The solstice might have passed, but that doesn't mean the fun is over! Summer is in full swing and around the world people are sweating out long climbs on the bicycle, exploring hidden mountains and valleys on foot, and relaxing on sunny beaches with a cold drink at the end of the day. Don't you want to join them? July is a great month to travel with your family, friends or solo, and wherever you go you're sure to find something exciting. Here are our top picks for the month.
The Dolomites, on the border of Italy and Austria, are a place where you can enjoy the good life--or, as the Italians call it, la bella vita. From the towering, craggy mountains to the quiet trailside rest stops to the incredible fusion cuisine of the region, the Dolomites are truly a playground for traveling, biking or hiking in July. You'll mostly miss the mid-summer heat by staying in the north of Italy, and you'll be enchanted by the quaint villages, dramatic vistas and peaceful elegance of the region. From the wine to the wildflowers, everything about the Dolomites is surprising and stimulating.
This magnificent mountain range in Switzerland is famous as a destination for skiers and wintertime adventurers, but it has a whole different personality in the summer. The towering snow-capped mountains make for a stunning backdrop as you explore verdant pastures, hike challenging mountain passes and cycle through deep gorges to glacial lakes. The Swiss Alps are a paradise for active travelers in the summer, and you'll always have a lovely chalet to welcome you at the end of the day with a cold German beer or a cup of steaming hot chocolate. For an adventure that you won't forget, the Swiss Alps are a good choice.
The residents of Nova Scotia live lives that are inextricably linked to the sea--from fishermen to artisans to chefs, everyone depends on the ocean. Visiting Nova Scotia, you too will get to experience this aquatic co-dependence. Whether you're kayaking among the waves, hiking along the bluffs or cycling through fishing villages, no one leaves this region of Canada without a newfound appreciation for the Atlantic. July is a great time to visit: temperatures top out at a comfortable 70 degrees and the festival schedule is fully booked, making sure you'll enjoy a stimulating and fulfilling vacation whether you're spending it on the trails or in the towns. For an aquatic adventure this July, Nova Scotia is the right place.
The Peruvian Andes are intimidating, with their jagged peaks and demanding climbs, but they're also inviting: they beckon you to enjoy their rugged hospitality, to taste the pisco sours, to explore the hidden Quechua villages, to sit down for dinner at the ancestral table of the people who make these mountains their home. The terraced mountainsides, the ruins in a state of elegant decay, the carefully curated temples and collections of pre-Columbian art--all of these things make Peru a destination without peer. July in Peru brings sunny, clear days and crisp nights, perfect weather for a hiking or cycling adventure that you'll remember for years to come.
Washington's San Juan Islands
The Pacific Ocean makes a dramatic backdrop for these islands off the coast of Seattle, where bikers, hikers and whale-watchers will enjoy balmy summer temperatures and all the activities that mark a true nature-lover's paradise. Quaint harbors filled with bobbing sailboats, peaceful old-growth forests, and hidden inlets for kayaking--it's easy to see why the San Juan Islands are a destination for travelers from around the world. With the ocean, mountains and forests all at your fingertips, these islands are a playground for hiking and biking in July.