Want an adrenaline-fueled adventure? Would you prefer to relax by the sea? Or maybe you’re keen to absorb some culture at a festival?

August is prime time for an epic escape, and whatever you’re after. So check out some of our recommendations for where to travel this August and start planning your next adventure. 

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Where are the best places to travel to in August for relaxation?

Enjoy the north coast of Sri Lanka; hit the lesser-known islands of Greece.
Enjoy the north coast of Sri Lanka, or hit the lesser-known islands of Greece © Jonathon Stokes / Lonely Planet; © milangonda / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Northeast Sri Lanka 

Why now? Loll or surf at Indian Ocean beaches under the sun. 

There’s a triple whammy of good news about Sri Lanka’s northeast in August: the weather is great, prices are low and beaches are quiet. Unlike the southwest, which catches the rain now, the northeast coast this month has blue skies, warm waters and – at Arugam Bay particularly – good surf. Civil war ensured this region was largely off-limits until recently, so the coast is little-developed – you can still find an empty patch of sand at spots such as Nilaveli, Uppuveli and Passekudah. The center is also pretty dry in August, good for visiting the rock fortress of Sigiriya and spiritual hub Kandy, which bursts into noisy, colorful life during the Esala Perahera celebrations honoring the Sacred Tooth relic of Buddha each summer. 

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Sri Lanka hub

Cyclades, Greece

Why now? To swim between offbeat isles. 

Okay, we won’t lie: August across this magnificent Mediterranean archipelago is hardly castaway-quiet. The weather is too alluringly hot and sunny, and popular islands like party-central Mykonos and dreamy Santorini heave. However, smaller outposts – such as Schinousa, uninhabited Fidousa and craggy-coasted Iraklia – will be far less crowded. Plus, there’s a way to get away from everyone: jump in that crystal-clear blue sea. Book an open-water swimming holiday to hop between bays, coves and beaches under your own steam – rather than hordes of tourists, you’ll see sea caves, rock arches, towering cliffs, and colorful fish. 

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Greece hub

Where are the best places to travel to in August for wildlife and nature?

Spend some time foraging in Sweden; explore the wilderness of Ecuador.
Spend some time foraging in Sweden, or explore the wilderness of Ecuador © Westend61 / Getty Images;  © Shutterstock

Sweden 

Why now? For a free foraging adventure.

Allemansrätt is an amazing thing. This “Right of Public Access,” written into Swedish law, means everyone has the right to freely roam the countryside – that is, to visit any beach, swim in any lake, fish anywhere off the coast, put up a tent on (almost) any patch of ground and forage all over. And in a country with as much wonderful wilderness as Sweden, the possibilities are endless – and even in peak-season August, there’s plenty enough space for everyone. Plus, it’s a great month for foraging: look out for wild mushrooms plus bushes heavy with blueberries, raspberries, lingonberries and cloudberries. But where to go? Perhaps a wild camp kayaking expedition around the islands of the Stockholm Archipelago? Or a hike along the Kungsleden (King’s Trail) in remote Swedish Lappland? Or how about berry-picking in the forests of Skuleskogen National Park?

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Sweden hub

Ecuador 

Why now? Climb volcanoes, delve into the rainforest and browse markets. 

Little Ecuador packs the best of South America into one handy-sized package. It has amazing architecture in Quito and Cuenca; Inca remains at Ingapirca; Indigenous markets at Otavalo, Saquisil and Zumbahua; magnificent cones (including picture-perfect Cotopaxi) along the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”; and profuse wildlife in the Amazon, the Galápagos and the northern cloud forests. Both highlands and rainforests are driest in August, so it’s prime time for absorbing the cultural highlights and getting active on volcanoes and rafting whitewater rivers. Ecuador’s a bargain, to boot, with great-value accommodation.

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Ecuador hub

Where are the best places to travel to in August for culture?

Enjoy the culture of Swaziland; tango in Buenos Aires.
Enjoy the culture of Swaziland, or tango in Buenos Aires © Philip Lee Harvey / Lonely Planet; © Getty Images

eSwatini 

Why now? For natural and cultural festivities in Africa’s little culture capital. 

Landlocked eSwatini (known until 2018 as Swaziland) has all the animal allure you’d expect from a wild tract of southern Africa and August is the height of the dry season. There are 17 game-packed protected areas spread across this pocket-sized nation’s bushveld, highveld and subtropical forests – ranger-led walks in Hlane Royal National Park are a particular thrill. But arguably it’s the human interactions here that’ll leave the greatest impression. Ruled by one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchs, eSwatini has a uniquely well-preserved cultural heritage, displayed in most dazzling fashion in late August or early September at the Umhlanga Reed Dance (this year's falls on September 4, so extend your trip until then). This huge-scale event at Ludzidzini sees up to 40,000 exuberant, brightly dressed girls dance before the king and the queen mother, accompanied by poker-faced warriors. It’s an unmatched eruption of swaying, singing, color and noise. 

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our eSwatini hub

Buenos Aires, Argentina 

Why now? Learn to tango in the home of the world’s sexiest dance.

Nowhere else are a city and a dance so inextricably linked. Tango is, simply, the heartbeat of Buenos Aires, and the Argentine capital’s passion for both the music – exemplified by the songs of Carlos Gardel, which still waft out of many a window – and the dance never seems to diminish. The cool month of August isn’t just a wonderful time to visit BA: it also sees the city fling itself into its annual Festival de Tango, with performances and concerts by the finest exponents. At other times, you can enjoy more or less touristy (but usually high-caliber) tango shows at various clubs and theaters, or simply watch the weekly Sunday sessions in Plaza Dorrego. But to really feel the spirit of the dance, join a lesson at a San Telmo milonga (dancehall) and stay for the late-night free-for-all with expert Porteños afterward, fuelled by fine Argentine red wine.

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Buenos Aires hub

Where are the best places to travel to in August for food and drink? 

Taste the incredible hawker food of Singapore; hit up the stalls of Portland
Taste the incredible hawker food of Singapore, or hit up the stalls of Portland © Stocksy; © Iris van den Broek / Shutterstock

Singapore 

Why now? For greenery and gluttony.

Singapore is a hot and tasty prospect year-round. Since it’s practically on the equator, it’s always warm here, while the food scene – from Michelin-starred to street stalls – is always delicious. August, when local school holidays are over and rain is scarce, can be especially mouthwatering. There’s a growing focus on thinking local and sustainable, too, with a resurgence in the popularity of the city’s hawker market culture and comfort food faves (laksa, hokkien mee rice, fried kway teow noodles), young “hawkerpreneur” chefs adding hipness to the traditional scene and attempts to tackle food-waste issues. Indeed, Singapore is aiming for a greener future all round, with a pledge to double the size of its nature parks and plant more than a million trees by 2030.

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Singapore hub

Portland, Oregon 

Why now? To eat and drink outside.

The Pacific Northwest is notorious for its damp, misty weather. However, your best bet for a break with less drizzle is in August: it’s one of the region’s hottest, driest months, and ideal for soaking up Portland’s alfresco summer food scene. At this time of year it’s all about exploring the distinct neighborhoods, hanging out on patios and plazas, grazing from food trucks, browsing farmers markets, supping at microbreweries (there are around 70 in town) and scootering between award-winning baristas. Indeed, Portland has more roasters and cafes per capita than any other city in the USA – coffee is treated as seriously as wine here. A java crawl might include rock-star roasters Stumptown, an iced cold brew at Courier and a cuppa at Bison, the city’s only Native American–owned coffee shop. 

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Portland hub

Where are the best places to travel to in August for adventure?

Hike through Georgia; road trip through Flinders Range.
Hike through Georgia or road trip through Flinders Range © Getty Images / iStockphoto; © Posnov / Getty Images

Caucasus, Georgia & Armenia 

Why now? Hike a spectacular, sustainable trail.

When completed, the Transcaucasian Trail will be a monster – a marvelous 3000km (1864-mile) monster, streaking across the little-visited mountains of Georgia and Armenia, from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. The project, begun in 2015, aims to safeguard the nature and culture of the Caucasus by creating a world-class hiking route and developing sustainable-tourism initiatives along the way. Trekkers will be able to follow centuries-old shepherds’ tracks, visit monasteries and medieval villages, stay in family guesthouses, feast on home-cooked dishes and raise a glass (or three) of excellent local wine. Hundreds of kilometers have already been mapped, including the full north–south crossing of Armenia, via the peaks of Azhdahak and Khustup, Lakes Arpi and Sevan, the national parks of Dilijan and Arevi, and the canyons of Dzoraget and Debed. A section through Georgia’s Upper Svaneti is ready, too, where the high-altitude passes aren’t snow-free until July. 

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Georgia and Armenia hubs

Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Why now? Cool weather for walking.

The craggy, saw-toothed Flinders Ranges in South Australia are venerable indeed. Formed over 600 million years, they’re home to some of the oldest multi-cellular fossils on earth – the region’s Nilpena Ediacara National Park, designated in 2021, is arguably the world’s richest and most intact paleontological site. Also, human activity here dates back 49,000 years, with Aboriginal stories seemingly woven around every rock and outcrop. August is a good time to plot your own Flinders walkabout: there’s more rain, but it fills the creeks and pools, attracting wildlife. Animals are more active during the cooler winter days, too – hikers might find themselves strolling with yellow-footed rock wallabies, emus, grey kangaroos and flocks of galahs. The rugged northern section of the 1200km (750-mile) Heysen Trail (which starts on the south coast) cuts through the region, finishing at Parachilna Gorge, winding via Mt Remarkable, Alligator Gorge and the crater-like bowl of Ikara (Wilpena Pound). Truly epic hiking country.

Find everything you need to know to plan a trip on our Flinders Ranges hub

This article was first published June 2019 and updated June 2023

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