Where to Go in July and August
Looking for a summer escape in Europe? From music festivals to paradise beaches and weekend breaks, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you get away…
France: Sport. Sport. Sport. It’s all going on in France this July. The world’s leading cyclists launch their 2016 Tour de France campaign from Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday 2nd July just as the Euro 2016 tournament gets really interesting. Bastille Day on 14th July brings plenty of pomp and ceremony to Paris. Expect free entry to museums, concerts and fireworks in the capital as well as colourful celebrations all over France, from the vineyards of Bordeaux to the beaches of the Cote d’Azur. Music fan? Soak up the atmosphere at Nice Jazz Festival from 16th – 20th July.
Croatia: With average temperatures on the Dalmatian Coast climbing up to the mid-twenties, this is the perfect month to fill up on that all-important vitamin sea. Whether you choose to laze on the shimmering Adriatic shores or party at one of the many music festivals (Love International, Suncébeat, we’re looking at you), you’ll find a sunshine getaway to Croatia to be the ultimate July pick-me-up.
The Baltic Coast: Make a splash on the Baltic Coast – not only are the beaches absolutely beautiful but the waters are also warm enough for swimming at this time of year. Sandy bays and non-stop nightlife await in Sopot, just to the north of Gdansk in Poland. Meanwhile in Latvia, there’s no shortage of sun, sand and sea in Jurmala, located around half an hour from Riga. Palanga in Lithuania is another little gem of a seaside resort complete with 10km of powder-soft beach and plenty of lively bars and cafés.
Italy: Look no further than Calabria, Puglia and the island of Sicily for mouth-watering food and white sandy beaches that rival the Caribbean. Well-loved by Italians for their own summer breaks, these are the places to go for a taste of the good life without the hefty price tag. Up for a weekend away? For a night of culture to remember, jet into Verona and catch one of the epic open-air performances taking place during the Arena Opera Festival which runs throughout July and August.
Germany: Did someone say Biergarten? Summer in Germany equals cold frothy beers plus sunny squares and outdoor terraces. There’s nowhere better to get involved than in Munich, the home of six major breweries. In Berlin, a carnival atmosphere takes over the capital for Christopher Street Day on 23rd July and there’s Formula 1 action in Hockenheim, when the German Grand Prix gets underway at the end of the month. July is a great time to visit storybook towns such as Cochem in the Rhineland Palatinate. Between blue skies, medieval castles and cobbled streets you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into your very own fairy tale.
Scotland: With purple heather in full bloom in the Highlands, August is one of the best months to plan a Scottish road-trip. Experience authentic local culture at the world’s largest Highland Games, the Cowal Highland Gathering which takes place in Dunoon from 25th-27th August. There’ll be more tartan than you can shake a stick at, as well as traditional dancing, bag-piping and tug-o-wars. Due a city break? August is THE month to book a trip to Edinburgh. Look forward to three weeks of music, comedy and theatre when the annual Edinburgh International Festival kicks off on 5th August.
Spain: Fly to Valencia, rent a car and prepare to get messy at the world’s biggest, juiciest food fight, La Tomatina. Taking place in Bunol (located around 40 km from Valencia), the annual festival encourages guests to get stuck in and hurl some of the town’s 40 tonnes of tomatoes at each other. Sound too much like hard work? Escape to the calmer shores of Menorca. The baby of the Balearics basks in scorching sunshine throughout August. Alternatively, you could dip into Barcelona’s Festa de Sant Roc (mid August), the Barri Gòtic’s annual street party.
Ireland: Head to the west of Ireland in August and make the most of the 18 hours of daylight with a road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way. Check out the spectacular views from the Cliffs of Moher. Tackle Atlantic breakers on a surf getaway in Lahinch or experience the otherworldly ‘force’ of Co. Kerry’s Skellig Michael, where the latest episode of Star Wars was filmed.
Sweden: With the cooler days of autumn just around the corner, Swedes go all out to savour every last drop of sunshine that August brings. Islands such as the Bohuslän coast (just a short hop from Gothenburg) offer peaceful getaways in quiet fishing villages where the pace is slow and the seafood is always incredible.