Whether it’s hiking through striking alpine scenery, lazing in the sun on a golden beach or enjoying a captivating wildlife encounter, our selection of amazing August escapes is designed to offer plenty of inspiration for every type of holiday:
Autumn comes to Finland a little earlier than other parts of Europe, but in August you’re still likely to enjoy mild temperatures and long daylight hours. With the Finnish summer school break coming to an end, it’s a great time to plan a trip for the classic lake house holiday – Finland has more than 180,000 lakes to choose from. Besides water-based outdoor activities such as swimming, sailing and kayaking, you can go hiking in one of 41 national parks, island hopping among 76,000 islands or cycling along a section of Finland’s 314,000-kilometre coastline. If you’re visiting in late August, you may be lucky enough to catch the beginning of the Aurora watching season, while the world-class multi-arts Helsinki Festival is a must for festival lovers.
A 90-minute flight from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon will deliver you to the tiny but perfectly formed island of Madeira: a forest-clad, mountainous piece of paradise where stretches of rocky Atlantic coastline are interspersed with sandy beaches of gold or black. Although August is peak holiday season for Madeira, thanks to warm temperatures and settled weather, there are still plenty of places on the island where you can find a little tranquillity in nature. Hikers can explore more than 2,500 kilometres of hiking trails that follow old water courses known as levadas, while water lovers can choose between the epic surf breaks of Jardim do Mar, the family-friendly natural swimming pools at Porto Moniz, or scuba diving in Garajau Marine Reserve. The island’s capital, Funchal, provides a charming glimpse into Madeira’s past and the opportunity for a truly unique journey: ride the cable car to the city’s hilltop Botanical Gardens and Monte Palace, then descend via traditional wicker sledge ride.
From marvelling at giant sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park to enjoying thrills of a different kind at one of Los Angeles’ iconic theme parks, California in August means late summer temperatures and a vast array of holiday experiences. It’s the hottest time of year for California’s desert regions, so the coastal and mountain regions are the places to be: eat hot dogs while taking in a baseball game at San Diego’s spectacular downtown Petco Park stadium, watch out for humpback whales and sea lions on a coastal walk around Monterey’s Point Lobos State Park, explore set recreations at San Francisco’s Stranger Things Experience or take in a live music performance amidst the Napa Valley’s vineyards.
Late summer is the perfect time to enjoy the many outdoor attractions that Switzerland has to offer, from hiking in the Alps to sailing on Lake Geneva. You don’t need to be an avid mountaineer to enjoy an epic alpine experience – Switzerland is home to a number of the world’s greatest rail journeys. The “world’s slowest express train” is the Glacier Express, which runs between Zermatt and St Moritz, while the world’s steepest rack railway is the spectacular Pilatusbahn, which delivers passengers to the summit of Mt Pilatus. Go pedal boating on Lake Zurich, enjoy floating down the River Limmat on an inflatable boat, or hire a public e-bike to explore the cities and countryside at your own pace.
The cobbled streets and open park spaces of Copenhagen offer a playground of superlatives during the summer months, whether you’re shopping for bargains along Strøget (the world’s longest pedestrian shopping street), enjoying a classic carousel ride at Tivoli Gardens (the world’s second-oldest amusement park) or dining at Noma (considered one of the world’s finest restaurants). August is also the best time to enjoy the Danish coastline – regions such as North Jutland and Borgholm are renowned for their laidback atmosphere and expansive stretches of sandy beaches, while the ancient chalky cliffs of Møns Klint are a great location for kayaking, cycling and fossil hunting.
Visiting Kenya in August means warm weather and the chance to witness one of the world’s greatest animal migrations, as millions of wildebeest cross the Mara River. The dry season is a good time for going on safari, as the thinner vegetation makes spotting animals much easier, while the sight of vast flocks of flamingos turning Lake Nakuru pink is another essential Kenyan experience. Although Nairobi is the ideal base from which to begin your safari, it’s also worth allowing time to visit Kenya’s second-largest city, Mombasa: its blend of colonial and East African heritage, exquisite fresh seafood and incredible white sand beaches make for a relaxing escape. For a truly unique experience, the Maralal International Camel Derby is a must – it takes place every August and attracts visitors and contenders from all over the world to enjoy the spectacle.
Hawaii is one of our favourite places to go in August, when the islands generally enjoy their warmest temperatures and least amount of rainfall – ideal for escaping the mid-winter blues and enjoying their most iconic experiences. Honolulu’s famous Waikiki Beach enjoys its most consistent waves at this time of year, providing the ideal opportunity for brushing up on your longboarding, while the sunrise atop Maui’s highest peak, Haleakala, is unlikely to be hidden behind pesky rainclouds. The weather is also ideal for exploring Kauai’s spectacular Na Pali coast by kayak or taking a helicopter tour over The Big Island’s active volcanic region.
Montenegro is a small nation of immense natural beauty, one of the best countries to visit if you’re looking to pack a lot into a single visit. Adriatic resort towns such as Budva and Petrovac, with their ancient, cobbled streets and sheltered, sandy beaches, are growing in popularity every year as they become more well-known. August is peak season in Montenegro, so it’s a good idea to make your travel plans well in advance, but you’ll be rewarded with endless days of idyllic summer weather. It’s also an ideal month in which to explore the country’s mountainous interior: spectacular Durmitor National Park is an alpine haven of limestone peaks and canyons, where tranquil hiking trails wind amidst dense forests and past glacial lakes.
For more August holiday ideas and inspiration, talk to your personal travel manager.