4 of the best places to travel each month of the year

  • 07.09.2023 08:42
  • Bruno Arcos

The ultimate compilation of the very best places to travel each month of the year. Whether you’re looking to relax by the beach, hit all the cultural hotspots or make the best of a weekend getaway, we’ve got you covered – no matter the time of the year!

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“Where should I go in October?”, “I’ve got some time off in January, any recommendations for a great getaway?” or “Any thoughts on where to head in July?” – these rank among the top questions we usually get from readers. Since we find ourselves giving similar answers each time, we figured it would be worth crafting an article with the top places to visit every month of the year!

As such, and for each month, we’ll be recommending 4 different destinations, according to the following criteria:

  • Sun & Beach: For those craving some R&R;
  • Catch-All: A well-rounded destination, catering to different types of travelers;
  • City-Break: Perfect for a short-but-sweet getaway;
  • The Wild Card: A destination which is particularly relevant during this particular month.

Best places to travel each month of the year

Best destinations to visit in January:

Zanzibar

Sun & Beach: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Check out some of the best beaches in the Indian Ocean by kickstarting your year with a visit to this iconic Tanzanian archipelago. Don’t miss the chance to explore its smaller islands – such as Chumbe and Changu – where you can find a quainter atmosphere and untouched beaches. With dry, warm weather and fewer crowds, January shines as the ideal month to experience the beauty of Zanzibar in all its glory.

Also recommended in February, July, August and December.

Catch-All: Cuba

If you can’t do without the beach but are looking for something more, then Cuba should be at the top of your list, as January happens to be the prime time for sunshine in this island nation. Despite its population of over 11 million, Cuba manages to hold onto its hidden beaches, and verdant mountain ranges, while displaying some beautiful old-world architecture in the likes of Havana and Santiago de Cuba.

Also recommended in February, March, November and December.

City-Break: Chamonix, France

Nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, close to the borders with Switzerland and Italy, Chamonix is a charming alpine town that offers the perfect setting for a snowy escapade. This time of year sees the snow reaching its best consistency, making it an ideal opportunity to challenge your skiing abilities!

Also recommended in February, March and December.

The Wild-Card: New Zealand

The only downside to New Zealand is that it’s literally half-way across the world. Still, January is usually the warmest month of the year in the archipelago, making the ideal time for a visit. Following some relaxation in Rotorua’s thermal pools, you’ll have the chance to experience the extraordinary Maori culture first-hand. Plus, and for our fans of the Lord of the Rings saga, a trip to Matamata – the Hobbits’ realm – is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Also recommended in February, March, November and December.

Best destinations to visit in February:

Sun & Beach: the Dominican Republic

February is a fantastic time to kick back on the beaches of the Dominican Republic. With the dry season in full swing, the chances of running into rainy weather are extremely low.

Also recommended in January, March, November and December.

Catch-All: Mexico

What else can we say about Mexico that hasn’t been mentioned yet? Think picture-perfect beaches in Cancun, amazing street food in Mexico City, the ancient Aztec ruins of Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan, and unforgettable hikes through lush, green forests – the real challenge is finding a way to fit everything in! Plus, February is a pleasant time to visit, as vibrant Carnival celebrations bring the country to life while the usual hordes of tourists aren’t as large.

Also recommended in January, March, July, August, November and December.

City-Break: Berlin, Germany

Berlin is this amazing mix of glamour and history, all wrapped up in its own unique culture, striking modern architecture, great food scene and a nightlife that ranks among the rowdiest in the world! And hey, since you’re traveling during low-season, maybe you won’t have to queue as long to enter some of the city’s best-known clubs… well, that’s a big maybe!

Recommended all-year-round.

The Wild-Card: Australia

Similar to New Zealand, Australia is another adventure lover’s paradise to escape the European winter! February is also the height of summer here, particularly along the southern coast.

Also recommended in January, March, November and December.

Best destinations to visit in March:

Sun & Beach: the Philippines

March is a special time for a trip to the Philippines, as visitors can participate in the festivities that unfold during the weeks preceding Easter Sunday. While in the country, don’t miss out on its most prominent tourist attractions, such as the underground caves of Puerto Princesa or the enchanting Chocolate Hills in the Bohol province.

Also recommended in January, February, November and December.

Catch-All: Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica truly is a natural paradise. It’s fascinating how, even though it occupies just a tiny 0,03% of the Earth’s surface, it’s home to an astounding 5% of the world’s entire biodiversity, a remarkable outcome of dedicated conservation efforts. As a result, almost half of the country is covered in lush tropical forests, while the coast hides some of the best beaches in the Pacific. Similar to the Philippines, March is also a lively time in Costa Rica, with festivities revolving around Holy Week.

Also recommended in January, February, November and December.

City-Break: Seville, Spain

Considered the heart of Andalusia, Seville is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered! Wander through one of Europe’s biggest historic districts, where iconic sites like the Cathedral and the renowned Plaza de España await, savor the enchanting local tapas culture and don’t miss out on a flamenco performance. During this time of the year, you’ll notice the city coming to life with the blossoming orange trees, adding a special charm to its streets.

Recommended all-year-round.

The Wild-Card: Chile

If you’re having trouble making up your mind, consider Chile. Stretching for more than 4000 kilometers, this South American country offers an astounding variety of landscapes – from the Patagonian glaciers to the Atacama Desert – all conveniently open to visitors during the month of March. Plus, with an average width of only 180 kilometers, you’ll never be too far from the Pacific Ocean, no matter where you wander.

Also recommended in January, February, November and December.

Best destinations to visit in April:

Sun & Beach: Cape Verde

Still a relatively off-the-beaten-path destination, Cape Verde stands as the ultimate retreat for anyone in search of a laid-back holiday. With its stunning beaches and mesmerizing mountain vistas, this archipelago displays a pretty distinguished culture, one that has been shaped by both Portuguese and African elements. The climate here may be splendid throughout the year, yet April stands out for its dry and pleasant weather, making it just the perfect time to visit.

Recommended all-year-round.

Catch-All: Vietnam

When you’re in Vietnam, whether it’s the serene Mekong Delta or the enchanting Ha Long Bay, get ready to spend quite some time aboard a boat! Yet, as insanely beautiful as the country may look from water level, don’t be afraid to step ashore, explore its fascinating cities and try Pho, the quintessential national dish. The country’s diverse landscapes also bring about a wide array of microclimates, but April hits that sweet spot where the favorable weather sweeps across the entire country.

Also recommended in January, February, March, November and December.

City-Break: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Spring in Amsterdam is a perfect time to hop on a bike and discover the city, especially during April when the tulip season kicks in. And of course, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the Van Gogh Museum and a leisurely coffee break by the iconic canals.

Also recommended in May, June, July, August and September.

The Wild-Card: Japan

As decorative cherry blossoms paint Japan with their vibrant pink hues, a new season unfolds. Thanks to an envy-worthy train system, exploring multiple cities becomes a breeze, whether it’s the modern hub of Tokyo or the historical charm of Kyoto. Don’t miss out on other essential stops like Himeji Castle and the majestic Mount Fuji.

Also recommended in March, May, September, October and November.

Best destinations to visit in May:

Sun & Beach: Aruba

With a remarkably stable climate throughout the year and stunning beaches to match, Aruba ranks among the Caribbean’s finest destinations to explore. Come May, the sea water temperature climbs to a delightful 27 degrees (Celsius), making your swimsuit an essential addition to your packing list.

Recommended all-year-round.

Catch-All: Cyprus

Considered the sunniest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus stands out as a pretty complete destination. With a plethora of historic sites tracing back to the Neolithic, the country has been occupied by Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Romans, Franks, Venetians and Ottomans, with the architecture, culture and even the cuisine showing influences from its unique geographic location. Moreover, this is the perfect time to explore the island, right before the scorching summer heat takes over.

Also recommended in June, July, August and September

City-Break: Porto, Portugal

With pleasant temperatures and a vibrant atmosphere, May is a great time to visit Portugal’s second biggest city, right before the summer crowds turn it into a much less enjoyable experience. Wander through the downtown’s charming streets, sip port wine along the Douro River and mingle with the locals at one of the seaside districts – Porto certainly packs a punch when it comes to things to do and places to visit!

Also recommended in June, July, August and September

The Wild-Card: Jordan and Israel

Petra, Jordânia

As one might expect, the UNESCO-listed city of Petra is the highlight of any visit to Jordan, with the iconic façade of the Al Khazneh temple (aka The Treasury) at the forefront of the nation’s tourism push. However, there’s so much more to explore throughout the rest of Jordan – from the world-famous waters of the Dead Sea to the panoramic view atop Mount Nebo and the impressive Wadi Rum desert. Afterwards, cross over to Israel and uncover a land of captivating contrasts, where modern Tel Aviv meets the historical Jerusalem. Season-wise, temperatures in May are good enough to hit the beach, without all the insanity of the Summer crowds.

Also recommended in March, April, June, September, October and November

Best destinations to visit in June:

Sun & Beach: Malta

For such a small country, Malta certainly has a lot going on! As summer dawns and the island’s nightlife hits its peak, consider a trip to this Mediterranean archipelago to discover ancient walled towns, soak in stunning beaches, check out great diving sites and delve into its old (and I really mean ooooold) history through its countless pre-historic ruins!

Also recommended in May, July, August, September and October

Catch-All: Bali, Indonesia

Bali is definitely one of the most sought-after destinations worldwide, with millions upon millions dreaming of its pristine beaches, spiritual vibe and low prices – a true backpacker’s haven! That being said, why not make the most of June, when the weather is simply perfect and the tourist crowds haven’t quite peaked yet? It’s your chance to delve into the fantastic fusion of culture and nature that this island has to offer!

Also recommended in May, July, August, September and October

City-Break: Amalfi Coast, Italy

The undeniable charm of the Amalfi Coast lies not only in its historical sites and monuments, but mostly in its enchanting landscape and setting, where colorful houses lie between the green mountains and the deep-blue sea. In June, the region’s lush vegetation can be found at its best, and the inviting temperatures make a dip in the Mediterranean hard to resist.

Also recommended in May, July, August, September and October

The Wild-Card: the Azores, Portugal

Stunning landscapes, gentle temperatures on both land and sea, and a still largely unexplored tourist destination, all within moderately easy reach. If black sand beaches and unique volcanic formations aren’t enough of a draw, then let the local cuisine and the blooming hydrangeas of June take over your senses. Welcome to the Azores!

Also recommended in May, July, August and September

Best destinations to visit in July:

Sun & Beach: Sardinia, Italy

Beyond being hailed as one of Europe’s very best beach getaways, know that Sardinia has a lot more to offer! From its delicious cuisine to the island’s intriguing archaeological sites, this Italian paradise simply does not disappoint!

Also recommended in May, June, August and September

Catch-All: Albania

Although its rising popularity may have caught some off-guard, there is nothing surprising about Albania’s recent establishment as a world-class tourist destination. What’s not to like? You have gorgeous beaches, awe-inspiring mountain vistas, archaeological sites that take you back to Ancient Greece and a plethora of lovely, historical, ottoman towns – it’s a no-brainer! While July brings the heat to the coast, the mountains offer a refreshing coolness, so you can program your visit according to your preferences and tolerance to high temperatures.

Also recommended in May, June, August and September

City-Break: Basque Country

One of the world’s leading destinations for foodies, the Basque Country also boasts a vibrant local identity and a captivating variety of landscapes to match – from the sun-kissed shores of San Sebastian to the quaint, tucked-away villages inland. If you’re visiting in July, mark your calendar for the unforgettable San Fermín festivals in Pamplona, a spectacle you won’t want to miss.

Also recommended in May, June, August and September

The Wild-Card: Sicily, Italy

Sicily is a true treasure trove! With its mouthwatering cuisine, captivating archaeological sites and the iconic Mount Etna, this island and its people are just so effortlessly charming. Come July, the weather can be scorching hot, but the gently Mediterranean breeze certainly helps keeping things cool and comfortable.

Also recommended in May, June, August and September

Best destinations to visit in August:

Sun & Beach: Balearic Islands, Spain

The Balearic Islands have secured their spot as one of Europe’s most sought-after summer destinations, thanks to a steady lineup of top DJs headlining spectacular parties, alongside their pristine white-sand beaches and crystalline waters.

Also recommended in May, June, July and September

Catch-All: São Tomé and Príncipe

Considered the second smallest country in Africa, the São Tomé and Príncipe is famous for its “leve-leve” national slogan – its very own brand of the Disney-ish “Hakuna Matata”. Despite its size, this is a nation of warm and welcoming locals, delicious cuisine, pristine beaches and a one-of-a-kind diversity of flora and fauna. As the dry season unfolds and the humpback whales grace the archipelago’s waters, August is the best time to experience it all!

Also recommended in January, February, June, July, September and December

City-Break: Lake Como, Italy

Nestled at the base of the Alps, Lake Como stands out as one of Italy’s most popular destinations, and it’s easy to understand why. With its breathtaking landscapes and charming villages, it’s an ideal spot for a retreat, particularly in August, when the weather is perfect for swimming and taking a leisurely cruise across the lake’s picturesque waters.

Also recommended in May, June, July and September

The Wild-Card: Iceland

Regarded as one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world, Iceland can almost feel magical. While visiting the country, take a road-trip along the iconic 1300-km Ring Road, encircling the entire island, and you’ll encounter majestic snow-capped volcanoes (whose names you cannot pronounce), vast glaciers, captivating lava fields, geysers and breathtaking waterfalls. When arriving in August, you may also check the amazing Verslunarmannahelgi festival. Plus, if your visit falls towards the end of the month, you might even be treated to the mesmerizing spectacle of the Northern Lights.

Also recommended in May, June, July and September

Best destinations to visit in September:

Sun & Beach: Turkish Riviera

The Turkish Riviera offers a perfect blend of beach relaxation coupled with history and culture, offering you the possibility of visiting the ancient ruins and sites of some of the original Seven Wonders of the World. Furthermore, in September, the Turkish Riviera welcomes you with fewer crowds and budget-friendly options, without having to compromise the good weather.

Also recommended in May, June, July and August

Catch-All: Crete, Greece

Similar to its neighboring Turkish Riviera, September graces Crete with pleasant temperatures and better prices. With its splendid beaches, stunning landscapes and vibrant towns, the island offers an authentic taste of what makes the Greek Islands such a highly popular European Summer destination!

Also recommended in May, June, July, August and October

City-Break: French Riviera

Stretching from Saint-Tropez to the border with Italy, the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is yet another insanely popular destination. Expect sunny weather year-round, stunning beaches, captivating natural landscapes and a vibrant nightlife – though it’s slightly more laid-back now that the peak season has passed.

Also recommended in May, June, July, August

The Wild-Card: Namibia

Namibia, Deadvlei

While Namibia has long been famed for its distinctive natural landscapes, such as the arid terrains of Sossusvlei, its biodiversity – which includes a notable presence of cheetahs and rhinos – has been under the spotlight as of recently. That being said, September is a great time for wildlife enthusiasts, as animals gather around the few remaining water sources during the dry season.

Also recommended in April, May, June, July, August, October

Best destinations to visit in October:

Sun & Beach: Mauritius

October is a wonderful time to consider Mauritius as your destination. While you can certainly enjoy some beach relaxation, there’s more to explore – think stunning waterfalls and scenic hiking trails further island. Plus, and to the surprise of many, Mauritius also boasts a pretty vibrant nightlife! During October, not only is the weather delightful, but you can also find some attractive deals on flights and accommodation.

Recommended all-year-round, with the exception of July, August and September

Catch-All: Egypt

egipto

Besides being a hotspot for history buffs, Egypt is also famous for its captivating beaches and remarkable diving spots, which is why you should prepare to not only see the iconic pyramids but also to explore vibrant underwater reefs and colorful marine ecosystems. To make your experience even better, it is absolutely mandatory to check some of the iconic sites along the Nile Valley, including the ancient city of Luxor and its Valley of the Kings. In October, these attractions are usually less crowded and the weather more comfortable to enjoy.

Also recommended in March, April, May, September and November

City-Break: Tuscany, Italy

Few regions in Europe boast as vibrant a cultural heritage as Tuscany, standing as the birthplace of visionaries like Dante, Machiavelli, Da Vinci, Donatello and Michelangelo; as well as the home to some of the wealthiest families in Europe, such as the Medicis – a clan of bankers, rulers and patrons of the arts during the Renaissance. However, Tuscany’s charm extends well beyond its cultural vastness, as the region’s landscapes transform into a breathtaking palette of colors during the autumn months.

Also recommended in April, May, June, July, August and September

The Wild-Card: Oman

Oman offers a diverse array of landscapes to explore, ranging from its desert interior to the majestic Hajar Mountains and the lush, picturesque coastal areas with beautiful beaches. Though turtle nesting can be seen all-year-round in Ras al Jinz, October is one of the best months to guarantee a sighting. Natural wonders aside, Oman also has a tremendous cultural and architectural heritage to match, as well as one of the most hospitable people in the world.

Also recommended in January, February, March, April, May, November and December

Best destinations to visit in November:

Sun & Beach: the Seychelles

Considered a popular destination throughout the entire year, it’s definitely not hard to understand what’s so special about the Seychelles. Mahé, the archipelago’s largest island, is filled to the brim with idyllic beaches, which are mostly safeguarded from the winds during the month of November. And should you ever seek a break from all the sun, sea and sand (hard life, we understand), the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve or the Bird Island await, with the latter being home to countless migratory birds.

Recommended all-year-round

Catch-All: Northeast Region, Brazil

The Northeast Region of Brazil boasts an extensive stretch of paradisiacal beaches, many of them within close proximity to vibrant cities like Salvador, João Pessoa or Fortaleza. Delving into the region’s interior, the Chapada Diamantina is a huge natural park with lush plateaus, and on of the best places to visit in the region. While choosing the perfect month to explore can be a bit of a challenge due to the diverse climates across its constituent states, November emerges as a promising option, offering a lower likelihood of rainy days.

Also recommended in October

City-Break: Marrakech, Morocco

With a spectacular variety of landscapes, from the Atlas Mountain range to the dunes of the Sahara Desert, there is plenty to see in Morocco! Fly into Marrakech, a city awash with a myriad of colors, scents and flavors, and undoubtedly the most renowned city in the Maghreb. As Winston Churchill once said, “Marrakech is simply the best place on earth to spend an afternoon”. Well, perhaps not during the Summer when temperatures can soar, but certainly during this time of year, when the weather is milder.

Also recommended in March, April, May, October and December

The Wild-Card: Argentina

Few destinations offer such stark landscape contrasts as Argentina, where you can journey from the vibrant metropolis of Buenos Aires to the remote and dramatic landscapes of Patagonia, where Spring is now in full swing. Within the Argentinian side of this region, popular among the most adventurous travelers, you’ll encounter places as diverse as the lakes of Bariloche and the Perito Moreno Glacier.

Also recommended in January, February, March and December

Best destinations to visit in December:

Sun & Beach: Maldives

When we think of idyllic islands, the Maldives are among the first to invariably come to mind – and for good reason! With countless islands boasting white sandy beaches and inviting sea waters at around 25ºC, the nation truly encapsulates the essence of paradise. December emerges as an ideal choice for a Maldivian getaway, as it steers clear of the monsoon season.

Also recommended in January, February, March, April and November

Catch-All: Malaysia

Malaysia encapsulates the very best of Southeast Asia, from its contemporary urban hubs like Kuala Lumpur to charming fishing villages, remarkable wildlife and stunning beaches. The month of December presents an ideal opportunity to explore the country, as you can enjoy outdoor activities under a delightfully dry climate.

Also recommended in January, February, March and November

City-Break: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is just fantastic! Filled to the brim with historical monuments and UNESCO Heritage Sites, few other cities offer such a beautiful setting. In December, exploring the local Christmas markets is inevitable, as is trying the world-famous thermal baths scattered across the city, which provide a much-needed refuge from the harsh Hungarian winter.

Also recommended in May, June, July, August and September

The Wild-Card: Lapland, Finland

While we can’t guarantee a meeting with Santa Claus, you’ll have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of his reindeer, as Lapland is considered the homeland of everyone’s favorite bearded old man. Plus, December is an excellent time to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights and get in close contact with the culture and traditions of the Sami people, which are native to the region.

Also recommended in January, February, March, April and November

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