The year has just started, so you’ve got 12 months of potential adventures ahead of you. From winter ski slopes in Austria to spending your summer vacation at stunning lakes in Sweden or taking an adventure trip around Taiwan, there are so many trips just waiting to happen.
This month-by-month guide is sure to be a big help in deciding exactly where you want to go for your next holiday, whether you’re looking for the best flight deals, the smallest crowds, the best weather, or something totally different.
Where to go in January: Finland
Finland is the perfect place to start the new year. The country is known for its enchanting forests, lakes, glassware, food, untouched landscapes and much more. During January and February, there is almost always snow in northern and eastern Finland. Even if there’s little snow in Helsinki, there’s often up to a meter or more on the ski slopes of Lapland. Enjoy some relaxation time in a winter cottage with a traditional sauna followed by a dip in a hole cut into the ice at one of many Finnish lakes.
Why go: breathtaking winter landscapes and the magical Northern Lights.
Where to go in February: Austria
As February is one of the coldest months of the year in Austria, it is one of the best times to head to Alpine regions for a spot of skiing, with guaranteed snowfall and some of Europe’s best ski resorts. Head for example to Kitzbühel or Alpbach to enjoy all kinds of winter sports, from skiing and snowboarding on the slopes to snowshoeing and winter trekking. Alternatively, if you prefer a city break to the slopes, head to Vienna and enjoy Valentine’s Day by taking your loved one to Vienna, a famously romantic destination.
Why go: world’s best ski resorts, enchanting cities, wellness activities
Related article: A Complete Guide to Visiting Vienna in Winter
Where to go in March: Sri Lanka
While Sri Lanka has a reputation as a country that can be visited at any time of the year, there are some differences among the regions. March is pretty much perfect for visiting the Central Hills, a mountainous area located in the south-central part of the country which tends to be rainy during any other time of the year. You will most likely start your trip in Colombo and then travel toward Kandy, enjoying the legendary train journey via Nuwara Eliya. Allow yourself to be amazed by the incredible nature of Sri Lanka. In March, the south of Sri Lanka also tends to have great weather, allowing you to end your trip at one of the country’s most stunning beaches.
Why go: wildlife, awesome train trips, beaches in the south
Related article: 7 Days in Sri Lanka Itinerary: How to Visit the Highlights
Prague is one of the most beautiful and photogenic cities in the world and also the main reason why most people head to Czech Republic. Yet there is so much more to be found in my homeland. Allow yourself more time to explore the various regions and cities such as chilled out Brno and charming Olomouc, with their stunning castles and accessible nature. April is a great time to visit Czech Republic; it’s is in the middle of the springtime, with a pleasant average high temperature of 14°C while the average low is 4°C. In the evening, you will need a warm pullover and a jacket, but the daytime is perfectly for exploring without having to wear or carry around too much.
Why go: stunning castles, Prague, natural sights, and of course beer!😊
Related article: The 7 Best Spots To View Prague From Above
Where to go in May: Turkey
Beautiful beaches, friendly people, amazing food, and archaeological wonders are just some of the reasons why Turkey is so great. While most of Europe is still experiencing spring temperatures, summer weather has already begun in Turkey in May, and it’s a perfect time to hit the beach. Pack your sunglasses and swimsuit and head to one of the country’s seaside resorts: Bodrum, Antalya, Alanya, Izmir, and Fethiye have some of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey. In May, hotels aren’t packed yet, and the milder climate makes it possible to do some sightseeing trips without overheating like you would in summer.
Why go: crystal-clear waters, tall mountains, the ruins of ancient empires, small idyllic villages
Related article: 10 Amazing Things to Do in Alanya, Turkey
Where to go in June: Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of Europe’s less-visited countries, the former-Yugoslavian nation of Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) is a treasure-trove of architectural and natural beauty. Even if you have just a couple of days, it’s worth dropping in from neighboring Croatia or Serbia to see Mostar’s iconic bridge or to stroll the Ottoman-flavoured alleys of Sarajevo. If you’ve got a little more time, all the better; the country is compact so you can cover all the highlights within a week to 10 days. The average temperatures you’d face in June would fall between 12°C and 23°C
Why go: the historical city of Mostar, great wine, outdoor sports
Where to go in July: Spain
Spain is a country of beautiful coasts and fascinating history that is well-preserved in its buildings and museums. Spain in July can best be summed up in two words: hot and happening. Warm weather throughout the country makes the famous beaches seem more appealing than ever. The month sees fascinating cultural festivals and events happening throughout the country, and if anything, the soaring temperatures just give you an excuse to include the beach on your travel itinerary.
Why visit: cultural cities, architecture, food, beaches
Where to go in August: Sweden
Let’s face it: Sweden is one of the most beautiful and prosperous countries in the world. There you’ll find a balance of thriving cities and amazing nature; with almost 100,000 lakes, several impressive mountain ranges, bucolic forests, rolling fields, mushroom and berry-picking, the midnight sun and Northern Lights, there’s pretty much something for everyone. The best part? Swedes are dedicated nature lovers themselves so you’ll be in great company.
Why go: lakes, unspoiled nature, friendly people, stunning Stockholm
Related read: Canoeing in Sweden: How to plan a self-guided trip
Where to go in September: Taiwan
If you follow this blog, you know that Taiwan is one of my favorite destinations. I have experienced the country in every season, yet I find September and October to be the best months to visit. Taiwan has friendly people, amazing natural landscapes and some of the best street food in the world. You can easily travel around the island by bicycle, train or by rental car. Enjoy the enchanting scenery of Taroko National Park, head the sandy beaches of Kenting and ascend the iconic bamboo-shaped skyscraper Taipei 101.
Why go: natural scenery, accessible hiking, hot springs
Related article: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Taiwan
Where to go in October: Egypt
How about sandy beaches, amazing coral reefs and a trip to the desert? Egypt, the land of the Great Pyramids, is waiting, and October is the perfect time to visit. It’s the perfect place to prolong your summer and enjoy swimming in the sea. October is not the peak season in Egypt, so you can take in the sights minus the tourist crowds.
Why go: idyllic beaches, a spectacular array of marine life, the Great Pyramids of Giza, ancient architecture
Where to go in November: Croatia
The mere mention of Croatia brings up images of rocky coastlines giving way to the glittering, crystal-clear, turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Most tourists visit Croatia in July and August, but the truth is that this Balkan nation blessed with more than 1000 islands actually offers some of its best travel experiences outside of the hectic summer season. Croatia in winter is amazing and in November you have the perfect chance to have the major monuments all to yourself.
Why go: mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes & many other national parks, the ancient city of Split, off-season accommodation prices
Related article: 20 Unique Things to Do in Slavonia, Croatia
Where to go in December: Germany
It may be a cliché, but December in Germany is something everyone should experience at least once, with spectacular Christmas markets held throughout the country. They boast gorgeous light displays, holiday tunes, handmade gifts, and plenty of mulled wine to sip on as you shop and enjoy the sights. From Frankfurt to Munich, there is Christmas magic everywhere you go – and, for most of the month, accommodation rates are at their lowest of the year.
Why go: Christmas markets, winter scenery, cozy cafes
Related article: 15 Best Day Trips from Munich You’d Regret Missing Out On