Where To Go Month By Month
If you have the freedom to travel all year long, where should you spend your time? Where can you avoid the cold in January and February? Where can you avoid the tourists in July or find a cheap holiday in the autumn? Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or just planning a big holiday next year, here’s a list of the best countries to visit every month.
This tropical paradise is a trek, and flights aren’t cheap (about £600 to £800 per person from Heathrow), but if you’re looking for a hot winter break it’s ideal. January marks the start of the dry and hot season in the Maldives and the temperature usually hovers around 30 degrees.
You’ll find glorious beaches, great seafood, and some of the most unique resorts in the world.
February is summer Down Under, but the temperature is a little cooler than January and usually stays around 25 degrees. Head for a coastal city like Melbourne and Sydney and experience a different kind of metropolis.
Don’t worry about the bugs. It’s true that most things in Australia seem to have been designed by some sadistic creator hellbent on destruction, but you probably won’t see too many of them in a city hotel. Probably.
March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration that’s becoming increasingly common around the world but is best experienced in its home territory. It’s obviously a busy time to visit the Emerald Isle, but if you don’t mind the crowds, it’s one of the best times. There are parades, celebrations, and lots of great ale and whiskey.
Spain is somewhat busy during the spring, especially if you visit when the kids are off school. But it’s nothing like it is in the summer. It means you can explore cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville without jostling through tourists at every turn. You’ll find plenty of festivals and fairs—there’s always something to enjoy.
Greece is a beautiful country with great food and people. You can have your pick of sun-drenched islands and glorious mainland towns like Nafplio. Alternatively, you can head for the hustle and bustle of the capital—it’s chaotic and not for everyone, but amongst the noise and traffic jams, you’ll find amazing restaurants and links to the country’s early democratic past.
So, why May? Well, summers in Greece are very hot, and if you’re staying in a villa, winters can be tough. The homes are usually open-plan with stone/marble flooring and only the occasional heater to keep you warm. Spring is perfect, with temperatures of around 20-30 degrees and none of the chaos of summer.
Easter is a big deal in this religious country, and Greeks travel a lot during the holiday. So, if you want a quieter trip, avoid Easter; if you want to experience the festivities, make sure you’re there for the Easter weekend. Orthodox Easter is always in April or May:
2024 = May 5
2025 = April 20
2026 = April 12
2027 = May 2
Get a taste of the many midsummer festivities in Denmark during the balmy month of June. The start of summer is the perfect time to visit as you’ll get all of the sunshine without the hectic throng of tourists that usually appear in July and August. There are festivals, fairy-tale castles, gorgeous cities made for strolling (and cycling), and much more.
The summer is a great time to trek around Scotland and experience some of the world’s best whiskies. Most distilleries are open daily and offer tours. There are also plenty of walking trails and historic landmarks, and as it’s the height of summer, you don’t need to worry too much about getting cold and wet (although you should still pack a coat, just in case).
Whether you’re searching for a piece of Roman history in the capital, sampling wine in Tuscany, enjoying pizza in its birth city of Naples, or soaking up culture in Milan and Florence, Italy never disappoints.
Italy gets very hot in August and if you venture to popular tourist destinations like the Coliseum you’ll have to jostle through costumed picture sellers and endless throngs of tourists, but there is so much to see and do here that you can always find something to suit your tastes.
September is quite hot in Japan, although not unbearably so. There are lots of seasonal events to give you a taste of Japanese culture and it’s much quieter than in the few months previous. Fuji and Hiroshima are well worth a visit during September, but if it’s your first visit to the Far East, any of its popular destinations will make for a unique and unforgettable experience.
This is an easy one, as Germany is all about Oktoberfest, which draws millions of tourists to Munich every year. Not into beer and sausages? Visit Berlin, Cologne, or Hamburg instead. There are some great cities to explore and with the exception of Munich, they are surprisingly quiet this time of year.
You can also get some very cheap flights to the capital if you book a few months in advance. Edinburgh will fly you direct (return) for less than £90, London from about £100, and Manchester for as little as £70.
Iceland is very cold. It can also be very expensive if you stick with restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions (as opposed to shopping in local supermarkets and taking free excursions). But it’s a beautiful country that features out-of-this-world scenery and attractions, including geothermal springs and geysers. If you visit during November, you may even see the Northern Lights.
This is the only entry for a city and not a country, and that’s because only NYC will suffice during the Xmas period.
If you grew up watching and marvelling at Hollywood Christmas movies, you can experience the real thing with a trip to the Big Apple. There will be snow, lights, festive department stores, outside skating rinks, and so much more.