Travel Tips

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July Gems: Discover 5 Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations

July's here, and it's the perfect time to pack your bags and set off on an adventure. With the sun shining bright and the days longer, there's no better time to explore some of the most amazing places our world has to offer.

Tobi Miles
April 4, 2024
July Gems: Discover 5 Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations

From cool beaches to exciting cities, July has something for everyone. Whether you're looking to chill by the sea or dive into new cultures, we've got you covered. So, grab your sunglasses, and let's dive into the best places to visit this July.

Key Takeaways

  • Ideal Destinations for July: Bali and Barbados are top beach destinations in July due to their perfect weather, while cities like Copenhagen and Montreal offer vibrant cultural experiences. For mountain lovers, the Rockies, the Swiss Alps, and the Andes provide cooler escapes with stunning landscapes.
  • Crowd Avoidance Strategies: Opt for less known islands around Koh Tao or the serene beaches of Sardinia to enjoy beautiful locales without the tourist rush. Krakow and Takayama are great city options for a more quaint, crowd-free experience.
  • Festive Celebrations: From the Bali Arts Festival to the Barbados Crop Over, and the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto to the San Fermín Festival in Pamplona, July is packed with local festivals showcasing vibrant cultural traditions.
  • Adventure and Activities: Whether it's diving in Fiji, mountain biking in the Rockies, or attending the world's biggest electronic music festival, Tomorrowland in Belgium, July offers a plethora of activities and events for every type of traveler.
  • Booking and Planning Tips: Early booking is crucial for destinations like Machu Picchu in the Andes; considering off-peak hours or less popular sites can enhance your experience by avoiding crowds at popular festivals and events.
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Gems: Explore less crowded, unique destinations like Picos de Europa in Spain, Isle of Harris in Scotland, or Florianopolis in Brazil for a distinctive July travel experience, combining great weather with fewer tourists.

Exotic Beach Destinations

July's bright sun and long days beckon you to some of the world's most stunning shores. When you're plotting your escape to paradise, it's all about finding that sweet spot - amazing weather, lively festivals, and spaces not packed with tourists. Let's dive into the best places to visit that tick all these boxes, offering you a slice of heaven on earth.

Spot the Best Weather

First things first, you want to be basking in the sun, not running from rainstorms. Bali, Indonesia, shines in July. The island’s dry season gifts you sun-soaked beaches and clear skies. The Atlantic side of Barbados also hits its stride this time of year, with a perfect blend of sunny days and cooling trade winds.

Avoid the Crowds

To dodge the tourist rush, think beyond the usual spots. Instead of Thailand's busy beaches, why not explore the islands around Koh Tao? They offer white sands and crystal-clear waters but with fewer folks around. Sardinia, Italy, is another hidden gem. While most flock to the Amalfi Coast, Sardinia remains relatively under the radar in July.

Dive Into Fun Activities

Fun activities can make your beach getaway unforgettable. In Fiji, the soft coral reefs present a world-class diving experience. Back in Bali, apart from sunbathing, you can catch the Bali Arts Festival, showcasing the island's rich culture through dance, music, and colorful processions.

Savor Local Festivals

Speaking of festivals, nothing beats experiencing local culture firsthand. The Barbados Crop Over Festival kicks off in July, featuring music, dance, and a grand carnival parade. It's a spectacular celebration of the island's sugar cane harvest you won’t want to miss.

Pin Down Costs

Traveling smart means looking for the best deals. In July, destinations like Bali and Barbados are in their peak season, but there are ways to save. Booking your stay and flights early can lock in lower prices. Opting for less known beaches or towns nearby can also slash your expenses significantly.

Gain Local Insights

Here's a pro tip: get local insights wherever you go. Chat up residents to find those off-the-beaten-path spots for a more authentic experience. Local markets in Fiji serve not just fresh food but also a chance to mingle and learn from the natives.

  • Bali Arts Festival: A month-long celebration with

Vibrant City Breaks

When you're thinking about the best places to visit in July, don't just stick to the beaches. There are plenty of cities around the globe that come alive in July with the best weather, awesome festivals, and tons of fun activities. And yes, you can still avoid crowds and find good deals!

First off, consider Copenhagen, Denmark. This city is a treat in July. The weather? Almost perfect. It's warm but not too hot, making it ideal for walking around and exploring the colorful streets. Copenhagen is known for its bike-friendly roads, so you can rent a bike and see the city like a local. Plus, the Roskilde Festival, one of Europe's largest music festivals, happens just outside Copenhagen in early July. Imagine listening to some of the biggest names in music under the Danish sun!

Next up is Montreal, Canada. It's another spot with great July weather and it's packed with fun activities. The Montreal International Jazz Festival happens in late June and often stretches into the early days of July, featuring hundreds of concerts, many of which are free! Wander the city streets, and you'll feel the music in the air. Plus, with its mix of French and English cultures, Montreal offers a unique vibe that’s hard to find anywhere else.

If you're looking to avoid crowds but still soak in some history and culture, Krakow, Poland might just be your go-to. It's not as busy as other European cities, but it's full of life in July. The weather is sunny and pleasant, perfect for exploring the city's historic sites and enjoying outdoor cafes. You'll also find the Krakow Film Music Festival happening, where film scores are performed live. It's a unique experience that adds a special touch to the city's vibrant culture.

Let’s talk about Kyoto, Japan. Sure, Kyoto is well-known, but if you manage your schedule right, you can avoid the big crowds and still catch some of the city's best bits. July is hot in Kyoto, but it's also when the Gion Matsuri takes place. It's a traditional festival that happens throughout the month, featuring stunning processions, traditional clothing, and lots of street food. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to explore the city's famous temples and shrines without the rush.

Adventurous Mountain Getaways

Looking for the best places to visit in July that aren't just your typical beach vacations? If you're up for a bit of adventure paired with breathtaking views, consider heading to the mountains. Not only can mountain escapes offer you the best weather during this time, but they also provide a unique opportunity to avoid crowds and dive into fun activities that you won't find on the coast.

Why Mountains in July?

First off, the weather. In July, while cities are boiling, mountains offer a cooler escape. Think fresh air, clear skies, and comfortable temperatures – perfect for hiking, biking, or just soaking in the views. Plus, this is a time when you're less likely to run into the heavy tourist traffic that floods popular beach destinations, making it easier to enjoy your surroundings without feeling crowded.

Where to Go

  • The Rockies, USA - The Rocky Mountains are a paradise for hikers and campers. Trails range from easy to challenging, making it great for everyone. Don't miss the chance to witness the wildflowers in full bloom this season.
  • The Alps, Switzerland - For stunning scenery and chocolate-box villages, the Swiss Alps are unbeatable in July. The weather is warm but not too hot, ideal for long walks and picnics.
  • The Andes, Peru - Visit Machu Picchu without the wet weather of other months. July offers clear skies and the best chance for those Instagram-worthy shots. Remember, this is peak season, so booking your trip early is key to avoid the biggest crowds.

Activities to Enjoy

Mountain getaways are jam-packed with fun activities. Whether you're into adrenaline-pumping adventures or more laid-back pursuits, there's something for everyone.

  • Hiking and Trekking – Trails vary in difficulty, offering something for every level of adventurer.
  • Mountain Biking – Feel the thrill as you navigate through challenging terrains.
  • Cultural Festivals – Many mountain towns host festivals in July, giving you a taste of local traditions and delights.
  • Book Early – Especially for popular destinations like the Andes, where spots fill up fast due to the optimal weather and the influx of visitors wanting to see Machu Picchu.
  • Pack Smart – Even if it's summer, temperatures can drop significantly at night. Pack layers to stay comfortable.

Cultural Festivals and Events

July is not just about enjoying the sun at the beach or hiking up mountains; it's also a prime time for diving into some of the world's most vibrant cultural festivals and events. If you're keen on mixing up your travel with a dash of local culture, here are some spots where you can catch the best of July's offerings.

First up, consider heading to Japan for the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto. It's one of the most famous festivals in Japan, celebrated throughout July. Expect to see gorgeous floats, traditional clothing, and streets filled with food stalls. It's a fantastic way to experience Japanese culture firsthand. Just remember, Kyoto gets pretty crowded during this time, so book your stay early!

Next on the list is Spain, where the San Fermín Festival takes place in Pamplona from July 6th to 14th. Known globally for the Running of the Bulls, this festival offers much more. You'll find music, dancing, and lots of delicious Spanish food. It's a thrilling event but remember, it's also very crowded. If you're up for the adventure and don't mind the hustle and bustle, it's definitely a unique experience.

For those of you who love arts and music, Belgium's Tomorrowland is a must-visit. It's one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world, held over two weekends in late July. The line-up always includes top DJs, and the stages and light shows are out of this world. Tickets sell out fast, and prices can be high, but it's worth it for the unforgettable experience.

If you're aiming to avoid crowds but still soak in some cultural festivities, consider the Mongolia Naadam Festival. Held from July 11th to 13th, you'll get to see traditional Mongolian games like archery, wrestling, and horse racing. This festival offers an intimate peek into Mongolia's rich culture and history in a less tourist-packed setting.

  • Best Weather: July is generally warm in most places, but always check the local weather, especially for outdoor events.
  • Avoid Crowds: While some festivals naturally draw large crowds, arriving early in the day or exploring less popular events can provide a more relaxed experience.
  • Fun Activities: Beyond the main events, look for side activities and local

Hidden Gems Off the Beaten Path

If you're on the hunt for the best places to visit in July, you're likely aiming to dodge the crowds, catch some great weather, and maybe even snag a deal or two. Sounds good, right? Let's dive into some less-known spots where you can do just that.

Why Consider Offbeat Spots?

Visiting places that aren't on everyone's radar can offer you a more genuine experience. You get to see what life is really like away from the tourist traps. Plus, it's easier to find peaceful spots without bumping elbows with other travelers. And let's not forget, avoiding popular spots often means lower prices for everything from accommodations to attractions.

Your Off-the-Beaten-Path July Guide

  • Picos de Europa, Spain: Forget the crowded beaches and bustling cities. The Picos de Europa offers stunning mountain views, cooler temperatures, and green landscapes. It's perfect for hiking, enjoying local foods, and soaking in the natural beauty without a crowd in sight.
  • Kep, Cambodia: July is when the rainy season starts, but don't let that deter you. Mornings are usually sunny and warm, perfect for exploring. Kep is known for its crab market, serene beaches, and nearby pepper farms. It's a culinary adventure waiting to happen, with some of the best weather in the mornings before the rain.
  • Isle of Harris, Scotland: Famous for its rugged landscapes and the stunning Luskentyre Beach, the Isle of Harris is a breath of fresh air. The weather in July is mild, and you'll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors without heavy layers. Plus, the local Harris Tweed shops provide a unique look into Scottish heritage.
  • Takayama, Japan: This mountain town feels like stepping back in time with its preserved streets and traditional markets. July is warm, making it a great time to explore the town or take part in the fun activities like the morning markets or nearby hiking trails. Plus, it's less crowded than Kyoto or Tokyo, offering a more relaxed vibe.
  • Florianopolis, Brazil: Known for its beaches and surfing, Florianopolis is fantastic in July. You might find it a bit cooler, but it's prime time for whale watching and enjoying the local Brazilian culture without the high season crowds.


So there you have it! Venturing into these less trodden paths in July not only promises an escape from the usual tourist hustle but also a treasure trove of unique experiences waiting for you. Whether it's the serene mountain views of Picos de Europa, the culinary adventures in Kep, the rugged beauty of Isle of Harris, the traditional charm of Takayama, or the vibrant beach life and whale watching in Florianopolis, each destination has its own allure. Remember, traveling to these hidden gems not only nurtures your soul with authentic cultural encounters but also goes easy on your wallet. So pack your bags, and let's make this July one for the books!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some off-the-beaten-path travel destinations for July?

Picos de Europa in Spain, Kep in Cambodia, Isle of Harris in Scotland, Takayama in Japan, and Florianopolis in Brazil are excellent unique July travel destinations for those looking to explore hidden gems.

Why should I consider visiting lesser-known travel spots?

Visiting lesser-known spots allows for more authentic cultural experiences, fewer crowds, and often leads to cost savings. It offers a chance to explore serene and untouched environments.

What can I experience in Picos de Europa, Spain?

In Picos de Europa, you can enjoy breathtaking mountain views, hiking trails, and the unique opportunity to explore Spanish villages nestled within the mountains.

What makes Kep, Cambodia special?

Kep is renowned for its culinary delights, particularly its seafood, and its tranquil beaches. It's a perfect destination for food enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful beach experience.

Why visit Isle of Harris in Scotland?

The Isle of Harris boasts rugged landscapes, beautiful white sandy beaches, and traditional Scottish culture. It's ideal for nature lovers and those looking to experience Scotland’s natural beauty and heritage.

What can I expect to find in Takayama, Japan?

Takayama offers a traditional ambiance with its well-preserved old town, historic temples, and seasonal festivals. It's a gateway to experiencing Japan's rich history and culture away from the bustling cities.

What are the attractions in Florianopolis, Brazil?

Florianopolis features stunning beaches, excellent opportunities for water sports, and the chance to go whale watching. It's a vibrant destination that combines natural beauty with a lively Brazilian atmosphere.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 4, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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