at the Mara River
Wildebeest at the Mara River

India

Snowbound for most of the year, the remote Indian state of Ladakh is only accessible from June to September. As the snow melts in this hidden mountain kingdom, wildflowers bloom across meadows surrounded by snow-dusted peaks. By July, the weather is warm and sunny enough to explore clifftop monasteries bedecked with rich textiles and murals, hike to remote rural villages and wander through Leh’s medieval old town.

This is also the month for the clearest skies, so you can make the most of Ladakh’s panoramic views across the Great Himalaya to the south and the Kashmiri mountains to the north — arguably one of the best reasons to visit.

Thiksey Monastery in Leh, Ladakh
Thiksey Monastery in Leh, Ladakh

The USA

July is an excellent month to visit the northern half of the US thanks to the warm, dry days, which are ideal for taking advantage of the country’s vast national parks. In Yellowstone, you could spot wolves and bison and admire steaming geysers, or, for a quieter experience, head to Montana’s Glacier National Park to hike lesser-known trails with a guide.

You might like to pair a visit to one of these parks with a stay on a traditional ranch, where you can spend your time fishing, horse riding and learning to lasso in untouched wilderness. Alternatively, head to New England’s coast to enjoy the beaches of Cape Cod.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison in Yellowstone National Park

Costa Rica

While lying outside the driest period of year in Costa Rica, July often experiences a veranillo (‘little summer’) — a brief period of three or four weeks where the rains abate, particularly in the northwest. Even if your visit doesn’t coincide with this, July is still a rewarding month to visit, particularly for wildlife sightings — you might see green sea turtles on the coastline of Tortuguero National Park, and the whale-watching season begins around Dominical.

For beach time, head to the far northern Pacific coast or the Caribbean side of the coast, where conditions are driest. Or, focus your time on exploring the country’s jungles on foot, by boat or by zip-line, looking out for animals big and small.

Sloth, Costa Rica
Sloth, Costa Rica

French Polynesia

Falling right in the middle of French Polynesia’s driest period, July is one of the best months to visit the islands. While it can be busier at this time of year, you’ll still find plenty of space to enjoy balmy days relaxing on the white-sand beaches, snorkeling or diving among coral reefs, or cruising by catamaran as the sun sinks. You could also hike into the islands’ shaded interiors to explore archaeological ruins, waterfalls and lagoons hidden among the forest.

July is also a time of festivals, including the annual Heiva i Bora Bora celebration, which sees singing, dancing and sports competitions take place.

French Polynesia coral reef
French Polynesia coral reef

Norway

By visiting Norway in July, you’ll be making full use of your time as days are long and temperatures at their warmest. It’s a great time for hiking in the green countryside, spotting wildlife such as moose, musk oxen and Arctic foxes as you go, while in the Arctic Circle you can continue your walks under the midnight sun. The fjords glitter in the sunlight, fed by waterfalls, and you might spot orcas and porpoises on boat trips.

All of this means it’s one of the busiest times to visit, so you’ll need to plan in advance, but with so much wilderness to explore, it’s easy to get away from the crowds.

Norwegian fjords
Norwegian fjords

The Arctic

Summer in the Arctic is brief, with the ice melting enough for vessels to navigate its waters only between June and August. It means July is one of the only months you can visit, and one of the most rewarding. You’ll experience near-on 24 hours of daylight, with the sun only dipping slightly before rising again, giving you plenty of time to take in your surroundings of glaciers, white mountains and towering cliffs.

During your cruise and as you explore iceberg-dotted bays by smaller Zodiac boats, look out for wildlife including sea birds, walruses, seals, Arctic foxes, elusive polar bears and minke, humpback, fin and blue whales.

Polar bears
Polar bears

Switzerland

Sunny, mild and generally dry, the weather in Switzerland during July complements the country’s love of the outdoors. You’ll get clear views over the mountains and vivid-green valleys as you hike some of the many countryside trails, take a gondola to the top of a peak, or ride a train through the Alps.

You can take a boat trip across lakes reflecting their deepest shade of blue, sample fresh cheese at the Emmental Show Dairy, or, on the shores of Lake Geneva, attend the Montreux Jazz Festival. Running for two weeks in July, it’s Switzerland’s biggest music festival, attracting artists from around the world.

Grindelwald, Bernese Oberland
Grindelwald, Bernese Oberland
Travel Ideas in January

Places to travel in January

As Christmas slopes into the distance, journeying to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time on a Caribbean island, a secluded Cambodian archipelago or Sri Lanka’s southern shores. In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch new-born zebra take their first steps, as migratory birds feast on the fresh grasses.

In Baja California, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, you can watch as hundreds of whales and dolphins leap, arch and twirl in and out of the ocean. If you’re after cooler climes, temperatures in India have cooled enough to make exploring its fortress cities comfortable. Or, embrace winter in the steaming waters of a Japanese hot-spring bath after exploring the snow-dusted forests of the Japanese Alps.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in February

Places to travel in February

Whether you’re wrapping up warm to experience wintry activities like dog-sledding and snowshoeing in Canada, or escaping the colder temperatures at home with a cruise along the Nile under sunny skies, February can make an excellent time to travel. A safari in Tanzania gives you a chance to see new-born antelope take their first wobbly steps, while warm temperatures in Argentina make it an ideal time for trekking in Patagonia.

We’ve shared some of the most popular destinations to visit in February below, as well as a few countries that you may not have considered, where you can visit key sights without the crowds.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in March

Places to travel in March

As spring blossoms across the Northern Hemisphere, the American Southwest opens to a range of outdoor adventures, while lengthening days in Iceland allow for more time exploring wild, volcanic landscapes. Japan’s springtime blooms start to emerge, and milder temperatures coupled with the showings of early plum blossom make it a good-value time to travel here ahead of the peak season.

In South Africa, the wine harvests are in full swing and vibrant carnivals for the Jewish festival of Purim take place across Israel. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies show the beaches of Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives at their best. However, cooler climes in New Zealand makes this an excellent month to explore, with quieter walking trails, near-empty coastlines and a good chance of sunshine.

Places to travel

Harrismith Beach, Barbados

Places to travel in April

If you’re looking to go on safari, April is the best month to tiger-spot in India’s national parks, where you’ll also see a supporting cast of elephants, deer, and birdlife. For a coastal escape, you’ve got your pick, including Mexico’s Mayan Riviera and secluded Maldivian islands.

If you’re seeking adventure, this is the time of year to take an in-depth tour across Vietnam, or explore the highlights of Morocco at their best. April is also a month of festivities around the globe, from the Festa di San Marco in Italy and cherry blossom celebrations in South Korea to Caribbean regattas and music festivals.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in May

Places to travel in May

Across the northern hemisphere, May brings spring blossoms, sunshine, and warmer weather, but the summer crowds haven’t arrived to most destinations. In the southern hemisphere, the rains are ending and the weather is starting to cool down a bit.

If you want to get outside to enjoy the ample sun, you might hike in Scotland, look for wildlife in US National Parks, or take a water safari in a mokoro canoe in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. It’s also a popular time for festivals, whether you’re in Venice to watch the mayor pledge himself in a symbolic wedding to the sea, watching jazz performances in Saint Lucia, or sampling single-source organic chocolate in Belize.

Places to travel

Herd of elephants in South Africa

Places to travel in June

The solstice at the end of June brings long days to destinations in the northern hemisphere, making it an excellent time to get outdoors. You can roam through Canada’s wilderness, hike in Germany’s Black Forest or soak up the sun in the French Riviera.

This is also a popular month for festivals. For example, Greece’s Athens and Epidaurus Festival lets you watch ancient plays performed in ancient venues, while in Peru, you can attend a festival celebrating the Inca sun god, Inti. The month also marks the end of the rainy season in places like Uganda and the Zanzibar Archipelago, where you’ll find well-watered landscapes bursting with life, but mostly sunny skies.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in July

Places to travel in July

July gives you many destinations to consider if you’re looking to experience them in their prime. Explore the great outdoors while the sun shines in the US’s northern states, Norway or Switzerland. Balance beach relaxation with culture or wildlife in Costa Rica, French Polynesia or Vietnam. Or, in Kenya, be among the first of the season to see the Great Migration herds arrive as they make their frenzied crossing of the Mara River.

July is also one of the only months you can cruise the Arctic or hike in the mountains of Ladakh. And, in Japan, you can escape the summer humidity in the Japanese Alps.

Places to travel

Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka

Places to travel in August

Many destinations are ripe for a summer break in August. For a trip focused around wildlife, consider a safari in Tanzania, which experiences its dry season, a trip to Borneo to see turtles hatch, or a visit to Brazil’s Pantanal for a shot at seeing a jaguar.

Elsewhere, beaches are at their best on Sri Lanka’s north and east coasts, Iceland’s interior has thawed out ready for you to explore on foot and by superjeep, while northern Australia is dry, sunny and comfortably warm for hikes. Alternatively, you might like to soak up the culture in Luxembourg or Denmark, stay on a hacienda in Ecuador’s countryside or enjoy a family escape to Mauritius.

Places to travel

Lion, Etosha National Park

Places to travel in September

Whether falling in autumn or spring, September can showcase countries at their most scenic, from the green, lamb-dotted valleys of New Zealand and the wildflower-coated countryside of Argentina to Russia’s rust-hued city parks.

In Canada, the salmon run sees bears gather for a feeding frenzy along British Columbia’s rivers. Bhutan’s clear skies are ideal for hiking among its mountains, while similar conditions in Bolivia make for excellent photography around its salt pans. Spain and Turkey are pleasantly warm without the crowds of summer. And, in South Africa, you can combine regions while they’re at their best. It’s also an excellent time for seeing Namibia’s wildlife and stargazing among its desert dunes.

Places to travel

Amalfi coast, Italy

Places to travel in October

Whether you’re looking for spring blooms, autumnal foliage or prime wildlife-viewing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of destinations to choose from if you’re planning to travel in October. Below are just some of the places we feel are at their best at this time of year, along with our suggestions on the best things to do there.

You could make the most of excellent hiking conditions in New Zealand, go whale watching in South Africa, or indulge in fresh produce during harvest time in Vietnam, Japan or Italy. And, in many of our chosen countries, you’ll be visiting before or after the busiest times of year.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in November

Places to travel in November

Though the temperatures may begin to drop, November still offers plenty of opportunity for active adventure. Trek to the top of the world in the Himalaya Mountains in Nepal, and witness the sunrises over the tops of the peaks. Enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving in the warmer temperatures of the Red Sea in Egypt, where the water is a clear blue and the coral reefs teem with marine life. Or experience Vietnam by bicycle, along the countryside around the historic merchants' town of Hoi An or through the rice terraces and remote villages of Sapa.

Places to travel

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Australia

Places to travel in December

From festive celebrations to sun-kissed beaches, December can be an excellent month to travel to a wide range of destinations, depending on what you want from your trip. Below are ten destinations that shine for their own reasons during December.

You could head to Japan, where the chill in the air can be tempered with a soak in a steaming onsen. Thailand’s beaches and clear, calm waters are all the more enticing during winter. Or, under a blanket of snow, Canada offers cheery Christmas markets, cosy log cabins and dog-sledding through ice-bejewelled forest.

Places to travel