Holiday Hotspot Calendar

Posted on: 18 December 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Planning a break for 2009? We tell you which destinations are at their best each month of the year.

January: Argentina

While Britain is swathed in January frost, Argentina is basking in mid-summer sun. Visit beautiful Buenos Aires, with its belle époque architecture, or count the cascades at Iguazu in the north.

If you don’t like it hot, explore the jaw dropping glacial ice fields of Patagonia. The climate will vary depending on which area you visit, but generally you can expect pleasant weather, with little rain.

Rio CarnivalFebruary: Brazil

This vast country comprises many microclimates, but in February should remain between 20-30°C Humidity can be high and you should expect rain.

Discover the Amazon rainforest, the tropical savannah of central Brazil or the Rio carnival.

Great Barrier ReefMarch: Australia

Unique wildlife and stunning beaches: Australia has both in abundance. The world’s smallest continent, and largest island, also sees a mixture of climates throughout its eight territories.

Some southern cities enjoy a year round Mediterranean-style climate, but the Outback will see extreme heat between December and February. March is a good time to visit Australia’s reefs or take on the bush, as most places are warm and pleasant.

Great Wall Of ChinaApril: China

China’s provinces experience a huge array of climates, from tropical right through to desert. As a rule, winters tend to be freezing while summers are stifling. However, April is a good month to visit with agreeable temperatures and little rainfall in most regions.

China boasts some of the most distinctive attractions and World Heritage Sites on earth, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the terracotta warriors.

Blue Mosque, IstanbulMay: Turkey

Turkey’s biggest lure for tourists are it turquoise waters, chocolate box harbours and first-rate beaches.

Temperatures in the popular south-west region will be a pleasant 15-25°C. In Istanbul you can expect up to 21°C.

St. PetersburgJune: St. Petersburg, Russia

With its baroque and neoclassical buildings lining the banks of the Neva, St Petersburg echoes Europe in appearance, yet is wholly Russian in feel.

Between June & July you can expect to see ‘White Nights’ then the sun does not dip below the horizon and darkness hardly falls until after midnight. Temperatures in June tend to be around a pleasant 20°C.

Wildebeest Migration, TanzaniaJuly: Kenya & Tanzania

Some of the world’s most incredible wildlife can be found on the Kenyan and Tanzanian plateaus at this time of year. The wildebeest migration is an exercise in the spectacular.

Millions of wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and other herbivores come together each year in search of fresh grazing land, closely followed by hungry predators. This Takes place between late June and September- conditions should be warm with little rainfall in July.

San FranciscoAugust: California

California has it all; downtown Los Angeles, the glitterati of Hollywood, diverse San Francisco, palm fringed beaches, the wine growing valleys of Napa and Sonoma, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

The size of the state means that the warmth in August varies from around 20°C right up to a blistering 49°C in Death Valley.

MalagaSeptember: Spain

Spain enjoys up to 12 hours of sunlight a day in the south during summer with an average temperature between 18°C and 32°C.

Visit in September and you’ll still enjoy some heat, but the crowds will be dispersing.

New EnglandOctober: New England

The celebrated colour explosion of the New England fall is best seen around October. Yet it’s not just the phenomenal autumnal colours that make this part of the world worth a visit.

The metropolis of Boston, the beaches of Cape Cod and the Green Mountains of  Vermont all abound with sights and events at this time of year. Expect mild to pleasant temperatures of around 12°C to 19°C.

GoaNovember: Goa

Any monsoon should have huffed and puffed itself into nothing by November which is the start of Goa’s main tourist season.

Get in early before the sun seekers arrive en masse to take advantage of the high temperatures, averaging at 27°C, countless unspoilt beaches and lively markets buzzing with Indian culture.

Northern Lights, IcelandDecember: Iceland

Summer brings long daylight hours in Iceland, but why not opt instead for nature’s most spectacular light show? The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are best seen in winter and your best bet is to leave town and head into the wilds.

Temperatures will be low in December, around freezing but the chances of a scenic white Christmas are very high.

If you can’t wait until December, take advantage of the current economic situation for a cheap Icelandic holiday. 

If you're interested in the Northern Lights why not check out our travel feature; Where To See The Northern Lights?

Video: Northern Lights in Iceland

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