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Where’s hot in August? Holidays to take now and plan ahead

It may be peak season, but there are still some good value breaks to be found

Mary Novakovich
Wednesday 27 July 2016 16:23 BST
Kefalonia (Shutterstock)

The school holidays got off to miserable start last week when thousands of travellers were stuck in interminable queues at Dover, just days after terror attacks in France and Germany. And this Saturday promises to be one of the summer’s busiest days of the year if you’re driving in France. But while the feeble pound makes staying in Britain very appealing – and often the only choice – the lure of a foreign holiday can be too strong to resist. Although August is peak season for family holidays, there are still savings to be made if your dates are towards the end of the month – if you can hold out that long.

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Greece’s popularity remains undimmed despite its own economic woes. And its cheaper cost of living makes it easier for British holidaymakers to cope with the euro’s strength against the pound. On the Ionian island of Kefalonia, the four-bedroom stone-built Markadoni villa sits in a prime spot over the southern village of Skala, its infinity pool seemingly blending into the sea below. A week’s rental with Vintage Travel ( from 20 August costs £1,950, excluding flights.


Croatia has had a massive surge in popularity this summer as countries such as Turkey and Tunisia drop off the tourist radar. Even with Croatia’s 1,800km coastline and 1,244 islands, holidays are rapidly being snapped up. I-Escape ( has four nights from 8 August at the stylish Bracka Perla boutique hotel in Supetar on the island of Brac for €786 per double room, including breakfast but not flights. Split is the nearest airport.


Bookings to Italy have jumped too, as the combination of a large number of regional airports, gorgeous landscapes and superb cuisine is tough to beat. The Italian Lakes – particularly Garda, Como and Maggiore – have always been an appealing alternative to crowded coastal resorts. Malcesine, a pretty town on Lake Garda’s eastern shore, is a good base to explore the region and is handy for the Monte Baldo cable car. Inghams ( offers a week’s half-board at the three-star Cristallo from £599pp, including flights from Southampton to Verona and transfers.


The Indian Ocean island is still in its dry, sunny season in August. It doesn’t have the unpredictable weather that can dampen European summer holidays, and an all-inclusive break takes the worry out of currency fluctuations. Just north of the dazzling white sands of Belle Mare beach is the family-friendly Emeraude Beach Attitude, whose own sandy beach isn’t to be sniffed at. A week’s all-inclusive holiday with Tropical Sky ( costs from £1,249pp, including flights and transfers for a 22 August departure.


If the new film version of Swallows and Amazons gets you in the mood for a nostalgic, messing-around-in-boats holiday, head to the Lake District where the film was set. Sykes Cottages ( has a two-bedroom cottage just outside Hawkshead, which is between Windermere and Coniston and is also home to the Beatrix Potter Gallery. A week’s rental at 3 Vale View, which sleeps four, costs £652 for 20-27 August.

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Abu Dhabi

Take advantage of lower air fares to Abu Dhabi early in November before the inevitable price hike when the emirate hosts the final Grand Prix of the year from 25-27 November. Temperatures become more manageable too, hovering around the high 20s. Etihad Holidays ( offers five nights at the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal from £799pp including flights and breakfast as long as you return before 22 November.

Cape Verde

Before cooler temperatures reach this volcanic archipelago off Africa’s west coast – i.e. below the mid-20s – catch some sun on Cape Verde’s white sandy beaches. One of the loveliest is Praia des Chaves on Boa Vista, where Cape Verde Experience ( has an all-inclusive week at the Iberostar Club Boa Vista for £985pp, including flights and transfers, for a 25 November departure.


Christmas might be the furthest thing from your mind, but the Christmas markets in Cologne, which begin 21 November, are among Europe’s most magical. Fred Olsen offshoot Fred.\ Holidays ( offers three nights’ B&B at the four-star Tryp by Wyndham near Cologne Cathedral for £399pp, including flights and transfers, departing 22 November.

Mary Novakovich is editor at large at

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