Mountain bikers in one of Utah's stunning national parks © Comstock Images / Comstock / Thinkstock

In need of inspiration for a summer getaway? Whether you want to blaze a trail across Utah on a mountain bike or go museum-hopping in Oslo, we've dug up some fantastic ideas for holidays in July.

Best for adventure

Long haul: Utah, USA
With five national parks featuring some of the planet's weirdest geological formations, Utah offers an outstanding natural outdoor playground for adventure lovers. Enjoy hiking, biking or fishing in Bryce Canyon National Park where wind- and water-eroded pink cliffs and spires have created a dramatic, other-wordly amphitheatre. Or pop over to Canyonlands National Park where the mighty Colorado River offers some seriously wild and wet white water rafting action. Alternatively, go canyoneering in Zion National Park, an adrenalin-fuelled combination of hiking, swimming and rappelling amid towering canyon walls and freezing, ice-cold pools. Expect temperatures to climb well over 26°C (80ºF) in July.

Short haul: Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Avid walkers wondering where to go on holiday in July should look no further than North African hotspot Morocco. Within easy reach of colourful Marrakech lies the sun-baked homeland of the Berbers, the rugged High Atlas Mountains. Most trekkers aim for the highest peak, Jbel Toubkal, soaring 4,167m (13,670ft) high above sea level. The high altitude helps to temper the hot July temperatures, while Berber villages - where local hospitality is renowned and traditional customs and dress still maintained - offer interesting diversions en route. Uncrowded trails, rich bird life, and the chance to explore fascinating kasbahs make this destination truly unique. If you're a keen sports nut, combine your trek with mountain biking or horse riding for a real Moroccan adventure.

Best for beaches

Long haul: Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
For a beach holiday in July with a difference, head to the sands of Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica for the start of the annual turtle nesting and hatching season. The stunning beaches along the edge of the national park are connected by a network of freshwater creeks and lagoons, which are home to seven species of turtles. There is a marked trail along the beach, which is ideal for spotting the nesting turtles, especially at night when an expert guide will lead you to the beach as the turtles arrive to lay their eggs under the waning moon. Lucky visitors will get the chance to see the unforgettable sight of newly hatched turtles race to the sea to take their first dip in the warm Costa Rican waters.

Short haul: Scilly Isles, UK
With its sub-tropical climate, wildflowers and glorious beaches, it is hard to believe that the Scilly Isles are part of the UK. Sat just off the coast of Cornwall, the idyllic archipelago of 140 tiny islands offers miles of peachy, sand beaches and Robinson Crusoe-style solitude - ideal for those wondering where to go on holiday in July where it's quieter than busier mainland resorts. Families, nature lovers and beach enthusiasts will all appreciate the glorious July sunshine, with average temperatures sitting at a comfortable 26°C (80ºF) . The best beaches are found on the island of St Martin's, especially the tropical, white sand Par Beach. Other brilliant beaches are Lawrence's Bay and Great Bay - from where you can walk across to White Island at low tide. For complete solitude, head to secluded Rushy Bay on the remote island of Wild Bryer.

Best for cities

Long haul: Vancouver, Canada
Summer in Vancouver brings continuous spells of sunny, hot weather accompanied by long, light evenings. July is the best time to make the most of Vancouver's laid-back, outdoor lifestyle and the surrounding British Columbia wilderness. Downtown Vancouver is a compact area full of activity, day and night. Explore Vancouver's West End, chock-a-block full of juice bars and coffee shops, and Yaletown, Vancouver's ‘Soho', with its trendy shops, galleries, bars and restaurants. Vancouver also has Canada's largest city park, Stanley Park, perfect for a picnic or a romantic stroll.

Short haul: Oslo, Norway
With its late-night shopping, crowded cafés, bars and restaurants, and theatres playing to full houses, Oslo has a self-assured and cosmopolitan feel, best experienced on holidays in July. One of the best ways to approach Oslo is by sea along the scenic fjords. Whilst sailing through luscious green islands and outcrops, the city unfolds before your eyes - sprawling out from its compact centre around the quays to the flanks of the surrounding hills. Drenched with historic charm, Oslo is the oldest of the Scandinavian capitals and the perfect size for exploring on foot. Don't miss the city's excellent collection of museums, including the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Viking Ship Museum, before going royal-spotting at the Kongelige Slott (Royal Palace), which is open to visitors only in summer.

Published date: 28 June 2010

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