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Where to go in August: Best beach and city break holidays

Ah, August. Widely considered to be the very best month to travel from the UK, August is when many destinations are enjoying their peak summer temperatures, music festivals are in full swing and the beaches are packed. It's also the best time for a family holiday, as August is part of the UK school summer holidays.

While it may feel like every hotel and beach resort is fully booked in August, this is not completely true. Yes, you can save a lot of money by booking early for an August holiday, but you can also find some great last-minute deals.

No matter which type of holiday you're looking for, August is an ideal month to set off. But if you're not quite sure where you want to go yet, we've rounded up all the best deals for our top August beach holiday and city break destinations. It’s time to start planning your perfect August escape!

The best beach holiday destinations in August

With soaring summer temperatures all over Europe and places further afield, it's no wonder that many UK travellers want to head straight to the beach for their August summer holiday.

Whether you're keen for a short- or long-haul beach holiday, there'll be plenty to choose from, as August is the month when many destinations experience their driest and hottest weather of the entire year.

Not sure where you want to go? From safe beaches to world-class activities and attractions, here are some of our top choices for a beach holiday in August.

Canary Islands (Spain)

🌡️ 29° C air temperature

🌊 23° C water temperature

☀️ 13 hours per day

🌧️ 1 rainy day / 1 mm

Seychelles

🌡️ 29° C air temperature

🌊 29° C water temperature

☀️ 12 hours per day

🌧️ 17 rainy days / 100 mm

Zakynthos (Greece)

🌡️ 31° C air temperature

🌊 26° C water temperature

☀️ 11 hours per day

🌧️ 3 rainy days / 9 mm

Croatia

🌡️ 28° C air temperature

🌊 25° C water temperature

☀️ 13 hours per day

🌧️ 3 rainy days / 38 mm

Sardinia (Italy)

🌡️ 31° C air temperature

🌊 25° C water temperature

☀️ 13 hours per day

🌧️ 3 rainy days / 2 mm

The best city break destinations in August

It's not all about the beach this summer, as August is a fantastic time of year to get the most out of some top city break destinations. The warm weather will be ideal for lots of exploring; add the extra-long hours of daylight and al fresco dining and you've got yourself a pretty perfect summertime city break.

A city break is a great option no matter if you're travelling solo, as a couple or within a larger group. We've rounded up our favourite city break destinations for August, including a few cities that allow you to have the best of both worlds - cities that let you have plenty of beachtime!

1. Palma, Spain

The Balearic Islands are on top form during August and this is a great time of year to visit Palma, the capital of Majorca. Not only is Palma an ideal base for exploring the rest of the island, but there's plenty to do and see within the city itself.

And the best bit? There are many beaches within easy access, so Palma is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a city break that gives them lots of opportunity to laze on the beach.

Travel tips for Palma

A visit to La Seu has to be at the top of any to-do list in Palma; easily the city's biggest landmark, the cathedral dates back to the 14th Century and is full of stunning stained glass windows. Do yourself a favour and book a guided tour.

Once you've explored the atmospheric streets of Palma's Old Town, venture out to the unique Bellver Castle or spend a day at one of the nearby beaches. Our favourite beaches near Palma include Ca'n Pere Antoni (a true city beach), Ciudad Jardin Beach (good for families) and Cala Mayor (good amenities).

Palma weather conditions in August

Average temperature: 23 - 30° C

Hours of daylight: 12 hours

Rainy days: 2 days

2. London, UK

It may seem a bit odd to include one of the biggest capital cities on this list, but London is truly at its best in summer, especially in August. There's so much on the go at this time of year: outdoor markets are in full swing, beer gardens are heaving and there's no shortage of exciting live events and festivals.

So if you're after a staycation this August, London will provide the ultimate summertime city break experience.

Travel tips for London

Apart from the usual suspects like Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and the Harry Potter Film Studio Tour, the city's August calendar is packed with events and festivals that you need to add to your list of things to do while in London. You can check out the BBC Proms, London Craft Beer Festival or Field Day, all of which are happening in August.

If you can, make sure that you visit London near the end of August, as this when the Notting Hill Carnival will be taking over the streets with colourful costumes and delicious street food.

London weather conditions in August

Average temperature: 14-21° C

Hours of daylight: 15 hours

Rainy days: 10 days

3. Reykjavik, Iceland

For those well acquainted with Iceland, a city break to Reykjavik isn't exactly a budget-friendly experience. That said, there are great travel deals out there, and August is one of the best times to be in Iceland's capital city.

Iceland offers different activities depending on the season, so an August visit means that the very best summertime activities will be accessible, from river rafting and hiking to sea kayaking and whale watching.

Travel tips for Reykjavik

Reykjavik is often used as a jumping-off point for Golden Circle day trips, Northern Lights tours and visits to the Blue Lagoon, but the city itself has its fair share of things to see. The visually striking Hallgrimskirkja is a must-visit in the city centre, as is the Sun Voyager sculpture and fascinating Saga Museum.

When you're done seeing the city's attractions, there are a number of live events and festivals to attend in August, including the Reykjavik Pride Festival, Reykjavik Culture Night and Reykjavik Jazz Festival.

Reykjavik weather conditions in August

Average temperature: 8-13° C

Hours of daylight: 15 hours

Rainy days: 14 days

4. Porto, Portugal

With its riverside location and cascading rows of colourful houses, Porto looks like a fairytale destination in the summertime. Located in northwestern Portugal, this city is ideal for a relaxed city break in the sunshine - and for enjoying good wine and food!

It may not be as well known as places like Lisbon and the Algarve, but August's pleasantly warm weather - as opposed to scorching hot - makes it a great time to explore Porto and take in its many sights.

Travel tips for Porto

It may seem a bit touristy, but hopping on a traditional boat cruise is one of our favourite ways to get acquainted with Porto. You'll get to see the city's pretty buildings as well as its impressive bridges, including the Dom Luis I Bridge, which was designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel.

Away from the river, the cobblestone streets of Ribeira and Baixa beckon, filled with shops, restaurants and cafes to discover. It's also worth joining in on a port wine tasting experience since this is one of the city's biggest claims to fame.

Porto weather conditions in August

Average temperature: 14-24° C

Hours of daylight: 13 hours

Rainy days: 7 days

5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Although Amsterdam is a top destination all year round, it feels like the Netherlands' capital city is especially vibrant during the summetime. Picture canal boat rides, bustling street food markets and lazy days cycling through the city - this is exactly what your August holiday could look like this year.

Many travellers visit Amsterdam for a weekend but there's so much to do - and there are so many action-packed day trips nearby - that you could easily while away a week or two.

Travel tips for Amsterdam

There's two modes of transport synonymous with Amsterdam: canal boats and bicycles. Both provide a unique and fun way of getting acquainted with the city; go on a canal cruise or - even better - hire your own canal boat! There are also plenty of places where you can hire a bicycle for the day.

Top Amsterdam attractions include the Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark and Anne Frank's House, but there's no end to what you can get up to. In August, you could also join in on celebrations at Amsterdam's Pride Festival at the beginning of the month or end August with a bang at Mysteryland, one of the world's biggest dance music festivals.

Amsterdam weather conditions in August

Average temperature: 12-22° C

Hours of daylight: 11 hours

Rainy days: 11 days

6. Riga, Latvia

If you, like us, are always on the lookout for a summer city break that's kind to the bank balance, then Riga might just be your ideal match for August. Bordering the Baltic Sea, Latvia's capital city is a popular choice for summer, especially for group visits, and there's a whole lot of things to see and do.

Nightlife, great food, interesting attractions and outdoor events - budget-friendly Riga has it all in August.

Travel tips for Riga

Head straight to the city's Town Hall Square to see some of the city's oldest and most beautiful buildings. The cobblestone streets surrounding the square are filled with shops, historical attractions and restaurants - it's worth having a wander around this area.

You should also check out Riga's Central Market, the Nativity of Christ Cathedral and the Art Nouveau buildings on Elizabetes Street. For those wanting to make the most of the sunshine, there's even a beach nearby! A 30-minute train will bring you to Jūrmala, a beachfront renowned for its white sand and Blue Flag status.

Riga weather conditions in August

Average temperature: 13-20° C

Hours of daylight: 14 hours

Rainy days: 12 days

More inspiration for your August holiday