Holiday ideas for July

Our suggestions for July revolve around nature, wildlife and striking geological features, from amazing displays of flowers, to the enchanting Midnight Sun.

Let us inspire you...

  • If you think that mountain holidays are only for keen walkers, think again. In Salzkammergut, Austria’s lake district, where dramatic mountains plunge into sparkling lakes to create almost fjord-like scenery, it’s possible, by taking advantage of buses, boats and cable cars, to enjoy these spectacular landscapes on gentle half-day walks. The charming villages which clamber up the slopes add to the area’s enchantment, as do the flowers at this time of year (choose the first part of the month to see them at their best).
  • July brings settled weather to the little-known and quite extraordinary Azores archipelago in the Atlantic. The fusion of haunting volcanic scenery and vivid green landscapes grazed by cows lends them a deeply rural feel. Walking is undoubtedly the best way to discover the waterfalls, crater lakes, volcanic cones, hot springs and rugged coastline. In July you will see many flowers as you explore, not least hydrangeas, which form beautiful hedges lining many paths.
  • With 300 days of sunshine each year; a unique gastronomy fusing Alpine and Mediterranean influences; renowned wines; and scenery ranging from apple orchards to glaciers, and from neat rows of vines to the jagged peaks of the Dolomites – surely the most beautiful in the Alpine range – it’s hard not to be enchanted by South Tyrol, Italy’s northernmost region, especially when the meadows are a blaze of colour. Travel in the first half of the month to see the wild flowers at their very best.
  • Norway’s Lofoten Islands – not to mention the even farther-flung island of Senja – lie to the north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that, from the end of May until the middle of July, the sun never sets, bathing the islands in light 24 hours a day. By this curiosity of nature, the sun dips quite low, but never quite disappears behind the horizon, casting long shadows and a surreal orange glow over the landscapes. (This photograph was taken at 1.30am!)
  • Sparkling blue lakes, lush meadows, chirruping crickets, snow-capped peaks set against clear blue skies ... summer in the Swiss Alps has a special magic. The sunshine brings everyone outside, and you’ll find a warm camaraderie among fellow walkers as you explore the Bernese Oberland’s extensive network of paths. Naturally, most routes include ascents and descents but, being based at a single hotel, you can choose how much you do. What’s more, your efforts are amply compensated by the mountain views, and you can relax on the shores of the lakes that you pass.

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