Where to Travel in July for the Ultimate Holiday
Whether you’re in search of tropical paradise and glorious sun, or a wild off-the-beaten-track adventure, July is the month for you
July means one thing - we’re already halfway through the entire year. Where has all that time gone? More importantly though, it's time for a holiday. With summer in full swing across the northern hemisphere, and plenty of places south of the equator enjoying cooler spells, you need some experts to help nail down where to travel in July. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We here at Plum Guide know travel inside out, and in this list, our experts have put together a mixture of renowned paradises and a few curveballs - prepare for adventures to the farthest corners of the planet. Whatever you’re looking for in July, we know you’ll find it here.
While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when wondering where the best place to vacation in July truly is, we think Helsinki is a brilliant option. With Finnish winters known to be dark and cold, July offers up long days of sunshine and a much friendlier weather forecast. Take in the laid-back vibes with a walk or cycle around the Finnish capital (one of the world’s most liveable cities, we’ll have you know), before sampling the delights of one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants.
Sticking with the Scandinavian theme, ever been to the Faroe Islands? Sitting in the North Atlantic, this self-governing archipelago is beginning to gain interest for its remarkable natural landscapes. In July, you’ll find agreeable weather - perfect for exploring the green valleys, the towering mountains, and the eye-catching sea cliff - as well as the beautiful little fishing villages that are dotted in amongst the numerous coves and bays.
This is a list of where to travel in July so yes, there will be a few more islands mentioned here. Rhodes, for example, is splendid at this time of year. As well as the serene beaches and resorts on offer (bring your swimsuit and plenty of suncream), there are also historical ruins to explore, including medieval remnants within the Old Town of the City of Rhodes itself.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The Okavango Delta is one of the premiere wildlife viewing spots, not just in Botswana, but the whole of Africa. Confusingly, despite it being the dry season, the flood waters usually peak within the delta throughout July, giving you the opportunity to head out on safari up and down the many rivers and narrow channels in a mokoro - the classic canoe most commonly used in this part of the world. You can expect to see elephants, hippos, rhinos, zebras, hyena, lions, crocodile, wildebeest, and plenty more.
The locals fondly refer to this as ‘God’s own country’ and it’s not hard to see why. From the wonderfully historic city of York to the harbour of Whitby with its long affinity with fishing (and Dracula), you’ll find an endless list of places to explore, set amongst some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery. Trails for the keen hikers and cyclists among you are aplenty.
How many of you could place Albania on a map? It’s a country not really on anyone’s radar, but it certainly should be. This hidden gem makes for a great alternative European holiday, thanks to its picturesque landscapes in which you’ll find an array of interesting historical towns, castles, and archaeological sites. The people are warm, and the cuisine makes the most of the nearby Mediterranean - something well worth writing home about.
How could we not mention Florence? Italy is home to many incredible cities, but this one somehow stands out amongst them all. Capital of the Tuscany region, the city boasts truly beautiful architecture stuffed full with masterpieces and art, all heralding back to its golden days during the renaissance. The warm weather of July ushers in art festivals and open-air dining, allowing you to really enjoy the best of Italian cuisine.
Beirut is a place worth visiting for the Lebanese cuisine alone. yes, it’s that good. When you can tear yourself away from the restaurants and cafes, you’ve also got prime beach weather in July (who’s saying no to a dip in the Mediterranean sea?) and a city full of unexplored avenues buzzing with life. If you can, it’s well worth taking a day trip to explore the nearby Roman ruins of Baalbek, Byblos, and Tyre.
With over half the island comprising of a national park filled with beautiful hiking trails, this French Mediterranean island is ideal for nature lovers. You’ll find thick forests and rocky peaks, tempting wine estates, and pristine dive stops, as well as hilltop villages and more established beautiful towns along the coast. As for the weather? July is the driest month of the year, with temperatures sitting at around 25°C.
Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil
This one’s a real adventure, deep into the dark, unknown depths of the Amazon rainforest. Known as the lungs of the world, the Amazon is the largest rainforest on earth, offering an incredible range of biodiversity unlike anywhere else. The Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve is the perfect place to explore on foot or by boat - expect to see plenty of primates, unusual fauna, colourful birds, and perhaps even a jaguar (if you’re really lucky).
If you don’t know about the Gipuzkoa region in Spain, where have you been hiding all this time? The area, otherwise known as the Basque country, is home to some of the very best food in the world (yes, the world). You need to trawl through the streets of San Sebastian, trying out the many pincho (a small, always-delicious snack) plates on offer in each and every bar you pass by. This is one of the pinnacles for foodies all around the world.
Norway can be a brutal, unforgiving environment at times, but in July, the weather is consistently warm and welcoming - not to mention the long, drawn out days with little to no darkness. You can choose to explore the many green spaces and museums on offer in Oslo (including the excellent Viking ship museum), or head north up the coast to take in the majesty of the fjords, glaciers, and mountains.
Napoli, otherwise known as Naples, is brimming with rich history and culture. Sitting on the Bay of Naples next to the still-active volcano Mount Vesuvius, this is a fantastic chance to visit the infamous ruins of Pompeii, destroyed by the volcano almost 2,000 years ago. Of course, Naples is also the holy grail for anyone with an affection for pizza (which is presumably all of us). This is where the serious professionals make the real pizza - not a pineapple topping in sight.
You’ll find plenty of warm, dry weather in Ecuador throughout July. It’s the perfect time to visit the equatorial country with its diverse landscapes of Amazonian rainforest, Andean mountains, and even the famous Galapagos Islands. In Quito (the capital), you’ll find some fascinating 16th and 17th-century palaces, religious sites, and an abundance of Spanish colonial architecture - along with an array of tasty street foods that the continent of South America does so well.
It’s plausible to think that had Game of Thrones not aired, Dubrovnik would still be a relatively unknown destination. King’s Landing or not, the distinctive Old Town with its 16th-century stone walls is a sight to behold, and a fascinating place to explore. There’s a wide range of architecture to see here with the baroque St. Blaise Church, the Renaissance Sponza Palace, and the very Gothic Rector’s Palace. July is the hottest month of the year with temperatures regularly rising above 30°C, so you'll be pleased to know the surrounding coastline and islands offer a myriad of beaches.
July is mid-winter in Mozambique, meaning the days are pleasantly warm and dry, with bright, clear skies. The country’s coastline stretches right along the Indian Ocean, dotted with multiple beaches and marine parks, making it the perfect spot for a summer getaway. Limpopo and Gorongosa National Parks offer up the chance to meet wildlife on safari rides, while the intriguing capital of Maputo reveals the history of Portuguese colonialism - aspects of which have also seeped into the country’s delicious cuisine.
Famagusta is a fascinating city on the east coast of Cyprus. Naturally, July is the best time of year to visit, with the summer being at its peak. As temperatures soar to 33°C, you’ll want to make the most of the many beach resorts right on the Mediterranean. If you have a spare moment away from the sun lounger or somehow get tired from swimming, there are also 15th-century Venetian walls to explore, as well as the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque that was once a 14th-century Gothic cathedral.
Located on the River Danube, Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. In July, the weather is ideal for exploring, with long, warm, dry, and sunny days. Take a stroll over the famous 19th-century Chain Bridge which connects the ‘Buda’ with the ‘Pest’, explore the fascinating Jewish Quarter, and admire views from the turrets of the Fisherman’s Bastion. If you feel a little tired from all the walking and fancy some pampering, you’ll be glad to hear that the city is also known as ‘the spa capital of the world’. There are plenty of baths, saunas, massages, and other treatments to choose from.
With the Aegean Sea a warm and welcoming 24°C, July is surely the greatest month to visit Mykonos. This famous Greek island is home to some amazing beaches - both the serene, tranquil spots, and the not-so-quiet party-all-night types. While the island is best known for its famous nightlife, you can also find an array of beautiful nature and quaint, picturesque villages. This blend means there’s something for everyone to enjoy - as does the fresh Mediterranean cuisine, which rightly enjoys universal appreciation.
Rounding off our list of where to travel in July, we've got Greenland - quite the adventure. With virtually no roads, you’ll need to make your way around via plane, boat, snowmobile, or even dog sled. If you’re a fan of the sun, you quite literally cannot get any more of it than here in July - the summer solstice ensures 24 hours of daylight for a few weeks every year, making for a strange experience. With all that daylight, spend your time searching for polar bears, whales, orcas, and other marine wildlife while navigating the vast fields of icebergs.