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Travel tips

The best places to visit in August to stay cool, see wildlife, or get off the beaten path

Mar 29, 2024 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

August is one of the best times of year to travel. In the Northern Hemisphere, the peak-season crowds have slightly thinned and long days become balmy nights. In the Southern Hemisphere, destinations known for being hot and sunny are cooler—it’s their winter!—and more laid back, with fewer travelers between you and the most spectacular sights. From Italy’s most star-studded lake to the African savanna teeming with wildlife, these are the best places to travel in August.

1. Northern Italy

Thanks to its location on a lagoon, Venice doesn’t get as humid as Rome or Florence, making it one of the best places to visit in August. The average temperature in Venice during August is between 65-82 F, where the Adriatic breeze keeps it cooler than inland cities. Lake Como is another beautiful and vibrant destination this time of year. Take a cruise past some of Italy’s most jaw-dropping estates and gardens or watch the annual Menaggio Fashion Show at a park overlooking the lake during your free time. Lake Como has something for everyone so you’ll have no trouble finding a enjoyable ways to spend your time.

Feast your senses on our Grand Tour of Italy


2. Portugal

Brilliant sunshine and turquoise sea are two things that make Portugal so special. Even if the former is hot in August, the latter will keep you cool, with the winds from the Atlantic Ocean keeping temperatures fairly mild toward the end of summer (around the mid 70s F). Portugal is small enough that you can visit its two world-class cities, Porto and Lisbon, and have a beach day all on one trip. Trust us when we say a summertime beach day in Portugal is top-notch. “My favorite parts were staying and visiting along the coast—I would definitely sign up for a ‘beaches of Portugal’ tour!” said traveler Brenna.

Feel the ocean breeze on our A Week in Portugal: Porto, Évora & Lisbon tour →


3. The French Riviera

The French Riviera, located on the Mediterranean coast, stays cooler than France’s inland areas, between 63-84 F. That makes it one of the best places to travel in August—that is, if pristine beaches, celebrity-favorite villages, and glamorous seaside restaurants are your thing. In a single day, you can hike up to Cap Ferrat for unforgettable coastal views, enjoy ice cream in the Saint-Tropez sand, and feel like you’re in a Matisse painting in Nice’s Old Town. Imagine all the summer fun you could have in 48 hours on the French Riviera!

Stroll southern shores on our French Riviera & Provence: Nice, Avignon & Aix-en-Provence tour →

4. Menorca and Mallorca

Celebrate the end of summer by visiting the golden beaches of Spain’s Balearic Islands, one of the best places to visit in Europe in August. Small and sleepy Menorca provides tranquility of unspoiled beaches while Mallorca bustles with life, providing the perfect yin and yang of island time. Long, sunny days mean plenty of time for sightseeing on Mallorca. Explore the historic city center of Palma, admire the mountain villages of Serra de Tramuntana, and enter the underground caverns of Cuevas del Drach. These two Mediterranean islands are surrounded by turquoise water—perfect for taking a quick dip to cool off from the heat, which averages around 88 F in August.

Soak up some sun on our Spain’s Balearic Islands: Menorca & Mallorca tour →

5. Greece

If you’re seeking classic Mediterranean island vibes, then Greece is one of the best places to vacation in August. The warm, dry days when temperatures are between 77-93 F are perfect for beachgoing—and make for incredible sunset viewing from cliffside restaurant patios. Many people who live in Greece’s big cities take vacations during August, meaning it’s the perfect time to be a tourist in a city such as Athens. Enjoy exploring the Acropolis with fewer crowds and reveling in the culture of the historic Greek capital.

Immerse yourself in history on our A Week in Greece: Athens, Mykonos & Santorini tour →

If you want to see the wildest of wildlife, and stunning scenery visit…


6. Kenya

Kenya is one of the few destinations where your dreams of seeing awe-inspiring wildlife—cheetahs and leopards, rhinos and elephants—actually match reality. August is the end of the winter season in Kenya and the temperature is around 50-75 F. It’s one of the best places to visit in August because of the annual Great Migration, when millions (yes, millions) of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles travel to the Maasai Mara. If the timing is right, you might witness the true wildness of the savanna play out when herds of animals attempt to cross rushing rivers.

Get wild on our Kenya Culture & Wildlife Safari: Samburu to Maasai Mara tour →


7. Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands

Few places are as diverse in their flora and fauna—it’s where Charles Darwin famously studied the distinct animals of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. You can see wildlife ranging from marine iguanas, to giant tortoises, to Darwin’s famous finches. If you’re searching for one of the best places to go in August that’s south of the equator, the Galápagos are hard to beat, especially when temperatures hover around 70 F. “There is no way to describe the majestic volcanos, vegetation, landscapes, or fascinating wildlife,” said traveler Linda. “You are mesmerized and surprised every time you turn around.” In fact, you might have its lava flows and red sand beaches mostly to yourself!

Island-hop on our Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise

8. Costa Rica

August falls at the end of rainy season in Costa Rica—meaning the jungles will be at peak green. Daily, but brief, rain showers keep the diverse flora and fauna of the country thriving, including more than 500,000 species of animals, birds, and insects. The rain also helps to cool down the temperature in August to between 58-75 F. Costa Rica has 12 distinct microclimates, each brimming with wildlife—from howler monkeys in the jungle, to sloths in the rainforest, and iguanas on the rocky shores—making it one of the best places to go in August.

Spot wildlife on our Grand Tour of Costa Rica: From the Caribbean to the Pacific


9. Iceland

One of the best countries to visit in August—for serene and surreal sights—is Iceland, where the midnight sun stays up past 10 p.m. in the summertime. That extra summer sunlight means you aren’t likely to see the northern lights, but you can easily explore Reykjavik and the country’s waterfalls and geysers this time of year (albeit, Iceland’s scenery is stunning year round). Enjoy exploring in the brisk 50-59 F temperature and behold the dramatic contrast of black sand beaches and mesmerizing blue glacial lagoons. In the words of traveler Sylvia, Iceland is “the most interesting country in Europe.”

See untamed, natural beauty on our Landscapes of Wild Iceland tour →


10. Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

The western coast of the Emerald Isle is, dare we say, a real hidden gem—a “mind-bending” land of “alien beauty” whose “dazzling vistas can leave you stunned into silence,” according to traveler Ronald. It’s here that Ireland’s green countryside meets the wind-whipped Atlantic Ocean and the coastal breeze keeps summer temperatures between 54-64 F. Walk along the Cliffs of Moher, 700 feet above the sea, and stroll through historic cobblestoned villages as you travel in August through Ireland’s most freeing landscapes.

Behold rugged seaside beauty on our Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way tour →

If you want to get off the beaten path, visit…

11. The Balkans

Fascinating human history meets epic natural landscapes on the Balkan Peninsula, one of the best off-the-beaten-path regions to visit in Europe. It should absolutely be on your list of places to go in August, when the temperatures ranges from 65-90 F, to take advantage of sunny skies and seaside breezes. From the blue waters of the Adriatic to the kaleidoscopic colors of Dubrovnik, there are so many reasons to visit the Balkans. “Imagine walled cities with cobblestone streets, narrow passages, doors and shutters of different colors, and window boxes overflowing with flowers, with a backdrop of clear aqua ocean waters of the Adriatic,” traveler Eric said of the Croatian coast.

Peer into the past on our Croatia & Slovenia: The Old-World Adriatic tour

12. Scandinavia

The mild weather (ranging from 50-70 F) and long days of August make exploring Scandinavia a traveler’s dream. Enjoy the vitality of bustling cities as you stroll or bike (as is the Nordic way) through charming streets, to local markets, or between sunny outdoor cafes. The scenery of the countryside is idyllic, with verdant mountains and fields of wildflowers alongside fjords that glisten in the sunlight. “Scandinavia has everything you’d want in a summer adventure, like cosmopolitan cities with world-class restaurants, to otherworldly landscapes like the fjords in Norway. And to top it off, you can do it all without breaking a sweat thanks to the region's comfortable temps,” said staffer Jeff of his summer trip through Scandinavia.

Bask in Nordic scenery on our Highlights of Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway & Denmark tour →

13. Australia

You might “lose” a day by crossing the International Date Line in flight to Australia, but by the end of a trip to the Land Down Under, you’ll have gained so much more. Australia is home to unique animals; iconic natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru; and two cities, Sydney and Melbourne, that are as laid back as they are lively. August is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so the temperature stays between 66-85 F. Before the 20-hour flight that kicks off one of the best trips to take in August, here’s what to know about visiting Australia.

Check out our Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney tour →

Dreaming of an end-of-summer trip? Tell us where you’d love to travel this August on our Facebook page!

Summer travelKnow before you go
About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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