The best places to travel in every month of the year

Plenty of inspiration to help you plan the best place to travel for every month of the year.

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Where to travel in January

Uganda, Vienna



Photo: © Jonathon Gregson/Lonely Planet.

Uganda


It’s dry season (or dryish) in Uganda, which means good conditions for tracking endangered mountain gorillas. It’s estimated that approximately 700 of these magnificent creatures survive, with half of them in the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Vienna


For a shot of culture, head to Vienna for its winter ball season to dress up in your finest gear and waltz with the locals.

Where to travel in February

Rio, Venice, Indoa



Carnival celebrations in Rio and Venice


It’s Carnival time in Rio de Janeiro, so samba your way through the celebrations, and also in Venice, where you can catch parades, fireworks and masked balls.

Hemis National Park, India


Winter mating season peaks for the snow leopards of India’s Hemis National Park, making the elusive cats easier to spot.

Where to travel in March

Iguazú Falls, Vietnam



Iguazú Falls


The mighty Iguazú Falls are in full flow in March, thundering down a gorge that divides southern Brazil and Argentina.

Vietnam


Conditions in Vietnam are usually variable, but March is fairly fine across the country. Go trekking in Sapa, enjoy the beaches of Mui Ne or Phu Quoc, or explore the historic town of Hoi An.

Where to travel in April

Japan, Boston



Photo: © KanokpolTokumhnerd / Shutterstock.

Japan


It’s sakura season in Japan, which means cherry blossoms are blooming. They spread northwards, appearing in Kyoto, Tokyo and Hiroshima in late March and April.

Boston


Baseball season starts in early April in the sports-mad city of Boston, which also hosts the world’s oldest city marathon this month.

Where to travel in May

The Adriatic Coast (Europe), Indonesia



Photo: © Julian Love / Lonely Planet.

The Adriatic Coast


Montenegro is the place for a multi-activity holiday. May is the start of rafting season, conditions are good for hiking, and the coastal spots aren’t yet packed with visitors. On the other side of the Adriatic, Abruzzo in Italy is taken over by wildflowers and butterflies.

Indonesia


It’s the start of mating season for Komodo dragons, and you may be lucky enough to see a dramatic fight between males in Indonesia’s Rinca or Komodo islands.

Where to travel in June

St Petersburg (Russia), Zambia



St Petersburg


It’s White Nights festival in St Petersburg, where the sun doesn’t set and the city is buzzing with ballet, opera, music and other cultural events.

Zambia


Zambia is the home of the first walking safari. Head to South Luangwa National Park at the start of the dry season to spot elephants, giraffes and birdlife.

Where to travel in July

Red Centre (Australia), Pantanal (Brazil)



Photo: ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet.

Red Centre, Australia


The arid landscapes of Australia’s Red Centre are at their most dramatic during July, best observed from the window of the Ghan Express, one of the world’s great train journeys that links Darwin and Adelaide.

Pantanal, Brazil


July is peak dry season in Brazil’s Pantanal wetland, with thinning foliage and shrinking water pockets increasing the chances of sighting jaguars—the park is home to the world’s highest concentration of these elusive predators.

Where to travel in August

Iceland, Turquoise Coast (Turkey)



Photo: © LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

Iceland


An otherworldly natural landscape can be found over in Iceland’s bubbling lava fields. This unique environment becomes more accessible in August, allowing visitors to explore the volcanic craters and rock formations, boiling lava flumes and a turquoise hot-water caldera lake.

Turquoise Coast, Turkey


Hop on a traditional twin-masted sailboat (gület) to explore the gems of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, the wind in your hair and nothing but the sea, skies and a whole lot of relaxation to contend with.

Where to travel in September

Dublin (Ireland), The Silk Road



Photo: © Andrew Montgomery/Lonely Planet.

Dublin, Ireland


Sipping a Guinness in a Dublin pub is one of the Irish capital’s essential cultural experiences (and rightly so), but come September it’s another series of historic venues that take centre stage as the Dublin Fringe Festival rolls into town, bringing with it an exciting mishmash of off-the-wall theatre, film and art installations.

The Silk Road


It’s not too hot in the ancient cities of Uzbekistan and the deserts of Turkmenistan, or too snowy on the lakes of Kyrgyzstan, so if traveling along the vast Silk Road is on your bucket list, then September is the best time to do it.

Where to travel in October

Jordan, New Zealand



Photo: © Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet.

Jordan


Autumn temps in Jordan are around 27ºC/81ºF, making it a decent time to visit the mystical city of Petra and follow the old Bedouin paths onwards to Dana.

New Zealand


The crowds have moved on from the golden sands of Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. It should still be warm, but if it does turn chilly, dig your own thermal bath at Hot Water Beach.

Where to travel in November

Northern Thailand, Mexico



Northern Thailand


Mesmerising landscapes are on offer in Northern Thailand, where hiking trails that thread through waterlogged rice paddies to waterfalls and hilltop stilt villages are even more special without the selfie-snapping summer crowds.

Mexico


Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is 1-2 November, so expect skeleton outfits, sugar skulls and tequila across Mexico in honour of the departed.

Where to travel in November

Northern Thailand, Mexico



Northern Thailand


Mesmerising landscapes are on offer in Northern Thailand, where hiking trails that thread through waterlogged rice paddies to waterfalls and hilltop stilt villages are even more special without the selfie-snapping summer crowds.

Mexico


Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is 1-2 November, so expect skeleton outfits, sugar skulls and tequila across Mexico in honour of the departed.

Where to travel in December

Finnish Lapland, Patagonia (South America)



Photo: © Roman Babakin/Shutterstock.

Finnish Lapland


Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland is the "official” year-round home of Santa Claus, but for the real festive feeling, is best visited in December.

Patagonia, South America


Lace up your boots for an end-of-year adventure at the wild ends of the earth. December is the ideal time to explore Patagonia’s mind-blowingly beautiful Torres del Paine National Park.

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