In the northern hemisphere, August is synonymous with sun-soaked days and balmy nights. In the countryside, the fields are a toasted gold; in the cities, cafés are spilling onto squares – but in spite of all this, the savvy traveller can still find seclusion. When the coasts and capitals of Europe are experiencing peak footfall, the time is ripe for Swiss Alpine escapes, Scottish city breaks and all-American food festivals…
GO WITH THE FLOW
Come August, southern Europe sizzles, drawing sun-starved travellers to idyllic Greek Islands and Spain’s southern shores. But if you’d prefer not to have to take cover around midday, consider the mountain-ringed waters of northern Italy, where Lake Como and Lake Garda sparkle in the summer sun. In August, the temperature usually hovers around the mid-20s – pretty much the perfect conditions for motoring in a vintage Riva. In the unlikely event that it is too hot, head into the pine-clad hills of Lombardy – not forgetting your picnic hamper, loaded with antipasti and iced prosecco.
ESCAPE THE CROWDS
When half of Europe heads for the beach, find solitude by ascending into the sun-warmed Alps. By August, the snow has long since given way to lush meadows and pastures flecked with wildflowers, and even a short hike will have you feeling at your zenith. The darling of the winter jet set, Gstaad is an enticing prospect in August, when you can swim in crystal-clear mountain lakes, go ice climbing or soar over the peaks in a paraglider. Stateside in Wyoming, try Jackson Hole – home of the towering Tetons – where you can soak in hot springs, slip into the saddle with cowboys or hop across to America’s oldest national park, Yellowstone.
Every August, the curtain rises on the inimitable Edinburgh Festival Fringe, bringing a wave of creative energy to Scotland’s capital. As soon as the festivities begin, the atmosphere turns electric, helped by the beer gardens that spring up in squares, restaurants that colonise the pavements and pubs that open late into the firework-lit night. Across the Atlantic, Los Angeles throws its famed Food and Wine Festival. Centred around Grand Avenue, this epicurean extravaganza spans five days and nights, attracting some of the biggest chefs and winemakers in the States.
BOOK NOW FOR
Angling for a late booking? South Africa and Morocco are perfect in October and November sun, with the latter having cooled after its sweltering summer. It’s also time to arrange your next date with the slopes: old man winter will soon be out of cold storage and flexing his icy fingers, so book your ski break now – that way, you’ll have something to smile about when the mercury starts sliding.
For more travel inspiration, explore where to go in September…