Best places to go for a holiday in August

COUNTRIES

TANZANIA

Why you should go: August is dry season, the best time to visit Tanzania's southern and western national parks, since wildlife spotting is easier and animals congregate around waterholes. You should also visit Mt Kilimanjaro (tanzaniaparks.go.tz), take time to relax on the beach-strung coastline, and explore Zanzibar (zanzibartourism.net), the fabled spice-trading island.

Don't miss: Ngorongoro Crater (ngorongorocrater.org) is both a conservation area and World Heritage Site. The world's largest inactive volcanic caldera features open grasslands, salt lakes and small springs that supply sustenance to Maasai people and wildlife alike. Rhinoceros, hippo, zebra, gazelles, cheetahs, lions and leopards are among animals that can be spotted on safari, and thousands of flamingos populate the lakes. See tanzaniatourism.go.tz 

See also: Africa's newest safari frontier

NETHERLANDS

trafeb24-cruise-europe Rhine River cruise UNESCO ; copy by Greg Lenthen credit: Shutterstock *** REUSE PERMITTED *** *** EDITORIAL USE ONLY *** KINDERDIJK, NETHERLANDS - August 06, 2017: Tourists visiting old windmills in Kinderdijk village during the sunny weather, famous landmark in Netherlands

The old windmills in Kinderdijk village – a famous landmark in Netherlands. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: The country of chilly winds and frequent rain does actually get a summer, and August is the best time to enjoy it. The Dutch are out in force too, enjoying cafe terraces, beer gardens and festivals. In Amsterdam, Grachtenfestival (grachtenfestival.nl) features 150 classical music concerts, while in Scheveningen a week-long International Fireworks Festival (vuurwerkfestivalscheveningen.com) brightens the late-evening sky.

Don't miss: For a quick escape from Amsterdam, head to Edam (vvv-edam.nl). The pretty little town, bisected by canals, once flourished on maritime trade, and is famous for its red-rind cheese. Yachts scud along the water, sun slants through clouds, and a fresh sea breeze blows the blues off hikers following dyke-top footpaths. See holland.com

See also: Six of the best: Unusual Dutch museums

PERU

satfeb24cover solo travel cover ; text by Katrina Lobley credit: Shutterstock *** RE USE PERMITTED *** *** EDITORIAL USE ONLY *** Succesful Traveller at Machu Picchu, New 7 Wonder of the Word, Cusco, Peru

Machu Picchu. Peru. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: It's winter in Peru, the driest time of year and the best time to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu. Peru does, however, have plenty of other fabulous sights, including Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon, nicknamed the ''Valley of Wonders'' for its plunging gorges, green valleys, snow-capped volcanoes and desert landscapes.

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Don't miss: South America's Inca Trail takes four days of high-altitude walking from sub-tropical jungle up through cloud forest and into dazzling Andes scenery, reaching altitudes of 4200 metres in places. Some of the route is along paved paths laid by the Incas a half-millennium ago, and you'll pass several Incan ruins, but the highlight is the arrival at legendary Machu Picchu. See peru.travel 

See also: The Peruvian city that's just like one of Europe's finest

MONGOLIA

sunoct29coverasia Asia ; text by Ben Groundwater credit:?Shutterstock?** EDITORIAL USE ONLY ** Mongolia -?The landscape of meadow steppe of the Wulanbutong.The Wulanbutong grassland of summer.

The Wulanbutong grassland in summer. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Though it rains in August, temperatures are warm, the grasslands bloom and rivers are at their best. Mongolia is one of the world's great wilderness areas, with magnificent mountain and steppe scenery but a scant population and (for the moment) hardly any tourists. The local culture is best experienced by staying in a yurt, participating in yak tending and meeting eagle hunters.

Don't miss: The Gobi Desert, with its fabulous dune landscapes, camel rides, chance to camp in yurts and occasional Buddhist temples wedged beneath cliffs. The Yol Valley and Flaming Cliffs are good spots for hiking. The Gobi also has some excellent dinosaur fossil sites. See mongolia.travel 

See also: Mongolia: roving with nomads on rolling plains

POLAND

Why you should go: Poland is best known for lively, history-jammed cities such as Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow, undergoing quite a renaissance in dining and fashion. But when high summer brings warmth and greenery to this part of northern Europe, you're also well-placed to explore a countryside of gentle coastlines, Tatra Mountains (with Zakopane a good base for hiking) and the scattered lakes of scenic Masurian Lake District.

Don't miss: August is festival season, so take your pick. Pol'and'Rock (polandrockfestival.pl) in Kostrzyn is Europe's largest open-air festival and features well-known music groups, especially from northern Europe. The OFF Festival in Katowice (off-festival.pl) is a showcase of some 100 alternative music groups. See poland.travel 

See also: Why Poland is Europe's next big thing

CITIES

BERLIN, GERMANY

People at Mauerpark watching the sundays Karaoke show in Berlin, Germany. Shutterstock

People at Mauerpark watching the Sundays Karaoke show in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Berliners love the outdoor life, and August is the perfect time for kicking back in parks, bar terraces, beer gardens and on the deckchairs that dot the riverbanks. Street parties, open-air concerts and festivals enliven the city, and the capital's infamous nightlife never seems to stop.

Don't miss: The vast Tiergarten is a huge green space that encompasses meadows, lakes, meandering paths and great areas of lawn. With more than 20 kilometres of leafy walks, it's just the place to relax before throwing yourself back into city life. A corner is taken up by Berlin Zoo (zoo-berlin.de), notable for its giant pandas. The park is also scattered with monuments; clamber up the Victory Column for fine views. See visitberlin.de 

See also: Top 10 reasons why Berlin is Europe's coolest city

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA

In the Northern Territory, first home-buyers of established properties valued up to $450,000 receive a 50 per cent stamp duty discount up to 30 June.

Darwin waterfront. Photo: Tourism NT

Why you should go: The Northern Territory's best time of year brings dry, cooler weather and the emergence of the must-experience Thursday and Saturday evenings Mindil Beach Sunset Market (mindil.com.au). It's also Darwin Festival time (darwinfestival.org.au), with theatre, music, art exhibitions and pop-ups bars and dining. You can also take in the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (darwinaboriginalartfair.com.au).

Don't miss: Darwin Waterfront Precinct (waterfront.nt.gov.au) is the city's recreation zone, with artificial beaches, playgrounds, swimming pool and a good choice of restaurants. Walk out around the wharf to RFDS Tourist Facility (rfdsdarwin.com.au) for an overview of the history of both the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the World War II bombing of Darwin. See northernterritory.com

See also: Top food in the Top End

TAIPEI, TAIWAN

Why you should go: Although hot and humid, August is a great month for festivals in Taipei, which include the Fringe Festival (fringefestival.taipei), the music- and culture-oriented Riverside Festival, and the Arts Festival (artsfestival.taipei). The National Palace Museum (npm.gov.tw) is the world's greatest repository of Chinese culture, and the city's fabulous street markets and street food are also worth a journey.

Don't miss: To keep cool in the summer heat, try baobing, a traditional snack of shaved ice and various fruits, especially watermelon and mango. Elaborate versions are topped with wafers, sweetened peanuts, marshmallows, various syrups, condensed milk or sugarcane juice, and have hip contemporary names such as ''strawberry blizzard'' or ''mango avalanche''. See travel.taipei

See also: Twenty reasons to love Taipei

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

Switzerland. get natural. Geneva, Parc des Bastons. This park owes its names to the bastions, which formed part of the fortifications. Schweiz. ganz natuerlich. Genf, Parc des Bastions. Dieser Park verdankt seinen Namen den Bastionen, die zu den Befestigungen gehoerten. Suisse. tout naturellement. Geneve, le Parc des Bastions. Ce parc doit son nom aux bastions qui faisaient partie des fortifications de la ville. Copyright by Switzerland Tourism By-line: swiss-image.ch/Christoph Schuerpf SunApr22covervisit Beautiful parks and mountains in Geneva Switzerland.

Parc des Bastons, in Geneva, owes its names to the bastions, which formed part of the fortifications. Photo: Christof Schuerpf

Why you should go: August sees Geneva's lakeshore promenades at their best, psychedelic with flowerbeds and offering fine views across Lake Geneva to the French Alps. A giant summer Ferris wheel set up in the Jardin Anglais is a romantic way to appreciate the city's setting, and is surrounded by a mini village of chalets dishing up Swiss food and wine.

Don't miss: Geneva's famous water jet soars 140 metres above the lake. Seven tons of water are aloft at any one time to create the spectacle. The fountain's location on the lake's edge, surrounded by promenades and nearby manicured parks, makes it the perfect destination for a stroll. Nearby Parc Le Grange has a fabulous summer rose garden. See geneve.com

See also: Unwind in Geneva's hippest suburb

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

Why you should go: You get the best of Scottish weather, and the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival (edfringe.com) runs all month, offering a smorgasbord of more than 3300 shows across 300 venues, featuring everything from theatre and dance to circus and comedy acts. The equally famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (edintattoo.co.uk) is also in July, and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Don't miss: The National Museum of Scotland (nms.ac.uk) provides an eclectic collection of steam locomotives, dinosaurs and the original cloned sheep Dolly, suitably stuffed for posterity and testament to the ongoing inventiveness of Scotland's scientists. The National Galleries (nationalgalleries.org) hold works by the European greats but have a particularly interesting section on Scottish painters. See edinburgh.org

See also: Best places to visit in July

See also: Best places to go for a holiday in June

See also: Best destinations to visit in May

See also: Best places to go in April

See also: Best places to go for a holiday in March

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