Where to travel in July?
Where to travel in July?
My favorite destinations in July
Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
If you are not sure about what to do in Rio de Janeiro, don’t worry, you will have a lot of choices since there is something for everyone. Whether you are there for lying on the beaches, enjoying the festive atmosphere or visiting world-famous tourist sites, Rio de Janeiro will satisfy you for sure. Do not miss the large statue of Christ the Redeemer, 38 meters high and located at the top of the Corcovado. It’s the icon of Rio de Janeiro, a symbol of Brazil and one of the 7 wonders of the world 🌎. On a sunny day, do not hesitate to goup there, as at the top of the Sugarloaf, where you will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the whole city.
When it comes to beaches, you can enjoy the world-famous Copacabana, huge and full of people practising all kinds of sports. You will also most likely pass by Ipanema Beach from where you can contemplate the mountain Morro Dois Irmãos. For relaxing nature walks fans, Tijuca National Park is one of the largest urban forests on the planet. This forest is part of a national park with mountains to climb, nice trails, waterfalls for swimming, huge trees and a rich biodiversity. Finally, one of the best memories that I will keep of Rio de Janeiro will probably remain my meeting with Gabriel, a young guide who makes discover his colorful district as well as the inhabitants of his “Comunidade” (also called favela).
Kiev in Ukraine
The city of Kiev, located on the banks of the Dnieper River, is known for its churches, parks, incredibly deep metro stations, and also as the mother city of an ancient kingdom from which many Eastern European nations were born. Today, it is a cultural and industrial center of enormous importance for this part of Europe. The climate is continental, with very low temperatures in winter and quite hot in summer.
Most places of interest and tourist attractions are located in the Old Town where you can visit Andriyivsky Street, with numerous buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Among the plethora of museums, you shouldn’t miss The Ukrainian Folk Decorative Art Museum, and the Chernobyl National Ukrainian Museum, dedicated to the most serious nuclear disaster in history. You can even visit the site of Chernobyl itself and the town of Prypiat which is nearby, but you need to book this type of excursion in advance. I also advise you to visit the Museum of the Great Patriotic War with its iconic Motherland Monument.
Finally, don’t miss the most beautiful buildings in Kiev such as churches and monasteries. These places of worship are dedicated to the Orthodox religion. We can highlight Saint Sophia and St Volodymyr cathedrals or St Michael and Kiev monastery of the caves, just to mention the most emblematic ones. The Saint Sophia’s Cathedral for example was the first site inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in this country.
Gozo island in Malta
Gozo is part of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is inhabited for thousands of years, during which had been ruled by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, French and British, among others. It is the most rural and the most authentic of all Malta’s islands. No traffic jams, just nature and calm. This place is famous for its coral reefs, beautiful hiking trails, and red sand beaches. Gozo is also appreciated for scuba diving, thanks to crystal clear and warm water throughout mots of the year. Don’t miss the splendid Ta’Pinu Basilica, which is lost in an ocean of hills with the sea in the background. The Esplanade, with its mosaics and statues combined with the surrounding Mediterranean landscape, creates the perfect composition for a nicesouvenir photo!
The capital of Gozo is Ir-Rabat and its main attraction is definitely the Citadel, offering a splendid 360°view of the surrounding countryside, the villages, and the sea. Take a stroll near the Independence Square to walk inside the market or go to the Basilica of San Giorgio. You can also stroll through the narrow streets of the city center where you will find lots of souvenir shops and restaurants. Malta is definitely a great country where to travel in July. Have a look to my Malta travel guide if you want to know more about this country and especially if you want to organise your trip quick, simple and cheap!
Cinque Terre in Italy
The Cinque Terre is the most pristine and fascinating natural part of Liguria and the Tyrrhenian coast. Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Monterosso and Vernazza are the villages suspended between sea and land that make up the Cinque Terre. Manarola is the soft colored kingdom of olive trees and vines. The ancient Roman village of Corniglia, which stands on an imposing cliff about one hundred meters high, is the only village in the Cinque Terre that is almost completely inaccessible from the sea. Vernazza is perched on a small rocky promontory, it was once the most prosperous of the Cinque Terre. In the past it was the starting point of the naval forces that had the task of hindering the passage of the Saracens.
If you go there, take time to discover the five main sanctuaries which dominate the Cinque Terre villages: Nostra Signora di Montenero in Riomaggiore, Nostra Signora delle Grazie in Corniglia, Nostra Signora della Salute in Manarola, Nostra Signora di Soviore in Monterosso and Nostra Signora di Reggio in Vernazza. Don’t also miss to explore the paths between the villages, through vineyards and citrus orchards , this promenade truly worth it!
Texel island in Netherlands
If you’re looking for an invigorating destination near Amsterdam, head to Den Helder, then hop on one of the ferries that cross the sea to the island of Texel. The island of Texel is located in the Wadden Sea and is the largest and most populous of the Frisian archipelago. It is a little paradise for those who love outdoor life, long sandy beaches and nature. There are many lonely lighthouses to discover by bike for example. You can also take wonderful walks through the dunes and other paths where the silence is broken only by the cry of the seagulls. The size of the island of Texel makes it easy to discover by car.
You will also discover an interesting historical part on this island concerning important maritime expeditions which went to Cape Horn in particular. For a day trip to this island from Amsterdam, it takes about two hours to reach the port by car, and about twenty minutes to reach the island by ferry. However, I advise you to devote two or three days to this island rather to have the time to disconnect well and appreciate its benefits to the fullest.
Sumatra island in Indonesia
Sumatra is an Indonesian island, 7th in the world by its size, it is a natural paradise which often remains wild despite intensive palm cultivation. To the west of the island is the Bukit Barisan Volcanic Range with the highest peak of Indonesia: the Kerinci at an altitude of 3,805 meters. More in the north, I had the chance to climb Sibayak volcano, which will remain one of my best climbs due to the diversity of its landscapes.
Lake Toba, of volcanic origin, is about 4 hours drive from Medan, which is the gateway to the northern part of the island. With its 450 meters depth, it is one of the deepest lakes in the world. The peninsula of Samosir, located in the middle of Lake Toba is to be discovered for its landscapes and traditional villages where you can attend local music shows and carved wooden puppet dancing performances.
What struck me most on this island is undoubtedly the village of Bukit Lawang in the north, where you can trek in the jungle to observe the Orangutans free in their natural environment.
Gdańsk in Poland
Gdansk is a city in the north of Poland on the Baltic Sea. The city’s identity is mixed with ancient Prussian, Russian, Estonian and also Dutch traditions. Its relatively small size makes Gdansk an ideal destination for spending a weekend.
The “Główne Miasto” is the central and oldest part of Gdansk. This lively district has several important points of interest, such as the Neptune fountain or the famous Golden Gate with its statues. Do not miss to also discover the Sainte-Marie church, and to climb up there to enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city. Take a stroll along the long avenues of the city center and discover its amber shops and its stalls of typical products to taste on the spot, like a “smalec”: a lard cream flavored with marjoram, or very good Polish sausages. In Piwna Street in particular, you will find many Polish milk bars: these are kinds of inexpensive cafeterias or canteens where you can taste traditional and hearty cuisine. Personally I love it! 😋
Along the banks of the Motlawa River there are also a large number of restaurants and cafes, but also the famous 14th century crane, symbol of Gdansk. Gdansk is one of the three royal roads in Poland. It is the shortest, but the most refined from an architectural point of view. You can also visit Oliwa Cathedral, half an hour by tram from the center, where you can listen to the impressive Rococo-style organ and stroll around the English garden surrounding the Abbot’s Palace.