The best places to visit in August: beautiful beaches, family festivals and crowd-free escapes

Make the most of your summer with our guide to where to go in August

Wondering where to go on holiday in August? From quiet European sunshine spots to far-flung adventures, these are the best places to visit…

Puglia, Italy

Best August holiday for: Authentic Italy

It might not be the most well-known region of Italy, but Puglia is all the better for remaining under the radar. Even in the height of summer its beautifully rugged beaches and gorgeous masserias (farmhouse hotels) are relatively crowd-free; a remarkable contrast to the heaving resort towns of northern Italy.

Where to go in August - Puglia, Italy

Baia delle Zagare beach, Gargano, Puglia

Hire a car to discover the medieval walled towns and rolling countryside of inland Puglia, or enjoy the on one of the many gorgeous beaches along Italy’s picturesque ‘heel’.

Norway

Best August holiday for: A spectacular summer cruise

As your ship plies the glassy indigo waters of Norway’s western fjords, you’ll wonder why it’s taken you so many years to visit Norway – and why this incredible country is still blissfully crowd-free.

Where to go in August: Norway

The red houses of Hamnoy, Norway

Norway’s fjords have crept from the sea into the country’s mountainous interior, flooding the valleys between towering peaks. You’ll cruise past thundering waterfalls and tiny fishing villages, and disembark to discover fabulous walking routes, seafood restaurants, and jaw-dropping view points. It’s a bold, beautiful landscape – and the ultimate respite from Europe’s crowded resorts.

Isle of Wight

Best August holiday for: A fun family break

Foreign shores are all good and well, but the UK has plenty to offer in terms of August holidays – and the Isle of Wight is a great choice for a fun family break.

From live music to street theatre, the Ventnor Fringe Festival brings vibrant performing arts to the island, while Lendy Cowes Week boasts parades, food markets and spectacular sailing regattas.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Best August holiday for: The world’s best tango

While the weather is cool (yet comfortable) in Buenos Aires, the locals’ dance moves are hot, hot, hot! August brings the International Tango Festival to the Argentinian capital – a two-week celebration of this electrifying dance form. 

With free performances, milongas (group dances) and classes, this dance extravaganza is the perfect place to learn – or just sit back and appreciate – the sensual drama of authentic tango. 

Where to go in August - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Elsewhere, highlights include seeing the balcony of presidential home Casa Rosada (from where Eva Peron addressed her adoring public), enjoying coffee and medialunas (Argentinian croissants) at one of the city’s historic cafĂŠs, and snapping a picture of BA’s legendary professional dog walkers, who take out up to 20 pooches at a time.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Best August holiday for: Safaris by boat

Where to holiday in August for amazing wildlife watching? You can’t go far wrong with the Okavango Delta, a vast game reserve in northern Botswana that’s home to hippos, elephants, lions, leopards and more. In August, the wet season is in full swing, meaning the delta is flooded and the animals are active – making them easier to spot.

Where to go in August - Botswana

Chobe National Park near Okavango Delta, Botswana

Take your pick from game drives, safari walks, and trips to see the bathing animals in traditional dugout canoes. As your boat glides silently through the reeds, your guide will point out the wrinkly hulks of wallowing elephants and hippos just a few metres away – a truly unforgettable, spine-tingling sight.

Iceland

Best August holiday for: A far-flung escape

Where to go in August to escape Europe’s scorching resorts? Head to Iceland, just a three-hour flight from the UK, where blissful solitude and cool but pleasant temperatures await.

Where to go in August - Iceland

Vik Church, Iceland

While Iceland languishes under cloud for most of the year, August is its time to shine. Midsummer grants long days to explore its smoking volcanoes, burping hot springs and splashiest waterfalls – and maybe even squeeze in some rather bracing beach time at Vik. This is certainly a summer holiday with a difference – and the kids will love it too.

Sardinia

Best August holiday for: Beach fun and great food

This peaceful island has 2,000km of coastline, secluded gin-clear coves, and charming trattorias serving just-caught seafood and all the pasta you could possibly wish for. The Costa Smerelda is the island’s tiny strip of millionaire’s villas and glitzy bars, whereas the rest of the island is low-key and very local.

Where to go in August: Sardinia, Italy

Capriccioli Beach, Costa Smeralda

Don’t miss the village of Chia on the south coast, and its string of beautiful sandy bays. You’re less than an hour’s drive from Cagliari, but the vibe here is far-flung and natural. Pack a picnic and enjoy the landscape.

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