August sees the whole of Europe bathed in sunshine, and it seems like the entire nation heads off on holiday during this month. It’s a notoriously busy time to travel, and the height of the season all over the Mediterranean, so be prepared for intense heat, high prices and plenty of crowds. If you book well in advance, you’ll have a host of fantastic destinations to choose from, but make sure you do, as a surge in demand generally leaves very limited availability during this peak season month.
Family Fun in the Sun
Spain and the Balearics remain the number one choice for a family summer holiday, with safe beaches and abundant tourist facilities adding to the universal appeal of this established region. In Greece, staying north allows you to escape the extreme heat, with Halkidiki, Corfu, Kefalonia, Skiathos and Lesvos offering a host of convenient self-catering accommodation. For a change of scene, head to northern France and the beaches of Normandy, or escape to the Swiss or Austrian Alps for a refreshing lakes and mountains retreat.
The beaches are the place to be this month, and as well as those along the Spanish, Italian, Greek and Turkish coastlines, the islands of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily and Gozo offer an idyllic base for a summer break. The Italian Riviera and the Cote d’Azur present a glitzy charm, whilst the Adriatic coastline offers some unspoilt shoreline, home to delightful Croatian islands such as Hvar and Brac.
Long haul escapes
If you are looking to escape the crowded beaches of Europe but don’t want to risk monsoon weather, head to Jakarta in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Koh Samui in Thailand, Madagascar and South Africa for far-flung sunny climes. The Canadian Rockies offer a dramatic setting and ensure some stunning landscapes, whilst San Diego, Seattle and Portland in the USA present interesting West Coast getaways.
Although all destinations command elevated prices during this high-season, resorts which have plenty of accommodation remain the best bet for an affordable getaway in August. Although staying in Tenerife, Costa del Sol or Corfu in a room only studio or self-catering apartment can be the cheapest option for a package holiday this month, driving to France can be a more cost-effective way to go on holiday, with a stay in a gite, cottages or even a campsite in Brittany saving you money.
It’s too hot for a lot of outdoor activities other than leisurely sunbathing, but a watersports break can help keep you cool and ensure a fun-filled and productive week or two. Try a windsurfing break on Lefkas, a leisurely gulet cruise along the Dalaman Coast, or a fast-paced sail along Lake Garda, or learn a new skill, such as kite surfing on Fuerteventura, cave-diving in Malta or white-water river rafting in the Julian Alps in Slovenia.
Most cities are too hot and humid to tour in August, so stay north and tour the Scandinavian centres of Copenhagen, Aarhaus, Gothenburg and Stockholm, escape to the fjords and lakes of Norway for a refreshing break, or try Reykjavik for a unique summer weekend away.