The Irish summer might be underway but with the weather here so unpredictable – we’ve all experienced the BBQ hastily postponed due to a heavy downpour – it’s no wonder many of us dream of a more reliable sunnier climate.
In July, the holidaymaker is spoiled for choice. There is an abundance of destinations throughout Europe that can deliver the perfect summer getaway, where long and lazy lunches can stretch out for hours without any concerns over rain or sudden drops in temperature. Further afield, if you’re looking for a long-haul holiday, that choice opens up still further.
The holiday season really ramps up in July as schools are finished for summer, but it’s not too late to secure a great deal and jet off for a week or two of rest and relaxation. Here are four stunning destinations that deserve a place on your July holiday shortlist:
As we’ve written about previously, there’s much more to Zante than being a party destination. If it’s 24/7 partying you’re after, of course you’ll find all that and more on this Greek island – but Zante has numerous charms. A big family favourite is Kalamaki. With a lengthy and spacious beach there’s enough room for everyone, even in the busiest of seasons and peak times, and the resort always manages to retain an atmosphere of tranquillity. The pace is certainly on the slower side, with numerous welcoming bars on hand to serve you when you decide to step out of the sun for an hour or two.
If you are holidaying with children in Zante, don’t miss a visit to Turtle Island. This tiny island lies off the south coast of Zante and makes for a great day trip spent spotting the loggerhead turtles which inhabit its shores.
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Attracting more than two million visitors every year, there’s clearly something seriously appealing about Dalaman, known as the Turquoise Coast. If you like your holidays on the hot side, in July the temperature in this area of Turkey can climb into the mid-30s. Falling within Dalaman are several superb resorts. Olu Deniz and Marmaris are the headline acts in terms of size, and scale of liveliness – definitely so for nightlife – while Fethiye and Icmeler are more on the relaxed side.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem, try Sarigerme. It’s a relatively new resort in the middle of a national park with a 12km beach.
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Cyprus sizzles in July, making it one of the sunniest destinations in the Mediterranean – no surprise when it sits between Turkey and Egypt. Flight time is slightly longer than most other European countries at around four and a half hours, but the journey is more than worth it. Ayia Napa is well known for attracting the all-action party crowd. For everyone else, Paphos – with its Aphrodite Waterpark – Larnaca, close to family friendly theme parks, Limassol and Portaras might be better fits.
Don’t fooled into thinking Cyprus is just a sleepy beach holiday, however. For those who like a bit of adventure, a scuba dive to explore the wreck of the MS Zenobia, a Swedish ferry that sank off the coast of Larnaca in 1980, should satisfy the thriller seekers.
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Ever popular, this beautiful member of the Balearic Islands is a real crowd pleaser because it caters for so many tastes. Sun is virtually guaranteed – you’ll find maximum temperatures tipping into the 30s – and with flight times from Ireland at a little over two hours, it’s not hard to see why so many head to Majorca for our summer hols.
Take your pick from a number of excellent resorts. For a lively nightlife scene, it has to be Magaluf or Palma – the capital of Majorca. If it’s the full sun, sea and sand experience you want, Alcudia has an impressive seven kilometres of Blue Flag beaches. Meanwhile, for a change of pace, try the east coast of Majorca. Families love the quieter resort of Cala D’Or, with its sandy bays and calm waters. It’s also a lovely location for couples, enticed by waterfront bars, restaurants and marinas.
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