The best places to travel in August

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 24.07.2024

Wondering where's the best place to travel in August? From soaking up sun on idyllic European islands, to safari adventures, scenic Scandinavian soujurns, homeland trips of a lifetime — and more — read on to discover some of the best vacation destinations in August. As a bonus, we also share suggestions for where to stay.

Tropea-italy-shutterstock_148491239

For an under the radar beach break, Calabria is a Rough Guides' designated best place to travel in August © leoks/Shutterstock

1. Calabria, Italy

Why visit: scenic sun-drenched beaches and spicy Calabrian cuisine
Temperature: 23°C-32°C (73°F-90°F)
Average daily budget: $120-$200

One of Italy’s least developed regions, Calabria is one of the best places to travel in August for those who’ve been there, done that in other areas of the country and are seeking a scenic sun-drenched break. 

For example, it’s hard to find a more dramatically-sited beach vacation destination in Europe than Tropea. We’re talking colorful houses clinging onto steep cliffs, with the iconic Santa Maria dell'Isola church impossibly perched on the edge of a rock.

Calabria also boasts some of Italy's most beautiful beaches

When it comes to culture, visit archaeological site of Locri Epizephyrii to explore ancient ruins and learn about Calabria's Greek history, while Gerace oozes medieval ambience.

Another top reason to visit is Calabrian cuisine. Known for its spicy flavours and seafood, be sure to try nduja (spicy sausage spread), swordfish, and fileja, a traditional Calabrian pasta.

Where to stay: for boutique style, try Hotel Colomba D'Oro or if you want the perfect beach location, consider S'O Suites Tropea.

Pelistry beach, St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly © Stephen Rees/Shutterstock

Pelistry beach, Isles of Scilly © Stephen Rees/Shutterstock

2. Isles of Scilly, UK

Why visit: British island-hopping with a tropical-style backdrop 
Temperature: 15°C-20°C (59°F-68°F)
Average daily budget: $120-$200

If you're looking for a UK vacation destination that delivers tropical vibes (yes, really!), the Isles of Scilly are one of the best places to travel in August.

Located 28 miles off the south coast of Cornwall, this unique archipelago boasts one of the mildest, sunniest climates in the country. 

And, given that two-thirds of the islands’ jaw-dropping landscape is water, the best way to explore them is by boat.

To experience that to the max, base yourself on St Mary's — the main island — to enjoy inter-island boat trips and tours to uninhabited isles. 

Ferries also depart from Bryher, St Martin's, Tresco and St Agnes, each bound for different slices of British paradises that variously deliver an abundance of wildlife, ancient sites and beautiful white-sand beaches.

Where to stay: for history and four-star finery in Hugh Town, St Mary's, Star Castle is nestled on the garrison and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding islands.

Meanwhile, located on St Mary’s seafront, The Atlantic serves fresh seasonal food, and is close to the ferry terminal that operates to and from Penzance.

dambulla-sri-lanka-shutterstock_520178002

Dambulla, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

3. Cultural Triangle, Sri Lanka

Why visit: temples, palaces, elephants and festivals
Temperature: 26°C-30°C (79°F-86°F)
Average daily budget: $80-$150

Sitting in a shoulder season, visiting Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle in August means you’ll get to soak up incredible ancient sites and wildlife in the company of fewer tourists. 

While you might experience some rain in Sri Lanka in August, this area is drier than most, and it’s a top time to visit for an unforgettable festival ­— more on that below.

The first stop on many tours of the triangle tends to be Dambulla, gateway to Sigiriya. Otherwise known as Lion Rock, this spectacular UNESCO Heritage Site fortress was built by King Kashyapa back in the 1st-century AD.

If the 1200-step climb to the summit sounds too much like hard work, wandering the gorgeous water gardens, and marvelling at the frescos and majestic lion sculpture is rewarding enough.

More cultural treasures can be enjoyed at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s second most ancient kingdom. 

While in the area, take time to visit Minneriya National Park. Located between Polonnaruwa and Habarana, you might just get to see up to 300 elephants gathered around the ancient Minneriya water tank. 

Finally, no trip to the Cultural Triangle would be complete without spending time in Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second largest city, and capital of the last Sinhalese Kingdom. 

Backed by lush hills and set around a lake, it’s home to the famed Temple of the Tooth, so named because it’s believed to contain the Buddha’s tooth. 

On that subject, come August (or July — check dates before traveling), Kandy plays host to the spectacular festival of Esala Perahera that’s held in honour of the Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic.

Editor’s tip: our customisable Sri Lanka’s Cultural and Natural Beauty itinerary includes Cultural Triangle highlights. 

Where to stay: surrounded by mountains and lakes, Dambulla's Kalundewa Retreat is a delight for nature lovers.

Meanwhile, Kandy's Grand Kandyan has a lofty location and top service for a pocket-pleasing price

French winery in Aquitaine © Shutterstock

Winery in Aquitaine, France © Shutterstock

4. La Rochelle, France

Why visit: leisurely historic walks, excellent seafood and beautiful beaches
Temperature: 16°C-25°C (61°F-77°F)
Average daily budget: $120-$200

Located in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, on France's Atlantic Coast, the sparkling seaside town of La Rochelle was one of the most important ports in France during the Renaissance.

Today the rich past of “La Ville Blanche” (the White City) is visible in its grand arcades, turrets and timber-framed houses, with its Vieux Port still the beating heart of town. 

Aside from exploring three magnificent medieval towers, strolling the seafront promenade, and enjoying sumptuous seafood, note that La Rochelle boasts several family-friendly beaches, among them Plage des Minimes and Plage de la Concurrence. 

Staying on the coast, you can take boat trips to scenic Île de Ré and Île d'Aix from La Rochelle.

What’s more, August sees La Rochelle host lots of vibrant summer events, including a jazz festival and a sailing championship.

Where to stay: located in the lively Saint Nicolas district, elegant Hotel Saint Nicholas is surrounded by antique dealers, bars and cafés. 

Situated on the sea front, a couple of kilometres from La Rochelle’s old port, Hotel Les Brises offers a panoramic view of the sea and nearby islands

Paxos, the smallest group in Greece's Ionian Islands © Shutterstock Heracles Kritikos

Paxos — the smallest group of Greece's Ionian Islands © Shutterstock Heracles Kritikos

5. Paxos, Greece

Why visit: Greek island unwinding in luxurious style
Temperature: 25°C -30°C (77°F- 86°F)
Average daily budget: $120-$180

If you're looking for a lush and largely untouched Greek island getaway, Paxí (Paxos) might just have your name all over it. 

Unlike many Greek islands in August, Paxos offers a more peaceful, relaxed environment, making it an ideal destination for those looking to unwind.

That said, this tiny Ionian island — it’s a mere 12km by 4km — has a chic, upscale vibe. Its cosmopolitan capital, Gáïos, boasts a bounty of boutiques and delis, and the Paxos Music Fesrtival hosts events through the summer months.

Sailing and boating are the island’s biggest draw. If you don’t sail yourself, take a trip to explore hidden coves, sea caves, and the sister island of Antipaxos.

Oh, and if you love Greek cuisine, besides seafood, Paxos is known for its delicious olive oil.

Editor’s tip: like the idea of island-hopping Greece but don’t fancy sorting the logistics? See our customisable itinerary that include four Cycladic gems.

Where to stay: looking for r&r? Try Paxos Club Resort & Spa. Or, for a beautiful beach stay, check out Glyfada Beach Villas.

perito-moreno-glacier-patagonia-argentina-shutterstock_403920094

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina © Shutterstock

6. Patagonia, Argentina

Why visit: winter wonderland sports and wildlife
Temperature: -5°C-5°C (23°F)-41°F)
Average daily budget: $120-$200

August is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and sees Argentina’s Patagonia transformed into a winter wonderland of majestic snow-covered mountains and frozen lakes.

With Patagonia boasting some of the best ski resorts in South America, it’s a top time to ski and snow-board in the likes of Cerro Catedral in Bariloche and La Hoya in Esquel. 

While Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate and other glaciers in the region are awe-inspiring around the year, the ice formations are particularly striking in winter, and you can take guided ice-trekking tours.

When it comes to wildlife, while some animals hibernate, others are more visible in the winter months, with coastal areas often offering sightings of orcas and dolphins.

Editor's tip: discover the best of Patagonia on our customisable great lakes and glaciers of Argentina trip.

Where to stay: set in a charming building facing El Calafate's Argentino Lake, Mirador del Lago Hotel offers stylish rooms a mere 300 metres from the city centre.

For cosy comfort, try Don Pepe Hotel y Cabañas.

Memphis, Tennessee, USA Downtown Skyline Aerial © Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock

Memphis, Tennessee, USA © Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock

7. Memphis, USA

Why visit: music, chicken, beer and sport
Temperature: 23°C-34°C (73°F-93°F)
Average daily budget: $150-$250

From Graceland hosting Elvis Week, to the Memphis Chicken and Beer festival, and a major golf tournament, there are many reasons to visit Memphis in August.

Perched above the Mississippi River, it’s arguably the most thrilling destination in the American South, especially for music-lovers. 

The home of Sun and Stax studios, August heralds Elvis Week and sees the King of Rock and Roll celebrated through tribute concerts and tours of Graceland.

Memphis isn’t short of historic and cultural attractions, either. Don’t miss visiting the National Civil Rights Museum, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and the Pink Palace Museum.

Come nightfall, bar hop Beale Street — it’s lined with clubs offering lively performances of blues, jazz and rock every night of the week. 

Or how about taking a sunset riverboat cruise on the Mississippi, preferably while tucking into dinner? Famed for its juicy ribs, pulled pork and Southern fried chicken, you’re unlikely to leave Memphis hungry.

Where to stay: handy for Beale Street, The Rambler offer bright suites, apartments and rooms, and has an outdoor pool and terrace.

To be close to the King, try The Guest House at Graceland.

Paklinski Islands in Hvar, Croatia © Shutterstock

Paklinski Islands neat Hvar, Croatia © Shutterstock

8. Hvar, Croatia

Why visit: classy nightlife on an elegant island 
Temperature: 22°C-30°C (72°F-86°F)
Average daily budget: $160-$250

Formerly a secret summer haunt favoured by celebrities (the secret's out!), the Croatian island of Hvar has an old town to rival Dubrovnik's, plus stacks of glossy bars, restaurants and beaches.

That said, though handsome Hvar has a rep for buzzy nightlife, beyond the town the island has a more chilled and charming vibe. 

To experience exactly that — along with Hvar’s in-town highlights — take inspiration from our customisable Active Trip to Authentic Hvar itinerary.

If that wasn't enough, Hvar is also a great place to include on a sailing trip. If you fancy taking to the Adriatic Sea, read our first-timers guide to Croatian sailing vacations.

Where to stay: for elegant style, head to the History Hvar Design Heritage Suites. Or, if you fancy all-out luxury, try Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort.

guernsey-shutterstock_439901032

Guernsey © Shutterstock

9. Guernsey, the Channel Islands

Why visit: scenic r&r and glorious walks
Temperature: 14°C-20°C (57°F- 68°F)
Average daily budget: $150-$200

Boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the Channel Islands, among them Cobo Bay, Vazon Bay and Petit Bot Bay, Guernsey sure lives up to its rep as a sleepy kind of vacation destination. A place of soft-eyed cows, warm scones and rambling country lanes. 

But Guernsey also offers glorious walks on the wilder side, especially south of St Peter Port, where the coast of St Martin is edged by steep cliffs, and a woodland wilderness is laced with miles of glorious paths. 

You could also use Guernsey as a base to explore nearby islands like Sark, Herm, and Alderney, each of which has its own unique charm, and can be easily reached by boat. While aboard, be sure to look out for seabirds, dolphins, and seals.

Back on land, you can explore nature reserves, and uncover culture and history in the German Occupation Museum, and the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery.

If that wasn’t enough, the island hosts a variety of festivals in August, including the North Show and Battle of Flowers, which features a floral parade, live music, and food stalls.

Where to stay: overlooking Rocquaine Bay in Pleinmont, The Imperial Hotel is surrounded by sandy beaches and clear waters.

 Meanwhile, St Martin's La Barbarie has a pool, restaurant and stylish rooms overlooking Saints Bay.

Germany's Black Forest landscape

Black Forest, Germany © Shutterstock

10. Black Forest, Germany

Why visit: hiking, biking and wine-drinking
Temperature: 12°C-24°C (54°F-75°F)
Average daily budget $150-$200

Close to Freiburg in south-west Germany, the Black Forest is a lush mountain region that's growing in popularity as a destination for in-the-know lovers of the great outdoor.

Crisscrossed with trails through idyllic landscapes of sun-soaked vineyards, tranquil lakes, and quaint chalets, it’s a fabulous spot for summer cycling and hiking.

Into wine? Time your visit to coincide with one of the many summer wine festivals that happen along the Badische Weinstraße

Routing through Baden's wine-growing region, you can hike, bike or drive through stunning scenery, with plenty of places to eat, drink and make merry along the way.

Where to stay: for utter luxury, head to Mokni's Palais Hotel & Spa – a wellness hotel set in Bad Wildbad’s scenic heart.

Meanwhile, Hotel Meyerhof is a great base for exploring the Black Forest and the Alsace.

Dramatic sunset over the mountains and the sea of Lofoten islands in Norway © Nick Fox/Shutterstock

Sunset over the mountains and the sea of the Lofoten islands, Norway © Nick Fox/Shutterstock

11. Lofoten Islands, Norway

Why visit: midnight sun, wholesome hikes and laidback village life
Temperature: 10°C- 15°C (50°F-59°F)
Average daily budget: $200-$300

Taking a top ten spot in our poll of the most beautiful countries in the world — it really is ridiculously gorgeous — visiting Norway in August means venturing to the land of the midnight sun at a time that’s ripe for rewarding hikes.

And, offering numerous trails that serve epic views of the coastline, the mountainous Lofoten Islands are stunning place to do just that on Norway. For example, the pretty challenging Reinebringen hike delivers breath-taking views of the village of Reine and surrounding fjords. 

Beyond hiking, the islands are loaded with lovely fishing villages, including Hamnøy, Nusfjord, and Henningsvær, the latter of which is known as the “Venice of Lofoten”.

Then there’s the beaches, with golden-sand beauty Kvalvika accessible via a relatively easy hike. 

Inspired to visit? Browse our customisable Norway itineraries .

Where to stay: offering 5-star accommodation with a terrace, restaurant and bar Thon Hotel Svolvær is a great base, and the views aren’t bad, either. 

Meanwhile, Marina Hotel Lofoten is a good mid-price joint in walking distance of the centre. 

Fresh Maine lobster

Maine lobster shack © Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

12. Maine, USA

Why visit: scenic seasides, forests and food festivals
Temperature: 15°C- 25°C (59°F-77°F)
Average daily budget: $200-$300

Known for its lobster shacks, dense forests, scenic lakes and seaside towns, Maine offers tremendous opportunities to explore wide-open spaces, with August drawing visitors to its dramatic coast.

Celebrated for its “the way life should be” motto, Maine is also a top destination for seafood aficionados, especially lobster lovers. 

While lobsters are farmed year-round, the annual Lobster Festival in Rockland makes Maine one of the best places to visit in August. It's an old-school celebration of all things lobster. Think fun family games, a big parade, plus the world’s biggest lobster steamer.

if you've come to explore Maine's magnificent outdoors, be sure to linger a while in Acadia National Park, where you can hike the Cadillac Mountain.

Besides Acadia, consider trekking the trails of Baxter State Park. It's home to Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Where to stay: come to hike? Acadia Inn has on-site access Acadia National Park.

Traveling with kids? Newagen Seaside Inn, Southport Island, has 20-acres of oceanfront land and on-site activities.

Assisi, Umbria, Italy

Assisi, Umbria, Italy © Stefano_Valeri/Shutterstock

13. Umbria, Italy

Why visit: food, wine and escaping Italy’s biggest crowds
Temperature: Low: 17°C-30°C (63°F-86°F)
Average daily budget: $200-$300

While the landlocked Italian region of Umbria shares many attributes with its bigger, glitzier neighbour, Tuscany — picture-perfect hill towns, sun-dappled olive groves, fine food and wine — Umbria is more down-to-earth. It's cheaper than Tuscany in August, too.

Known as “the green heart of Italy", Umbria is a largely unspoiled region of rolling hills, woods, streams and valleys. 

To the east, this pastoral landscape gives way to more rugged scenery, such as the twists and turns of the Valnerina, and the mountains of the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini.

When you're done exploring breath-taking natural landscapes, Umbria's hill-towns boast architectural treasures that rival far bigger famous cities.

These include fairy-tale-esque Todi, which hosts a festival in late August or early September.

Love the idea of visiting Italy with fewer crowds? Read up on Emilia Romagna — Tuscany without the crowds.

Where to stay: Hotel Cenacolo, Assisi's biggest hotel complex, features a cloister and great Umbrian restaurant.

Meanwhile, Boutique Hotel Aurora, a friendly Spoleto three-star, has a cute courtyard and terrace.

Burning Man Festival

Burning Man festival, Nevada © Shutterstock

14. Nevada, USA

Why visit: fiery festivals and desert magic
Temperature: Low: 25°C-40°C (77°F-(104°F)
Average daily budget: $150-$250

Once a year in late August, fifty thousand people descend on a remote patch of desert in northwest Nevada to take part in the world’s ultimate counter-culture festival. Namely, Burning Man.

It's held way out in the Black Rock Desert, twelve miles north of tiny Gerlach, which is itself a hundred miles north of Reno.

With no big-name acts or programmed activities, the temporary residents of “Black Rock City” live by Burning Man rules. No commerce is allowed, and “Burners” must participate in the festivities in some way.

Many attendees construct huge, otherworldly sculptures, flashing with lights or flames, which contribute to the surreal atmosphere. After dark, the desert comes alive with all manner of surreal projections and anything-goes performances.

While some say the festival has become too popular in recent years, it remains a pretty unforgettable experience.

Want more to put more fire in your belly? Read up on fire festivals around the world.

Where to stay: given that only self-sufficient folk are admitted to Burning Man (you have to bring water, food and shelter), here are some options if you plan to visit another Nevada draw — Las Vegas.

On a big-spender’s budget? You’ll be wowed by Venetian Resort. This opulent five-star has a casino, 40 restaurants, giant pool deck and 150+ boutique stores.

For retro style, try Jockey Club Suites — a friendly, old school three-star.

Namib desert, Sossusvlei, Namibia © JaySi/Shutterstock

Namib desert, Sossusvlei, Namibia © JaySi/Shutterstock

15. Namibia’s National Parks 

Why visit: dry season safaris and dune adventuring
Temperature: 20°C-25°C (68°F to 77°F); night-time lows of 0°C-10°C (32°F -50°F)
Average daily budget: $120-$180

August falls in the middle of Namibia's May-December dry season, which means clear skies, minimal rainfall, and pleasant daytime temperatures, but note that nights can be pretty cold.

Given that the dry season sees animals congregate around waterholes in this awe-inspiring land, it’s a top time to go on safari in Etosha National Park, whether you’re looking for luxury safari experiences, or fancy an epic self-drive trip around the country. 

In addition to visiting Etosha to see huge numbers of elephants, lions and giraffes, don’t miss Namib-Naukluft Park

One of Africa’s largest protected areas — it’s larger than Switzerland — this offers some of the most stunning desert landscapes in the world.

Home to the iconic Sossusvlei dunes, which are among the world’s largest, this region is loaded with opportunities for extra-special experiences, from sand-boarding and quad-biking, to taking to the skies on epic hot-air-balloon rides.

Traveling as a family? Discover the best things to do in Namibia with kids

If you're keen to cut-down drive-time (with or without kids), you might be interested in our Wilderness Safari by Flight trip.

Where to stay: Ongava Lodge, located on the boundary of Etosha National Park, offers luxurious accommodation and private game drives in Ongava Reserve and Etosha National Park.

Meanwhile, Sossusvlei Desert Hills Lodge delivers epic views and fine food within close reach of the enchanting dunes.

Santiago de Compostela, Spain ©  lkonya/Shutterstock

Santiago de Compostela, Galicia Spain © lkonya/Shutterstock

16. Galicia, Spain

Why visit: food, festivals and beaches
Temperature: 14°C-24°C (57°F-75°F)
Average daily budget: $120-$200

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea, Galicia is a region of wild beaches, green forests and valleys in the far west of Spain

It’s also one of the best places to travel in August if you’re looking to enjoy a special beach break with access to some of the best beaches in Spain, excellent seafood — especially octopus (pulpo a la gallega) — and a whole lot of lively local festivals.

Encompassing historic cities like Santiago de Compostela — the endpoint of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route — and coastal towns like A Coruña and Vigo, Galicia is also a glorious region for nature walks.

As for festivals in August, you can look forward to unleashing your inner warrior at the Viking festival of Catoira, indulging your love of seafood at the Festa do Pulpo de O Carballiño, and enjoying the best regional wine (and more) at the Festa do Albariño.

Where to stay: want to be in the centre of Santiago de Compostela? Consider San Francisco Monumento. It's located in an historic monastery and has a pool.

Thinking of visiting Vigo? With a show-stopping location next to Samil Beach, the lovely family-run Hotel Playa Samil Vigo has a gorgeous garden and great service.

Parasailing over the Mediterranean sea, Ayia Napa, Cyprus © Shutterstock

Parasailing over the Mediterranean sea, Ayia Napa, Cyprus © Shutterstock

17. Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Why visit: lively nightlife and fun in the sun
Temperature: 23°C-32°C (73°F-90°F)
Average daily budget: $150-$250

Let’s cut to the chase — Ayia Napa is not to everybody’s taste. Put simply, if you want peace and quiet, head elsewhere in Cyprus.

And the reasons? Ayia Napa is famous for its lively nightlife, with countless bars and clubs attracting party lovers from around the world.

That said, if you like the sound of spending your days on glorious beaches like Nissi, Makronissos and Konnos Bay before hitting the clubs when the sun goes down, don’t be too quick to dismiss it.

Add to that opportunities to take a break from the party vibe on day trips to the likes of Cape Greco, where you can to hike and explore sea caves, and you might want to consider Ayia Napa for a thoroughly packed August vacation.

Where to stay: located by Ayia Napa’s sandy beach, Limanaki Beach Hotel overlooks Cape Greko and the harbour. 

Prefer the freedom of having your own place? Try River View Boutique Apartments.

Aerial view of Rondinara beach in Corsica Island in France ©  Samuel Borges Photography/Shutterstock

Rondinara beach, Bonifacio, Corsica © Samuel Borges Photography/Shutterstock

18. Bonifacio, Corsica

Why visit: beautiful beaches, boat trips and old town ambling
Temperature: 19°C-29°C (66°F-84°F)
Average daily budget: $150-$200

Stunningly sited southeast of mainland France, to west of Italy, the French island of Corsica is a top spot to take a glorious Gallic beach break, with Bonifacio delivering some of the island’s best.

With a dramatic clifftop location serving splendid views over the Mediterranean Sea, Bonifacio’s old town is packed with handsome historic sites, among them the Bastion de l'Étendard and the King of Aragon’s Staircase.

Alongside ambling the old town, tucking into tasty Corsican cuisine, and blissing out on Plage de Rondinara and Plage de la Tonnara, boat trips are another highlight of vacationing in Bonifacio.

Take a boat tour to explore sea caves, the Lavezzi Islands, and the dramatic coastline. On the way back, many trips skirt Île Cavallo, where members of the French and Italian glitterati have luxury hideaways.

Where to stay: for super-classy serenity, try Hôtel Les Suites Du Maquis.

Want to stay by the beach? Five minutes from Maora Beach, Résidence Casarina is set in 2-hectare grounds and has a boules court.

llandudno-great-orme-shutterstock_62778526

Great Orme, Llandudno, Wales © Shutterstock

19. Llandudno, Wales

Why visit: seaside fun, epic UNESCO castles and nature
Temperature: 13°C-19°C (55°F-66°F) 
Average daily budget: $130-$180

Located in North Wales, the seaside town of Llandudno is known for its Victorian architecture, with Llandudno Pier — the longest in Wales — a charming place to enjoy traditional seaside attractions.

Also boasting two fine beaches — the North Shore and the West Shore — Llandudno is a great destination for families, with the Happy Valley Botanical Gardens on hand to (ahem) keep all ages happy, along with the historic Great Orme tramway.

Talking of history, Conwy Castle — a UNESCO World Heritage site, no less, and one of the most impressive castles in Wales — is nearby. 

If that wasn’t enough, Llandudno can also be used as a base from which to access the wonders of Snowdonia National Park.

Where to stay: a 2-minute walk from the sea, the Imperial Hotel offers an award-winning restaurant, and many rooms overlook Llandudno Bay.

Offering views of the promenade, the 4-star Llandudno Bay Hotel has award-winning sustainability practices.

Smögen, a Swedish harbour town that comes alive in summer

Smögen, a harbour town on Sweden's Bohuslän Coast © Shutterstock

20. Bohuslän coast, west Sweden

Why visit: sailing, seafood and blissful back-to-nature solitude
Temperature: 13°C-21°C (55°F-70°F)
Average daily budget: $150-$200

Within striking distance of GothenburgSweden's Bohuslän coast is a rugged archipelago of 8000+ islands, and one of the best August  destinations if you're seeking back-to-nature serenity in mild-to-warm weather.

Alongside offering incredible sailing — and seafood — the region is blessed with an abundance of pristine beaches, charming coastal towns, and fishing villages.

Fiskebäckskil, for example, is one of the most attractive villages around these parts, which is really saying something. Speckled with wooden houses perched on rocky rises, it has several serene seaside resorts.

Thanks to its coastal trails and national parks — including Kosterhavet Marine National Park, Sweden's first marine national park — the region is also idea for outdoor activities. 

And, if you’re into history, be sure to visit the medieval Bohus Fortress, and Tanum’s Bronze Age rock carvings, which have UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Where to stay: active families would do well to consider Torslanda's First Camp Lilleby

Want some stylish r&r? Try Vann Spa Hotell. This eco-friendly hotel on the Gullmar Fjord is surrounded by nature.

Still undecided? You’ll find more ideas in our month-by-month guide to where to go when and our run-downs of the best European summer destinations and the best beach vacations in Europe.

Traveling as a family? Read up on some of the best places to go with kids.

You might also want to make use of our trip ideas platform.

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 24.07.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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