- Coasts & Islands
- Festivals & Events
- Where to Stay
- Nature & Wildlife
- National Parks & Reserves
- Walking Hiking Trekking
- Central America & the Caribbean
- Tanzania and Zanzibar
- New Zealand
- See & Do
- Travel Tips
- Where to stay
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Tanzania & Zanzibar
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.
1. Alaska, USA — one of the best places to visit in July
Best for wilderness walks and wildlife-watching
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.
- See brown bears, wolves, bison and belugas on a wilderness, wildlife and glacier experience from Anchorage.
- Gawp at our gallery of the most beautiful places in Alaska.
- Read Insight Guide Alaska — it's packed with inspirational articles and pictures.
- Into the great outdoors? Grab a copy of The Rough Guide to the USA's National Parks for practical info and inspo.
Make the most of your time in Alaska, USA
- Best for scenery: The Lakefront Anchorage. This fab three-star punches well above its weight.
- Best for couples: Historic Anchorage Hotel. Cosy comfort in a convenient location.
- Best for budget travellers: Ingra House Hotel. Double rooms with shared bathroom and kitchen.
Where to stay
Explore more places to stay in Anchorage, Alaska.
2. Wellington, New Zealand
Best for foodies, footie fans, festivals and skiing
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.
- Savour Wellington's food scene on a wine and food tour with lunch in the Martinborough wine region.
- Take inspiration from the pictorial Insight Guide New Zealand.
- Want to explore more of New Zealand? Our customisable North to South self-drive trip includes Wellington.
- Read up on some of New Zealand's best road trip routes.
Make the most of your time in Wellington, New Zealand
- Best for families: Terrace Villas Apartments. Home comforts in 100-year-old historic villas.
- Best for couples: Bolton Hotel. An elegant boutique 5-star.
- Best for budget travellers: Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers. Affordable dorms and rooms in a former fancy hotel.
Where to stay
Find more places to stay in Wellington. New Zealand.
3. Montenegro, the Balkans
Best for Adriatic beaches, stunning scenery and vivacious nightlife
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.
- Book a Kotor boat trip to swim in the sublime Blue Cave and marvel at the Lady of the Rocks.
- Want to get your wild on? Go white water rafting on the Tara River.
- Read our first-timers guides to Montenegro.
- Suffer from FOMO? Find out about things not to miss in Montenegro.
- Be inspired by our customisable Montenegro Adventure itinerary.
- Want to mix mountain adventure with coastal luxury? You'll love our Epic Montenegro trip.
Make the most of your time in Montenegro
- Best for luxury: Hotel Budva. A fine five-star on Budva's seaside promenade.
- Best for couples: Boutique Hotel Casa del Mare, Kotor. Smart rooms and incredible views.
- Best for old town charm: Boutique Hotel Astoria, Kotor. Top style and service in 13th-century Buca Palace.
Where to stay
4. Granada, Spain
Best for fiery sun, flamenco and food
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.
- Beat the inevitable Alhambra queues by booking a skip-the-line ticket and tour.
- Explore beyond the city on a scenic safari to Sierra Nevada National Park.
- Read up on the best things to do in Granada, and uncover the region in The Rough Guide to Andalucia.
- Immerse yourself in the area on our customisable Andalusia Explored trip — Granada is among its highlights.
- Learn some lingo with a Spanish phrasebook and dictionary.
Make the most of your time in Granada
- Best for couples: Abadía Hotel. A 16th-century charmer set around a courtyard.
- Best for great-value views: Hotel Mirador Arabeluj. Near Alhambra Palace, this exceeds expectations.
- Best for families: Welcomer Apartments Granada Catedral. Central, smart and well-equipped.
Where to stay
Find more places to stay in Granada, Spain.
5. Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Best for festivals, fresh air and family fun
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.
- Visit Château de Chillon, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe, and an inspiration for Byron.
- Read up on festivals in Switzerland.
- Discover the best things to do in Switzerland in summer.
- Book a tailor-made trip to Switzerland, with customisable itineraries covering everything from unforgettable highlights of Switzerland, to touring the Grand Circle.
- Arm yourself with the in-depth Rough Guide to Switzerland.
Make the most of your time in Lake Geneva
- Best for luxury: Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne. This waterfront dazzler is one of Switzerland’s finest hotels.
- Best for couples: Villa Toscane. Montreux. A fabulous Art Nouveau creation on the waterfront.
- Best for families: Elite, Lausanne. Pleasant and well-run, this is Lausanne's best mid-price hotel.
Where to stay
6. Grand Riviere, Trinidad
Best for epic wildlife and laidback village vibes
To tackle the elephant in the room, July might not be the obvious time to visit Trinidad, what with it being the 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.
- After arriving in Port of Spain, book a trip to beautiful Maracas Beach. Then keep heading west to Grand Riviere.
- Have longer in Port of Spain? Take a half-day, mini-island tour.
- Find out about things not to miss in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Browse our customisable Trinidad and Tobago itineraries.
- Read The Rough Guide to Trinidad and Tobago.
Make the most of your time in Trinidad
- Best for couples: Acajou, Grand Riviere. Fine cottages and food in a top turtle and bird-watching spot.
- Best for families: Immortelle Tree House. This charming wooden house sleeps six and has gorgeous gardens.
Where to stay
7. Sopot, Poland's Baltic Coast
Best for seaside sophistication
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.
- Soak up the last of the day's rays on a sunset yacht trip.
- Discover the Baltic's best beach resorts. Naturally, Sopot is among them.
- Planning a longer trip? Find out why you should travel around Poland by train.
- Get The Rough Guide to Poland.
Make the most of your time in Sopot
- Best for five-star style: Sofitel Grand. This historic stunner boasts a private beach.
- Best for families: Hotel Sopot. Pet-friendly, with a playground and near a beach.
- Best for budget travellers: Central Sopot. This tenement house near Monte Cassino offers lots of room options.
Where to stay in Sopot, Poland
Browse more places to stay in Sopot, Poland.
8. Tanzania and Kenya, East Africa
Best for mighty migrations and blissful beaches
Each May an estimated 1.5 million wildebeest, and hundreds of thousands of zebras, antelope and topi begin the world’s largest animal migration.
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.
- Book a four-day trip to Masai Mara, Kenya.
- Discover the best things to do in Tanzania and find out how to plan a Tanzanian safari.
- Read up on Kenya's national parks, the best things to do in Kenya, and safaris in Kenya.
- Book our customisable Best of Tanzania and Kenya trip for unforgettable safari experiences.
- Want to blend watching beasts with time on the beach? Our Bush to Beach trip provides exactly that.
- Be inspired and informed by Insight Guide Tanzania and Zanzibar, and Insight Guide Kenya.
Make the most of your time in Tanzania and Kenya, East Africa
- Best for couples: Africa Safari Serengeti Ikoma. Spacious tents near the Serengeti's Ikoma Gate entrance.
- Best for elegant comfort: Mara Intrepids Tented Camp. A stunning set-up in a stunning, animal-rich setting.
- Best for bird-lovers: Sekenani Camp Maasai Mara. A gorgeous oasis of tented rooms surrounded by trees.
Where to stay
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