The Detroit Post
Thursday, 28 October, 2021

Best Weather July

David Lawrence
• Thursday, 31 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Close Summer’s in full swing and Europe is buzzing: everywhere from big cities, where giddy crowds pack out patios, riversides, parks; to seaside towns, all ice creams and sand-speckled picnics. Elsewhere, there are rich pickings for gourmands, as the season’s bounty bursts forth: farmer’s markets overflow, foragers are out in force, and the world’s finest kitchens seem spoiled for choice.

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And newest opening Como UMA Cantu has just upped the ante with duplexes packing their own rooftop pools. By night, Cantu hipsters head for The Lawn, a laid back, barefoot beach club serving up old-school hip-hop and hibiscus cocktails.

Sustainable travel tip: Over tourism in Bali is well documented, and its attendant pollution most severely affects locals, who make little money from the tourism boom (the lion’s share of that wealth goes to the government and foreign investors). JED is an ecotourism network owned by the communities of four local villages, offering trips that not only bring you up close to a more authentic Bali, but give back to the Balinese.

Sustainable travel tip: Consider tearing yourself away from Corsica’s busy coast to explore its mountainous interior. Inn travel, for example, offers inland walking itineraries that explore ancient villages and vineyards, with overnights in small family-run hotels and meals at restaurants that focus on regional food.

In provincial capital St John’s, Raymond’s foraged menu (seabuckthorn, Acadian sturgeon) has been hailed the nation’s best. Or get yourself invited to a local beach 'boil-up', where sea urchin and mussels are plucked fresh from rock pools.

All profits are funneled back into the community and renewable energy, rainwater catchment systems, recycling and composting are all in place. Recovering from decades of civil war, Mozambique has never looked better, particularly in July when the country basks in blissful tropical weather.

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Post-safari action, head north to the Naval Coast and beachside Stone Town or Narrow, where centuries of trade and empire have left faded architectures and crumbling artifacts scattered along the coastline. Offshore, the five islands of the beautiful Lazarus archipelago have brilliant-white beaches, still crowd-free, and divers will delight in the surrounding protected marine park.

The warm weather practically begs you to jump off your bicycle and take off your clothes for some city-centre swimming, or go further afield for a dip off one of the lo-fi islands nearby. Jump in at Nor Mälarstrand, on the sandy beach of Kungsholmen, or, for the daring, the waters in front of the City Hall.

Stockholm's Solo neighborhood is buzzing with a young crowd hanging out in the cafés and artisan shops and a food scene that's finding its way into the spotlight. The Indian Ocean islands of the Seychelles, with their sweeping white beaches, clear blue waters and diverse wildlife, must be the most sought-after holiday spots in the world.

North Island is sensational, a VIP destination, with everyone from George Clooney to honeymooning royals staying in the thatched tree houses suspended on a hillside between forest and ocean. On Frigate Island Private, guests share the space with algebra giant tortoises and rare magpie robins.

If you're visiting the World Heritage Site Valley de Mai Nature Reserve, the Raffles Praline hotel is a beautiful spot to stay nearby. Sustainable travel tip: Happily, the Seychelles has a great track record of protecting its dreamy environment, from turning uninhabited islands into nature reserves to marine conservation.

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The largest of the Cyclades, its sandy beaches run the gamut from family-friendly frolickers in the west (Adios Promotion), to the south’s hidden wild lings, where you can ride horses overdramatic dunes (Plaza) or brave powerful winds on a kite board (Mike Villa). And though not exactly a hidden gem, the pace remains pleasantly drowsy, whether kicking back in beach bars or supping at mountain village taverns.

Sustainable travel tip: Catch a ferry from Athens to Names and arrive at the island in a little over four hours. It’s not just insanely beautiful beaches and postcard-blue Caribbean, Mexico ’s dazzling tropical coast is also a trove of adventure.

The event raises awareness about conservation, while allowing swimmers to share the water with the gentle giants sustainably. Then head down to Tulum (or Islam Hotbox) where days start with sun salutations and end on toes-in-the-sand candlelit dinners.

Hot reservations are easier to come by as this is technically rainy season; July, however, typically heralds a reprieve from the torrent. Sustainable travel tip: Where Tulum’s not-so-sustainable practices have made headlines, Islam Hotbox’s MO is small-scale and local.

The lack of paved roads all but mandates getting around by bicycle; the most convenient way to arrive is by 30-minute ferry from the mainland; its restaurants, bars and stores are locally owned; and single-use plastics have been banned since 2018. Contrarians keen for snow in July ought to pack their skis for Coronet Peak, on New Zealand ’s South Island.

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One need not risk life and limb to enjoy the surrounding however: snow-dusted Southern Alps backdrop mirror-still Lake Wakatipu, and vineyards come with mountain views and world-famous Pilot Noir. The pods, found in various remote locations across the island, are glass-walled tiny houses tucked into scenic landscapes, and run almost entirely on solar electricity and biofuel.

But July ’s warm days are best for three things the German capital excels at: beer gardens, café culture and park life. The city also offers an endless assortment of shabby chic surroundings for sipping craft coffee and cocktails.

Culture vultures head to St Ives for the Tate, but the true charm of the town lies in exploring the artists' studios along the cobbled streets and eating freshly caught crab on the seafront. Sustainable travel tip: Taking the train to Cornwall whisks you through some of England’s best scenery, both along the coast and inland.

Sustainable travel tip: Iceland’s meteoric rise from remote unknown to established tourist destination has put a strain on the Reykjavík area in recent years. Consider striking out for the country’s more isolated corners to rediscover that frontier magic and bring tourism kronor to rural communities.

Paglia is starting to be known for its food scene, thanks to the wonderful local produce, olive oil and ice cream. Stay in a traditional Assyria or Trello, and spend the evenings exploring the backstreets of Paglia's beautiful old towns, Savelletri, Stunt and baroque Recce.

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Take the Eurostar from London to Paris (two hours 15 minutes), followed by a Hello sleeper train to Milan. Increasingly a contender for the Caribbean's coolest city, Cartagena has a buzz about it right now, making it high on our wishlist for July, when the weather is great.

Spend lazy days exploring the pretty colonial architecture of the old town followed by hip-swinging evenings drinking and dancing long into the night. The kitchen and waiting teams are made up of soon-to-be-released inmates, who are learning skills to help them into a career on the outside.

Kenya in July has the greatest show on earth: raw beauty, sweeping plains, the Great Migration and the Big Five. The rainy season is over, and you can wake up to see flocks of birds and grazing gazelles so close you could almost reach out and touch them.

For a safari-and-beach holiday in Kenya, head for Tatami on the coast, where golden, sandy beaches stretch for miles, and there's not another soul in sight. The archipelago is one of the best places to dive in the world, surrounded by beautiful reefs which are home to around 1,000 species of fish; but on a clear day, a simple snorkel is just as good.

The Fijians are famously friendly but nowhere is the welcoming song so heartfelt as at the locally owned Likelier Lagoon Resort, where days ebb and flow with the tide. Sustainable travel tip: The archipelago has been busy reinventing itself after the devastating impact of 2016’s Cyclone Winston, moving away from lavish honeymoon experiences to more eco-conscious escapes.

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Several new hotels are putting local culture and environment front and center: the new Six Senses on Mall Island, for example, is powered by solar panels and Tesla batteries, grows its own organic produce and uses worm-based septic tanks. Rossini Bay, three miles of golden sand on the Power Peninsula, has twice been named Europe’s best beach within the past five years.

Valencia’s Castellón province has largely remained a Spanish secret, a sedate little pocket of pretty beaches, green mountains and crumbling medieval villages that domestic tourists all-too-happily keep to themselves. The impressive, hilltop walled city of Morel la is a fabulous spot for idle shopping and grazing on local delicacies (sheep’s milk cheese, lamb and paella).

Not only does this richly historic, seafront state capital come alive with celebrations, but the hotels offer decent discounts to keep the party popping. And forward-thinking but down-to-earth Bostonian's are equally proud of their food culture, from classics like clam chowder and lobster rolls, to the culinary revolution storming its rejuvenated Seaport district.

Sustainable travel tip: The independently and locally owned Seaport Hotel isn’t just conveniently located in Boston’s most happening district, but has an impressive green CV, too. Even more conveniently, the hotel has its own subway station, so accessing public transport is a breeze (and a much better idea than braving Boston’s notorious traffic).

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