Holiday ideas for August

Take the opportunity to head to the mountains, or enjoy a more leisurely holiday by the coast.

Let us inspire you...

  • The hills which rise above the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders are carpeted in heather, meaning that if August were to be summed up in one word or colour, it would most definitely be ‘purple’ – a beautiful backdrop for the various historic sites dotted along our walking route, most notably Melrose Abbey, Traquair House (one-time refuge of Mary, Queen of Scots), Abbotsford (beloved home of Sir Walter Scott) and the Roman fort of Trimontium.
  • Shropshire might not have any beaches with which to tempt visitors, but it can offer one thing that you won’t find in the UK’s coastal regions in August: tranquillity. So, as you walk, relaxed and carefree, through this unspoiled borderland, past some of its numerous castles, spare a thought for all those stuck in traffic jams en route to the beach, and try not to feel too smug…
  • Emperor Franz Josef, who ruled Austria from 1848-1916, had a summer residence in Salzkammergut, Austria’s lake district, and it’s easy to see why he might have been attracted here: the lakes not only combine with the steep mountains around them to create astonishing, fjord-like scenery, but also provide a plentiful supply of delicious fish as well as providing a means of cooling off on hot days. Although it’s unlikely he explored by bike, we recommend that you do, as it’s a great way of discovering several of the area’s lakes in just a few days.
  • The Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria in Kandersteg is one of our most popular hotels for snow holidays, and is no less appealing in summer. Six months on from its busiest winter month, there is once again a pleasant bustle in the village, although walkers now explore accompanied by the chirruping of grasshoppers and crickets rather than the soft crunch of snow underfoot, and the waters of idyllically situated Lake Oeschinensee, usually frozen in winter, are now an inviting turquoise colour and dotted with pedalos and swimmers.
  • As in many European cities, August sees the business travellers outnumbered by people travelling purely for pleasure to the German cities of Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden. Fewer people dashing about to meetings means the atmosphere is more relaxed (and the hotels cheaper, too!), making this the month to dawdle through the streets, stopping to admire the iconic landmarks as you follow our self-guided walking tours through each of these three enthralling cities.
  • If you can’t visit Italy’s fruit-growing South Tyrol region during blossom time (early May), then arguably the second-best time for this gentle but scenic cycling holiday is late August or September, by which time the trees are hanging heavy with apples and plums and yet more are on sale at ad-hoc wayside stalls. We recommend that you take full advantage and buy some each day so that you’ve got something to snack on when you inevitably stop and park up your bikes to drink in the glorious mountain views.
  • For plentiful hot sunshine, head to Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and explore islands such as Korčula, which measures barely 70 kilometres from its easternmost point to its western shoreline. Spend your mornings exploring the island’s superbly preserved medieval capital and timeless villages, or strolling across expanses of rosemary and through silver-green olive groves. In the heat of the afternoon, cool off in the crystal-clear waters or hire a boat and potter around some of the nearby islets.
  • Besides the picturesque Alpine scenery, the great feature of our holidays in the Austrian Tyrol is the high standard of accommodation. Whether you choose our hotel-to-hotel Leutasch Valley walk or our centred-based Lake Achensee & its Mountains walk, you stay in 4-star hotels of great character where you experience first-hand the warm hospitality for which the Tyrol is renowned. After a wonderful day’s walking across grassy slopes and over panoramic passes, cool off with a swim – all our hotels have their own pool, or you can even bathe in some of the lakes.
  • In the north-west corner of Slovenia, the River Soča runs through a wild-feeling valley framed by the Julian Alps. Impossibly clear, the turquoise waters form natural pools for bathing, which alternate with faster stretches on which white-water rafters navigate through the rapids. Such scenery makes for great walking, while the area's poignant reminders of the First World War (many trenches remain untouched, and there is an excellent museum devoted to WWI in Kobarid) add an extra dimension to your holiday.
  • August is a month of transition in Norway’s western fjords. Travel at the start of the month and you’ll find a pleasant bustle and full timetable of ferries. Travel at the end of the month, however, and you’ll find it much quieter (though there are still plenty of ferries). In the south, the fruit harvest gets into full swing – you’ll see roadside stalls selling cherries and apples as you explore Hardangerfjord – while in the north of the region, the first leaves are beginning to change colour. Further north still, in the Lofotens, autumn has well and truly arrived by mid-August, with even more vivid colours.

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