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Where To Go Next Month: The August Edit

Whether you’re after a luxury safari to glimpse spectacular natural wonders, fervent dancing late into the night or prefer to amble pretty streets and watch the world go by with a glass of bubbly, we’ve compiled the best destinations for August.

Across the globe, this month offers up an array of festivities and events that will realise all your bucket-list dreams – the only hard part will be choosing where to go first…


You’d be forgiven for thinking you had touched down on another planet when arriving in Iceland. The island’s legendary rugged landscape of craggy lava fields, sheer cliff faces of bare rock or blue ice, steaming hot pools, cascading waterfalls and gushing geysers make for an otherworldly experience. Renting a tough 4WD vehicle and venturing out into the wild is the best way to see the country. Summer may be short, but the days are long, and exploring during midnight light is something not to be missed.

Stopover for a couple of nights in the pretty capital Reykjavik, soaking up the Scandinavian culture and cuisine on the way. Architecture buffs must head straight for Halgrímskirkja church, the country’s tallest building, which lauds over the city centre in its expressionist glory, designed to resemble the trap rocks and glacial landscapes that make this island famous. On the waterfront, the new and impressive Harpa opera house breaks out of the scenery like a sinister, blue-black iceberg. The basalt-shaped glass structure is sure to delight every modernist. Not far from the city is the steaming Blue Lagoon. Float about in the silvery waters (naturally heated to 40c) with a silica face mask and glass of bubbles.

Beyond the city, in the West of the island, make sure to take a few days tour of the Golden Circle, including Thingvellir National Park, a mystical landscape of rocky outcrops tangled with soft green blooms of moss and intersected by veins of babbling brooks; Gulfoss waterfall, where millions of gallons of water violently tumble every minute into the gorge below; and the world-famous Geysir (who lends his name to all other geysers around the world) which delights visitors by erupting a jet of boiling, sulphurous, volcanic water 70 metres into the air every 15 minutes.

In the South, don’t miss the awe-inspiring black sand beach of Reynisfjara with its gigantic rolling waves and basalt column cliff faces; the majestic Selfoss waterfall whose flow of water can suddenly ‘fall’ upwards to the sky in high winds off the ocean; and finally the monolithic, cobalt-blue Solheimajokull glacier. A crampon booted hike up this colossal beast will take your breath away (in more ways than one…!)

Champagne, France

The Champagne region of France is as rich, sparkly and effervescent as its most famous export. August in this north eastern corner simply fizzles while France enjoys a lengthy summer holiday, popping bottles and clinking flutes of the famous bubbly.

The historic city of Reims is the centre of this region, with its striking architecture (the gothic cathedral is a must-see) and buzzing arts and foodie scene – a perfect base for setting out exploring the countryside and pretty villages that dot the landscape. The world’s most famous brands of champagne are found here – Veuve-Cliquot, Taittinger, Pol Roger, Bollinger and so on, as well a plethora of smaller boutique winemakers hidden between the rolling hills. Numerous wineries offer guided tours through sumptuous vineyard villas and down into their cool cellar caves. Visitors can receive a thorough history of the processes in between tastings and maybe unearth some closely guarded secrets.

Cycling among the winding vineyards (pre-dégusation of course) is a beautiful way to explore this ever-enchanting region.

Angel Falls, Venezuela

The highest waterfall in the world is truly jaw dropping. As the raging torrent of the Churún River reaches the edge of the flat-topped Auyantepui mountain, it drops, uninterrupted, for almost 1000 metres. It is so high in fact that that the flow of water barely reaches half the descent before turning to spectral mist, where it gathers again into a river at the base – The Devil’s Canyon.

A genuine natural wonder, Angel Falls must be top of everyone’s South American bucket list. While its name conjures images of a celestial being, “Angel” actually refers to Jimmie Angel, the American aviator who crashed his plane into the top of the mountain in 1937.

August is the best time to view the falls as it is the middle of the rainy season, meaning that the cascade is at it mightiest flow. Visitors can glide over the falls in a light aircraft for stunning aerial views, or take a trip on a motorised canoe and see the spectacle from the base. A canoe trip from the base camp town of Canaima offers visitors views of other falls, rapids, luscious rainforest and abundant wildlife on the way, and staying overnight in hammocks in this remote jungle settlement is an experience you will never forget. Keen photographers will want to rise early to capture the magnificent, east-facing falls in the golden glow of dawn.

The Great Migration, Masai Mara, Kenya

This really is a once in a lifetime experience.

The Great Migration is regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular natural events and sees hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles retire from the southern Serengeti’s pastures to head north, crossing the great Mara river of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, and dodging hungry crocs and lions in the process. The spectacle is one of high drama and noise, as the hordes of beasts crash and splash through the waters, grunting, barking and screeching as they go. The rumble of millions of hooves over the plains attracts lions that pick off the stragglers and crocodiles wait silently in the murky waters to launch an intense attack. Not for the faint-hearted, this is nature in its rawest form.

Safari tours delve into the savannah allowing visitors to view this natural display of theatre from a distance, or you can book onto hot air balloon tours that glide silently above the riotous scenes below. Staying at a luxury reserve is the ultimate way to get up close and personal with the wildlife, whilst indulging in some pampering on the prairies!

Stockholm, Sweden

A European city break in August that won’t leave you exhausted and perspiring – yes please! The Swedish capital is, like most of its blonde and slender population, achingly attractive. Cool, verdant and spread over 14 of the 30,000 island archipelago that spills out into the Baltic sea, this grand city is at its finest in the summer months. Dotted with pretty parks and waterside avenues, outdoor cafes, open air museums, narrow cobbled alleys and huge glitzy baroque palaces, Stockholm has taken the title of world’s most beautiful city more times than we can count.

After a morning trawling the abundant cultural offerings of museums and galleries, make sure to take the time for afternoon fika – a coffee and cake break best enjoyed in the enchanting streets of Gamla Stan, the medieval old town perched on a circular island between the two main sides of the city. A dinner of meatballs, root vegetables and loganberry jam is an absolute must!

The fashionable Norrmalm shopping district is well worth a look for unique pieces in pretty boutiques, or cross over to Södermalm, known for its buzzing antique and vintage markets.

Visitors will be spoilt for choice with methods of exploring Stockholm. The city is interwoven with clever walking and cycling trails that take in the best sights, or better yet cruise around the waterways on a private boat, ferry or even kayaks. The city’s metro system is renowned for its displays of public art, with each station exhibiting a different beautiful and exciting architectural style. Phones at the ready, its time to spam the ‘gram!

Buenos Aires, Argentina

This city throbs to the sensual rhythm of Tango, no more so than during August’s Tango Buenos Aires festival, the perfect time to visit the sexy South American capital. The cosmopolitan streets and plazas fill with impromptu performances by professionals and locals alike, and the atmosphere is thoroughly amorous. Catch a show at one of the many clubs and theatres, or stop in on a Sunday session in Plaza Dorrego where no doubt you’ll be pulled from the crowd to dance with an expert Porteño. Buenos Aires appears to be the other city that never sleeps – often dances don’t get going until midnight, and Argentinians are known for their love of partying into the small hours.

Argentine passion extends further than its famous dance; the city is full of sumptuous colonial architecture borrowed from its days as an outpost of the Spanish Empire, including Casa Rosada, the iconic, balconied presidential palace and Teatro Colón, a grand 1908 opera house with nearly 2,500 seats. Narrow streets in between the 19th century wide-avenued bloques are peppered with cool street art.

The fashionable districts of Recoleta and Palermo are the best to stay in during your visit, and Argentine cuisine is simply delectable. Famed for its grilled meats and steaks, fiery chimichurri, crisp empanadas, pastas adapted from its rich Italian community and the sweet golden paste of dulche de leche, you’ll tantalise your tastebuds in one way or another. Be sure to accompany a meal with local, delicious red wine that’ll give you the fuel for the all-important nightly Tango.

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