Where to Travel on Vacation in August 2023
Where to go on vacation in August
August is peak vacation season, with the Northern Hemisphere enjoying their summer break. If you're looking for good weather and plenty of history then Europe is a brilliant option. Turkey, Greece and Croatia are particularly good if you fancy a beach break or a cruise.
For wildlife enthusiasts, you're pretty much guaranteed superb safari opportunities across Africa. And if natural wonders are more your thing, it's a good month for visiting Victoria and Iguazu Falls.
Stargazers will want to head to Jordan to make the most of the annual Perseids Meteor Shower, whilst in Sri Lanka the elephant migration to Minneriya National Park continues.
To help decide where to go in August 2023, here are our recommended destinations and experiences.
Top Destinations and Experiences in August
Iceland in summer
By August, Iceland boasts 16 - 18 hours of daylight per day, meaning travelers have plenty of time to take in its stunning landscapes. Waterfalls are bolstered by meltwater, fields are a lush green and the coastal waters are brimming with whales. Puffins too are living and breeding in good numbers on the Westman archipelago and the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Recommended tour: Iceland North & South →
Perseids Meteor Shower in Jordan
Each year from mid-July to the end of August a stream of galactic debris known as the Perseids Meteor Shower graces the skies of the Northern Hemisphere. It's believed the particles of this shower date back thousands of years and from ground-level it's quite a spectacle, with long bright trails of color and light tracing an arc against the night sky. The vast desertscapes of Jordan are the ideal spot to witness this and if you're lucky you may see 50 or more meteors per hour.
Recommended tour: Perseids Meteor Shower →
Visiting Iguazu Falls
Straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls are a spectacular force of nature. Between April and September is considered a good time to visit, as the winter months mean less rainfall, which means the falls are not obscured by cloud cover. The water levels of the actual falls may be lower than at other points of the year but views and photographic options will be much better, and more walking trails are open along the foot of the falls.
Recommended tour: Natural Wonders of Brazil →
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Throughout the year Kilimanjaro experiences two dry seasons, with the second occurring between July and October, which makes August a great month to consider tackling Africa's highest peak. At this time of year it's dry with great visibility as there are few clouds in the sky. Temperatures are low so you'll need to pack for the cold. This is the most popular time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro so there'll be plenty of other hikers on the various routes that lead to the summit.
Recommended tour: Mt Kilimanjaro Climb →
Best City Breaks in August
While August is peak season, Ecuador sees far fewer visitors than other countries in South America. However, with its colonial towns, the Amazon rainforest and an array of white sand beaches, it is a fantastic destination to explore at this time of year. Visit the capital Quito and explore the 16th century Old Town, which is the largest and best preserved on the continent. Stroll down its cobblestone streets and discover the photogenic plazas, architectural treasures and teeming bars which lure both travelers and locals alike.
Edinburgh’s attractions make it a worthy destination at any time of year. However, August is by far one of the most exiting months to visit as the city’s medieval streets are filled with performers for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. From little-known acts to world-famous comedians, you’ll find performances in every kind of venue Edinburgh has to offer. And the nightlife comes into a world of its own, with extended licenses allowing bars and clubs to stay open until dawn. Scottish weather isn't known for its sunshine, but in August you are far more likely to enjoy sunny and warm days than at other times of the year.
Similarly to Quito, August marks peak tourist season for Brussels. But, there are still many reasons to visit this charming city, even if there are a few crowds. Every other summer, the Flower Carpet is created in the central square. Consisting of more than half a million flowers, this carpet is a stunning spectacle surrounded by beautiful gothic architecture. Stroll by and take in the scent of begonias, then check out the city’s museums, galleries and eateries.
Nha Trang, Vietnam
The final month of summer in Nha Trang, August, offers sizzling temperatures perfect for enjoying the city’s coastal setting. A sublime stretch of white sand offers plenty of water sports, boat trips and snorkeling or scuba diving. Then in the city itself you’ll find a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene, with local mud baths being a popular spot for a bit of pampering. There’s also several historic sites to explore, including the ancient Cham Towers and Long Son Pagoda, with its towering white Buddha.
Best Festivals and Events in August
Every month of the year holds its own unique offering of special events and festivals. August is no exception, with festivals and events popping up left, right, and center. If you're trying to decide where to go in August, then why not time your trip with one of these amazing annual events?
Where? Buenos Aires, Argentina
The seductive capital of Argentina plays host to the biggest tango festival in the world every August. That should come as little surprise considering Buenos Aires gave birth to the highly sensual dance that captivates audiences all over the world. Over the course of two weeks various performances and competitions are held in venues across the city, and there are also plenty of opportunities for beginners to have a go in class.
Obon Lantern Festival
The Buddhist-Confucian festival of Obon is a time for Japanese families to pay their respect to their ancestors. The graves and tombs of deceased relatives are cleaned and food offerings are made. In order to guide spirits on their journeys, lanterns are hung outside of homes and floated down rivers. For visitors a highlight of the festival is the colorful dances and parades held in cities and towns across Japan. It falls in mid-August.
Indian Independence Day
Ever since India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947, the 15th August has been celebrated across the country. Now a celebration of all things India, the country comes alive to celebrate. Parades and ceremonies run throughout the country and many Indians decorate their clothing, cars and household accessories with the national flag. Expect sizzling temperatures as this is peak Indian summer but be rewarded with a country that comes to life.
Best Beach Destinations in August
It's still summer and peak holiday season in the Northern Hemisphere, with much of Europe blessed with good weather and schools on holiday. This means the Mediterranean and Croatia's Adriatic coast are the best choices for a beach holiday. Southeast Asia is still caught in the wet season, with rainfall and winds picking up across Central America, specifically the Caribbean coast. Temperatures are unbearable across the Middle East and north Africa, but countries along the equator are still a good bet with a climate that varies little during the year.
Zanzibar's proximity to the equator means it experiences a largely consistent climate throughout the year, with short wet periods. It's nice and dry in August, however, with fine days of clear blue skies perfect for the beach. This is a particularly good time for scuba diving in the waters surrounding Zanzibar, especially off the north coast.
August is peak season in Borneo and for a few good reasons. Firstly, this month brings the ideal weather conditions for a beach holiday at Sipadan, Lankayan and Selingan with dry, sunny days. Secondly, it's the season for turtle hatching so you can combine your downtime with a spot of wildlife watching. Book early to nab your choice of accommodation.
It's the height of the holiday season in Turkey and the beach resorts are incredibly popular. Temperatures are peaking at this time of year and it's a good time to simply relax along the coast with something of a breeze. With so many fascinating ancient ruins, Turkey's beaches can easily be combined with sightseeing.
Whether you prefer to stick to the coast along the mainland or take to the seas for the chance to explore a number of different islands, Croatia is a brilliant beach destination in August. Like Turkey, it's prime holiday season so prices are at their highest and availability at its lowest - so get in early and secure your island-hopping August holiday in Croatia.
Best Wildlife Destinations in August
It's winter in southern Africa which means it's dry and sunny - perfect for safari. The Great Wildebeest Migration is in full swing so East Africa is also a great option, with a more consistent climate during the year typical of equatorial conditions. Here's our selection of some of the best wildlife destinations around the world in August.
At any time of year there's at least one species of turtle nesting on the shores of Costa Rica. In August you will find green, leatherback and hawksbill turtles nesting on the beaches of Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast. On the Pacific Coast there will also be Olive Ridley turtles nesting around the Nicoya Peninsula. It's the wet season though so expect daily rains.
By August the larger herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle have all reached the plains of the Masai Mara. This is one of the busiest months of activity at the Mara River, when thousands of animals attempt to cross the waters, braving vertigo-inducing banks and ferocious crocodiles primed for their next meal. The Masai Mara and anywhere along the Mara River are ideal spots for watching this incredible annual spectacle.
August means the winter dry season in southern Africa, which makes it the optimum time to head to the national parks of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia on a safari adventure. Vegetation is sparse after months without rains, making wildlife more easily seen and with more and more water sources drying up, animals congregate at the few remaining watering holes.
At the heart of the Minneriya National Park in northern Sri Lanka sits an ancient tank, which serves as an important water source for Sri Lanka's elephant population when the rest of the region dries up. Every year between July and October hundreds of elephants migrate here to feed on the lush grasses and drink from the reservoir, making August the perfect time to see them in the wild.
Recommended Tours and Holidays for August
If you're still struggling to decide where to travel in August, then check out our selection of recommended tours for the month, from cosmic marvels in the desert to cultural cities and rural countryside.