Where should we visit in Western Europe in August?
March 4, 2009 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Where should we visit in Western Europe in August?

Ok. so I am planning a honeymoon and after much research and debating, my finance and I decided Spain & Morocco would be the best blend of relaxation and adventure. Then I looked at the weather for August. Too hot. That and a friend of mine in Europe mentioned that most of Spain & France also go on vacation in August so a lot would be closed.

So the main question is, where are some of the best places to visit in Europe in August?

Details:10-14 days leaving around the 1st of August. We'd like a blend of relaxation and adventure.
I've been to Germany (extensively), Greece & Turkey, so would like to avoid those.

Any suggestions with explanations would be appreciated, thanks!!
posted by patrad to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How hot is too hot?
posted by JPD at 10:28 AM on March 4, 2009

You should still be able to go to Spain and France, especially if you stick to more tourist destinations. I mean, half of Germany, Britain, Belgium...and so on spend summer there! I have heard that Paris and Madrid are a bit empty at certain of the month, but I've not seen it to know myself.

One idea is to take advantage of the summer weather and go somewhere more northerly. August is typically the hottest (or thereabouts) month of the year in the north, so you can lap up some great Scottish/Irish/Scandinavian scenery without having to put up with the rain. It should be warm enough to spend days on the beach, but nice and cool enough to climb and hike a bit.
posted by Sova at 10:43 AM on March 4, 2009

Paris is reputed empty of Parisians in August. There is even an Aznavour love song about it.
"A lot would be closed" is not really true from a visitor point of view: hotels, restaurants, museums are mostly open for business. As a general rule, I would avoid beaches (where most vacationing Europeans are), otherwise there is plenty to see and have fun and relax. Personally, I would go to Paris and Amsterdam or London and Edinburgh or even Northward to Copenhagen and Stockholm.
posted by bru at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2009

Most of Europe will have closed up shop and on vacation, with all of their kids, in August. What would you and your fiance like to do? How about hiking in the Swiss Alps--that sounds like a nice mix of relaxation and adventure. What about your budget: can you afford Switzerland?
posted by halogen at 10:51 AM on March 4, 2009

Balearic Islands, I've spent a couple of weeks there and really loved it.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:38 AM on March 4, 2009

The lake district in Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland is exquisite. The food is awesome, the scenery incredible and the cultural tourism can be great. Como (good enough for George Clooney), The Alps!, Milan (DaVinci!), Lugano, Val Versazca, Etc.
A honeymoon on Lake Como would be awesome. I've spent some time in the region, it's just great. Another benefit is that it's super compact. 1 hour north, heart of the Alps, 1 hour south, Milan. Rent a very small car and look around.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 12:39 PM on March 4, 2009

Italy, all of it. Venice will not smell so nice, but it's still a great place to go. The amalfi coast is also lovely. Austria is also great, and small enough to travel around in 10 days, seeing as much of the city as the country. You can get to and from Czech and Hungary easily as well. Sweden and Denmark are also nice.
posted by kirstk at 12:40 PM on March 4, 2009

Don't do too much, I'd say.

Re: everything will be closed, you'll be absolutely fine in Spain and France. France is - if memory serves - the largest touristic destination worldwide, so they don't really "close up shop" in August. I've been there many times in August and never felt lonely. Same for Spain and Italy.

I think if you do a chunk of Spain (be sure to check out Sevilla), the south of France (the Avignon region will please you, with Alres and Nîmes close by), and maybe maybe a small bite of Italy (Piemonte has glorious food, and so does Tuscany), you'll have a lovely vacation.

Just don't do too much. Immerse yourself. Go slow, that's the way to go in the south of Europe in the summer. You want to feel some of the gluttonous boredom of the deep summer in the south. Chirp chirp (cicadas). Heat. Sleep.
posted by NekulturnY at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2009

Western Balkans. Dubrovnik on the Croatian Coast, a Croatian island like Hvar and down into Montengro. You can easily visit Bosnia and Herzegovina from here (Mostar and Sarajevo are lovely) or head north into Slovenia and visit the gorgeous Ljubljana and Bled. Or you can ferry from the Croatian coast to various points in Italy and take it from there.
posted by meerkatty at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2009

Prague. Vienna. Budejovice in between.
posted by notsnot at 1:10 PM on March 4, 2009

Thanks all. Too hot for me would qualify as too hot to want to go outside or sit on a beach. I frequent Phoenix and there are days in the Summer where you just want find the next place with AC. I would say 95 F and up. Of course that makes for some fantastic nights.

Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. I think visiting the Alps in the Summer is a wonderful idea. I've really only spent time in mountainous areas for skiing, and only in the US and Canadian Rockies.
posted by patrad at 1:33 PM on March 4, 2009

For the record we flew into Zurich, headed to Murren for 4 days, then Lake Como for 5, then Venice for 2 and finally Monterosso for 4. It was wonderful and I'll post pics when complete.
posted by patrad at 7:18 AM on September 28, 2009

Here are the pics. Been meaning to post them for a while: http://therads.com/radgallery/v/honeymoon/
posted by patrad at 2:04 PM on February 23, 2010

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