From adventurous bucket-list destinations, to fun European festivals, our recommendations for the best places to visit in July are nothing but diverse. Add to that mind-blowing wildlife experiences and beautiful beach breaks and you're well and truly spoiled for choice.
Then, once you've made up your mind where to visit in July (good luck with that!) browse our guidebooks to find your perfect trip companion.
Summer is an ideal time to explore Alaska’s awe-inspiring wilderness of deep fjords, towering glaciers and sweeping forests.
Abundant wildlife thrives here, which makes America’s largest state an obvious destination for animal enthusiasts. For example, Alaska is home to over 98% of America’s brown bear population.
Then, come July, the sockeye salmon run lures both brown bears and camera-toting visitors to Katmai National Park. This remote stretch of land home is to over 2000 brown bears.
Those in the know head to Brooks Falls. Here viewing platforms enable visitors to watch bears duck and dive to intercept the relentless flood of leaping salmon.
Explore more places to stay in Anchorage, Alaska.
You recently ranked New Zealand as your top dream destination in our travel trend survey, which got us thinking about the best places to go in this spectacular land.
Being one of the host cities for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup (it'll run 20th July — 20th August 2023), we honed in on Wellington. But fear not if you're not into football — there are plenty of other reasons to visit New Zealand's second most populous city.
The main departure point for the South Island, Wellington is a great place to enjoy café culture, arts culture and top nightlife. This ramps up during the summer months when the city hosts fabulous fringe festivals.
Wellington is also New Zealand’s culinary capital, with a cracking craft beer scene and renowned regional wine. And in good news for those wanting to explore the great outdoors, Wellington’s surrounding wooded Town Belt offers excellent walks.
In addition, at this time of year, when snow on the northern hemisphere slopes has vanished, New Zealand’s ski season is in full swing. From Wellington, head to Whakapapa on the northern side of Mount Ruapehu.
Find more places to stay in Wellington. New Zealand.
Sun-drenched Adriatic beaches. Fairy tale medieval villages. Epic mountains. There’s no denying that Montenegro is a looker.
And there’s plenty here if you’re looking for night life, too. For example, Budva Riviera is known for its classy, cocktail-fuelled summer gatherings. During high season, its waterfront and beaches form a chain of lively clubs. Few places are prettier to party.
For a culture fix, you’ll want to spend time in the walled medieval city of Kotor — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After exploring its quaint squares, and marvelling at its palace and cathedral, head to Kotor Bay. This spectacular, steep-sided inlet is surrounded by towering mountains.
Meanwhile, nature-lovers will want to see lily-speckled Lake Skadar. The national park here is one of the best birding sites in Europe, while the lake itself is perfect for kayaking.
Durmitor National Park is also a hotspot for hikers and nature-lovers. With fifty peaks over 2000 metres, glacial lakes galore, and almost 200 bird species, it’s another of Montenegro's UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
All of which means Montenegro is one of the best places to visit in July for a summer break that’s big on natural beauty and fun-filled evenings.
See more places to stay in Budva and Kotor, Montenegro.
Backed by the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is the kind of place that satisfies all the senses. Capital of the last Moorish kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, this Andalusian beauty serves tasty tapas alongside breath-taking scenery.
Taking its name from the walls that rise above the Río Darro gorge, The Alhambra (“The Red One”) is the city’s top attraction. Its awe-inspiring complex of fortress towers, palaces and summer gardens demand at least half a day of your time.
Given that flamenco originated in Andalusia, it’s no surprise that Granada is a hotspot for seeing pulse-quickening performances. For an authentic, intimate experience (it’s in a cave), watch a Sacromontes' Cuevas los Tarantos show.
Meanwhile, the old Moorish district of Albaicín is the perfect place to head for food. Its maze of narrow streets and staircases lead to tonnes of tapas joints you’ll crow about for years to come.
What’s more, most Albaicín eateries come with a side serving of unforgettable views.
Find more places to stay in Granada, Spain.
With several stunning destinations in Switzerland hosting fabulous festivals through summer, it wasn’t easy to choose the best place to visit in July.
After much deliberation, we went for the Lake Geneva region. If you plan ahead, you can make use of the country’s excellent transport network to take in a host of festivals and events around Lake Geneva.
This area encompasses pretty much everything you might want from Switzerland. Snowy mountains and charming wine villages. Castles, cathedrals and cowbells. Stylish city nightlife. And of course, there's the lake itself.
Head to lively Lausanne — dubbed Switzerland's San Francisco — to enjoy non-stop festival action. All summer long, the Ouchy waterfront hosts informal events just about every weekend. Better still, most of them are free.
Love music? Hosting world-famous artists from R.E.M. to B.B. King, the Montreux Jazz Festival takes place over two weeks in early July. Mainly held in the Congress Centre and casino, the programme covers every form of music from around the world.
Music aside, upmarket Montreux is spectacularly sited and drenched in sunshine, with beauties like the Château de Chillon on hand for awe-inspiring daytrips.
See more places to stay in Lausanne and Montreux, Switzerland.
To tackle the elephant in the room, July might not be the obvious time to visit Trinidad, what with it being rainy season. That said, the rain comes fast, and tends to leave fast, too.
Visiting out of high season in July is also better in terms of travelling more responsibly, with unforgettably unique joys for wildlife-lovers. And the reason? If you head to Grand Riviere in July you’ll hit the midpoint, sweet spot of leatherback turtle season.
Visit earlier, and you’ll get to see these colossal creatures lay eggs on the beach during an expert-led night-watch. While that’s fabulous in itself, visiting in June or July means you’ll also see the eggs hatch. The sight of hundreds of little hatchings pushing their way through the sand and scrambling to the sea is truly incredible.
Bird-lovers also flock (albeit in pretty small numbers) to Grand Riviere to see the Trinidad piping guan. Known locally as the pawi, this is one of the best spots to see this endangered, endemic beauty.
And in good news for fans of village festival vibes, Grand Riviere’s annual Fisherman’s Fete is held on either the last weekend of June, or the first weekend of July.
Check out more places to stay in Grand Riviere, and Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Lying some 15km northwest of Gdańsk in northern Poland, Sopot is justifiably known as the Polish riviera. This Baltic Coast beauty-spot boasts Europe’s longest wooden pier (512m), and an expanse of golden sand.
Back in its 1920s and 1930s heyday, Sopot lured the rich and famous to its casinos, shops and spas. And today this pretty Polish resort town retains an air of Riviera sophistication.
In place of tacky souvenir stalls, Sopot's pier boasts simple, elegant cafes — perfect for people-watching. The same applies to Sopot’s main street, Monte Cassino. This attractive, pedestrianised thoroughfare melds old time charm with the contemporary quirks of its Crooked House.
Should you wish to escape town for a few hours, you can follow the beach path all the way to Gdańsk, and be back in time to strut your stuff in a nightclub.
Browse more places to stay in Sopot, Poland.
Each May an estimated 1.5 million wildebeest, and hundreds of thousands of zebras, antelope and topi begin the world’s largest animal migration.
From the plains of Tanzania’s southern Serengeti, to the grasslands of Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve, this epic 800km passage takes in racing rivers, lethal lakes and deadly lion country.
One of the most spectacular moments of the journey is the July river crossings. As a result, wildlife watchers are drawn to the Mara River to witness swarms of wildebeest take on these crocodile-infested waters. This is the final, deadliest obstacle in their voyage.
What's more, exhilarating safaris in these East African countries can be combined with visiting the coast, and the likes of Zanzibar, where out-of-this-world beaches await.
See more places to stay in Serengeti, Tanzania, and near Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
Want more inspiration for your summer break? Browse our best travel destinations for 2023, and discover some of the best European summer destinations.
You might also want to read our run-down of the best places to visit in May and June.
Travelling as a family? Find out about some of the best places to go with kids.
And remember, wherever you're thinking of heading, there's sure to be a Rough Guide to enhance every step of your journey from the moment you start planning.
Not keen on planning? Browse our expert-curated, customisable tailor-made trips.
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Header image: orange-winged parrot, Trinidad and Tobago © Shutterstock
Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her