August is the perfect time to take a break from work and the daily grind. It is also a peak travel period in most countries, with people enjoying the hot summer weather across the globe. Still, it's possible to find somewhere to escape to - whether it's with your family or friends. Are you itching for an adventure? Or a relaxing beach destination? Still making up your mind where to visit in August this year? Avoid the hassle of trawling through guidebooks and travel magazines by following this handy guide on where to go in August. Here's a list of the best places and experiences across Europe and the rest of the world. Please check the entry requirements before travel.
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Summer crowds die down in August, while the weather is not too hot, making it a great time to explore Barcelona without standing in endless queues. Travel on Tuesday or Wednesday to avoid the weekend tourists. If you are planning to do some sightseeing, make it early in the day and be sure to start with the most popular attractions. Worth a visit are: the Sagrada Família, Picasso Museum, Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, Camp Nou Stadium and Park Guell.
The warm August weather is perfect for exploring Lisbon. The trams are a fun way to get around and conveniently take you to the best vantage points, such as São Jorge Castle in Alfama, to admire the impressive skyline. However, there’s no substitute for getting lost on foot in the city’s winding alleys while listening to the haunting sound of traditional Fado music. Take time to sample the cuisine: fresh seafood is an obvious choice but don't miss the dried salted cod. Then there are the famous custard tarts, Pastel de nata, which make a delicious snack at any time of day. After dark, try Bairro Alto for some of the city’s best nightlife.
No city embraces both the past and the present with as much verve as Berlin. Whether you’re a contemporary music fan, an open-water swimmer or simply appreciate a good schnitzel and beer, you’ll find it here. Take a walk from the Brandenburg Gate under the lime trees along Unter den Linden for an unmissable stroll through the city’s history. Then, of course, there’s the Reichstag, the Holocaust memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and the graffitied remnants of the Berlin Wall. If you’re into classical music, catch a performance by the Berliner Philharmoniker. Meanwhile, techno fans will want to head for Berghain. For shopping, explore the exclusive Kurfürstendamm or for quirky, independent designers, try Alte Schönhauser Strasse.
For the perfect mix of beach life and Turkish culture, you can’t beat an August break to the Antalya Coast. With its Ottoman architecture, the maze-like old town is perfect for history buffs. So, too, is the Roman theatre at Aspendos in the surrounding hills. Back in town, the old harbour is the ideal place to drink traditional Turkish coffee or enjoy a Shish kebab while watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. Beach-lovers have several to choose from: the mountain-backed Konyaalti is popular with tourists and locals alike. Lara is where you’ll find most of the resort hotels and it’s a great spot for water sports.
As Greece’s largest island, Crete has plenty of space for everyone. Its beautiful beaches are an obvious draw: try those in Lassithi if you want easy access to quaint fishing villages and relaxed nightlife. The long, sandy stretch of Rethymnon is a family-favourite while Chania’s Blue Flag beaches are close to some of the island’s top attractions, including Samaria Gorge. Minoan myths abound on the island. While you won’t see a minotaur, you can visit the Palace of Knossos, where Theseus is said to have been imprisoned. Gournia, the well-preserved remains of a 3,500 year-old Minoan city is also worth visiting.
For golfers who want good weather without travelling too far, the Algarve is a great choice for an August holiday. However, there's more to the Portuguese resort than just its golf courses or even its famous beaches. Relatively balmy summer temperatures make hiking and wildlife-spotting attractive: try the Rota Vicentina or head for Cape St Vincent to look for Bonelli’s eagles and sea otters. The whitewashed fishing villages along the coast are always picturesque but make time to explore one of the cities too. Lagos, with its well-preserved centre and historic market, makes an excellent day trip, and has splendid ocean views from the Fort of Ponta da Bandeira.
If you want beaches, waterparks, volcanic scenery and guaranteed sunshine, Tenerife is the place to go. For a lively resort, Playa de las Américas ticks all the boxes. It’s also the starting point for whale-watching tours. For somewhere quieter, try Los Silos. Tucked beneath the Teno mountains, its cobbled streets are a joy to wander while the nearby beach has a massive whale’s skeleton on its promenade. For a bird’s eye view of the whole island, including its volcanoes, take a cable car ride in Teide National Park.
August in Malta is prime beach season. Paradise Bay is as attractive as the name suggests. Alternatively, if diving off limestone cliffs into a natural swimming pool appeals, try St. Peter’s Pool. Then there’s the Blue Lagoon on the miniscule island of Comino. Impressive cliffs surround its crystalline waters, making it equally good for swimming and photography. Away from the beach, the capital Valletta has glorious Baroque architecture, old-fashioned red British post boxes and plenty of street food. Popular items include pastizzi, a fluffy pastry stuffed with ricotta or pea paste, and traditional Maltese bread.
Majorca is an ideal holiday destination, especially in August - the peak beach season. For a picnic and swimming, head to Sa Colabra, a hidden beach cove that is only accessible through Tramuntana or Torrent de Pareis. Palma, the island's capital, is easy to walk around, so shopping is a pleasure and there are plenty of tapas bars and cafes for you to rest your feet. The Gothic cathedral, La Seu, is a remarkable sight when viewed from the sea.
A holiday in the Costa del Sol is equal to none. With 325 sunny days a year, it is no wonder that millions of tourists visit annually. Beautiful beaches stretch over 161km of coastline while three resorts offer everything from theme parks to shimmering marinas. Delicious food is another reason to visit. Enjoy traditional tapas and seafood while sitting outside in the sun.
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