For those in the northern hemisphere, August marks the final month of summer. Making the most of this means choosing wisely when it comes to your holiday destination. Our list of where to go in August includes a variety you’d be hard-pressed to beat.

    From idyllic beach destinations and dramatic safari adventures to spectacular hikes and performing arts festivals, locations range from the African savannah to a northern European capital city. Whether you’re seeking out carnivores or culture, you are sure to find something to satisfy you on this list of where to go in August.

    1

    Formentera Island, Spain

    Stunning beaches and laidback vibes

    • Couples
    • Families

    As one of Europe’s finest beach destinations, Formentera Island in August sees a mix of couples and families attracted by the crystal-clear waters and the powder-soft white sands of the island’s coastline. Snorkelling, sailing, and sunbathing are popular activities on this Spanish island. As it’s easy to reach by ferry from its larger, more chaotic neighbour Ibiza, Formentera is also a popular destination for day-trippers.

    Whether you’re here for a day or longer, you’ll most likely arrive here via the nearest airport in Ibiza. Formentera offers a much more relaxing beach holiday than its larger neighbour. The 450-metre-long Playa de Ses Illetes in the island’s north is particularly stunning. The beach is located on a long strip of land and is an unforgettable sunset spot. The turquoise waters here are shallow and calm, making it perfect for swimming.

    Beach, please!

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    2

    Masai Mara, Kenya

    Awe-inspiring African nature

    • Photo
    • Luxury
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    August is the best month to visit Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park if you want to catch the Great Migration – one of the most dramatic spectacles in the natural world. Roughly 2 million migrating wildebeest attempt to cross the crocodile-infested waters of the Mara River that separates the Masa Mara from the Serengeti. Besides wildebeest, the game reserve is home to abundant wildlife, including the Big 5 – lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, and rhinos. While you are very likely to spot the first 4 on this list, the reserve’s black rhino can sometimes be a little more elusive.

    The Masai Mara is relatively dry and cool in August, making it one of the more popular and expensive months to go on a safari in this protected savannah wilderness. With daytime highs of around 25°C, temperatures are pleasant, and the lack of rain means less dense flora, increasing your chances of seeing the area’s impressive wildlife.

    Go wild

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    3

    Vancouver, Canada

    In equal parts arty and wild

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Food

    Vancouver is culturally diverse and bustling with a vibrant arts scene. August in Vancouver is the city’s warmest month with temperatures hovering around a comparatively pleasant 18°C on average. No surprise then that this is a month characterised by festivals and other outdoor activities. If you’re in town in early August, you’ll get a chance to catch the impressive Celebration of Light international fireworks competition – one of the most prestigious competitions of its kind.

    The beauty of the natural landscape has made Vancouver famous throughout the world. Stanley Park attracts large crowds with its hiking and biking opportunities in natural surroundings and its convenient location close to the city. Vancouver also has plenty of beaches to enjoy. English Bay Beach is a great swimming beach, while Kitsilano Beach, known locally as ‘Kits’, offers a wide range of facilities including a large saltwater pool and nearby basketball courts. If you wish to combine a trip to the beach with some high culture, Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival runs throughout August.

    Discover now

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    4

    Ljubljana, Slovenia

    An up-and-coming and picture-perfect city break destination

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Brimming with charm, Ljubljana is a city of green spaces and impressive architecture. August here sees temperatures climb to highs of around 26°C, making it a popular time to visit Slovenia’s stunning capital. The warm weather also makes for a great time to jump on a bicycle and explore this city’s vibrant culture. Don’t miss the spectacular Ljubljana Castle perched high above the old town. There’s a funicular railway that will take you swiftly to the top where you can enjoy impressive views over the city. Back on the ground, head to the Metelkova, the city’s cultural centre, where you can enjoy a refreshing glass of Slovenian white wine while you take in the funky street art.

    No visit to the area is complete without travelling to nearby Lake Bled, 55 km northwest of the capital. Surrounded by mountains and forests, the area offers some picturesque hiking, as well as an ancient castle. On the lake itself, Bled Island is accessible by rowing boat and is worth a visit for its iconic landmark, the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake.

    Take me there

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    5

    Edinburgh, UK

    Visit the festivals and admire stunning landmarks

    • Couples
    • History
    • Nightlife

    Edinburgh in August is an especially good time to visit this ornate city as its chock-full of festivals. Scotland’s capital plays host to 11 annual festivals, 5 of which take place throughout August. For art lovers there’s the Edinburgh Art Festival, for those with a literary leaning there’s the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The Edinburgh Fringe is perhaps the best known and the biggest draw. This performing arts festival offers a broad range of shows, but the high calibre of comedy acts attracted to the city in recent years has secured the festival’s international reputation.

    If you’ve had your fill of festivals, there’s plenty to see and do in August. The relatively good weather makes getting out and about an attractive option. The iconic Edinburgh Castle sits at the top of the Royal Mile and is well worth the steep walk up the cobblestone streets. And on a bright, sunny morning, there are few better ideas than taking a trip up the nearby extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat, for some Instagram-worthy views over the city. 

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    Shane Mac Donnchaidh | Contributing Writer

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