It’s the middle of the year, you’ve been following #travel on Instagram and your passport is feeling a little bit lonely. Planning your holidays in July has never seemed like a better idea!
July is the perfect time to travel across the world. In Europe it’s warm, and the humidity you’d find in January down under is clearing. Whether you’re planning on sunbathing for two weeks on a beach in Asia, or hiking mountains in North America, you’re bound to find the best destination for you to travel to in July. Read on to find out the ultimate places to spend your holidays in July!
South Africa – The Crowded Planet
Last year we had the chance to road trip South Africa between April and July – each month had its benefits and drawbacks, but if we were to return, we’d choose July for sure!
First of all, it’s the best time to see wildlife in Kruger and the other national parks as it’s winter and water is usually scarce, so animals tend to congregate around water holes.
The weather was chilly, but not freezing, and it didn’t stop us from surfing, hiking, kayaking and enjoying all the wonderful adventures that South Africa has to offer. Even Cape Town, notoriously cold in July, wasn’t too bad!
But the best thing about visiting South Africa in July is that you’ll find few tourists, leading to great deals on hotels, car hire and tourist activities. It’s also a great time to see whales in the Western Cape – the whales come so close to the coast you can actually see them from the land!
Mozambique – Roaming Fox
Although Mozambique on the east coast of Africa, is virtually a year-round destination, July is a great time to visit. South Africans love to travel to Mozambique during their school holidays, and this time is between two holidays, so the destination is perfect.
Although it is winter, it is still warm enough so you can relish the tropical climate, without being engulfed in too much humidity and heat. It is also a drier time of year and not cyclone season, which is up till March or April.
Because of the length of its coastline, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From beach holidays to safaris, for adventure seekers as well as lazy beach bums. Either way, you’ll be seeped in culture.
Accommodation ranges from upmarket lodges and hotels to camping and backpackers, so there is something to suit everyone.
After a day of adventure, diving or swimming, who wouldn’t want to indulge in coconut crab curries or grilled peri-peri chicken or prawns? To wash it down a 2M (beer) or two. If you want to be more adventurous you can partake in an R & R. It’s a traditional Rum and raspberry soda, but beware, it packs a punch!
Bali – Temples and Treehouses
The best time to visit Bali is between May and August. This is the dry season, when you’re likely to get great weather and clear skies (July and August are the driest months). The Tegallalang rice terraces don’t look quite as amazing in the rain!
July is also a great time for surfing. When I visited Bali, I really enjoyed staying in the laid-back beach area of Canggu, which is known as a famous surf spot. It has a healthy, hipster vibe and lots of great bars and restaurants.
July is also is when the annual Bali Kites Festival takes place, and when the Makepung Buffalo Races begin.
Be aware though that school holidays in July and August mean that Bali can become really crowded — so your best bet is to visit in early July before this beautiful island gets too overrun with tourists!
There’s so much to see and do in Bali!
Glacier National Park, USA – Lets Travel Family
Glacier National Park is one of the most well-known National Parks in the United States. The glacial carved mountain peaks, famous Going-to-the-Sun road, abundance of wildlife, and cascading waterfalls are all worth a trip to the northern Montana park.
July is the best time of the year to visit if you hope to drive through Logan Pass, which is halfway through the Going to the Sun road. The elevation is so high at the pass that snow often keeps the road closed well into June.
With temperatures averaging 26 degrees C (79 degrees F) in July at Glacier National Park, it allows for a very comfortable time to hike, bike, kayak, swim, or camp. The sun is in abundance and encourages many people to spend time in, on, or around the glacial lakes and streams throughout the park.
Glacier National Park was one of our family’s favourite destinations from our full-time travel in 2017 across the United States. I highly recommend making reservations early for July, as it is a busy time of year but totally worth the planning ahead factor.
What will you get up to in Montana?
Interlaken – Holidays to Europe
One of the best places to spend your holidays in July is the Swiss town of Interlaken, around an hour from both the capital Bern, and Lucerne.
With its location at the foot of the Eiger, Jungfrau and Monch mountains, Interlaken is a great base for enjoying the many alpine excursions available in the region, but there are plenty of things to do in town, too.
Known as the adventure capital of Switzerland, Interlaken attracts adrenaline seekers who visit for paragliding, white water rafting and canyoning.
If you’re not into adrenaline sports, don’t worry. Interlaken offers plenty of less adventurous, but just as enjoyable, things to do. Lake cruises, a funicular ride to Harder Kulm, horse-drawn tram rides and shopping are just some of the ways you can spend your time.
Interlaken is the main starting point for day trips on the famous train trip to Jungfraujoch. The scenic journey takes passengers to Europe’s highest railway station. Summer activities at Jungfraujoch include snow tubing, sledding and a zipline, and there are fabulous panoramic views of the Swiss alps year-round.
During July, you’re likely to enjoy fine, sunny days in Interlaken – just perfect for exploring the town and the surrounding snow-capped mountain peaks.
Whether you want an adrenaline rush, or a calm lake cruise, you’ll find something awesome to do!
Kodaikanal, India – The Winged Fork
Nestled in the Palani Hills in South India, Kodaikanal is the perfect refuge from the heat in other parts of India. It’s name in Tamil means ‘gift of the forest’.
Replete with lush forests and lakes – namely the Berijam Lake and the famous manmade Kodaikanal Lake, it’s a good place to get away from the busyness of city life. And in the monsoon, the mist in the air adds a lovely mystical touch; while in some parts of hills you can actually touch the clouds.
Leaving aside the town centre which is a bit crowded with tourists and markets, the rest of Kodaikanal is perfect for cycling, boating, trekking, hiking or just plain old rest and relaxation.
There’s more to explore in Coaker’s Walk, Bryant Park and the neighbouring pine forests which are often featured in Indian movies – you know the ones, with the man and woman running around trees singing about their love!
The Berijam Lake area though can only be visited with a forest guard – since some of the mushrooms have a hallucinogenic effect when consumed – as does some of the fragrance given off by the trees in Berijam Forest. The Berijam forest is good for spotting bison, deer, panthers and snakes.
Being part of the wider Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary, you might just run into bison roaming free like we did. Don’t run, walk away!
Norway – It’s Not About The Miles
Norway is gorgeous any time of the year, but it is especially appealing as a summer travel destination. Taking your holidays in July here is perfect, despite the possibility of crowds at tourist hotspots. Why July?
Well, for one thing, the weather in July is wonderful. In a country where it’s common to have snow on the ground into June, the window to walk around without boots and multiple layers is tiny.
In July, you can attempt hikes to hilltops in relative comfort. The iconic Trolltunga hike is only recommended in the summer, so if you’re up for it, July is a great time to do it. Also, you can enjoy cruising the stunning fjords without wind chill to worry about.
I love the long daylight hours in July. If you go far enough north in Norway in the summer, the sun never sets! To celebrate the long days, Norway hosts special events, such as late night concerts at the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso.
I recommend going north and off the beaten track to Finnrock County, to explore Seiland National Park, with its fjords and glaciers, and wildlife, including herds of reindeer and the endangered Arctic fox. While here in July, you can also enjoy the famous Riddu Riddu festival of folk arts!
Take a tour and enjoy all that Norway has to offer!
Ghent – Aleen Op Reis
Living in the Netherlands I often spend a weekend in the beautiful Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. It takes me less than an hour to get there but the atmosphere is completely different, I would say it’s a bit friendlier and more relaxed than the Netherlands.
Since the climate in both countries unfortunately is quite comparable (pretty grey and rainy most part of the year) I would definitely recommend you to visit Flanders in summer.
My favourite city in Flanders is Ghent. It’s an absolutely stunning city and it’s less crowded than nearby Bruges, but at least as picturesque. The old centre is nice and compact and full of historic buildings, cosy squares and nice restaurants.
July would be the perfect time to visit because during two weeks in July the biggest festival of Ghent, named the ‘Gentse Feesten’, takes place. This festival is an outdoor music and theatre festival for people of all ages and dates back to 1843. Everyone in Ghent will be partying all night long!
See more from Alleen Op Reis on Instagram!
Barcelona – Traveling German
Barcelona is a great city to explore on your holidays in in July. It’s usually reliably sunny for the majority of the month, the sea is warm, and it’s not quite as busy as in August.
In addition to everything Barcelona has to offer all year round, there are a ton of “bonus” things to do in Barcelona in the summer, and the city puts on an amazing show during July: free concerts in parks throughout the city and the Sala Montjuic open air cinema make for great evening entertainment, especially when accompanied by some Spanish wine and a picnic.
And all summer long, local neighborhoods shine during their week-long street festivals with decorated streets, concerts of local bands and lots of good local and international food. In July, the Poble Sec festival is one of the most popular ones.
If it does get too crowded for you – the beach is admittedly quite busy already from June onwards – it is incredibly easy to get to some stunning beach destinations for a day trip. Check out Sitges or Castelldefels for a day trip, or Begur or Cadaqués if you have a bit more time for an overnight trip.
Explore the city and discover everything it has to offer!
Helsinki – Nomad Epicureans
If you are looking for a quiet place to spend your holidays in July, look no further than Helsinki, Finland. Although there is something magical about Finnish Lapland in winter, in my opinion, nothing beats Finland in the summer.
Helsinki can be grey and rainy most of the year, but the weather is usually exceptional during July. The parks are green, the water is blue, and most importantly: all attractions are open (many are closed during the winter).
Helsinki is also a great alternative to other destinations in Europe, as it is generally not as crowded with tourists. I strongly recommend that you make use of the weather and head out to Suomenlinna island. Suomenlinna is a UNESCO protected sea fortress and a popular day trip spot for those living in Helsinki.
Explore the historic fortress, have a picnic in the park, or bum out by the beach, Suomenlinna has it all (at least in July!). Alternatively, explore Helsinki’s beautiful art nouveau architecture in the district of Katajanokka or eat a reindeer crepe at the market square!
Find your ideal tour and get sightseeing!
Where do you plan on spending your holidays in July? Let us know in the comments below!