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Where to go in August for sunshine and nature escapes

Explore Iceland’s highlands, fly and flop in Turkey or witness the Great Migration in Kenya. Plus, far-flung holidays in the Americas.

Tempted to book a last minute break for August? Be inspired by our seven top picks below. We’ve included some cooler options for those who want sunshine without an uncomfortable heat, plus idyllic locations that are ideal to visit in August.

Venture into Iceland’s highlands or fly and flop on a beach along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Further afield, witness the Great Migration in Kenya or relax and enjoy some southern hospitality in Charleston, South Carolina.

But first, a caveat. While travel restrictions continue to ease across the world, it’s still important to check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) updates before booking your trip, as holidaying against advice will invalidate your travel insurance. And with continued chaos at airports lately, we recommend booking your holiday as a package with a provider with flexibility and decent cancellation policies as this offers more protection. But if you only need flights, see which airlines still guarantee flexibility.

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Booking that dream holiday? Find out when to book to get the cheapest rates without compromising on the weather.


Short haul holiday destinations for August

The Azores, Portugal

Is August a good month to visit the Azores?

Average maximum temperature: 25

If the 30℃ heat of mainland Portugal is a bit too hot for you, the Azores and Portugal’s other archipelagos sit in the more comfortable mid-20s range in August, thanks to the Atlantic sea breeze cooling them down.

Characterised by dramatic volcanic landscapes and peppered with quaint fishing villages, the Azores are ideal for  nature-lover’s. Sao Miguel is the largest island and is known for its geothermal hot springs and volcanic craters. To the northwest of the island, you can a soak in the natural hot spring of the Ponta da Ferraria while looking out to sea or hike the Miradouro da Boca do Inferno trail and spot crater lakes. Just off the south central coast is the iconic Islote de Vila Franca, an uninhabited islet with a lake and beach. The south is also where you will find sandy beaches. The Azores beaches are naturally pebbled or covered in black sand, but some beaches have been artificially created with imported golden sand for tourism. 

Travel to the Azores is hassle-free if you're fully vaccinated and you just need to show proof of vaccination. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you will need evidence of a negative PCR test. Children under 11 are exempt from the rules. For more information on Portugal’s entry requirements, including what counts as being fully vaccinated, see our travel guide.

Find an Azores holiday with a Which? Recommended Provider: Trailfinders.

Tenby, Wales 

How hot is Tenby in August?

Average maximum temperature: 19

This long established British favourite was one of the top-rated seaside towns in our survey this year. Which? readers awarded it the full five stars for its beaches, seafront, tourist attractions and scenery. And with four out of five stars for food and drink, you won’t be short of meal options either. 

With average highs of 19℃ expected in August, you could easily while away the days building sandcastles and rock-pooling on one of Tenby’s sandy beaches. There’s  also the 13th century Tenby Castle and the National Trust Tudor Merchant’s House to explore. And for families with kids, there’s the Dinosaur Trail and the Blue Lagoon Waterpark.

You won’t need to test or show proof of vaccination to visit Wales. Simply hop in your car and go. And when on a road trip, the drive is part of the holiday, which is why we’ve pulled together a list of the UK’s best motorway service stations.

Find a Tenby cottage holiday with a Which? Recommended Provider: Rural RetreatsNational TrustClassic Cottages.

Iceland

What’s Iceland like in August?

Average maximum temperature: 12

Midnight sun, cascading waterfalls and lush, green landscapes - Iceland in August is every bit as magical as it is during the winter. While August is not the time to spot the northern lights, the milder weather means you can take a road trip and explore areas which aren’t accessible during winter - such as Hvannadalshnukur mountain, Iceland’s highest peak.

Top experiences include the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the south coast with its iconic black sand beaches. In addition, August provides the opportunity to hike in the highlands, visit the Westfjords, and spot puffins, which migrate to Iceland between May and the end of August. The midnight sun is why many tourists flock to Iceland during the summer, but if you’re not keen on the idea of trying to sleep in bright sunlight, aim for the end of August when the dark nights begin to draw in. August is one of Iceland’s warmest months. With highs of 12℃ in Reykjavik, the capital, and between 10-11℃ elsewhere. Expect bright blue skies and intervals of cloud in the summer months. With that said, Icelandic weather is known to be unpredictable, so pack your waterproofs and some warm layers in case.

Travel to Iceland is restriction-free, regardless of vaccination status. 

Find an Iceland holiday with a Which? Recommended Provider: HaysJet2TrailfindersSaga.

Bodrum & Izmir coast, Turkey

How hot does it get in Bodrum and Izmir in August?

Average maximum temperature: 32

For a sun-soaked beach holiday with some history thrown in, try the cities of Bodrum and Izmir along Turkey’s Aegean coast. Izmir, having been established by the Greeks, colonised by the Romans and then later, the Ottoman empire, is full of archeological sites, such as the citadel on Mount Kadifekale. For nature lovers, there’s Izmir Nature Reserve and Izmir Bird’s Paradise wetlands - where you can spot flamingos. As a large, well established resort, there’s a wide choice of beaches, restaurants, bars and accommodation if it’s a relaxing eat and swim type of holiday you’re craving. 

Likewise, the port city of Bodrum is steeped in history. It’s home to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Its twin bays are lined by sandy beaches, restaurants and bars, meaning ample opportunities to relax and soak in the sunshine too.

Travel to Turkey is completely restriction-free, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about visiting Turkey, see gov.uk.

Find a Bodrum and Izmir holiday with a Which? Recommended Provider: HaysJet2KuoniTrailfinders.

Long haul holiday destinations for August

Kenya

Is August a good time to visit Kenya?

Average maximum temperature: 28

August is one of the best months to visit Kenya in terms of weather conditions and wildlife encounters. That’s because August falls in the middle of the dry season (July to September), meaning milder temperatures and less rainfall. It’s also the month of the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra, which you’ll witness in Maasai Mara National Reserve. 

Kenya is abundant in national parks and reserves where you can go on safari, including Amboseli National Park, where you’ll see elephants and giraffes against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Samburu Trails, a conservation area teeming with wildlife. After spotting some of the world’s most beautiful animals, you could round off your trip with a couple of days to relax on the white sands of Diani Beach in Mombasa.

Currently, only fully vaccinated adults or unvaccinated travellers under 18 can enter Kenya. To keep up to date with Kenya’s entry restrictions, see gov.uk.

Find a Kenya holiday with a Which? Recommended Provider: HaysKuoniTrailfindersSaga.

Charleston, USA

What’s Charleston like in August?

Average maximum temperature: 31

With the release of Where the Crawdads Sing in the UK this summer, you may be craving some of that southern hospitality for yourself - and this port city in South Carolina is the perfect place to find it. 

Steeped in old world charm, Charleston’s strip of pastel antebellum houses have become a tourist attraction in their own right, aptly named Rainbow Row. Saunter around the gardens and 18th century mansion of Magnolia Plantation, one of the oldest plantations in the south, or watch life go by in Charleston Harbour, home to the civil war era Fort Sumter. Slow things down even more with a romantic stroll along the beach on Sullivan’s Island before tucking into a hearty southern dish with a view.

Only fully vaccinated travellers can enter the USA for tourism at the moment. You will need to show proof of vaccination to gain entry. See more about the USA’s entry restrictions in our guide.

Find a Charleston holiday with a Which? Recommended Provider: Trailfinders.

Peru

Is August a good month to visit Peru?

Average maximum temperature: 18

Peru’s rich history and diverse landscapes appeal to adventurous travellers. Go this August for fewer crowds (as tourism levels still aren’t back to pre-pandemic levels) and better weather conditions as it’s in the middle of dry season.

Sample Ceviche and pisco sour  in Lima. Then learn about the Incas in Cusco, the ancient civilisation’s capital, and just an hour away is Rainbow Mountain, with its distinct coloured stripes - the result of different minerals creating a marbling effect. The highlight of your trip will be exploring Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. Opt to take the train to the site from Aguas Calientes or if you’re up for the challenge, walk the same pilgrimage route the Incas made to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. ). Temperatures hover around 18℃ in Lima and Cusco in August while in Iquitos and the Amazonian regions, you can expect peaks of 32℃ and high humidity levels. Temperatures can plummet during the night in the higher altitude regions at this time of year, so pack for all weathers. 

Fully vaccinated travellers will just need proof of vaccination to enter Peru. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you will need to show evidence of a negative PCR test. Children under 12 are exempt from the rules. For more information about Peru’s entry requirements, including the use of face masks, visit gov.uk.

Find a Peru holiday with a Which? Recommended Provider: KuoniTrailfindersSaga.

Weather data from Weather2travel.com.