Where to Travel in July

Where to Travel in July

Mid-summer holiday on the cards? We’re here to help. Stroll the narrow passageways of Italy’s beautiful Bellagio, taste-test Croatia’s sublime seafood or fall in love with France’s most underrated escape, after perusing our round-up of the destinations to visit this month.

July screams one thing in Europe: summer is in full swing. As
London laps up some much-deserved sunshine,
we’ve attended more barbecues, beer gardens and picnics in the park
than our social battery can handle. So, we’ve taken it upon
ourselves to track down the ultimate destinations for a July
holiday. Join us as we sail through gin-clear waters, cruise along
cliff-clinging roads and wander sun-scorched streets in these 15
brilliant destinations to visit this month.

Passports at the ready: destinations to visit in July

Corsica France



Rugged and rocky, lush and wild, with sky-tickling granite
crags, elegant hill towns and fragrant, blousy summer landscapes
dotted with eucalyptus, juniper, rosemary, sage and lavender,
Corsica is a French island basking in the Italian sun, as the
saying goes. This wild and rugged isle offers windswept mountain
peaks, verdant plains and dizzying views, but also cool-blue
Mediterranean coves, soft-sand beaches and chichi resorts (complete
with disdainful waiters, we might add). Most stick to the south’s
sandy bays (try Santa Giulia) when visiting, but venture into the
north and you’ll find pine tree-fringed hills and steep olive
groves rolling into charming fishermen’s enclaves.

St Agnes Cornwall

St Agnes


Looking for a quieter alternative to St Ives? Pop St Agnes’ name
at the top of your list. Amid the rugged cliffs and old engine
houses of Cornwall’s north coast is this unassuming town
of two personalities, divided by terraced miners’ cottages into
“village” and “beach”. Boutique bakeries and delicatessens rub
shoulders with zero-waste shops on a quaint high street, while the
sand below looks as though it has been scooped from the cliff using
an enormous digger. Dramatic rather than conventionally pretty, its
a playground for surfers, swimmers and rowers.

Sibiu Romania



From afar, Sibiu, with its rust-coloured roofs and towering
church spires, looks like many other Eastern European cities – it
could be Prague, Budapest or Krakow. But, on closer inspection,
this medieval city in the foothills of southern Transylvania’s Cindrel Mountains exudes a
creative energy that pushes it to the forefront of Romania’s
cultural scene. Stroll through the art nouveau Upper Town, which
once housed aristocrats and the religious elite, and then the more
ramshackle Lower Town, once the home of merchants and craftsmen.
Nip between the Stairs Passage – a winding slope built for oxcarts
in the 13th century – for the best views of the city, then cross
the Bridge of Lies, the city’s emblem. Pass by the houses decorated
with watchful eyes, which locals once believed were used by
communists to spy on them, then tick off Romania’s first hospital,
school, library and pharmacy – all built within Sibiu’s walls.

Fornalutx Mallorca



Nestled in the dramatic Serra de Tramuntana mountains, the
jigsaw puzzle-like old stone houses of Fornalutx make for one of
Mallorca’s prettiest destinations. Just a 40-minute drive from the
fast pace of Palma, the village’s go-slow vibe is made even more
inviting by a handful of sun-drenched squares decorated with
olive-green shutters and oyster-white parasols. While days are well
spent strolling storied streets and making pit stops for
tapas-style bites (not forgetting jugs of sangria), it’s also worth
stomping along some of the town’s many pine-clad walking trails to best appreciate its charm. We
recommend starting with the Blick auf Port de Sóller Loop, a 10km
hike suited to all skill levels.

Île de Ré


Cross an arched bridge over the Atlantic for the hollyhocks,
salt marshes, sand dunes and beaches of idyllic Île de Ré. Begin in the Unesco-listed St-Martin-de-Ré,
perhaps the quaintest town on the island, where shutters can only
be painted one of 16 hues of blue and green and overhead cables
must be concealed. Book into one of the elegantly rustic rooms at
Le Corps de Garde, then hire a bicycle complete
with wicker basket and spend the day dipping in and out of
wildflower-strewn meadows, perfumed vineyards and long stretches of
golden sand.

Kotor Montenegro



If you’re looking for a mix of culture and beach days where
there’s little risk of bumping into your neighbours from back home,
Kotor is a good pick. A Unesco World Heritage site, this historic
coastal town is full of Romanesque churches, restored frescoes and
Venetian fortifications, its pedestrian-only streets having
originally been built like a maze to protect citizens. Today, this
leads to visitors getting lost while exploring the many boutiques,
bars and restaurants. Our advice? Don’t fight it. Turn off Google
Maps and enjoy getting utterly disorientated.



The furthest of Croatia’s islands from mainland Split, Vis is halfway to Italy and a popular
stop for those sailing the Adriatic. Despite being considered one
of the most beautiful stretches of shoreline in Europe, Stiniva
Beach doesn’t attract big crowds, partly because the
horseshoe-shaped, white-pebbled cove is obscured from view for
passing boats, but largely due to the difficulty in accessing it.
Choose between descending a narrow, cliff-hugging path or hop
aboard a small vessel from neighbouring Rukavac. Looking for the
next adventure? Climb Mount Hum to enjoy views of Italy across the
bay of Komiža. Come dinner, Konoba Jastožera won’t disappoint – it’s not for
nothing that Vis is widely regarded as being the culinary hub of
Croatia. Housed in an old lobster pothouse, the restaurant is the
place to feast on catch of the day grilled, steamed, creamed or
paired with a hearty portion of linguine.



Often overlooked due to the popularity of neighbouring Nice and
Toulouse, Montpellier’s sandy beaches and fawn-hued streets are all
the better for not being rammed with tourists. This is an
inherently walkable city. Amble through bougainvillea-draped
boulevards and elegant squares, making stops at family-run bakeries
and cute cafés, before heading to the city’s sun-drenched beaches
to work on your tan. Browse the antiques markets for trinkets to
take home, pausing to admire the Haussmann architecture as you

Forte dei Marmi


Known for its pristine beaches, elegant villas and glamorous
residents, this romantic Tuscan town has earned the moniker
“fabulous Forte”. Wander the boutique-lined streets for a spot of
window shopping, before heading to the Pontile, a 19th-century pier
stretching out into the Tyrrhenian Sea. People-watch from
beachfront bars as chic locals go for a dip and admire the
larger-than-life yachts gently bobbing in the bay. In the evening,
treat yourself with a trip to one of Forte’s famed baths for some
serious self-care in the form of spa pools, saunas and steam rooms.
Come in July for the annual International Fireworks Festival of
Forte dei Marmi, where the world’s top pyrotechnic companies
compete for first place in a series of incredible displays.



Perched on the side of a mountain, this resort town offers
Sicilian glamour at its finest. Loved by everyone from DH Lawrence
to George Clooney, Taormina oozes sophisticated elegance flecked
with rustic Italian charm. Soak up dazzling Ionian views and potter
along cobbled passageways to find charming trattorias. Explore the
Teatro Greco, climb up Mount Etna and wander the tropical gardens
of Villa Comunale. Visit at the beginning of July for the Taormina
Film Fest, an awards ceremony dating back to 1955, with past
winners including Marilyn Monroe and Nicole Kidman.



North of Seville, bordering Portugal’s Alentejo, this Spanish
region has been kept under wraps by locals for centuries. Despite
its many alluring qualities, Extremadura is one of the country’s
least-visited spots, making it the perfect alternative to
tourist-filled cities and jam-packed beaches. Spend days traversing
wildlife reserves, before heading to the region’s capital, Mérida,
to replenish energy levels with plates piled high with Iberian ham
and bottles of Spanish wine. Book your trip for July to catch the
WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival, which has been
held in Cáceres annually since 1992.

Orta San Giulio

Orta San Giulio


Lake Orta, known locally as La Cenerentola – Cinderella – is
considered the discreetly superior sister to the more showy lakes of Como and Maggiore. Jutting out
from its eastern bank, Orta San Giulio was loved by such luminaries
as Nietzsche and Byron, and, more recently, Carol Ann Duffy. Follow
a tangle of narrow streets to the lakeside Piazza Motta, where
Piedmontese village life plays out among faded ochre buildings, or
explore Sacro Monte, a Unesco World Heritage site of religious

Aegina Greece



Situated just 26km from Athens’ busy port of Piraeus, the dinky
island of Aegina has a full-time population of
just 10,000. Head to the harbour to watch fishermen haul in their
catch, then join laid-back locals in making a beeline for one of
the many bakeries to snag a feta- or tahini-stuffed pastry. Don’t
be fooled, though. This sleepy place springs to life every Friday,
when boho Athenians arrive for a long weekend of swimming, feasting
and socialising. Follow their lead and meander between the
cobblestoned streets of the old town, paddle in gin-clear waters,
then dance until sunrise at one of the island’s vibrant beach

Giudecca Venice



Located in the Venetian Lagoon, this serene island is separated
from mainland Venice by the Giudecca Canal. Its name meaning “Long
Thorn”, this was once a luxurious retreat for Italy’s in-the-know
travellers, thanks to its bevvy of palaces and pristine gardens. In
the early-20th century, however, its factories and shipyards grew
in might, making for an unexpected industrial turn. Today, the
blend of grit and glamour makes for a remarkably beautiful place.
Just a short gondola ride from the hustle and bustle of Venice’s
palazzos, the slower pace of Giudecca offers a taste of true
Venetian living.



Backed by sprawling hills and, beyond them, the dramatic
Rhaetian Alps, teeny-tiny Bellagio is home to red-roofed villas
with forest-green shutters and steep staircases. With a full-time
population of just 4,000, this sleepy village in Lombardy is the
sort of place where everyone knows everyone. Begin your day gently
with an early-morning stroll through its narrow passageways, where
you’ll find locals carrying baskets of freshly baked goods and
owners of independent boutiques opening up for the day, then visit
the 12th-century Basilica of San Giacomo, whose mosaic work dates
back to 1900.

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