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14 Best Places to Travel in August

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In August, most places throughout the northern hemisphere will be enjoying long days with plenty of light for exploring along with warm weather. In the southern hemisphere, it’s winter, which can be ideal for certain destinations. Either way, this is a popular time to make an escape, and you’ll have plenty of great options to consider. From the Land Down Under to the Arctic Circle, consider one of these top spots for your August getaway.

Faroe Islands
Gasadalur Village, Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands

Located north of Scotland between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands offer jaw-dropping scenery, a wealth of bird life (including puffins), and Viking folklore. Made up of 18 islands accessed via tunnels, helicopters, and ferries, August is one of the best months to visit, with plenty of daylight and average temperatures in the mid-50s with minimal rain. This lush and peaceful archipelago is an ideal place for immersing yourself in nature and experiencing life at a slower pace. Hike crowd-free paths that lead to fantasy-like scenes that include the renowned Múlafossur Waterfall near Gasadalur Village, or explore the islands on horseback.

Bali, Indonesia
Balangan beach, Bali

Bali, Indonesia

August is generally one of the worst months to visit Southeast Asia with most countries known for high heat, humidity, and endless rain this time of year. But Bali is different as it’s one of the drier months here, providing a great opportunity to explore everything from magnificent temples, rice fields, and waterfalls to beautiful beaches. The average temperature is right around 80 degrees, and the skies are almost always sunny. Look forward to relaxing on beautiful beaches like Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida, snorkeling and diving in pristine waters, and visiting the famous Uluwatu Temple.

Maldives
approaching a stunning island in the Maldives

Maldives

While the Maldives is a dreamy destination all year round, it also tends to be rather expensive. If these gem-like islands in the Indian Ocean are on your bucket list but budget is an issue, August is an ideal month to plan your trip. While there may be intermittent heavy downpours, you’ll still enjoy plenty of sunshine while many resorts offer some great discounts, making a trip here much more doable. In between the showers, look forward to relaxing on pristine chalk-white sandy beaches and enjoying some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving in crystal-clear turquoise lagoons.

Bonaire
Flamingos in the salt flats, Bonaire

Bonaire

The vast majority of visitors to the Caribbean arrive in the winter and early spring, which means a summer trip brings the opportunity for a more budget-friendly trip without the crowds. Of course, many islands are at high risk of hurricanes in August, but Bonaire sits at the outer edge of what’s known as the “hurricane belt.” That means that while it can be impacted by some tropical storms, a direct hit is uncommon. Enjoy the many delights of the island, like postcard-perfect beaches (some with pink sands), and world-famous diving and snorkeling in a more tranquil atmosphere without the high prices of the peak tourist season.

The Outback, Australia
Uluru (Ayers rock), Australia

The Outback, Australia

Summer in Australia’s Outback is sizzling hot, but with August part of winter, you can explore it while enjoying much more comfortable temperatures. The ancient landscape is home to a number of experiences and natural marvels while being less visited, for the chance to unplug and escape from the crowds. One of the top things to do is visit Uluru, a striking red monolith that looms over the landscape and bears multiple inscriptions made by ancestral indigenous peoples. Don’t miss Kakadu National Park, home to about a fifth of all Australia’s animals, including saltwater and freshwater crocodiles, kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, dugongs, and exotic bird species like the hooded parrot and lorikeets.

Upper Peninsula Michigan
Hunters Point Park - Copper Harbor, Michigan.

Upper Peninsula Michigan

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan enjoys near-perfect summer temperatures, meaning it won’t be scorching hot or too cool. Daytime temperatures average in the mid-70s, ideal for hiking the miles and miles of scenic trails and spending time on the water. Munising is the gateway to the stunning Pictured Rocks National Seashore, providing a great base for enjoying sand dunes, multi-colored cliffs, and many waterfalls. Or head to Copper Harbor at the remote northern tip, a wild and secluded paradise described as a mix of British Columbia, Sedona, Telluride, Isle Royale, Moab, and even Key West all in one.

Molokai, Hawaii
Waialua Beach, Molokai, Hawaii

Molokai, Hawaii

The most popular Hawaiian islands, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, are busy all year round and August is no exception. If you’re looking for serenity without the crowds, consider Molokai. While it’s just nine miles from West Maui, it seems as if it’s a world’s away. You might even find a stretch of sand to enjoy all to yourself. Despite the lack of tourist development, there’s plenty to do beyond simply gazing out at the incredible scenery. You might hike to Moaula Falls, take a guided mule ride to Kalaupapa National Historical Park, experience authentic native Hawaiian culture, and snorkel among a myriad of marine life and coral reefs.

Foula Island - Shetland Islands, Scotland
Shetland Islands, Scotland

Foula Island - Shetland Islands, Scotland

August is a great month to visit the Shetland Islands which will be experiencing some of the warmest temperatures of the year, averaging in the mid-50s. For those who want to avoid the masses, consider the small island of Foula, which lies 20 miles off the west of mainland Scotland from its northern tip. The UK’s most remote permanently inhabited island, it’s a birdwatcher’s paradise, designated as a Special Protection Area for birds – in fact, Foula translates to “Bird Island” in Old Norse. Seals can often be seen lounging around the shores and orcas are sometimes spotted swimming nearby. It can be reached by air via Tingwall Airport just outside the town of Lerwick, Shetland’s only town or by ferry from the pier at Walls in the West Mainland.

Atacama Desert, Chile
Milky Way in Atacama Desert, Chile

Atacama Desert, Chile

Summer in Chile, mid-December through mid-March, is the peak tourist season. For stargazing enthusiasts, the best time to come is winter, and August is an optimal month. This is when the skies above the spectacular Atacama Desert will be at their clearest and most brilliant, providing some of the best stargazing on the planet, even without a telescope. One of the driest places on Earth, humans are unable to inhabit this world-renowned desert permanently, but that’s what makes for such idyllic conditions. The skies are cloud free, with the dry air resulting in few distortions from atmosphere vapors. As such, there are observatories here like ALMA, the world’s largest radio telescope. Atacama is also one of the world’s best places to watch the sun go down, with low light heightening the textures and deepening the fiery red, yellow, green, and even blue shades.

Svalbard Islands, Norway
Polar bear, Arctic summer, Svalbard

Svalbard Islands, Norway

Located at the northern tip of Norway, the Svalbard Islands offer everything from close-up encounters with icebergs and glaciers to remarkable wildlife. One of Europe’s last great untouched wilderness areas, the islands lie between the Norwegian Sea, the Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea, and the Greenland Sea. They’re home to more polar bears than people, with a population of less than 3,000. Plus, you can spot walruses, seals, reindeer, polar foxes and a wide range of birds, which all co-exist in this harsh but magnificent landscape. In August, you can look forward to over 19 hours of daylight to enjoy it all. It will never really be warm here, but it will be above freezing, with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the low 40s.

Kaudulla National Park, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Kaudulla National Park, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is renowned for its magnificent nature, miles of golden sands, intriguing historic sites, and inspiring safaris with a wealth of incredible wildlife. While some areas of the island are experiencing monsoon season in August, the east side of the island enjoys pleasant weather for exploring places like Kaudulla National Park. With over 200 elephants inhabiting the park, it’s one of the best places to spot them on the entire island. Plus you can see everything from monkeys to leopards too. The abundant sunshine makes the east coast beaches ideal for chilling out and taking advantage of calm water for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Ithaca, Greece
Vathy, Ithaca Island, Greece

Ithaca, Greece

August is one of the busiest months of the year when it comes to tourism in the Greek Islands, but a stay at one of the less-visited islands off the well-worn tourist path can provide a more tranquil atmosphere for quiet contemplation along with breathtaking scenery. The small island of Ithaca, the mythical island of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey, is ideal. Surrounded by water in glorious shades of brilliant blues and greens while fringed by idyllic beaches and secluded coves, it’s a place where myth meets rugged beauty. Enjoy a more authentic Greek island experience that includes plenty of mouthwatering family-run tavernas with menus featuring fresh-caught seafood.

Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Great Basin National Park - Alpine Lakes Trail

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

While it may seem as if there are no national parks that won’t be jam-packed with tourists in August, Great Basin National Park is an exception. This remote paradise, far from the bright lights of Vegas, is one of the least-visited national parks in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer plenty. You’ll find spectacular hiking trails that lead to alpine lakes, the state’s only glacier, and even caves to explore. One of the top things to do is take a tour of Lehman Caves, a stunning marble cave ornately decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, popcorn, and over 300 rare shield formations.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Walker Lake, Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve, Alaska

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve is one of the most remote parks in the country. It spans approximately seven million acres of Arctic wilderness, and due to its extreme northern location, visiting in the summer is a must, with August particularly ideal. Daily temperatures hover around 60 degrees, with the pleasant weather great for taking advantage of the myriad of outdoor adventures here, including hiking, paddling, and abundant wildlife watching for animals like muskoxen, caribou, and millions of birds. It’s not easy to get there, but there are wilderness lodges like Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge that offer all-inclusive fly-out tours starting and ending in the much more easily accessible town of Fairbanks.

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