Top Places to Go in August
We love August: a winter playground in the southern hemisphere and the best of summer in the north. Wherever in the world you want to go, here are a few places where the celebrations continue long into the night.
The largest arts festival in the world comes to Edinburgh this month – and with it some warmer weather and a guest appearance by the August sun. Rebel bingo, tarot readers, magicians, puppeteers, musicians, comedians and stage shows, this is a sensory overload emotions inspired by unique performances.
Pack a picnic and soak up the elusive Scottish sun on The Meadows, explore the imposing peak of Arthur's Seat or sample traditional Scottish fare of Haggis and a warming dram of local whiskey and then let the festivities begin. Watch up-and-coming comedians or if you’re lucky a big-name trying their newest material at The Stand. Discover a huge programme of performing arts and stage shows, including the immersive version of Trainspotting. Or simply meander the streets, ducking into whatever establishment tickles your fancy with the loudest laughter.
Though accommodation and flights do go up in price in August, a huge range of activities are completely free. Check out the online guide here.
North East Sri Lanka:
Sri Lanka’s north east is a haven from the wind and rain in the south in August – and it comes with an electric vibrancy peculiar to the region. Looking for a super unique and off the beaten path experience? Spot whales and explore temples and shrines in Trincomalee before renting a vehicle and driving the 250km of stunning coastline through national parks, rice fields, palm landscapes and untouched beaches (keep an eye out for monkeys, buffalos and wild elephants along the drive).
Head south through coastal towns like Pasikuda and Batticaloa, full of temples, shrines, forts, monasteries and plenty of adventure, before reaching Sri Lanka’s surf capital of Aragum Bay. If that hasn’t ticked enough boxes, head to Minneriya National Park for a once in a lifetime experience: once a year elephants gather in numbers of over 300 in what has become known around the world as the “Minneriya Gathering”. Round out your trip with a visit to Sigiriya and conquer the 1200 steps up nearly 200m to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed ancient rock fortress at Lion Rock for an unforgettable 360-degree view of Sri Lanka’s unique paradise.
August in the Snowy Mountains means the best of the snow - and après ski at its liveliest. Nine out of ten visitors in August come for snowboarding, skiing and après ski. However, the backcountry is beautiful this time of year and still largely accessible with guided snow shoeing trips available from many of the main resorts including Perisher and Thredbo. If you’re feeling fit and are an experienced mountaineer, you can even make the trek to the top of Mt Kosciuskzo – the breath-taking panoramic views will be worth it.
There are four unique snow resorts located in the Kosciuszko National Park that cater to all – Thredbo is renowned for its Alpine village vibe and legendary après ski, Perisher is the southern hemisphere's largest alpine resort and better for skiing, Charlotte Pass is popular with cross country skiers due its trail access, and Selwyn Snow Resort is small and perfect for families and beginners.
With schools back, there are deals aplenty!
This is festival season – which means you get the best of Croatia plus more! Head to the Dubrovnik Summer Festival - the most prestigious: here you’ll find open-air stages set up throughout the city to accommodate opera, theatre and dance performances. Or travel to Labin to discover the street performances and open studio doors of Labin Art Republika. For those in the know, free guided tours depart every Tuesday at 9:30pm from the tourist office in the old town recounting myths and legends of the area. Travel back in time to Krk where you’ll find the Venetian-inspired Krk Fair, a three-day event with concerts, medieval costumes and nearly 200 stalls selling traditional food and handicrafts. Meanwhile, Zrće Beach on Pag Island hosts Sonus Festival, which includes five days and nights of music in open air clubs and boats. Continue the party like a local and head to Sali Fiesta in Dugi Otok, an island off the coast of Zadar that hosts three days of live music, traditional food, candlelit processions of boats and, uniquely, donkey races; or head to Supetar Summer on Brač Island, home to a two-month-long festival of folk music, dance, klapa, classical concerts, exhibitions, talks and outdoor cinema.