Best places to go on vacation in August

August is peak vacation season in most places, so any trip you take at this time will need to be booked well in advance. Be prepared for higher prices and bigger crowds. Head to the mountains in central and southern Europe – the Carpathians or Granada, perhaps – to escape the heat and crowds. It’s also cruise season; choose wisely to avoid the routes frequented by the huge cruise ships that crowd Croatia and Italy. As for wildlife, it’s turtle nesting season in many places, including Greece and Costa Rica.

Keep reading to find out the best places to go on vacation in August.


Botswana is fantastic for wildlife viewing, as the Okavango Delta is at its fullest. This is the peak time to see the Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania, including the famous Mara River crossing. South Africa and Namibia are very dry in August, so wildlife will congregate around waterholes. This is the best time for safaris in Kruger and Etosha national parks, but be sure to pack warm layers, as it can get very cold at night – and book well in advance.

The Americas & Caribbean

August is the start of peak turtle nesting season in Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The rain showers are more relief than annoyance at this time of year.


Borneo can be visited year-round, but August is part of the driest season, so it’s the best time for visiting the rainforest and Mount Kinabalu.


August is a great time to embark on an Arctic expedition cruise, but they’re very popular at this time so it’s best to book well in advance. In terms of weather and choice, this is also the best time to go on a cruise to Croatia. Just make sure you choose a small ship cruise that avoids the places the massive cruise ship ports. Activity vacations are a good choice for families on their summer vacations. It’s peak season for volunteering with sea turtle conservation projects in Greece. Since it’s a crossover season in the turtles’ diaries, you could see adults digging nests and babies hatching. There’s virtually 24 hours of daylight in Iceland, and migrating whales can be seen in the surrounding waters. Warmer weather also means great conditions for hiking, but be sure to pack mosquito repellent. Thanks to a calm ocean, it’s a good time to watch out for whales and dolphins in the Portuguese Azores. Fancy Europe minus the crowds? August is an excellent time to try out lesser-visited countries like Romania and the Baltics. August is one of the best times to be in Scotland, weather-wise, although the mozzies are at their worst. The island ferry routes become more reliable, too. If you still like the idea of summer in Spain, but without the sun-scorched crowds of the Med, consider heading north to the Picos de Europa. You can trek through incredible mountain landscapes, cooled by the altitude, but still be just a short hop from a (relatively quiet) Atlantic beach at the end of the day.

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Where not  to go on vacation in August

Southern Brazil will be very cold, but other regions are dry and pleasantly warm. Cuba is very wet, hot and humid; the southeast is worst affected. And as it’s the school vacations, you could still find yourself paying high prices. Unless you are tied to traveling in the school vacations, avoid the Galapagos Islands as they will be busy, prices will rise and boats and flights will fill up well in advance. Soaring temperatures and prices can make traveling in midsummer unpleasant in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Croatia, Romania, Portugal and Spain – especially if you’re planning an activity break. In some regions, such as Italy and Croatia, as well as crowded beaches and hotels, you’ll find thousands of passengers disembarking daily from cruise ships. Typhoons hit Japan in August. Morocco is just too hot for activities such as hiking, cycling and desert camping. Much of southern Patagonia becomes inaccessible. It’s also freezing, with few daylight hours. Don’t plan a last-minute trip to Peru if you want to do the Inca Trail – this is peak season, so permits will have sold out months in advance. It’s cool and wet in South Africa’s Western Cape. This is the monsoon season across mainland Southeast Asia, southern India and Nepal, causing travel disruption in most of the region – although you will get some cheap deals.
Photo credits: [Page banner: 2630ben] [Okavango delta: Diego Delso] [Svalbard: Vince Gx] [Spain: Nick Kenrick]