Our top 10 destinations for the summer holidays
By Martha Hales
The question on every travel addict’s mind at this time of year is where to go for the summer holidays, and we are bursting with great ideas for you and your family’s next trip! The world is your oyster, so we have narrowed down a list of destinations which are all particularly great in July and August for some reason or other. Whether you are looking for an off the beaten track adventure or a relaxing sightseeing trip, we have lots of inspiring suggestions for you.
There are plenty of good reasons to visit Vietnam in August, not least the temperatures, which are comfortably cooler than the hottest months of June and July. You can expect hot sunny days with occasional heavy showers which don’t need to affect your plans too much.
July and August are low season in Vietnam, so you can enjoy the beautiful beaches of central Vietnam without the crowds, and it’s the perfect season for sightseeing in the cities.
Major wildlife watching regions such as Kruger National Park are in the middle of their dry, winter season during July and August, which means peak season for safari as animals are forced to congregate at watering holes. It is chilly overnight and during morning game drives, but warms up significantly in the afternoons.
Weather further south is more changeable and cool, so although Cape Town and the garden route are mild, it will not be beach weather. July and August are prime whale watching months around the coast.
Summer is the most popular time to see Russia in all its glory, buzzing with locals and tourists all out enjoying the warm weather and the packed calendar of summer events. June and July in St Petersburg usher in the famous White Nights when the sun never really goes down and everyone in the city joins in the night time parties on the banks of the Neva river.
As well as enjoying city life in the summer, it’s a perfect time to get acquainted with rural Russia, so why not plan a visit to the Golden Ring towns or even a trip on the Trans Siberian railway? If' you've been struggling to find time to read a bit of Tolstoy, when better to give it a go than when racing across the Russian countryside.
The heat is on in Morocco during the summer, making city breaks and sightseeing less than ideal. However, if you are looking for a coastal trip the Atlantic beaches of Morocco are reliably breezy making it a good time to catch some waves if you are a keen surfer.
As summer is low season in Morocco it can be a good time to find great value in one of Morocco’s many family friendly resorts, ideal for a relaxing holiday where no one strays too far from the poolside. Flights are also delightfully short for such an exotic destination - perfect for younger families.
Seas around the Galapagos can be restless during the northern hemisphere summer holidays (July and August) and the skies will often be overcast with a chance of rain, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the most popular times to visit.
July is a great time to see lots of activity among the wildlife, as it is an important month for mating and breeding. Marine life takes advantage of the abundant food brought by the strengthening Humboldt current, and dolphins and whales are more visible, too. August brings more of the same, with chilly sea temperatures but lots of active wildlife beneath the waves. Sea birds are nesting throughout the period.
The bewitching island of Cuba is a year-round destination, and although July and August are shoulder season, there is much to recommend a trip during this period. July in particular is an excellent time to explore Cuba’s culture, coast and countryside with balmy temperatures, moderate humidity, plenty of sunshine and the odd heavy shower which often arrives in the evening to cool everything off.
July is also a great month to enjoy local celebrations and festivals such as Revolution Day and Carnival. August is likely to be wetter and sometimes stormier, but you can take advantage of low season prices.
So you are looking for a real adventure in an off the beaten track destination for your next family summer holiday? Colombia could tick all the boxes with its warm weather, welcoming hosts and huge variety of experiences available.
Discover two coasts both with their own unique flavour, buzzing cities like Bogota and Medellin, hike in the emerald hills of the Zona Cafetera, or experience colonial splendour in Cartagena. The opportunity to surround yourselves with the sounds of the Amazon rainforest is also a possibility in Colombia.
July and August in Costa Rica may be among the wetter months in the calendar, but that doesn’t deter intrepid families who come to enjoy the ‘green season’ when Costa Rica is at is bountiful best and fully open for adventure.
It is actually quite a popular time to visit, but footfall is much lower than during the high season which runs from December to April. Don’t let the showers dampen your enthusiasm for Costa Rica’s amazing wildlife, volcano hikes, hot springs and adventure sports.
July marks the start of high season in Tanzania, coinciding with the first major movements of the Great Migration, when many hundreds of thousands of animals circulate through the Serengeti and on into the Kenyan Masai Mara in search of fresh pastures.
It is the defining spectacle of Africa’s epic wildlife and attracts many visitors during July and August so book well in advance. The weather during these months is reliably dry and sunny so it’s a perfect time to combine wildlife watching with a beach break on Tanzania’s coast and islands.
As a tropical country Malaysia is always subject to sporadic rainfall, but if you look at the annual picture July and August are among the best times to visit. It is high season so book ahead, and bear in mind that weather varies around the peninsula.
Overall much of the country is experiencing good conditions for travel in July and August with the exception of the far north west coast around Langkawi. Instead head for the east coast or the Perhentian Islands which are much drier at this time, while the west coast is more changeable.
Whatever you want to do during the summer, there is a TravelLocal destination to suit. From beachside fun to wildlife encounters and hiking adventures, the opportunities are endless. Our local experts are ready with their specialist knowledge and insider tips to make your trip a holiday of a lifetime, so click on one of the destinations above to find out more. To speak to someone in the TravelLocal office please call +44 (0)117 325 7898.