There’s no limit to travel at any time of the year. But some places are at their best during certain times, whether due to festivals that are celebrated at these times, or the weather which make these places worth a visit. Here are tourHQ’s most-recommended places to travel to, during a particular month of the year for the reasons mentioned below.
January – Dubai
This world-famous shopping mecca comes to life in January, when the weather is at its most pleasant and school breaks make travel convenient. Adding to the lure, the Dubai tourism authority conveniently times the Dubai Shopping festival in this period, making a visit to the Emirate irresistible. Along with the shopping frenzy at the malls and the Global Village which opens only during the cooler months of the year, there are a wide variety of activities to indulge in, from desert safaris and architectural delights, to lazy lunches at the Jumeirah board walk. Dubai definitely packs in a lot for a family vacation.
February – Venice – Venice carnival
Join in the Carnival for an unforgettable experience in the City of canals. Get yourself a costume or an artistic mask at the least to participate in the celebrations. Enter the competition for the Best Mask, watch the parade at the Canal Grande, attend the Official Carnival Ball or sit at a café in Saint Marks Square and people watch others dressed in their elaborate costumes; there’s more to Venice than meets the eye! You could also indulge in the usual all year attractions of wine-tasting sessions and elaborate venetian dinners.
March – Ireland- St. Patrick’s Day
Participate in the celebration of Irish culture in March in Ireland, by enjoying the parade, and dressing up in green to party, very important! Watch as the Irish march, sing and play instruments on the streets of each and every corner of Ireland, whether it is Dublin or Cork, Galway or Killarney. Post the parade, move with the locals into one of the famous bars, like the Temple Bar in Dublin or Tatler Jacks in Killarney, show your manners by asking your bartender “What’s the craic?” (Hint: It’s a typically Irish thing to ask!) before asking for a pint of Guinness or a shot of Jameson’s.
April – Thailand– Songkran
This country-wide water fight takes place in the month of April in Thailand. Originally a Buddhist tradition signifying purification, this festival conveniently helps revellers get relief from the heat. There is music, dancing, drinking and people drenched in water all around. If you’re celebrating in Chiang Mai, head to the Tha Pae Gate, and enjoy 4km of water fighting along the moat, with street stalls selling all you need. Hire a local guide in Thailand (https://www.tourhq.com/thailand-tours-guide) to tell you the best spots to enjoy this festival. One of the popular places to attend Songkran is Patong in Phuket, especially Bangla Road and Beach Road, with trucks loaded with ice-water, and water-warriors splashing passerby.
May – Bali, Indonesia
Located in the southern hemisphere, Bali is the perfect destination for your summer vacation with cooler climes. The city has the perfect mix of beaches history and culture. Start your days surfing in Kuta or hiking the Kintamani, spend your afternoons shopping at Ubud or people watching from a bar in Seminyak, while in the evenings magical sunsets beckon at Tanah Lot and Uluwatu. Indigenous bars make up the nightlife; a combination of impressive locations and winning menus such as the Ku De Ta in Seminyak and the Pyramid Club on the outskirts of Kuta.
June – Iceland – Summer Solstice on June 21
Iceland is an adventure sports haven; you can go glacier hiking, snorkelling, dog sledding or even paragliding by day. As the sun sets during the summer solstice, there’s still some light lingering, giving you enough time to enjoy nature in the muted hues of the midnight sun. Use these evenings to drive from one spot to another, thereby extending your Iceland experience. Also, don’t forget to book your tickets for the ‘Secret Solstice’, a music festival that features several artists from around the world and takes place in Laugardalur Park in Reykjavik.
From water skiing to sailing, or just playing good old Backgammon on the beach in Paranga, there’s a lot more you can do here. Witness the windmills in Chora, walk around the old port, flock to the Paradise beach, or just catch a ferry to the Delos island, an important mythological, historical and archaeological attraction which is the birthplace of Apollo (Greek God of Light). To have a cultural experience, be sure to visit the Folklore museum. Otherwise, get ready for some mind and body healing with a cocktail to give you company!
August – Tomatina – Spain
Held in the Valencian town of Buñol, the world’s largest food fight draws a crowd of more than 40,000 tomato enthusiasts every year. The Tomatina festival takes place at the end of August and involves participants throwing over-ripe tomatoes at each other. Don’t forget to book private Tomatina tours in Spain (https://www.tourhq.com/spain-tours-guide) to join in the festivities. Disfrute su experiencia en las Tomatina! (Enjoy your Tomatina experience)
September – Kenya to see the migration
Witness enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra stomp across the Serengeti plains to travel from Tanzania into the famous Masai Mara and back, in search of better sustenance as the weather changes. Watch as the predators move right behind the herds, to prey on the weaker members. For an exclusive view, stay in the Serengeti early in the month, and shift to Masai Mara to witness the Mara River crossings thereafter. Spend at least a week in the national parks of Kenya. Enjoy safaris by day and starlit skies by night, in a perfect camp setting.
October– India- Diwali
Diwali in India exudes an atmosphere of celebration; illuminated streets, decorated houses, overloaded sweet shops and elaborate hindu rituals mark this important festival . Travel to the North and South of the country to observe the different ways Diwali is celebrated. Dress up in kurta pyjama to get an authentic feel of the festival and join hands in prayer as the sun sets. Watch the sky as it lights up with firecrackers, light some diyas (lamps), and indulge in sweetmeats with your local hosts to partake in the festivities.
Celebrate the arrival of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, with kangaroos and coral reefs in Australia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, or just wine and dine on any of the Whitsunday Islands. Continue with sun and sand surfing at the Gold Coast. You could catch the Great Ocean Road, and on the way, visit the village of Port Fairy and witness the splashing waterfalls near the Great Otway National Park. Not only that, you could also taste the freshly peeled oysters at the Lorne Fisheries Co-op, listen to the didgeridoo at the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, and spot the Southern Right whales at the Logans Beach. While you’re here, you must not miss out on the limestone spires of the 12 Apostles. If you are in for some adventure, drive across Gillies Highway, and stop for a photo across the Goldsborough Valley and the Walsh’s Pyramid. To discover Australia at its best, go the Savannah way and explore the limestone caves, galleries of rock art and the historically significant mining site of Chillagoe. Don’t forget to tour the 190,000-year old lava tubes of Undara Volcanic National Park.
December – New York for Christmas and New Year
Nothing compares to Christmas in New York. If you’re in the City of Dreams at the end of the year, witness the Christmas tree in Rockefeller centre. You can also go ice skating in Central Park, and admire the Christmas lights in Dyker heights, Brooklyn. While you’re at it, don’t forget to enjoy the Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity. On New Year’s Eve, head straight to Times Square to witness the bustling energy and be a part of the Ball Drop countdown