Summer is officially in full swing and the promise of balmy evenings and sun-kissed skin hangs in the air. August means hopes are almost as high as the climes we're all craving. Just one problem… the British weather didn't get the memo. Forget hit and miss and jet off to exotic bliss instead, with tropical tourist treasures reachable in under two hours. From beautiful beaches to dramatic island-studded shores, discover the destinations that hit the highs with our guide on where's hot in August.
Now schools have broken up, families flock to wherever there's fun and sun – making the most of carefree, quality time together. Romantic retreats and summer heat go hand in hand too, with partners often whisking each other away to celebrate in style. Temperatures soar close to 30°C all over Europe, so swap drizzle for a healthy dose of Vitamin D and you'll soon discover you're spoilt for choice…
If beach breaks are your kryptonite then look no further than the sun-soaked shores of this Spanish showstopper. Mallorca is a one-stop-shop for fly and flop fantasies, with temperatures climbing all the way to 30°C in August. Dolling out all the summer holiday classics, families will find countless ways to keep the kids entertained, while loved-up couples are left to unwind in romantic resorts. A bona fide golden oldie, the Balearic beauty has more than earnt its stripes when it comes to seaside escapes. A speciality of the island, there's more than 250 beaches to choose from, so it's no wonder visitors roll in like the waves!
Nothing says you're on holiday quite like a dazzling display of golds and reds burning across the sky. Magic hour is a must-see wherever you are, but Mallorca broke the mould when it comes to sunset sweet spots. Hundreds of shades spill out across the horizon, gifting gazers with gorgeous evening glows and romantic backdrops. Whether you watch from craggy clifftops or blissful bay side bars – you're in for a treat!
Cap de Formentor is a firm favourite for 'edge of the world' panoramas, while watchtowers have been repurposed as front row seats in nature's most sought-after-show. Although a pretty big problem back in the day, Mallorca's infestation of swashbuckling pirates has aided 21st Century holidaymakers with plenty of places to watch the sun set. For those with an adventurous streak, push the boat out and set sail on a sunset cruise, or indulge in a dreamy sunset swim.
Even the most committed beach bum needs a break from the sand sometimes. As luck would have it, Mallorca is well equipped for that eventuality. Set your sights on the soaring Serra de Tramuntana and its UNESCO approved peaks. Hike your way through cinematic scenes and brooding mountain passes, making use of the 84-mile long 'drystone' network of ancient pathways that have been reimaged for today's trekking elite. Scattered with a handful of heavenly villages, tradition lives on in time-honoured towns, with household names like Sóller and Valldemossa stealing the show. If 'extreme' is more your thing, conquer the wild landscapes with action-packed activities like abseiling, rock-climbing and canyoning!
Take your pick! Palma or Pollensa? Two sides of the same Balearic coin, you'll find these beauties are prime picks for a day trip. Mallorca's capital has countless claims to fame, not least its iconic landmark La Seu. Standing in the heart of the historic city, the 14th century cathedral of golden sandstone is one of Europe's tallest gothic structures. Kitted out with a whopping 61 stained glass windows and fronted by the Parc de la Mar, it's a must. Navigate the narrow cobbled streets beyond the cathedral and find yourself in the Old Town – the place to treat yourself to a little retail therapy, or simply admire the amazing architecture.
Postcard-perfect Pollensa is another medieval marvel. The northern beauty likes to keep things low-key, with a peppering of pretty squares for people watching. Café lined streets and lazy coffee mornings go hand in hand, while nearby Puerto Pollensa and its golden sands are waiting for you to dive in! A world away from commercial resorts, a visit to this enchanting town will bring you face to face with the real Mallorca. Climb your way to the best view in the house and scale the 365 steps leading to the Calvari chapel. No mean feat in the August heat, the beautiful panoramas more than make up for breaking a sweat – as does a refreshing ice-cream!
The beloved holiday institution of Mallorca puts beachy breaks at the centre of your getaway. Whatever is on your August agenda, tan lines and good times should be high on the priority list.
Italy and sophisticated summer holidays go hand in hand. Hoarding iconic cities, famous landmarks, blissful beaches, rolling countryside and ancient architecture by the bucket load – it's no mystery that this boot-shaped beauty clears up in the destination sweepstakes. While the chic south might conjure up sand-filled fantasies, it'd be a cardinal sin to overlook the unspoiled north and its seaside hotspots. Proving that you can have your panettone and eat it, Tuscany caters for history hunters, culture vultures, sun-seekers and gourmet globetrotters without even breaking a sweat. No mean feat with temperatures well in the high 20°Cs! Under the spell of summer sunshine, the region glows in glorious golden tones for over 14 hours a day, so there's plenty of time to pack-in those August adventures.
Tuscany and its iconic landscapes need little introduction. Like all 'greatest hits' compilations, this stretch of Italian countryside breaks out all the classics. Fog-filled valleys, rushing rivers and velvet hills are every bit as swoon worthy in real life, which is why Mother Nature's masterpieces should take pole position on your travel to-dos. From hidden corners with only the faintest trace of tourism, to pockets of hilltowns in the region's heartland – Tuscany wrote the rule book on rural relaxation. Walk your way through fairytale scenes, cycle from panorama to panorama, head for the hills on horseback or go vintage with a vespa!
A stone's throw from stunning Siena lies the typically Tuscan landscape of Val d'Orcia. Proof that nature is the ultimate muse, many Renaissance painters found inspiration in the golden wheat fields, quintessential farmhouses, rows of haystacks and verdant vineyards. Boasting enough trails to get hikers well and truly hooked, it'd be easy to spend two weeks traversing the peaceful paths and tranquil towns. After a long day of wandering the epic wide-open spaces, treat yourself to a dip in a traditional thermal bath. Terme to those in the know, you'll be scratching your head as to how these heavenly hot springs have stayed off most holidaymakers radars. San Filippo and beautiful Bagno Vignoni village are both postcard-perfect and primed for unwinding. The former comes complete with a crystal wall nicknamed the White Whale, which in contrast to the emerald woodlands is quite the sight!
Italy itself is essentially one big World Heritage Site. Crowned with more UNESCO nods than any other country on earth, Tuscany is responsible for seven of the respected titles. From time-honoured towns to world-famous cities and natural wonders, the heritage highlights are a must on your August holiday. Whether rustic simplicity or renaissance finery tickle your fancy, get ready to tick these beloved beauties off your bucket list…
Forget about Rome, all roads lead to Florence. First port of call on most itineraries, the city is at the core of Tuscany's cultural identity. Abounding in works of art and architecture, Florence is a living, breathing testament to human triumphs. From picturesque plazas to medieval churches, you could spend a month here and still not see it all. Of course, one thing you can't miss is the dazzling Duomo. Accessorized in pink, white and green marble, the infamous front façade and red-tiled cupola dominate the skyline. Some of the world's greatest minds have settled in the Tuscan city too, with the likes of Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo and Raphael giving Florence some serious name-dropping rights!
Beyond the birthplace of Renaissance sit a whole host of other spectacular sites just waiting to be discovered. Lay your eyes on the leaning tower of Pisa, tilting precariously askew. Marvel at the 15 medieval towers that soar into the sky at San Gimignano. Saunter the spectacular streets of Siena. Take a romantic stroll through pretty Pienza with your partner. Handily located in the Val d'Orcia area, you're already in another World Heritage Site! Last but not least, the most recent edition to Tuscany's revered repertoire are the Medici villas and gardens.
August holidays and beach escapes are a match made in heaven. A dark horse in the sand and sea department, spare at least one day of inland sightseeing for a stint on the less-celebrated coast. Running for around 230 miles and lapped by the 24°C Tyrrhenian Sea, there's more than enough space to roll out your towel or paddle in impossibly blue waters. Whether you're after family-friendly bays or wild and windswept hideaways, Tuscany most definitely delivers.
Southern shores prove the most popular, thanks to their Carribean style sands and unparalleled natural beauty. Peppered with pretty fishing villages, Blue Flags and welcoming waters, the small coves at Mount Aregentario take the 'best beach' crown. Sitting blissfully at the very bottom of the region, the scenic little secrets are well worth the extra travel time. If the north is more your neck of the woods, there's plenty of options near Pisa to indulge in some splash happy shenanigans, while devoted sun-seekers might want to set their sights on a day trip to the Tuscan Archipelago.
A week or two in tranquil Tuscany will see you celebrating your August summer holiday in style!
As far as August holiday destinations go, you can't do much better than Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. Overflowing with natural beauty and teeming with cultural treasures, set sail for your very own slice of island paradise. All told, Croatia has over 1,000 islands speckled across its swoon worthy shores. Limestone ridges, rugged outcrops and a patchwork of sand and pebble coves are just some of the reasons the crescent-shaped country clears up in the beauty stakes. Proving that not all treasure is silver and gold, dazzling Dalmatia and its amazing archipelago have long been at the heart of ancient-empire affections. Holidaymakers took a little longer to cotton on, but now Croatia's captivating coastline is well and truly trending.
Authenticity is all part and parcel of the archipelagos infectious charm, with no one spot the same. Choose from peaceful hamlets in Hvar, towering peaks on Brac, or simply spark your wanderlust with a day-trip to nearby Dalmatian delights. For those armed with a holiday check list, you'll find all your fundamental travel boxes ticked. Temperatures touching 30°C? Yes. Over 14 hours of sunshine? Yes. Blue Flag beaches? Of course. UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You bet!
First impressions come in the form of medieval ports, where terracotta-tiled houses huddle together as a trademark welcoming committee. Hvar is Croatia's cool kid, swanky hotspots transform from sun-up sightseeing to sun-down dancing. The main town is the place to be seen, with 13th century walls, medieval castle and buzzing bars to boot. Romantic Venetian streets will have you smitten in seconds, as will the bucket list backdrop of spellbinding sunsets and aquamarine waters.
Mesmerising marinas jostle with boats, so it's only natural you'll feel the call to set sail on your own Dalmatian discovery! Island hopping is a holiday essential in Croatia. Best enjoyed in the August heat, dive starboard side into the fresh Adriatic Sea and spend the day splashing around in crystal-clear waters. The nearby labyrinth of little Pakleni Islands are a popular choice and perfect place to find a secluded swimming spot. Decked out with deserted lagoons and hidden beaches, all just a stone's throw from Hvar.
If you're keen to make port and explore more, the tiny island of Vis is unspoiled, undeveloped and asking for adventures. Stealing the show in the latest Mamma Mia movie, the Hollywood star shines brightly over this relaxed hideaway. Blessed with rolling hills and gorgeous grottoes, outdoor enthusiasts will love to bike or kayak their way around these sleepy shores. Stumbling upon nooks and crannies that are often overlooked, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're the first to find these hidden treasures.
Korkula might be slightly off the beaten track, but it's all the better for it. Home to iconic red-roofed houses, the main town could be a carbon copy of Croatia's famous ancient city. Dubbed 'Little Dubrovnik', the north-eastern beauty boasts medieval squares, churches and monuments just like its big brother. Narrow marble streets are another similarity, as are the narrow alleyways themselves. Once you've had your fill of culture vulture antics in the hot, August sun, then hit the beach! Whether you're craving ultimate seclusion or family fun, there's plenty of options for even the fussiest sand-seeker.
Speaking of beaches… the dynamic Dalmatian duo of Brac and Hvar pack a punch in the coastal department. Craggy cliffs, golden sands, white stones and little islets are lapped by the azure Adriatic, which is essentially one big bath in August with sea temperatures of 25°C. Hvar's forte comes in the form of fine shingle and pebble coves, kissed by crystal-clear waters and backed by sweet-scented pines. Stari Grad, Dubovica and Hvar Town beach often bag 'top-of-the-list' bragging rights and have plenty of facilities to keep things hassle-free.
Brac's own offerings are a little more iconic. Home to Croatia's most famous beach, Zlatni Rat, its name literally translates to 'golden horn'. Changing shape as often as the tides, the tip of its pebbly tongue moves with the waves and winds giving it such a distinctive shape. If sand is missing from your sun and sea love triangle, a few powder-soft stretches are on hand to those who know where to look.
If you're on the hunt for an August holiday hideout, the longest and the largest of the islands of Hvar and Brac are more than worthy of at least a week's stay.
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