When Is the Best Time to Visit Iceland & 49 Other Hot Travel Destinations? from When Is the Best Time to Visit Iceland & 49 Other Hot Travel Destinations?
When Is the Best Time to Visit Iceland & 49 Other Hot Travel Destinations?
A nice and relaxing vacation is a dream come true, except when you go at the wrong time. Islands, archipelagos, lake towns, mounatins, beaches – they all boast marvelous surroundings from lavish jungles, soaring mountains to even active volcanoes you can actually hike. All of these make some places extremely popular with tourists. Usually, a good time to avoid a tourist hot spot is during its peak season. But it also depends on what you’re willing to compromise.
Iceland - February, March
This is when you go if you want to see the magical Northern Lights. Otherwise, outdoor fans may want to go in July or August when the ideal is pretty much ideal for hiking and other fun recreational activities. But these are also the most popular months.
Rome, Italy – September
Head to Rome in September. All the locals will have returned from their August summer fêtes by then, and the throngs of tourists will be long gone. The average night at a four-star hotel in room is $131 during September, which means you’ll have extra cash to spend on pasta, pizza, and gelato.
Greenland – July
The largest island in the world is the ideal getaway destination if you want to escape scorching summer heat. July has the longest days, but the temperatures are in the mid 50’s. Nuuk, the capital, is described as a city of vitality, surrounded by immense nature. Don’t overlook Nuuk Fjord. The intricate water system is the second largest in the world, packed with inlets and islands which are accessible by boat or kayak.
Santorini, Greece – June
The worst time to visit this gorgeous island depends on what you want to do during your trip. June is the ideal month for honeymoons. It gets really hot – consistently near 100F in July and August, so don’t go then. It may a waste of time to go between November and March as many, if not most, businesses, including hotels and restaurants, are closed. August is by far the most crowded month.
Grand Canyon, Arizona – January
You’ll be happy you visited the Grand Canyon in January as opposed to June. Not only is summer in Arizona a total scorcher, but ticket prices during the season are high and hotels will gouge you during tourist season. January is the perfect time to visit the U.S. attraction, because you won’t have to suffer the crowds or the high prices.
Hawaii – Between September and November
Any month is a great time to visit any of the Hawaiian islands. However, if you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible, it may be wise to stay away after the second half of December through February. The off-peak season, so to speak, lasts between September and November.
Cozumel, Mexico – March to June
The short summer season – and best time to go – is March to June. This is when the island has temperatures around 85 F during the day. Winters are a bit cooler, with temperatures around 70 F. You may want to avoid the rainy season which falls between late summer and early fall; hurricanes are a possibility.
Barcelona, Spain – May, June and September
Try to book your Barcelona adventure for the months of May, June, and September. The weather is still warm, and, according to Eurocheapo, the tickets are at some of their cheapest. The most inexpensive months to visit are October, November, and February, but at those times it’s too cold to swim in the Mediterranean… so basically not worth it.
Bali, Indonesia – May, June and July
May, June and July are generally considered to be the best time to travel to Bali in terms of the weather. April, May, June and September are also good, just before and just after high season. High season is during July and August, during Easter Holidays, and Christmas / New Year – until the end of the first week January). This is the time Bali is the busiest and thus priciest.
Chefchaouen, Morocco – April and May
Temperatures in Morocco’s stunning blue city don’t really go below 55F. In April and May they usually stay at comfortable upper 60’s. The surrounding Rif Mountains enhance the splendor of the unique palette of blue and white buildings, providing a striking contrast. Adventurers won’t be bored – hikes along the hills are strenuous, bathing in the mountain streams is refreshing; and indulging in delicious local food is unforgettable. Valleys, ravines and scenic summits are plenty.
Seychelles - April through October
April, May, October and November are the months of transition from hot and humid to cool and nice weather that define April through October. These are also the so called “shoulder months” is ideal for a pleasant trip that includes sunbathing, wildlife watching and scuba diving. Coming in the spring and fall means smaller tourist crowds, which come in December, January, July and August.
Douro Valley, Portugal – March
Early spring is the most tolerable time to go in terms of weather. The hottest months are August, July, and then September. The hills are covered in almond and olive trees. If you love wine, you picked the perfect destination. They have been producing wine in this region for over 2,000 years. More active adventures include canoeing, biking, birdwatching, and going on an environmental cruise.
Ireland – April and May
Ireland in the spring is one of Europe’s great secrets. The flowers and warm weather come early to the island thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, and April and May can be the absolute sunniest months, with cloudless days perfect for hiking. Hike the mountains and coasts of southwestern Ireland and see the Skellig Michael monastery famously featured in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Or hike the rugged west coast of Ireland from the Cliffs of Moher to the Aran Islands.
Dalmatian Islands, Croatia – June or September
Summers are warm/hot and winters are mild. The largest crowds descend on the island in July and August, the peak season on the Adriatic. The beaches are very busy then. If you’re looking for perfect weather and relaxation at the same time, it’s best to go in June or September. The quietest months are from October to November.
British and U.S. Virgin Islands – April to June
The best time to visit these Caribbean islands is from April to June because this is when you’re almost guaranteed mild weather and very little rain. This is also when the tourist season slows down. The peak season is, understandably, from December to March, when the temperature ranges from the mid-70s to high 80s with breezy evenings. Hurricane season is from July to October.
Costa Rica – October to April
The dry season, considered summer by Costa Ricans, is from mid-November to end of April. From volcano hiking to jungle zip lining, the country is essentially an adventure-lover’s paradise, and with its many stunning landscapes it also makes for a romantic honeymoon setting. One trip can easily include hiking, biking, kayaking and whitewater rafting through jungles. If you are ready to face your fears, head to Cocos Island, one of the world’s most famous places for shark sightings.
Bermuda – March
March is when the weather becomes pleasant for beach bathing, just before it gets a little warmer in April and when more people start to arrive. Discover Bermuda’s unspoiled paradise on foot. You’ll be in awe of the secret turquoise bays, sea grottoes and pastel villages, colorful flowers, birds and fish, and even humpback whales.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – June through November
The busiest months are June, July and August. The unique islands also draw big crowds from mid-December to mid-January. The hot and wet season last from December until May. The cool and dry period is June through November. This is when experienced scuba divers like to go because the marine life is more diverse due to the colder water.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia – September
September is the month to be on the Whitsunday Islands. It's still comfortably warm. It’s not yet hot the way it is in the summer months that also bring humidity. Avoid the region's annual stinger season, which generally runs from October through to May.
Grand Cayman – May to December
Avoid the peak winter period, from mid-December to mid-April, if you want to save money and not encounter so many people everywhere you go. Christmas, mid-February, especially around Presidents' Day weekend are also very busy. The off season on the islands is from mid-April to mid-December. This is when beaches are less crowded and you can get good deals.
Newfoundland, Canada – August
Imagine a wonderfully temperate weather with no crowds in the summer? Newfoundland is just like that. The island off the southeastern edge of Canada offers much more than the shaggy pups that originated there. St. John's, the capital, is one of the oldest cities in Canada and claims to have the most bars and pubs per square foot in the world. The fishing village of Twillingate is considered the iceberg capital of the world. Watch them float on land or take day trip to get up close and personal.
Copenhagen, Denmark – May and April
Copenhagen isn’t really known for nice weather, but if there is time you can count on it, it’s the spring. Beat the summer crowds and visit in the shoulder season for reasonable prices as well. Architecture, historical artifacts, art galleries, parks, churches and cultural attractions are some of the many things you have to look forward to in Copenhagen.
Phuket, Thailand – November to February
The period from November to February is the nicest, in terms of weather, after the rains are over. So this is also the busiest time with most tourists going on vacations on the island. December is the coolest month, and February is the driest. The hottest months are March to mid-May. Monsoon season, when prices are very low, lasts from May to October. Although it will rain, the island doesn’t really get several days in a row of heavy rains.
Majorca, Spain – September
Majorca has a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot, so don’t go if you can’t handle the heat, while winters are mild. The southeast regions of the island are much warmer. There is sunshine about 300 days of the year. The best time to visit is the beginning of September when most of the activities like kitesurfing, mountain biking, cliff jumping and boating are available.
Mojave Desert, California – March through May
You can start seeing wildflowers there as early as February. The most famous ones are the orange poppies, which bloom from March through May. You can also hike 8 miles of trails around stunning spring flowers. In the Antelope Valley, you can also find tons of lupines and cream cups.
Castelluccio, Umbria, Italy – April and May
Umbria, the underrated region next to Tuscany, is known as the “green heart” of Italy. In April and May, the countryside becomes dotted with violets, primroses, crocus and red poppies. The little Umbrian town of Castelluccio di Norcia in particular is famous for its spring flowers. The annual Flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia is when almost 6 square miles of grazing land between the Sibillini Mountains turn red, white and blue with thousands of flowers.
Provence, France – June to August
Once you see the Lavender Fields in person, purple will become your favorite color. The bloom from June to August around Mont Ventoux makes for a regal scenery and atmosphere. This blue gold is used to make soap and cosmetics. Go on a relaxing walk along the lavender roads in Provence from the field to the distillery, and embrace the intense colors around you.
Fiji – October
November through April is Fiji’s typhoon season. The weather is not very pleasant – high temperatures and short storms. But it’s cheap. October is one of the short shoulder seasons. The high season are months between July and September. Crowds are huge. This is winter break for many Australians and New Zealanders and they go there, too.
New Orleans, Louisiana – April, May, June
Go in February if the chaos and craziness around Mardi Gras is your thing. Come spring time, all of that is gone, prices are lower, weather is nicer, and crowds are smaller. Who wants to see gorgeous attractions swarmed with tourists? Also, this is the period when you can be fairly certain it won’t rain.
São Paulo, Brazil – May
May is the time to go because it’s just after the hot summer. The weather is cooling down but you’re still going to get plenty of sunny days. There many exciting sights to see when cycling around Brazil, but of particular interest is Sao Paulo’s vibrant street art. Through Hotel Unique, visitors can take advantage of customized guided cycling tours designed to showcase the best of South America’s largest city.
Chamonix, France – March
You are probably used to hearing about this beautiful destination in France only around ski seasons. But you can find meadows with wildflowers all over the region in the spring. Wildflower season will be peaking soon. Set on a mountainside below Mont Blanc, you are still going to catch the last of the winter snow, but the crowds will have left, hotels are cheaper, and the weather is nicer.
New York City, New York – April and May
New York City is a hot spot year-round. The best time to visit depends on what you want to get from your trip. Overall, spring is nice because the weather is nice –warm, but not humid – and tourists crowds are smaller. They peak during the scorching hot summer. The freezing winter is also popular because of the many different holiday activities.
The Arctic – August
The best time to go is in the summer or very early fall. The weather is the best in August. Towards the end of the month is when you can see whales in Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago. Cruise the fjords with a guide, who will stop at popular attractions along the way and teach you about local history. If you want to see the region’s amazing wildlife, a safari is the right choice. Another favorite pursuit is kayaking near the polar bears and beluga whales.
The Amazon – August to December
This is the dry season in the northern parts of the Amazon in Brazil. The water levels are lower and beaches are exposed. You may be shocked to find out that there actually are some white-sand beaches that form as a result, and they are gorgeous. Imagine what else you don’t know about the Amazon…
Cambodia - May through early September
This is the country’s so called green season. It rains a lot (which also means fewer to no crowds), but it’s almost always in the late afternoon. Weather is very predictable, which means you have the entire morning and early afternoon to explore the beauty of Cambodia. Spend the money you’ll save traveling in this shoulder season and spend it on awesome adventures instead.
Botswana – Between June and October
This is the time to go on a safari. The dry season is for wildlife excursions because you ca see the animals gather around main water sources. Adventure-lovers will appreciate the opportunity to witness a diverse side of African culture. If you want to go boating along the Okavango Delta, book a trip in July or August. This is when the water gets to its highest levels.
New Zealand – August
Want to go skiing in the summer? August is the month to do it in New Zealand, especially if you’re into heli-skiing. Queenstown has more than 5,000 square kilometers of terrain covered with fantastic powder. Most hills are accessible by a helicopter and the landscape is extraordinarily varied – trees, steep hills, verticals of more than 8,000 feet, moguls, and don’t forget drops.
Chengdu, China – March to June
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has made the area very popular. Where else are you going to see endangered pandas? The best to visit is March to June and September to November because the temperatures are comfortable. The rainy season is July and August.
Scottsdale, Arizona – March
This is a destination for a sports vacation in the spring – if you like baseball, that is. It’s spring training time! Aside from that, March is when the weather is at is its best. On average, there are 299 sunny days per year in Scottsdale. You can count on many of them being in the spring. Go on a half-day mountain bike tour through the Sonoran Desert, or on a kayak ride through the desert’s Salt River. If you prefer safer sports, take a hike at Pinnacle Peak Park. The lively nightlife scene won’t disappoint, either
Buenos Aires, Argentina – April, May, June
The cheapest time to go is in the spring. These months are fall in Argentina. They are perfect for wandering around. This Latin American hub is full of energy, adventure and exceptional beauty—and as one of the biggest cities in South America, Buenos Aires offers plenty of options. Don’t leave the city without seeing a tango show, window shopping the boutiques in Palermo Viejo and cutting into a juicy steak.
Austin, Texas – March to May
Austin is an amazing destination year round but it hosts its biggest even of the year – the SXSW – in the spring. But even if that doesn’t matter to you, September to November and March to May are the periods when 70s and 80s are the anticipated daytime temperatures. Perfect for outdoor recreation activities in the city’s many parks, streams, river, springs, and nature trails.
Nicaragua – November to March
Nicaragua is often referred to as “the next Costa Rica.” As a tropical country, Nicaragua has two distinct seasons – the wet season, and the dry season (November to April) – but it’s always warm. Travelers will witness incredible natural beauty, cheap accommodation and amazing adventures. A must-do is volcano boarding. How does racing down an active volcano at 25-30 miles per hour sound?
Cuba – December to April
The hottest month in Havana with an average temperature of 81F is June and the coldest is January - but with an average temperature of 70F. One of the most thrilling adventures you can embark on is cave diving, reaching depths of 70 feet at Cueva de Saturno, for example. Rock climbing is another favorite due to Cuba’s amazing geology. Hiking will give you an opportunity to explore the footsteps of the Cuban Revolution.
Archipelago Sea, Finland – July and August
Summer days are long with sunset around 11 p.m. and sunrise about 5 a.m. Temperatures are moderate, typically in the 70s. Travel along the Archipelago Trail. You will start in Turku, Finland’s medieval capital. Your adventure will continue on a boat, car, and bicycle, and ferries for some island-hopping.
London, England – September to November
The best time really depends on what you want to see. The summer is for royal attractions, which are open to the public when their owners are away on vacation. But the summers are too crowded. The shoulder seasons – mid-September through November, and March through April – offer a nice combination of cheaper accommodations, smaller crowds, many attractions, theatre shows, enough sunny days, and less rain. The low season is January and February but it rains too much.
Dubai, UAE – November to March
It’s always hot in Dubai, but some months are worse than others. The summer there starts in April, marking the end of the tourist season. Even a day at the beach can be unbearable. The city is one of the most lavish places in the world. Go shopping in the Dubai Mall, visit the Gold Souk, watch the world’s largest dancing fountain – the Dubai Fountain, and catch spectacular views from the top of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa.
Azores, Portugal – April to June
For warmer weather – between 62 and 75 F on average – and sunnier days in the Azores, the best time to go is between April and June. The autonomous region of Portugal, and insanely gorgeous and underrated European destination, is an archipelago formed by nine volcanic islands and a few islets. Described as an adrenaline junkie’s paradise, it offers a wide range of adventurous activities –canyoning, cliff diving, big-game fishing and paragliding.
Canary Islands – March and April
Located off the coast of North Africa, The Canary Islands are absolutely stunning in early spring. Weather is still nice, days are longer, but the crowds are missing. Walk on Lanzarote's beautiful beaches, and improve your surfing skills. Explore the archipelago’s diverse natural attractions, such as the Maspalomas Dunes, the San Antonio volcano, and Timanfaya National Park, on a guided tour from the back of a camel.
The Himalayas – November to April
This is a very large region but, in general, the best months to visit is between late October and early May. And it really depends on whether you’re going along a high trek. The Himalayan mountain range offers countless other breathtaking and less intense treks and hikes. A trip to the Himalayas also allows you to explore a variety of local cultures and cuisines, spot wildlife such as snow leopards, jumping spiders and red pandas, and visit Buddhist monasteries.
Marrakesh, Morocco – April, May
Avoid the desert heat in the summer – it’s truly unbearable. For the best chances of comfortable warm weather day and night, go in the spring. Gardens, markets, and city squares become extraordinary works of art in Marrakech. The city that was founded in 1062 A.D. has historical roots that run deep with a patchwork of modern elements thrown in. This incredible city is also loved for its food.