It’s just around the corner; you can almost smell it in the air… summer is coming. The bountiful season of sunshine is almost upon us and with it the peak time of year for families, couples, groups of friends and solo travellers to head off on a much-anticipated summer holiday. Some people spend all year fantasising about their annual summer trip and if you’re in search of a little inspiration, we’ve put together our picks of the best places to travel in July. Which destination are you going to sign up for?
Summertime and the living is easy in Italy. Particularly in beautiful Tuscany, a region which boasts some of the most spectacular countryside in Europe. At this time of year, Tuscany is reliably hot, so we prescribe a stay in a rural agroturismo, complete with pool, to ensure you can cool off on a regular basis. If you’re a fan of postcard-perfect landscapes consisting of golden wheat fields, picturesque vineyards and rustic farmhouses, you can’t fail to be enchanted by this stunning part of the world. Whether you’re looking to take a road trip, cycle tour or simply stroll to your heart’s content, Tuscany provides the perfect backdrop for our next summer break.
If you’d prefer to escape the heat, head to New Zealand where winter is in full swing. Beneath the snow-capped gaze of the Remarkables, vibrant Queenstown is at its best during the winter months when the reflection of crisp, starlit skies light up the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu. From late June to early July, 45,000 people descend on the city to celebrate the Queenstown Winter Festival, a 10-day celebration of ski season and the colder months. Expect music, comedy, street parties and plenty of family-friendly fun. Additionally, winter sports fans will be delighted at the close proximity of ski resorts in the Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
Visit harbourside Helsinki during the warmer months and explore one of the country’s coolest cities. Renowned for its cutting-edge art and design scene, the backstreets of Helsinki’s Design District are lined with workshops, boutiques and galleries just waiting to be explored. Additionally, foodies will rejoice at Helsinki’s burgeoning gastronomy scene where hip restaurants, locally-sourced specialities and delicious craft beers vie for the epicurean traveller’s attention. This trendy modernity is intriguingly juxtaposed against a charming backdrop of art-nouveau architecture, centenarian cafés and traditional buildings.
A destination that features on many a traveller’s bucket list, visit the mighty Kenya in July to witness one of the greatest wildlife shows on earth. For this is the time of the Great Migration, when enormous herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles make their way across the majestic Serengeti into Kenya’s Maasai Mara in search of the new grass that sprouts with the seasonal rains. As you can imagine, when the herds are on the move, predators follow not too far behind. Book a safari to spot the Big Five and enjoy the warm weather, fresh from the tail end of the monsoon.
If summertime calls for a dose of colour, head to the picturesque city of Cartagena, new darling of the travel blogger crowd. The rise in tourism has seen a number of trendy hotels, bars and restaurants pop up all over town, inspiring Lonely Planet to dub Cartagena the ‘undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast’. By day, wander the UNESCO-listed old town where romantic balconies, cobbled lanes and awe-inspiring churches provide one photo opportunity after another. By night, soak up the sultry atmosphere of the city where open-air cafes and the unmistakable rhythms of salsa encourage you to dance the night away.
Wherever you choose to holiday this summer, be sure to purchase the right travel insurance for your trip. Whilst this may not be as exciting a subject to contemplate as the destination itself, it is a necessary task to ensure you and your loved ones are properly covered should any unfortunate incidents occur. Medical Travel Compared can take the hassle out of finding the best policy for your circumstances – try our free online comparison tool and get your quote today.