August is the peak tourist season for most European countries, so expect the main attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Colosseum etc to be extremely packed. The temperature in southern Europe is soaring, many places, such as Malta, having days with a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius). Another thing to bear in mind is that many smaller businesses outside the main tourist areas close down for a week or two as they too go on holiday. But where should you go on holiday then? Short answer – north. Below are the top 5 travel destinations for August.
This green little island off the coast of Estonia has many festivals happening in the summer. In the beginning of August, they have a Maritime Festival. It offers exciting events and a beach full of fun. On top of spectacular shows, well-known and talented local performers, exciting sea-themed workshops and unique food and drink tents you’ll get to go on board historical boats and take a helicopter ride above Kuressaare (Biggest town in Saaremaa).
If you feel that the winds are a bit too much for you and you’d rather sit in heat, on the 8th of August Saaremaa hosts a sauna marathon. There are 15 saunas scattered around Saaremaa and you’ll need to find all of them with the help of a map and of course use the saunas as well.
2. High Tatras, Slovakia
The High Tatras is a mountain range along the border of northern Slovakia in the Pre?ov Region, and southern Poland in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. It is part of the Tatra Mountains chain.
Although the High Tatras in Slovakia are mostly known for it’s ski resorts, it’s also a spectacular summer destination. Beautiful scenery, good food and great hiking trails have put this adventure destination on our top 5 list.
For the adventure travellers, I’d definitely suggest the Tatranska Magistrala, a 42km long hiking trail that runs from the northeast Tatras to the west Tatras. The highest peak being a whopping 2.6km! Because of the toughness and snowy peaks even during the summer months, this trail is only open from June to October. You’re probably wondering what accomodation/food options are there along the route. Although there’s almost no hotels directy on the route, you’ll still find a fair few mountain hotels near by, such as the Zamkovskeho Chata and Horsk? Hotel Popradsk? Pleso.
3. Lofoten, Norway
Lofoten – an archipelago in one of the most northern parts of Norway. Although it lies within the Arctic circle, in the summer temperatures can go as high as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius).
Lofoten is known for it’s stunning scenery, beaches and beautiful bays. The main islands are:Hinn?ya, Austv?g?y, Gims?y, Vestv?g?y, Flakstad?ya and Moskenes?ya.
I recommend visiting Lofoten, if you like rockclimbing. It has 24 hours of sunlight in the summer and Alpine-style ridges and summits – perfect for mountaineering. The best location would be Moskenes?ya.
There are also great cycling routes across the islands. Most routes are quite flats and near the coastline, but further inland you might run into a few 400m climbs.
4. Bu?ol, Spain
La tomatina! For those of you unfamiliar with this festival, it’s basically a big food fight using only tomatoes. As ridiculous as it sounds, it does have it’s historic reasons. It all started when during a local festival in Bu?ol, a young boy fell off a float. He got angry and started rampaging in the town, hitting everything in his path, including a vegetable stand full of tomatoes until the local police stopped the fight. Next year some boys brought their own tomatoes from home and started throwing them. The following years the participation grew and the event was banned almost every other year. Today the festival has been declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest.
Fun fact: Each year an estimated 150,000 tomatoes are destroyed during La Tomatina!
5. Gozo, Malta
For those of you who think that summer is all about heat – Malta is the place to be in August. Temperatures can go as high as 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius).
Gozo is a small island north of the main island, Malta. The main attraction is the Azure window, where the hit series Game of Thrones was partly filmed.
On the other side of the island, you’ll find some beautiful valleys, fields and salt pans. Salt pans are used to collect salt from the sea. Each early morning the locals fill up the pans with seawater and leave it to dry. The remaining salt is collect and used as regular table salt.
Since the island is only 25 square miles, it’s perfect for hiking. In August try to avoid hiking from noon to four or you’ll definitely get a sunburn or even a heat stroke.