6 Destinations to Visit From the UK This August

Jul 1, 2019

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It may feel like summer in the UK is already nearing an end, but it’s not over yet.

Take that final summer bank holiday weekend jaunt in August to one of these sunny European spots, or that well-deserved, longer vacation in Latin America, the US or Africa. It’s best to steer clear of the Caribbean and Central America for now, as it’s hurricane season, and you’ll want to be selective about travelling around Asia too, as many spots are plagued with heavy rains or even typhoons around the end of summer and into fall.

So for ideal weather, thin crowds and unforgettable events and festivals, these are the six places you should consider visiting this August.

Medellín, Colombia

Nicknamed the city of eternal spring for a reason, visiting in August — before the fall rainy season hits — is the perfect time to visit this Colombian destination.

Once regarded as one of the more dangerous cities in the world, Medellín is now recognized as a city that celebrates innovation. The Metrocable, which opened in the early 2000s, helped connect some of the remote settlements up the hill, like Comuna 13, with the city below, improving accessibility for residents and strengthening Medellín’s culture.

Medellin's cable car over the Barrios and the slums. (Photo by John Crux Photography / Getty Images)
Medellin’s cable car over the Barrios and the slums. (Photo by John Crux Photography / Getty Images)

And the cable car was just the beginning of Medellín’s makeover.

With the addition of more greenery; significant improvements to streets and boulevards; and the addition of new libraries and community centers, Medellín has been transformed into a safe and artistic destination.

The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, even chose the spot as the first city to film his new travel vlog, Being The Points Guy.

Head to Medellín in August, and you can experience one of the city’s most important festivals: Feria de las Flores, or the Festival of Flowers (August 2 to 11). The highlight of the event, which goes on for 10 full days, is the parade, where silleteros march through the streets with elaborate floral displays. Festivities also include music and dance events, a pageant, classic car and horse events, flower shows and more.

While you can’t fly nonstop between London and Medellín (MDE), Iberia flies nonstop to the Colombian hub from Madrid (MAD), and you can transfer British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios for award tickets, which will help you avoid hefty taxes and fees.

Malaga, Spain

While Malaga may seem like a pretty standard destination for British travellers, things really heat up in Malaga each August — figuratively and literally. The weather is, well, toasty, but the Mediterranean Sea breeze will keep you cool during the Feria of Malaga (August 15 through 24).

La Feria Malaga Festival Malaga, Spain.
La Feria Malaga Festival in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by ManuelVelasco / Getty Images)

The festival is frequented by visitors from around the world but mainly by Spaniards, ensuring you’ll get the beach holiday you’re craving (Malaga has lovely beaches, like Nerja or Fuengirola) but with a dose of Andalusian culture as well.

The squares in the city’s main historic center will be decorated and busy during the day with booze-fueled musical events, parades and celebrations, make sure to head over to the Feria Real grounds in the evening for more ambiance. The casetas, which are like tents, will be overflowing with malagueños, drinks, tapas and flamenco. The Feria Real also features a carnival for kids.

Best of all, it’s easy to get to southern Spain from the UK. Fly from different London airports to Malaga (AGP) on airlines like Ryanair, Jet2, Norwegian, British Airways and easyJet.

Stay at the brand-new Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton, which was refashioned from a former DoubleTree property in the Fuengirola area. The adults-only property includes a 2,665-square-meter pool and garden area, including sexy Balinese sun beds, a Jacuzzi and other water features.

Newport, Rhode Island

If the thought of a quintessential American summer proves intriguing, head over to the state of Rhode Island.

Lazy beach days, afternoon barbecues and balmy evenings spent outside at clam bakes, eating lobster rolls and sipping wine coolers on the lawn is the way to do August in the Northeast. And if you aren’t a beach person, there are still plenty of appealing activities — especially in Newport, where many well-to-do families once escaped to their summer “cottages” (read: mansions). These historic estates frequented by the Vanderbilts and the Astors are now open to the public for tours.

The month kicks off with the Newport Jazz Festival (August 2 to 4), featuring headliners such as Common, Herbie Hancock and Diane Reeves, among others. The outdoor festival takes place rain or shine over four stages as well as two beer and wine gardens. Next up is the Rhode Island International Film Festival (August 6 to 11). This year’s event will showcase more than 250 films, with both indoor and outdoor movie screenings, dinner events and even children’s events like a film scavenger hunt and workshops.

In nearby Providence, the WaterFire Festival is an ongoing art installation that lights up the city’s main waterways during the summer. The event also includes music and dining. Torches are used to light 86 floating wooden braziers, this year on Aug. 3 and 17.

Rhode Island Providence River WaterFire Festival
The Providence River during the WaterFire Festival. (Photo by Dave Dill / Getty Images)

Although you can’t fly nonstop from London, you can fly on Norwegian nonstop from Dublin, Ireland, to Providence for as little as £310 each way in August.

Montpellier, France

This southern French city is the perfect alternative to the French Riviera if you’re looking for a less haughty holiday. The city retains a stately, elegant feel, but one that makes all travellers feel welcome.

In addition to ample sunshine and beautiful beaches, August is your last chance to fly there from London on British Airways, which suspends its seasonal route from London (LHR) to the French hub on Sept. 2. If you do decide to visit after August, you can still fly nonstop on easyJet from London (LGW) to Montpellier (MPL).

But, back to the beaches. Who needs Cannes and St. Tropez when you have the dunes of Espiguette or lively La Grande-Motte? Here, lakes and rivers are flanked by rippling sands, rocky coves and the clear waters of the Mediterranean. While you can take the tram to many of the beaches near Montpellier, cyclists should plan to bike. The coastal route between Sète and Agde is especially picturesque.

Espiguette Beach Dunes France
The Espiguette beach in Camargue France. (Photo by Yann Guichaoua Photos / Getty Images)

Plan to check out the Estivales festival, which occurs every Friday evening in August along the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle. The large market features culinary events and wine tastings, art exhibitions and the opportunity to shop for artisan crafts and listen to live music.

Wine-lovers can sample Languedoc wines every Tuesday evening at the Saporta Festival. The event occurs in the nearby town of Lattes in the Maison des Vins.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Botswana is known as one of the safest countries in Africa, making it a great destination if you’re travelling alone, or if this is your first visit to the continent. Most locals speak English and the political situation, as well as the currency, has been fairly stable for a number of years.

August is cool and dry — the perfect time to visit — especially for game viewing during a safari. There’s less humidity, meaning fewer insects and less chance of insect-borne illnesses like malaria. And the dry season is the best time for spotting wildlife because it takes several months for the waters collected during the rainy season to travel through the vast Okavango Delta, meaning the flood waters remain on the ground, attracting herds of animals such as buffalo, elephants and antelope.

As the waters tend to collect in specific rivers and basins, the probability of spotting entire herds is much higher at this time.  It’s also the ideal time for a Mokoro canoe trip, during which you’ll relax in a traditional boat as a guide transports you through the swampy marshlands of the delta.

Elephants in Botswana
Elephants in Botswana. (Photo by crossinglight / Getty Images)

Just be prepared for colder temperatures during early morning game drives. Although daytime temperatures can be quite warm, nights and early mornings can inch toward freezing.

Although flying nonstop from London to the capital of Gaborone (GBE) isn’t currently an option, you can connect through Johannesburg (JNB) flying South African Airways. Remember, you can use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to book tickets on South African Airways.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The elegant capital city of Buenos Aires showcases one of its most beloved pastimes in August: tango. The two-week-long Tango Festival (August 8 to 21) features many free events including classes, concerts, performances, product fairs and more. The World Tango Competition is part of the festival, during which the world’s most talented tango dancers will compete to be the best.

Buenos Aires Tango Dancers
Tango Dancers at night in Buenos Aires. (Photo by piccaya / Getty Images)

But don’t expect sunshine and heat. August is winter in Argentina, and it’s often overcast or rainy. But the obvious upside of low-season travel are airfare and hotel deals, as well as near-empty tourist attractions. And, the month is perfect for those who love a good snow day and are willing to venture beyond the capital.

Ski enthusiasts dying to hit the slopes will be in their element thanks to near-perfect snowy conditions in spots like Cerro Castor, located at the southern tip of the country, and Cerro Catedral, located in the Argentinian Lakes District. Las Leñas in Patagonia is for the serious adventurer, as it boasts extreme skiing, snowboarding and even heli-skiing.

Still, wineries remain open through August in Mendoza, a region that may see slightly warmer temps thanks to its valley location. Either way, sipping a full-bodied Argentinian Malbec will keep you warm on cool nights.

Sunseekers should visit Argentina’s northern region, which is typically a bit warmer, including Iguazú Falls, which sits at the border of Brazil and Argentina. The mild temperatures make cycling and biking in the area pleasant daytime activities. It’s also whale-watching season along the northern Atlantic coast, so if you can brave the cooler weather, the Patagonian nature reserve along the Valdés Peninsula is one of the best areas to view these majestic creatures.

Featured photo of elephants in Chobe National Park in Botswana Tiago Fernandez / Getty Images.

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