Where to go in July
Written by larapiegeler
The height of Summer is about the best time to risk counting on good weather, so it's finally time to enjoy long, hot days in idyllic British spots such as Sissinghurst and Kew, at such events as Henley Regatta, the test matches at Lord's and the Proms, and even on the UK's beaches such as Porthmeor in southern Cornwall.
In Europe, the heat brings with it a host of festivals that stretch far into the balmy nights: those in Ghent, Avignon and Nice, for example, celebrate music and other art forms, and the weather seems to feed the passion of historical, traditional events such as the running of the bulls in Pamplona, the Siena Palio and L'Ardia di San Costantino in Sedilo.
Religious fervour is the force behind Venice's spectacular Festa del Redentore, and food and wine festivals tempt us to places such as Sancerre, Noyon (for the red fruits) and Saou (for Picodon cheeses) – there's an event for almost any culinary indulgence you can imagine - so maybe combine your Tour de France trip with a visit to one of them.
In the US, you can't do better than the Maine Lobster Festival for seafood (although there are lots of state fairs to attend now, too) - and sea kayaking is great here at this time of year due to the wealth of naturally protected harbours and little islands off the coast.
If you like your sea life in its natural habitat as well as on a plate, now is the time to watch the sardines migrating near the Aghulas Banks of South Africa, as well as the dolphins and sharks that drop in for a snack – although the great swathes of wildebeest thundering across the Serengeti later this month easily top the migration bill.
July is a wildlife enthusiast's dream come true in the Galapagos Islands: dive to see the whale sharks, and watch iguanas in the wild and sea birds hatching.
Baby turtles are arriving into the world by night on Costa Rica's secluded beaches and it's a good time to fit some surfing in there, too, since high season is over but the rains aren't due to start quite yet.
It's worth remembering that many summer resorts will be packed with tourists arond now, and family-friendly ones (such as theme parks and popular beaches) will be swarming with excited kids – a type of environment which may not be entirely to your taste – so designating July as your month for escape could be a good plan. Try a yoga retreat such as the one in Ulpotha, Sri Lanka, or a break in a spa such as Sandy Lane in Barbados for a serious treat.
To really get away from what you know, head to Mexico for the joyful Guelaguetza celebrations and trawl Oaxaca's markets, don a Stetson and head to Canada's Calgary Stampede (perhaps before beginning your Royal Canadian Pacific train tour?), or experience Naadaam in Mongolia.
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