Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

"Да умоется кровью тот, кто усомнится в нашем миролюбии." Тертуллиан ZMEY
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August is always a conundrum. The height of summer should be the ideal time for a getaway. But where is not too hot in August? Or not too crowded? Europe’s cities and seasides are sweltering, expensive and stuffed. Further afar, there’s humidity that’ll make your trip more akin to a stint in a sweat lodge. But fear not, there are excellent, super-summery options that tap out before hitting 30°C. The British coast is a good start, but look also to Europe’s north and east. It’s a fine time, too, to get outdoorsy in the western USA, Canada and Australia. We’ve even found mild-climate beach breaks in South America and Asia. Now your only problem is choosing between them.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    1. CORNWALL, ENGLAND

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 19°C


    You can rely on the British seaside to never get too hot. Though it’s the busiest month in Cornwall, this westest of the western counties has plenty of tiny picturesque villages and undiscovered beaches for circumventing the scrum. Rule number one: forget Padstow, which will be stuffed to the gills. This also liberates you from Rick Stein’s hold over the culinary landscape (he’s got five restaurants in Padstow alone). Cornwall is currently the undisputed king of England’s farm-to-fork scene: Coombeshead Farm, a rural restaurant with rooms run by Pitt Cue wunderkind Tom Adams and The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield, is extraordinary; so, too, is Fowey Hall Hotel, serving local sea bass with sage and olive beignets. Even Penzance is cool now, with great galleries, a treasure trove of a vintage store and an Art Deco saltwater lido. Who knew?

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    2. MANCORA, PERU

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 21°C


    It’s either roasting hot or raining in most of South America, so what better time is there to head to Peru’s sunniest region? Máncora’s year-round bright skies keep this beachy town (often compared to the Tulum of yesteryear) in season at all times, and August is blissfully temperate to boot. The nation’s best strip of sand brings an enjoyably mixed bunch of budget-bungalow surfers and the Peruvian elite. The latter have their pick of to-die-for seafront properties, rented by big names such as Villas del Mar. Then there’s boutique beauty KiChic, a stone, mud and wood hideaway with nine rooms, a vegetarian restaurant using ingredients sourced from its own organic garden and on-site massages and yoga. Add in surf, ceviche, and a few days spent food-touring around Lima, and you’ve basically won summer.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    3. STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 22°C

    Why have you never thought of this before? It’s a hip European city that’s neither too hot nor too crowded come August, with the archipelago’s beaches to explore, too. Bonus: those light nights really bring out the party in the locals, who are out picnicking and boating en masse. And the weather’s perfect for cycling, which, in true Scandi-style, is the best way to get around town. Particularly summery is dining in a done-up shed in a boatyard on the island of Djurgården: Oaxen Slip has lovely waterside tables set out on its deck and serves locally sourced, uncomplicated food such as herring with brown butter and pickled vegetables.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    4. QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 22°C

    This sprawling state conveniently captures everything you want from a journey down under. There are the beaches of both Gold and Sunshine Coasts; Brisbane’s new contemporary urban edge; the Great Barrier Reef; and the Granite Belt’s interestingly alternative, cool-climate wines. (In typically colloquial Aussie fashion, these more experimental varieties are referred to as ‘strange birds’.) And though winter in Australia can bring chilly nights, daytime temperatures are ideal for exploring the outdoors. Good thing Queensland can claim the nation’s greatest range of biodiversity, encompassing rainforests, savannas, woodlands, wetlands and deserts.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    5. VILNIUS, LITHUANIA

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 22°C


    A warm and with-it European city break that’s still mercifully off the radar? Go east. Vilnius has been cool for a while now, but the opening of its MO Modern Art Museum in 2018 has etched it on the map for design nerds (when they can tear themselves away from their typography blogs, that is). Dreamt up by Daniel Libeskind — the architect behind Berlin’s mind-bending, titanium-zinc Jewish Museum — its white ‘articulated box’ façade might be what first attracts the aesthetically inclined, but there’s also the Old Town’s Instagram-ready blend of brutalist and baroque to discover. There’s also a Christiana-like district, Užupis, which has its own national anthem and will even grace your passport with its stamp. For sophisticated food and drinks, start at farm-restaurant Sweet Root and end in pharmacy-themed Apoteka Bar.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    6. BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 25°C

    Canada’s best-looking province might be popular with snow-sporty types, but there’s nothing quite like exploring all those mountains, forests and lakes in the summer. Even Whistler, the skiing super-hub, is arguably better in August, when you can bike and hike the mountain trails, zipline through the trees and swim in pristine, glacier-fed waters. It’s also peak time for tracking the rare spirit bear, a white-fur black bear only found here – most successfully in Great Bear Rainforest, a wild and wonderful tangle of woodland and fjords. And let’s not forget Vancouver, where you can kayak the shoreline, pound the pavement on a public-art crawl and eat top-notch locally caught and foraged food all in the same day.

  • 7. FRENCH POLYNESIA

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 27°C

    Take your most romantic notion of the South Seas, double it, and you’ve arrived at French Polynesia. Though the largest island, Tahiti, has too much noise and not enough white-sand beach, the region encompasses six archipelagos and they’re as dreamy as can be. The Society Islands’ lagoons are exactly what’s expected: outlandish shades of blue, bleached beaches and mysterious green peaks. Bora Bora is all well and good if you want the luxe overwater villa trip, but locals call it Boring Boring – get a better flavour of island life, with equally wonderful stays, on Taha’a and Huahine. August isn’t cheap, but that’s because it’s dry, hot but not humid and underwater visibility is at its peak.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    8. RWANDA, AFRICA

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 27°C


    Risen phoenix Rwanda has moved beyond its scarred past to become one of Africa’s must-visits. And it’s not all about the gorillas. Rwanda maintains a tricky balance of quaint and contemporary: see capital Kigali’s chaotic craft markets and cool art museums. It’s also astoundingly green in more than one sense: a lush wonderland of tea plantations, rice paddies and forested volcano slopes, as well as innovations in urban sustainability (a plastic-bag ban, solar-powered hotels). Inevitably, the luxury scene is making moves. Wilderness Safaris’s Bisate Lodge, close to the country’s gorilla-tracking headquarters, has Rwanda’s most exquisitely designed villas, while One&Only’s Nyungwe House is a stylish nature lodge tucked between rows of tea plants.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    9. WYOMING AND MONTANA, USA

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 27°C

    Defined by its wide, open spaces, Wyoming is the most sparsely populated state in the USA, with Montana also falling in the top 10, behind Alaska. People generally venture to the most north-western state for Yellowstone, which spreads across both Wyoming and Montana, too. And while the country’s first national park – a landscape of hissing geysers, boiling mud pots and steaming rivers – is certainly worth the journey, there’s so much more of the American outdoors to explore. The saw-toothed peaks of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park are about as majestic as it gets; close by, buzzing Jackson Hole lures celebrities from Kanye West to Brad Pitt with its splashy restaurants and retreats. Meanwhile, Montana’s ‘big sky country’ rewards those curious enough to roam deeper into its sweeping plains. Tippet Rise Art Centre is like New York’s Storm King with fewer people and a better backdrop, while Little Bighorn Battlefield provides some sobering Wild West history.

  • Where is not too hot in August? Our top 10 destinations

    10. BALI, INDONESIA

    AVERAGE AUGUST TEMPERATURE: 27°C

    Asia in August is either a wash out or unbearably humid – with one exception. It’s the height of dry season in Bali, which means sure-fire sunny skies and warm waves. The key to a perfect time here, however, is knowing which beach clubs to hit, and where to stay. Though parts of Bali seem irreversibly marred now, pockets of perfection remain. Check out barefoot beach club La Brisa, in still-cool Canggu: grassy paths lined with canoes-turned-plant-pots lead to a hipster Shangri-la of beanbags, upcycled fixtures and twinkle lights, best enjoyed overlooking the sunset-streaked surf. Knockout retreats are not in short supply, but our favourites are newcomers Capella Ubud and Six Senses Uluwatu, which both made it onto our Hot List 2019.

    For where’s hot in other months, see our guides below:


    WHERE IS HOT IN JANUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN FEBRUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN MARCH | WHERE IS HOT IN APRIL | WHERE IS HOT IN SEPTEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN OCTOBER | WHERE IS HOT IN NOVEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN DECEMBER

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