The best places to travel in July 2022

From festivals to beach bliss, these are the very best places to visit in July this year. We’ll see you there!

July means summer, freedom (from school, dang school), rising temperatures and more festivals than you can shake that proverbial fist at. Why you’d shake your first at a festival, we can’t be sure, but the seventh month of the year has long been at the very forefront of international travel. The best places to visit in July touch on every corner of the globe (the globe doesn’t have corners, for the record), from Montreal and Madagascar to the Netherlands, New Zealand and the rest. Of course, places really start to get busy in July, so book ahead, and we’ll see you there. Yes, that is a cocktail. No, we can neither confirm nor deny its alcoholic content.


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Best places to travel in July

Amsterdam, Netherlands

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

July in Amsterdam is all about good food, good weather and good vibes. Lazy summer days are best spent hanging out in Vondelpark, where you can often catch free open-air comedy, dance and musical performances, or at Roest urban beach, which comes complete with an adult-friendly jungle gym. And although the city’s usual festivities are likely to be muted this year, keep an eye out for street food markets and events marking the city’s normally effervescent Pride season.


2. Greenland

Touted by some as ‘the new Iceland ’, Greenland may be more popular than ever before, but it’s still a long way behind its oversaturated sibling – all the better for those wanting to get off the beaten track. July is technically high season here, and hotels do book up fast, but this is the world’s largest (and arguably wildest) island, and there are plenty of opportunities to find relative solitude. In it for the icebergs? Join a nighttime cruise of Unesco-listed Ilulissat Icefjord (the size of 66,000 football fields), where until around the 24th of the month, the midnight sun sets a cast of creaking bergs aglow in hues of pink, purple and orange.

South Island, New Zealand

3. South Island, New Zealand

With sweet ski slopes, luxury hot springs and fantastic whale watching opportunities, New Zealand’s South Island is a no-brainer when it comes to winter escapes. The coldest months also offer the chance to witness the aurora australis (southern lights) dancing along the horizon, best spotted in Dunedin close to a new moon. There are yet more reasons to look skyward in July: the rise of the Pleiades star cluster marks the start of Matariki (Maori New Year), which is celebrated with cultural festivals and feasts. Visit Mt John Observatory in Tekapo, which sits within an international dark sky reserve, for unbeatable stargazing.

Northwest England

4. Northwest England

We’ll be the first to admit that the weather in the northwest of England can be, how do we say, a little less than optimum. Drizzle persists for most of the year, but July sees the sun finally break through with all the enthusiasm of an excitable child. The big cities of the northwest follow suit, with Liverpool and Manchester in particular shining brightest when the sun is out. Sure, the north is defined by its drizzle, but you can’t beat an Aigburth beer garden on a Saturday afternoon. Throw in some excellent park festivals, and you’ve got yourself a very special part of the world indeed.

Hoi An, Vietnam

5. Hoi An, Vietnam

As the monsoon rains fall in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, savvy travellers in Vietnam head to the central coast, where the weather is dry and warm. Some of the country’s most beautiful beaches are right here, along with Unesco-listed cities and jaw-dropping national parks. Step back in time in historic port city Hoi An , where lantern-strewn streets reveal Chinese temples and ancient teahouses. Then head out of town to laze on the stretches of white sand around Da Nang , brave Hai Van Pass on a motorbike tour, and visit Hue’s Imperial citadel before heading inland to see the gargantuan Phong Na Caves.

Montreal, Canada

6. Montreal, Canada

Montreal ’s Canada Day celebrations kickstart a whole month of summer fun in a city more often associated with icy winters. The highlights usually include Sainte Catherine Street Fair (the largest in the country) and the world’s biggest international comedy festival, Just for Laughs, while Cirque Festival ensures you won’t have to bend over backwards to find street entertainment – performers from Cirque du Soleil, the National Circus School and others put on tonnes of shows to celebrate one of Quebec ’s most famous art forms. But if festival-hopping isn’t an option this year, July is still a great time to discover this incredible city – and fuel up courtesy of the city’s best chefs at Time Out Market Montreal .


7. Madagascar

Home to some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet, Madagascar is a joy to visit in July, when the weather is cooler and drier, making lemur spotting on rainforest treks more comfortable. Humpback whales migrate here to calve their young at this time of year – spot them in Tulear and Nosy Be, or experience the humpback whale festival on Nosy Boraha. In Morondava, the local community celebrates the island’s precious ecology with the Baobab Fosa festival, where you can spot fossa (a relative of the mongoose), and walk the dazzling Avenue of the Baobabs.


8. Singapore

Singapore is a food lover’s dream year-round, but to taste it at its best, you’ll want to head there in July. That’s when the island city celebrates its multicultural cuisine with the Singapore Food Festival. From cooking masterclasses and fine dining events to a street food extravaganza, this week-long celebration of local flavour is worth skipping breakfast for. Had enough of the heat? Find refuge in the air-conditioned malls on Orchard Road and indulge in a spot of retail therapy – the Great Singapore Sale runs nearly all month, offering great deals and steep discounts.

13 Best Cheap Places to Travel in July

July is a great month to travel. School is out, work is slow, and there are a ton of great bargains to be had. If you’re setting your sights on a tropical destination (hello, Caribbean and The Bahamas), you’re sure to find a steal when it comes to cheap airfare and hotel stays.

With uber hot and often stormy conditions in these destinations at this time of the year, resorts are almost begging people to stay, which is great for those of us who like to protect our savings. Other popular places to visit like New Orleans and Phoenix are also worth visiting, although you’ll have to prepare yourselves for the heat.

That said, what’s a little heat when you’ll be saving oodles on your vacation? With all that extra cash on hand, you may even be able to book another holiday. So pack extra sunscreen and drink more water; you’ll be happy you booked a trip in July.

Find the top places to visit on your next vacation with our list of the best cheap places to travel in July.

1. Niagara Falls, Canada

Rainbow over Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls

Rainbow over Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls

Summer is one of the most popular times to visit Niagara Falls. It’s warm, the grass is a vibrant green, and colorful blooms dot the already spectacular scenery. Despite these pluses, a visit to Niagara Falls in July is one of the most affordable trips you can take to a world famous site, especially if you live within driving distance.

Not close enough for a road trip? No worries. You can also find savings on airfare at this time of year since there are numerous flights available to accommodate the influx of tourists. The catch for the savings is that you have to plan ahead, especially if you are traveling with a family. Hotels are plentiful at Niagara Falls but it’s best to book in advance.

You get double benefits by traveling to Niagara Falls in July–bundled rates and the best weather. While the dead of summer is hot, you will enjoy the refreshing mist coming from the falls and the breeze from the elevation.

While you can find steeper discounts for hotels during winter, the weather limits what you can see and do at that time. In July, visitors can take advantage of the full spectacle of the Maid of the Mist, discount passes to the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, and the free hop-on hop-off Discover Niagara shuttle that travels to 17 top Niagara attractions.

2. Phuket, Thailand

Aerial view of Pansee Beach, Phuket

Aerial view of Pansee Beach, Phuket

It’s easy to see why Phuket is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. It is lined with glorious beaches; packed with food so delicious, you’ll struggle to stop eating; and relatively cheap when compared with other tropical and exotic destinations. Another bonus: visiting in July will leave you with wads of extra cash due to the great deals on hotels and airfare.

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This verdant isle is only an hour flight from Bangkok, and its beaches have a lot of notoriety, especially after recovering from the devastating 2004 tsunami, which destroyed the island’s infrastructure, tourism, and thousands of lives. Phuket has bounced back strong, and remains a stunning and memorable vacation spot.

No good deal goes unpunished, so you should expect some rain when traveling in July. The weather can be unpredictable at this time of year; it’s the heart of monsoon season. Despite the iffy weather, you can still plan boat tours, spa experiences, visits to temples, and walks along the white sands of Nai Harn Beach and Kata Noi Beach.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions on Phuket Island

3. Phoenix, Arizona

Cactus in the desert near Phoenix

Cactus in the desert near Phoenix

This southwest US city is one of the most stunning places to visit in the United States. And if triple-digit heat doesn’t bother you, visiting in July will garner savings so attractive, you won’t care that your T-shirt sticks to your body the moment you step outside.

There are many golf courses, luxury resorts, and world-class spas in Phoenix that normally charge outstanding fees to their typically elite clientele. July is not the most desirable time to visit because of the sweltering temperatures, so it is the best time to snag the discounts and perks that these places have to offer.

Since the Phoenix heat is draining, you will want to limit your time outdoors if you plan to hike to Camelback Mountain or visit the Phoenix Zoo. If you visit in July, you can take advantage of the indoor museums like the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, or the Historical Heard Museum.

Phoenix also has an abundance of indoor shopping opportunities nearby. You may also want to consider doing some day trips to nearby destinations like Sedona, Prescott, or Flagstaff, with a little cooler climate.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Phoenix

4. Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Everything’s better in Jamaica. Soft, sandy beaches massage tired feet; turquoise waters help visitors float away stress; and life slows enough to allow travelers to completely relax. No wonder so many people flock to Montego Bay for a holiday.

While the price of a visit in winter can be high, traveling to Montego Bay in July will do wonders for your bank account. Due to the excessive heat and propensity for rain (and a possible hurricane) at this time, huge savings can be had on everything from hotels to airfare.

While you’re there, head out rafting on the Martha Brae River, lounge on Doctor’s Cave Beach, and visit the Rose Hall Great House.

5. The Bahamas

Lucaya Beach on Grand Bahama Island

Lucaya Beach on Grand Bahama Island

It is not much of a surprise that a Bahamas vacation is cheap in the summer, given that it is mostly popular over the winter months, when tourists in the Northern Hemisphere want to escape cold weather. It is possible to find good Bahamas vacation discounts throughout the year due to resort competition on the island, but July is a great month to snag even steeper discounts. You can also find great flight deals to the Bahamas in July, as the airlines are trying to fill seats during this less popular time of the year.

The capital of Nassau has many all-inclusive resorts that offer discounted packages during the hottest months in hopes of luring vacationers looking for a deal. You can save at the all-inclusive resorts and find additional deals with free nights, resort credits, and discounts to attractions that are often added incentives for travel.

Take your pick from more than 700 islands in the Bahamas and enjoy the beaches, parks, snorkeling, boat trips, or attractions like Atlantis on Paradise Island.

6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Aerial view of Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana

Aerial view of Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana

Fewer travelers make their way to Punta Cana in July. A popular place to visit for winter revelers, this lovely Dominican Republic spot averages highs in the upper 80s to mid-90s and experiences rain nearly 24 days of the month.

That said, this shoulder season month is a great time to visit if you’re looking for a deal. Plus, the rain usually comes hard and fast towards the end of the day, clearing up soon after it begins.

In July, travelers can visit Punta Cana’s best beaches without having to rub elbows with guests in the next beach chair. They can save loads on rooms at top beach resorts and even more on their airfare to get here. With all that extra cash, it’s easy to splurge on food, guided tours, or a few rounds of golf.

7. Mazatlan, Mexico

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Mazatlan

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Mazatlan

If you are looking for a cheap summer vacation in Mexico, the once-celebrity playground of Mazatlan is one of the best deals in July. Mazatlan is not as popular is its Mexican counterparts in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, or Cabo San Lucas, which makes it a nice and cheaper alternative. If visiting in July, you can get some hotel rooms for as little as 40 USD a night. The downside is that summer in Mazatlan is in the middle of the rainy season, so you have more likelihood of rainstorms.

One of the best spots to visit (rain or shine) is Old Mazatlan, which has historic relics like the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception church, small eateries, and beautiful architecture. Of course you will spend a lot of time on the beaches at Playa Olas Altas or the less crowded beaches at Isla de la Piedra. Mazatlan has many walkable areas, which will help your budget by saving on transportation costs around the city.

8. New Orleans, Louisiana

Downtown New Orleans at night

Downtown New Orleans at night

It is not a surprise that midsummer offers up big discounts in the Big Easy. New Orleans in July is hot, humid, and rainy, but if none of that bothers you then you can enjoy a cheap and fun summer vacation to the city to check out the famous jazz clubs, the historic French Quarter, great museums, and outstanding Cajun cuisine.

A July hotel rate can be about 50 percent less than the same room during the high tourist season that runs from February through May when many of the big festivals are happening.

While there is no shortage of things to do in New Orleans, a July vacation means fewer crowds, so that you can enjoy some of the most famous stops, like Frenchman Street and a walking tour in the Garden District. You can also take advantage of better access to some of the cemetery tours and the New Orleans Swamp Tours, which can be tough to do in the high season.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New Orleans

9. Belize

The Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole

A discount vacation in Belize requires some careful timing. July is a good time to go if you are looking for discounts because it comes after the high tourist season in April and the sweltering temperatures and humidity in the spring.

Since it also comes before the rainiest months of August through October, you can get great rates at hotels and on excursion packages. The island of Ambergris Caye is the most popular destination in Belize, but you can research other locations, like San Ignacio, for vacation discounts as well.

The caution for traveling to Belize in July is that it is in the hurricane season, and you are likely to see some rainfall during your trip. It is also important to research the attractions that you want to visit ahead of time since some of them close during the low tourist season. Otherwise, planning ahead can net you great savings in Belize, so you can see the famous Great Blue Hole and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve near the barrier reef.

Even when planning a trip to Belize in the off-season, you will want to secure hotel rooms and look for deep discounts for summer far in advance.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Belize

10. Cairo, Egypt

Camels in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Camels in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Few travelers feel that saving money is worth visiting Cairo in the midst of crazy Egyptian heat. But for those who do care about scoring a great deal, July can be one of the cheapest times to visit Cairo. The July rates at hotels drop significantly.

The heat, combined with very little rain, can make walking the streets and winding alleys of Cairo a little uncomfortable, but you can plan your itinerary so that you have a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. Book excursions to the Pyramids of Giza or visit the Great Sphinx on half-day treks instead of spending a full day under the scorching sun. You can also look into vacationing in the coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh, which will have cheap July rates, too.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Egypt

11. Miami, Florida

View across Biscayne Bay to Miami at dusk

View across Biscayne Bay to Miami at dusk

Miami, Florida is a city that never sleeps, and while it is a hot destination to visit at almost any time of the year, you can find some of the lowest hotel rates (and highest temperatures) in the summer. The heat and humidity of Miami in the midsummer months, not to mention the potential for hurricanes, push away many tourists, so hotels are scrambling to fill rooms. If you plan for some pool time to cool off, the deal might just be worth it.

Since Miami has a major international airport, you should also be able to score great rates and an abundance of availability for flights into the city. Whether you want to fill your vacation sitting on the sands of Miami Beach, hit the attractions like the Miami Zoo or Everglades National Park, stroll cultural neighborhoods like Little Havana, or just hit the many museums in town, there’s enough to do to fill your itinerary no matter what the weather.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Miami
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12. Nha Trang, Vietnam

Palm-lined beach at Nha Trang

Palm-lined beach at Nha Trang

Pretty much anywhere you want to go in Asia in July will have cheap prices on airfare, hotels, and resorts since it is in the rainy season, but if you want to improve your odds for a drier getaway, Nha Trang is one of your best options.

This city in Vietnam has its own weather patterns that do not produce as much rain during the rainy season, which often waterlogs the rest of the country. You can find cheap prices at hotels close to the beach, and the cost for things like food and services are also cheap, which will add to the savings.

Nha Trang is a coastal city, so there are plenty of beaches to enjoy, and excursions that can take you on the water for a leisurely boat trip, snorkeling, or diving.

Temperatures are hot in July, so you can mix up the outdoor adventures to temples, the Vinpearl Amusement Park, and the Hon Khoi Salt Fields with indoor visits to the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam and other local museums. Due to the low tourist season, you might also be able to negotiate discounted prices with local tour operators.

13. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House

Wintertime in Sydney means steep discounts on things like flights and hotels when the tourists have gone home for the season. This small summer window between June and August is a great opportunity to save about 40 percent on lodging compared to peak-season rates.

Besides saving money by traveling to Australia in July, you will also get a break on the heat and the tourist crowds at major attractions like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s beautiful beaches.

Even during the Sydney winter, you can still enjoy the stunning Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden, and the Australian National Maritime Museum. You will have more flexibility and opportunities to visit these attractions in the off-season before the major tourist crowds start arriving again in December.

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More Summer Travel Ideas: If you are looking for more summer vacation ideas, you can check out the best places to visit in Europe, like Croatia and Iceland. If you are looking specifically at US vacation spots, you can consider New York or a Grand Canyon vacation. Other getaway ideas include US vacations for couples, outdoor adventures in West Virginia, or just exploring the quaint small towns in Wisconsin.

Where to go on holiday in July: 15 top destinations

This is the big one: the combination of peak heat and the start of the longest school holidays in Britain, as well as everywhere else in Europe plus North America. If Mediterranean sand forms part of your travel requirements this month, better be prepared to share it. The same goes for choice beaches in more northerly climes, whether in Cornwall or the Hamptons — assuming you can find a room in the first place. July is a challenge for anyone who likes to make spontaneous travel bookings at bargain prices, but if you play with those summer parameters – mountains rather than sea, north not south – you might find some less congested beauty spots and a new travel love.

Main photo: Mongolia (Getty Images)

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Serifos, Greece is perfect for a holiday in July

Serifos (Alamy)

1. Cyclades, Greece

Why go in July? For vivid blue seas with islands on every horizon

If it’s hard to narrow down the choice of which Greek island to go for, you can fudge the issue most beautifully in the Cyclades, a group whose clustered arrangement and many ferry routes allow multiple island-hopping. While July heralds the busiest travel period, especially on the most popular islands such as Santorini and Mykonos, the sight of whitewashed villages on blue bays is undeniably dazzling in the summer sun. Naxos makes a good hub island, with a family-friendly reputation; little in the way of resorts, but plenty of beaches. For added crowd avoidance, sail over to smaller islands that don’t have their own airport, such as Sifnos or Serifos.

Where to stay Beachcomber chic runs through the suites at Verina Astra, while just outside their stone walls are sea-view terraces and an infinity pool set high on the east coast of Sifnos.

Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, France

Chateau de Chenonceau (Alamy)

2. Loire Valley, France

Why go in July? For a royal tour of the garden of France

As summer days unfold, the grapevines around the banks of the Loire grow heavy which only add to this region’s picture of abundance. It’s said that a thousand châteaux are dotted around this broad valley, including majestic Chambord, Villandry with its ornamental gardens, and Chenonceau built out like a graceful bridge over a river. Temperatures are in the mid-twenties and it’s a perfect month to get onto long-distance cycling paths that run at the most forgiving of gradients. Loire Valley towns such as Tours, Saumur, Angers and Orléans are ripe with historic riches and are also the focus of dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Where to stay Be first in line when the great château’s gates open with a stay at the Relais de Chambord, whose design bridges the 21st century and the French Renaissance extravaganza that the hotel looks onto.

Hermanus, South Africa

Hermanus, South Africa (Alamy)

3. Kruger National Park, South Africa

Why go in July? For a classic safari experience in the winter dry season

South Africa’s stand-out national park promises one of the best possible introductions to big-ticket African wildlife, and if you visit in July, the drier and slightly cooler days make for more comfortable and easier game viewing, as greenery shrinks back and waterholes get crowded. Further south among the peaks of the Drakensberg, you can expect to wake to clear skies and frosty mornings — perhaps even snow. While July can be the driest month in most of the country, rainfall patterns are the reverse around Cape Town. If you tolerate the drizzle here, it’s the start of the season to watch southern right whales off the coast of Hermanus.

Where to stay Kapama Buffalo Camp is one of four linked properties with ten luxury tents raised on wooden decks in a private game reserve next to Kruger National Park where you can take bush walks.

The Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites (Getty Images)

4. Dolomites, Italy

Why go in July? For fresh Alpine air and walks in the shadow of giants

The different regions of the Alps – from France to Slovenia – echo each other in their landscapes and culture, but within this mountain range, the peaks of the Dolomites are unmistakeable. These sheer walls and teeth of rock stand as a backdrop to gentler scenes of cow-cropped pastures and church spires in mountain villages. In northern Italy as elsewhere in the Alps, the summer is short, with many huts open to hikers only from late June to mid-September. Come earlier in the season for more floral colour in meadows such as the rolling plateau of the Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi – doubly named like many places in this region that straddles language borders as well as dizzying heights.

Where to stay Lagacio Hotel Mountain Residence sits 1,500 metres up in the village of San Cassiano in the heart of the Dolomites and brings a clean-lined aesthetic to the traditional wooden chalet design.

Hue, Vietnam

Hue (Alamy)

5. Hue, Vietnam

Why go in July? For cultural discoveries and maximum hours of sunshine on beaches

Vietnam’s skinny waist sees the best of the country’s weather in July, even as Hanoi at the head and Ho Chi Minh City at the foot get frequent rain showers. Beach-friendly times extend all the way down the central coast as far as the bayside resort city of Nha Trang. The old imperial capital of Hue on the banks of the Perfume River is one of the highlights, not just for its monuments but its own sophisticated contribution to Vietnamese cuisine. Also in the region are three more world heritage sites: the beguiling old port town of Hoi An, the ancient Hindu temple remains of My Son and the cave-riddled river landscape of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Where to stay On the banks of the Perfume River in Hue, Azerai La Residence is built in and around a 1930s French colonial mansion, with a tropical adaptation of the streamline moderne style.

Asturias, Spain

Asturias (Alamy)

6. Asturias and Cantabria, Spain

Why go in July? For a Spanish seaside break away from postcard clichés

The southern and eastern Spanish costas are the hottest of European travel hotspots in July and August, but on the opposite side of the country to Malaga and Torremolinos, the less-visited Costa Verde is part of “Green Spain”. It too has beautiful beaches, more for surfing than sunbathing. With temperatures hitting daily highs of about 23C, and less likelihood of rain, this is the best time of year to visit if you don’t require a scorcher from your summer holidays. The provinces of Asturias and Cantabria, centred around the cities of Oviedo and Santander, both host huddled fishing villages, cider orchards, ancient stone churches and the rocky heights of the Picos de Europa.

Where to stay Facing the crescent beach in the modest Asturian seaside resort of Ribadesella, the Villa Rosario is a four-star hotel in an exuberantly designed villa from 1914, with a modern annex behind it.

Uluru, Australia

Uluru, Australia (Alamy)

7. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Why go in July? For swimming among corals and spectacular sunsets in the outback

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It’s the depths of the Australian winter, and while this is the coldest month of the year in Sydney and Melbourne (though still pretty bearable for British visitors), it’s a good time for an epic tour of the country’s desert centre and tropical north. At Uluru, days are at their freshest, encouraging hikes around this mighty monolith, while around Darwin and in northern Queensland, the dry season is well underway. On the Great Barrier Reef, the water is clearer and currents calmer: time to get your snorkel or scuba gear on for boat trips out to this 1,400-mile-long wonder of nature.

Where to stay Elegant bungalows are perched on stilts amid 58 hectares of forest, overlooking two secluded beaches, at Thala Beach Nature Reserve in tropical northern Queensland, on-shore from the Great Barrier Reef.

8. Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria

Why go in July? For popular beaches with a less-explored cultural hinterland

Summer is the highest season on Bulgaria’s beaches just as it is everywhere else on Europe’s southern shores, but at least there are savings to be had here, while temperatures behave similarly to many Mediterranean locations. Around the two main Black Sea cities of Burgas and Varna is a coast of fine beaches in great arcs, broken up by craggy capes. Both combine at Sozopol, with its headland-set old town and more of a local vibe on the sand than famous Sunny Beach to the north. Bulgaria of course has more than just all-inclusive resorts to offer, with impressive hikes in the Balkan and Rhodope mountain ranges, and second city Plovdiv a recent capital of culture.

Where to stay The low-rise Blu Bay Hotel Sozopol is on the neck between the old town and the mainland, looking onto the marina, and has smart stone-and-wood detail in its interiors.

Route 101 in the US

Route 101 (Alamy)

9. Pacific Northwest, USA

Why go in July? For coastal highway drives between fun-loving cities

Fourth of July fireworks look best over a great harbour city, but while New York is in its sticky summer phase, the month is a blessed one in Seattle, with only around one in six days bringing rain, as opposed to the typical half or more. It’s generally a busy holiday period beside America’s coasts and lakes, and in its national parks, but definitely worth it in the Pacific Northwest: the states of Washington, Oregon and by some measures northern California. An ocean-skirting drive along US Route 101 from near Seattle to San Francisco is the stuff of American road trip dreams, while inland lures include Oregon’s main city Portland and the 7,000-year-old beauty of Crater Lake.

Where to stay Palihotel Seattle is close to the waterfront, by the famed Pike Place Market, and makes for a trusty urban pad, with Smeg mini fridges and some bunk beds among its rooms in shades of green.

A chameleon, Madagascar

A chameleon in Madagascar (Alamy)

10. Nosy Boraha, Madagascar

Why go in July? For extraordinary wildlife on and off shore

The land of the lemurs has enough of its own wonderfully unique species to fill a whole continent, but from July it gets some VIP visitors too, as humpback whales migrate to the shores of Nosy Boraha (also called Île Sainte-Marie). This island and former pirate lair lies just off Madagascar’s east coast, facing the Indian Ocean, in one of the wetter and more forested parts of the country. Across Madagascar as a whole, including its highlands and the drier west where you’ll find the surreal-looking Avenue of the Baobabs and Tsingy rock formations, July is a cooler month (in tropical terms), making for more pleasant exploration than the height of heat and rain from December to March.

Where to stay Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa is a chilled-out beach retreat amid the coconut palms of Île Sainte-Marie, with bungalows made from local materials, and ready access to whale-watching trips.

Igreja da Misericordia in Porto

Igreja da Misericordia in Porto, Portugal (Getty Images)

11. Azores, Portugal

Why go in July? For outdoor adventures on Europe’s furthest fringe

Far out in the Atlantic, the nine islands of the Azores are a volcanic yet abundantly green archipelago with an intriguing history dating from Portugal’s voyages of discovery. Temperatures here are mild year-round (peaking in the low twenties over summer) but July sees an easing in the all-too-frequent rain, encouraging even more time spent in the fresh air, and also signalling smoother conditions for whale-watching cruises. The gateway island of São Miguel delivers scenic drama in its clifftop viewpoints and enigmatic crater lakes, and among its neighbours you’ll find two world heritage sites: historic Angra do Heroismo port, and Pico’s basalt-walled vineyards.

Where to stay Terra Nostra Garden Hotel opens onto subtropical gardens inside a volcanic caldera on São Miguel, and is an original art deco beauty from 1935 with a superb restaurant specialising in Azorean cuisine.

Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark

Copenhagen Jazz Festival (Alamy)

12. Copenhagen, Denmark

Why go in July? For café terraces and music festivals in Scandinavian warmth

The Danish capital stands out among European city breaks that won’t feel uncomfortably hot this month. Copenhageners who haven’t left town for their summer travels enjoy the long days on quaysides and in parks. Bike-friendly streets invite neighbourhood browsing for the best places to stop for coffee and an open sandwich, while a sunny spell on suburban beaches can soon mean relatively warm waters thanks to the shallow Oresund Strait. The beginning of the month usually brings the Copenhagen Jazz Festival with big-name headliners, and other star music acts at the Roskilde Festival a half-hour out of the city.

Where to stay At the seaward entrance to Copenhagen’s most photographed canal, 71 Nyhavn Hotel occupies a pair of old brick warehouses, with contemporary rooms under the heavy wooden beams.

A craft market in Otavalo, Ecuador

A craft market in Otavalo, Ecuador (Getty Images)

13. Quito, Ecuador

Why go in July? For diverse ecosystems and heritage sights right on the equator

Apart from the Galapagos Islands way out to sea, Ecuador gets less attention than many of its South American neighbours. Its mainland, though, is a neat cross-section, from beach-fringed and surfer-friendly coast to volcanic mountain spine to rainforest. July is generally low on rain, apart from the Amazon which is its normal steamy self. The highland capital Quito is cooler year-round, and Unesco-listed for its Spanish colonial architecture. Also in the region you’ll find cloud forest reserves rich in birdlife, and the celebrated crafts market at Otavalo. If you visit the Galapagos this month, the seas can be choppy but you can catch the mating dance of the blue-footed booby.

Where to stay On the eastern edge of Quito, Hacienda Jimenita is a small country estate overlooking a forested ravine, the setting for its own nature reserve alive with hummingbirds and other feathered friends.

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Prince Edward Island (Alamy)

14. Maritime Provinces, Canada

Why go in July? For rugged beauty along Canada’s Atlantic shores

On Canada Day (July 1), citizens get another reminder that the country stretches – as its Latin motto says – “from sea to sea”. The summer months are excellent across this vast land, and the long days plus relative warmth are keenly felt in the east-coast Maritimes. The three provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are defined by their relationship with the Atlantic Ocean, with lighthouses and huddled fishing villages on the rocky shores, and the Bay of Fundy, which has the world’s biggest tidal range. The Cabot Trail is an inspiring route to drive or cycle, while the Prince Edward Island farm country draws fans of the Anne of Green Gables books.

Where to stay Dating from 1861, the Telegraph House is a heritage lodge with an attached motel, also in clapboard, on the Cabot Trail across Cape Breton Island in northern Nova Scotia.

Naadam Festival, Mongolia

Naadam Festival (Getty Images)

15. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Why go in July? For archery and other nomadic traditions on the endless steppe

Even among “out there” travel destinations, Mongolia is a byword for remoteness. But for the world’s most sparsely populated country, whose armies were once feared across the Eurasian landmass, you’ll find a big welcome. The most celebrated event on the calendar (book well ahead) is July’s Naadam Festival, a traditional Mongolian Olympics. The biggest show is in the capital Ulaanbaatar, an exception to the yurt-dwelling image that still holds in much of the country. July temperatures usually peak in the mid-twenties (while -20C or lower is standard in midwinter), and though it’s also the rainiest season, head out to find the steppe at its greenest.

Where to stay Before or after any stays in a yurt (called “ger” in Mongol), load up on conventional comforts at the Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar, a glittering high-rise affair in the heart of the fast-changing capital.

Take me there

Inspired to get away in July but yet to book your trip? Here are the best getaways from Jet2* and Tui*. And if you’re still unsure of where you want to go or what type of holiday to book, get in touch here and one of the Designer Travel experts will be in contact to help you arrange your perfect tailor-made break

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