If you’re tied to school vacations, keen to miss the monsoon season or hoping to snag an off-season bargain, our month-by-month guide on when to go on vacation where will help you navigate your way around the world, and let you know whether to pack a bikini – or a brolly.
Top 10 July vacations in 2022
We’ve picked out our top 10 July vacations. They cover everything from cruising Southern Europe under sunny skies to enjoying the fresher side of July around Scotland’s islands. Activity-wise, there’s hiking, biking and wildlife watching, though you might prefer to take it easy on a yoga vacation.
Our Best places to go in July Vacations
1. Sailing in Croatia
Make your way through the waters of the Elaphiti Archipelago on a 10-person catamaran. Water-based action involves paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkelling. There’s enough room on board for bikes, so you can cycle around national parks, ancient villages and vineyards when you hit dry land. July is peak season, so Croatia has crowds – but you should be able to avoid them out on the water.
2. Cruise the west coast of ScotlandMake a trip to Scotland’s enchanting west coast even better by getting around on a restored wooden fishing vessel. Days will be spent spotting marine life and birdlife, and going ashore brings ancient and natural heritage. At night you’ll dock in remote, beautiful bays and can contemplate the stars after evenings of fantastic locally sourced food.
Our top selling trip: Isle of Mull and west coast of Scotland cruise
See all our trips: Small ship cruising vacations in Scotland
Read more: Scotland cruising travel guide
3. Multi activity vacations in GreeceForget lying around on the beach for a week and get stuck into Greece’s wilder mainland landscapes in the Peloponnese. You’ll try a range of activities, from rafting and sea kayaking to hiking and biking, all in beautiful surroundings, both mountainous and coastal. When you’re not ramping up the adrenalin there’s free time to explore some of the country’s most beguiling ancient sites.
Our top selling trip: Multi activity vacation in Greece
See all our trips: Multi activity vacations in Greece
Read more: Peloponnese travel guide and Multi activity vacations travel guide
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4. Swimming with wild dolphins in the Azores
The Azores attract huge numbers of wild dolphins and you can experience their underwater world on a small group trip, usually suitable for ages seven and up. You’ll be fully trained and prepped before entering the water and will have at least three chances to swim with them during a week-long trip. On dry land, make some time for discovering the islands’ wild volcanic origins.
5. Eco lodge stay in DevonEnjoy the wilds of Devon from the safety of a characterful lodge, with gorgeous views over farmland, where butterflies and swallows dart about the grasslands. Days can be spent hiking the country’s many walking trails or exploring the beaches of the Jurassic Coast. At night, unpolluted skies are a marvel for stargazers.
Our top selling trip: Devon eco lodge accommodation
See all our trips: Devon vacations
Read more: Devon travel guide
6. Conservation & culture in the Carpathian MountainsLace up your walking boots to discover the wilderness, wildlife and history of this stunning corner of Transylvania. Traveling in a small group with an expert local guide, you’ll be based at a traditional, locally-owned lodge, getting around on foot or by horse and cart. Bears, ancient settlements and Dracula’s castle are all on the agenda.
Our top selling trip: Carpathian Mountains conservation and culture vacation
See all our trips: Carpathian Mountains vacations
Read more: Carpathian Mountains travel guide
7. Culture in Cuba
July may not be peak beach weather in Cuba, but you’ll be doing something much more exciting than stretching out on the sand – spending a week getting to know the country through visits to farms, heritage sites and salsa clubs, with homestays helping you forge a connection with ordinary Cubans.
8. Adrenalin-rush adventures in MontenegroOne of the best adventure travel destinations in Europe, Montenegro has mountains to climb, rivers to raft down and canyons to leap through. Small group multi activity vacations here aren’t for softies – a week here will bring plenty of challenges and you can try out a new adventure sport every day, whether that’s trekking to the peak of Bobatoc Kuk or quad biking through the wilderness.
Our top selling trip: Montenegro adventure activity vacation
See all our trips: Multi activity vacations in Montenegro
Read more: Montenegro multi activity vacations travel guide
9. Yoga & walking in AustriaThere can be few better places for a yoga vacation than high up in the East Tyrol mountains, where downward dogs come with a dramatic mountain backdrop. Traveling in a small group, you’ll stay in a stylish mountain house with nutritious plant-based meals included. When you’re not bending and stretching, the mountains are yours to explore and spotting rare wildlife such as ibex is almost a daily occurrence.
Our top selling trip: Austria yoga and walking vacation
See all our trips: Austria vacations
Read more: Austria walking vacations guide and Austria travel guide
10. Walking & cooking in the Spanish Pyrenees
A small group vacation mixing expert cooking lessons with gentle walks through some beautiful and non-touristy areas of the mountains is tonic for the soul. It’s a great way to forge new friendships, too. You all stay in the same atmospheric farmhouse and groups tend to be small and convivial, so it’s an excellent choice for solo travelers.
More about Best places to go in July
It's difficult choosing where to go on vacation in July. We sift through the bewildering amount of trips and reveal where to avoid the crowds.
Where to go on vacation in July depends on whether you fancy relaxing on the water or getting out the binoculars. Read our guide for ideas.