While the Northern Hemisphere basks in the summer months, the call to adventure is beckoning world travellers more than ever before. Just in time for the warm climate to hit its peak, we’re revealing the top places to plan your long-awaited August escape. These are the top 11 places to travel in August.
Ireland is an unmissable destination for the spirited traveller who seeks to connect with the land they walk on. No trip to the Emerald Isle is complete without a tour through some of the country’s stunning scenery. You must visit the towering Cliffs of Moher, or take a drive through the hillsides and natural rock formations around the Ring of Kerry.
Lovers of history will be drawn to Saint Patrick and Saint Mary’s grand cathedrals, which stand proud amongst the lush green landscapes. In Limerick, King John’s castle remains one of the best preserved fortresses to survive the middle ages. The Great Famine is a more sombre walk through the country’s history – remnants like the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross chronicle migrant stories and the plight of the Irish from the 1800s into the modern day. For the more whimsical historian, a detour to Blarney castle to kiss the Blarney stone and gain the ‘gift of the gab’ is a must. For lovers of the bespoke, plan a visit to the exquisite crystal showroom in Waterford to see world-renowned Irish craftsmanship firsthand.
Experience magnificent ancient ruins in a temperate Mediterranean climate – Greece is an ideal destination for the hands-on historian who also enjoys the sun and the sea. Visit the Acropolis Museum to peruse remarkable antiquities used by Athenians centuries ago, or take a walk through the remains of spectacular Grecian architecture. If you’re more interested in experiencing the relics of Greek arts and philosophy, a trip to the ancient Theatre at Epidaurus or the Oracle at Delphi are essential stopovers.
For those unsure where to go in August, why not make a timely pilgrimage to the origin site of the Olympic games? Stand in the field where the great athletes once performed, sit where crowds of cheering onlookers sat in centuries past. While the country remains a popular destination for its abundance of historical sites, Greece is just as enjoyable for its modern-day traditions. Take in the sprawling vineyards, and experience the rich tastes of Mediterranean produce.
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There may not be time to take in the limitless works of art and architecture in Italy, but the traveller with a curious eye for detail is sure to find plenty of hidden gems. Walk amongst tomes of far-reaching knowledge and dazzling religious relics in the museums of the lustrous Vatican City. Take in the breadth of Michelangelo’s painstaking work in the Sistine Chapel. Experience city architecture that defies human limits in the floating city of Venice, which also houses the glorious St Mark’s Basilica.
For your postcard-perfect holiday, no trip is complete without a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the seven wonders of the world. By contrast, modern-day Italy breathes new life into a culture built by creative expression. Venetian craftsmen perform glassblowing exhibitions using techniques passed through centuries. Farmers invite tours to their vineyards, where they continue to manually produce rich wines and oils through traditional techniques. Italy is a location for the passionate and artistic soul who enjoys life’s spontaneity, one of our favourite places to travel this August.
For unparalleled natural beauty and warm traditions, Switzerland is a soft landing for the most world-weary traveller – a soothing contrast of rugged natural landscape and the culture of creature-comforts. Take in the vast and brutal silhouettes of the Matterhorn and Jungfrau mountains. Follow the snow-capped peaks down to the south, where the great Lake Maggiore crosses the border into Italy. Opt for a scenic train ride through the countryside to experience nature in the raw from the comfort of your carriage.
After absorbing the incredible natural monuments for yourself, take time to sample some famous Swiss hospitality that make this polar paradise one of the most charming places to travel in August. Enjoy the flavours of local breads, wines and cheeses from the vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva – or experience the quality of Swiss artisanship, such as wood-carving traditions that make up the heritage of towns like Brienz. If you have an eye for architecture, a visit to the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument in Lucerne or the remarkably well-preserved Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva, are well-worth the journey.
Egypt is the ideal destination for the inquisitive traveller where secrets and mysteries abound, waiting to be uncovered. Set sail on the River Nile and disembark at local villages clustered near the grand tombs and temples. Discover how careful city planning for agriculture has enabled the population to survive the desert climate for centuries. Sample freshly baked local bread and honey on the streets of Luxor before journeying to the great temples of Karnak – the largest religious complex ever built, and dating back to around 2000 BC. In Cairo, visit the Egyptian Museum to experience a wealth of tradition and culture, where you can lay your eyes on the world-famous golden mask of Tutankhamun. After an intimate experience with the ancient exhibits, venture west into the Valley of the Kings, or to Giza to view the wondrous Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. The complete histories of the nobles for whom they were built is still being uncovered to this day. Seek out their mysteries when you decide where to go in August.
For the soulful voyager seeking places to travel in August, Iceland is waiting to be discovered. Don’t let the brutal landscape dissuade you – to travel to Iceland is to make a pilgrimage to the throat of the world. First inhabited by Norse Vikings, the island nation is best known for its landforms. Great glaciers loom in national parks, geysers and hot springs swelter in the icy climate, and dozens of active volcanoes pulse with magma from beneath the Earth’s crust. As much as the land heaves with activity, it also soothes and nurtures its inhabitants. Many plan expeditions to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, naturally warmed by volcanic activity below ground. The temperate waters are even said to have healing properties. The local experience is a humble one, with many fishing villages and a culture that takes care to preserve family histories.
For history and produce-lovers alike, customs and hospitality are freely shared in Spain – the perfect location for the traveller that appreciates things done the ‘old way’. With a royal history rivalling England and France, the Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest functioning palace in all of Europe, open to guests and still used for lavish state ceremonies. In Madrid the Cibeles Fountain, a grand 18th century feature that marks the start point of the lustrous avenue of art. For a different aspect of the country’s history, visit the cave homes of Guadix in Granada. Many are still inhabited, though some dwellings have existed for more than 500 years. Like other Mediterranean countries, food and craftsmanship are its passion and tradition. Sun-streaked vineyards and olive groves produce some of Europe’s best wines and oils. Sample some of the region’s sangria while taking in the picturesque landscapes. In Toledo, visit an inlaid steel factory where local craftsmen produce the highest quality steel.
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For an indulgent vacation by the beach with all the essential bucket list items, idyllic Portugal is where to travel in August. Imbibe the world’s best blends of refreshing, fruity sangria by the beach, or take a trip to Porto to savour the country’s centuries-old Port wine heritage. The global city of Lisbon will quench your thirst for discovery. It is home to the country’s most prolific structures, including the famous Monument to the Discoveries and the Hieronymite monastery of St. Jerome. Plus, the city is gilded with blissful beaches for the ideal holiday snaps.
For a not-so-typical taste of the Mediterranean, Croatia is where to travel in August to experience the region’s best kept secret. Re-appearing on the tourism radar in recent years as a hidden gem amongst the Balkans, the country enjoys a warmer climate than its neighbours to the east, boasting year-round bustling markets and breathtaking scenery. With only a stone’s throw between the urban marketplaces in Split to the towering waterfalls of Krka National Park, Croatia is the perfect destination to enjoy maximum experience on a micro scale. While there’s plenty to discover on the mainland, Croatia comprises hundreds of islands – around fifty of them are inhabited, and island hopping has become a popular attraction for the adventurous traveller. For fans of pop-culture, you may recognise the capital city of Dubrovnik as a major set piece from HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Vast shots of King’s Landing, the Red Keep, and Blackwater Bay were captured in the capital, which has seen a boom in tourism since the show aired.
France is one of the best places to travel in August; a dazzling jewel of western Europe, the country welcomes travellers of all backgrounds and experience. If you haven’t made the journey yet, why not now? Packed to the brim with historic architecture, centuries of art and culture and world-renowned culinary experiences, it’s no surprise to see France as a bucket list destination for all types of travellers. Immerse yourself in history in the Loire Valley in 17th century châteaus, visit the D-Day beach and war museum in Normandy, and marvel at the wondrous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Whichever bygone era captures your interest, its relics can be found in France.
For patrons of the arts, a journey to Giverny to visit the home of Claude Monet will inspire – or the Saint Sulpice Church in Paris, where hundreds of hand-sculpted statues are preserved flawlessly. France is also a sightseer’s daydream. Whether strolling the seven-kilometre-long Promenade des Anglais in Nice, or taking a scenic drive through the Dordogne, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a postcard-perfect setting.
For the traveller full of worldly curiosity, you may come across the answers you seek on Israel’s sacred lands. Israel is the global summit of faith nestled in a multi-religious society, and though the country is often thought of for its political conflicts, it is a beautiful and historic destination that welcomes holy pilgrimages and secular tourism alike. Sample this melting pot of cultures in Tel Aviv and surrounding port cities, where locals have made and sold traditional produce for generations. For followers of the faiths of the holy land, Israel encompasses the most sacred sites on Earth. Plan an expedition to see the historic Wailing Wall, the church of Nativity in Bethlehem, and Moses’ Promised Land on Mount Nebo. Gaze at the mosaic map of the Holy Land at Madaba, marvel at the ancient ‘Rose City’ of Petra, or take a scenic cruise boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. For more secular sightseers visiting the country, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the artist colony in Safed are centres of Israeli culture. Surrounded by desert is the Dead Sea, where you can lie back and float naturally on the salt water.
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Did our list inspire your postcard-perfect holiday plans? Expand your bucket list? Let us know in the comments! To make your travel daydreams a reality, be sure to visit our website and see how you can travel the world with Trafalgar.