Where is hot in August
By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer
Q. Where is hot in August?
A. The Mediterranean can experience heatwaves in August with temperatures nudging 40ºC. If you’re on the coast, it may feel a bit cooler. If you want to escape the heat and high humidity, consider Northern Europe or Scandinavia. Or head for the mountains: the Alps will be sunny and warm with low humidity. The Caribbean (31ºC) and Bali (29ºC) are popular long-haul options.
These are my own personal recommendations with links to companies tested and approved by our team of editors. If you have kids, see our recommendations for family holidays in August. If you’re travelling alone, check out the best solo holidays in August.
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Short haul holidays in August
Europe is an obvious choice in August; flight times are short and inexpensive, so you can be basking in sunshine within a few hours of leaving home.
The Mediterranean can get very hot in August, particularly if you’re in a large resort or away from cooling sea breezes. Cyprus, for example, often sees temperatures of 35°C in the capital, Nicosia, although the coastal resorts tend to be 5°C cooler.
As a general rule, destinations in the southern Mediterranean are a few degrees hotter than those in the northern Med. So the Greek island of Crete will regularly top 30°C, as will Malta, the Costa de la Luz in southern Spain and the Aegean Coast of Turkey.
The Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily are busy in August – as most of Italy shuts down for a month and everybody flees to the beaches. Expect lots of sunshine, warm seas and temperatures of 28°C to 30°C. The best beaches on mainland Italy are in the southern region of Puglia. To escape to the Italian countryside, rent a villa in Le Marche.
Other hot destinations in August include Croatia which has a stunning coastline and hundreds of islands – many uninhabited – that can be explored on boat trips.
If you want temperatures a little less hot you could try the Italian Lakes, the stunning French island of Corsica, the northerly Greek islands of Skiathos and Skopelos, Halkidiki in mainland Greece – where we recommend Sani Beach Resort – and the Cote d’Azur, where you can expect perfect temperatures of 27°C.
Another way to cool off is to take to the water. You could laze on the deck of a gulet meandering along the coast of Turkey, take a watersports holiday in Greece or enjoy a luxury barging holiday in France.
A further option is to head a little further north in Northern or Western France where you can escape the searing heat of the Mediterranean, and the journey by car is far more manageable. Families should consider beachfront holiday parks which offer great value self-catering accommodation and lots of facilities for children. We recommend Siblu Villages. If you have a bigger budget and a bit party of friends or family you could rent out an entire chateau in France.
This is the best time of year to visit Northern Spain – the Green Coast, as it’s known. You’ll find unspoilt beaches, mountains, traditional villages, great food and a friendly welcome.
If you crave sunshine but aren’t keen on crowds, savage heat or high humidity, consider the clean mountain air of the Alps. The region is perfect if you enjoy walking and other outdoor activities. We recommend Inghams for families and Peak Retreats for budget holidays.
If you don’t want to drive or fly, how about a coach tour of Europe that wraps up some of the region’s highlights.
Long haul holidays in August
You risk burning your toes on the sand in many mid-haul destinations. In the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf and northern Africa it’s not unusual to experience temperatures of 40°C, so these places are best left for other times of the year.
In Oceania, the Cook Islands are a balmy 25°C, and Fiji 26°C – both brilliant alternatives to the Indian Ocean, though further afield. This is also a busy time in the Caribbean, particularly with families, although there is a risk of wind and sharp rain showers, as this is officially the hurricane season. You are usually better off in the more southerly islands such as Barbados (31ºC, 8 hours of daily sun).
If you want to laze on some of the world’s most pristine beaches, head for Bermuda which is at its sunny best in our summer. Check into luxury Rosedon Hotel or the family-friendly Fairmont Southampton.
South East Asia generally suffers from monsoon season in August, with a few exceptions. Bali enjoys excellent weather at this time of year, as does Koh Samui in Thailand with 12 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures averaging 31°C. Find more holiday ideas in Thailand.
For something a little different – and if you don’t mind some heat and humidity – explore China, perhaps a twin-centre break in Beijing (30°C) and Shanghai (31°C).
Last updated: 3 February 2020