If you're planning to visit the Canary Islands in balmy July, consider yourself lucky; the main commodity here is beach and plenty of it. Fuerteventura is especially fortunate in this department, boasting more than 150 beaches of varying size and shape to its name. From the peaceful stretches of sand at Cofete and the hedonistic bar-dotted party beaches of Jandia to the 10km long Parque Natural de Corralejo, you're really spoilt for choice here when it comes to lounging. Visiting in peak season also means that you'll get to enjoy a full range of activities and entertainment, plus reliably sultry temperatures of over 28ºC make for optimum watersports conditions. Keep costs under control by grabbing an all inclusive package deal.

If Ibiza is the party animal of the Balearics, Formentera, with its unblemished beaches and languid harbour towns, is the well-behaved older sister. That's not to say it's boring; visiting in sizzling 30ºC July means that you'll get to enjoy the north coast's lively-yet-understated nightlife scene (the perks of visiting in peak season) but more importantly, you'll get to sample its serene and untouched beaches in the company of exemplary weather. Formentera's magnum opus is surely its beach scene, thanks to its flawless Blue Flag white sands and blanket ban on beachfront buildings. After all, there's a reason its known as the 'last paradise'. Choosing Formentera over exorbitant and packed Ibiza is also a smart way to keep costs down if you're set on the Balearics.

Skiathos is small on size but big on beauty, which is why this Greek Island works at any time of year. However, pay it a visit during July's 30ºC (and counting), and you'll get to experience it in all its prime-time glory. Bordered by some of the finest beaches in the Aegean, with clear blue waters and a lush green countryside, this is the kind of place where weather plays a starring role. Once you've beached sufficiently, head to Skiathos Town to see and be seen; this whitewashed haven of glam has seen attracted visitors like Kate Moss in recent years thanks to an array of designer shops and wild nightlife. The perks of visiting in peak season means you'll get to see the party circuit in full swing.

Though Corsica has officially been part of France for over 200 years, it feels very different from the mainland. Boasting a stunning geographical medley undulating with gleaming bays, lively coastal cities and tiny coves, it weaves dense forest through with sleepy hilltop villages and dramatic mountainous peaks. Corsican's consider themselves to have their own special national identity, which manifests in an entirely unique cuisine, culture and set of customs. July is easily the best time to visit Corsica. During this month it enjoys its longest and most reliable hours of sunshine each day, with temperatures of up to 27ºC tempered by a soothing sea breeze.

Marbella in peak season is all about celebrating the three big S's: sunshine, stilettos and spray tan. The pace at this notorious party resort and neighbouring Puerto Banus marina is fast and showy with a dress code that's determinedly high-octane glam - so if you're looking for the quiet life, we'd suggest visiting earlier in the year or taking your summer break elsewhere. Temperatures of around 31ºC as well as the picturesque beaches and stylish bars and clubs mean that Marbella in July is a tempting draw for those in search of a certain brand of glossy hedonism. Bear in mind prices will be steepest around July and August - but the upside of that is that you'll get the full Marbella experience - reality TV stars and all.

Spain is never a controversial choice for a summer holiday, and the climate in July especially means that you're pretty much guaranteed hours of sunshine each day, alongside delicious temperatures of 30ºC and beyond. In short: it's hot, and in more ways than one. From the Costa Brava's powerful and rugged landscape to the white-sand beaches of the Costa Blanca further down the coast; when a destination is this popular, there's usually a reason. Also worthy of consideration are the sun-drenched charms of Costa de Almeria and the Costa Del Sol, where you'll find historical villages, glam towns and miles of coastline rubbing up happily against each other. Luckily, there are plenty of reasonably-price package deals for Spain to sweeten the deal - oh, and those short flight times certainly don't hurt.

Something Different In July

During peak season, it's worth considering a destination that's a little off the beaten track. Popular locations can prove very expensive over July, with prices for both accommodation and flights often shooting up dramatically.


A destination like Gozo near Malta could be a smart choice. Despite its natural beauty and effortless tranquility, prices here are generally reasonable and it's far less crowded than across the water in Malta. Steeped in Homeric myth and studded with baroque churches and old stone farmhouses, the pace here is downtempo and the coastline beautiful.


Montenegro could also be an interesting choice. Bursting with craggy mountains, endless golden beaches and a charismatic, friendly spirit, it sits on the border of east and west and consequently enjoys a rich cultural history that's reflected throughout its flamboyant monasteries, elegant churches and enigmatic fortresses.


You don't need to stick to the beach. Being by the lakes in July is wonderful, too; when that mercury creeps up, just go for a dip in those cool, clear depths. Despite breathtaking landscape and glamorous inhabitants, Lake Garda still manages to retain shades of its old-world Italian style without bending to the demands of mass tourism.

From snow-crowned mountains to wide and barren animal-dotted savannahs, Kenya is a country of dramatic and endlessly shifting landscapes. If your idea of hell is a package holiday in Spain, a July break to this African powerhouse would surely be heaven, offering a rich tapestry of wildlife against a backdrop that's been immortalised in art for centuries. From the lush coastline of the Indian Ocean to the Great Rift Valley, there's something to suit every taste here and just as many ways of enjoying it; you could take a safari, stay in a five-star hotel or sleep under the stars. 'Peak season' doesn't really apply here, either, so prices should never be unreasonable.

Colourful Norwegian houses and pleasantly local atmosphere conspire to make Bergen a rewarding getaway at any time of year. During July you'll have extra-long days which will help you explore more of this stunning setting. Steep winding roads curl charismatically back into rock with a backdrop of deep emerald forest flanked moodily by no less than seven mountains. Norway isn't cheap but it's definitely worth it and there's one huge extra advantage; the famous Norwegian fjords are now on your doorstep, so if you've always wanted to experience their majesty for yourself, here's your chance.