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Where to travel off the beaten track in August

Looking to travel somewhere new this summer but keen to avoid the crowds? Whether you’re after sun, stars, or salsicha, here are the best places to have an unusual holiday.

Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

Sun in Tanzania

For a beach holiday with a twist head to Tanzania this summer and combine tropical beaches with wildlife watching. These islands have their best weather in August, with the rainy season long over and the beaches at their most picturesque. Once you’ve spent a few days sunbathing, head to one of Tanzania’s wildlife hotspots like Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Selous Game Reserve, or the Kilwa Kisiwani Ruins.

Floating off the coast of Zanzibar

Floating off the coast of Zanzibar

The dry months of June and July reduce water levels and this means that animals tend to cluster at the same few watering holes. Which makes them easy to photograph and admire from a distance and, after a long day respecting the local wildlife, you can head back to the Sharazad Boutique Hotel and take a dip in their private plunge pool.

The campsite at Big Bend in Texas

The campsite at Big Bend in Texas

Stargazing in Texas

Longer days and more hours of sunlight limit the opportunities for stargazing in August but this is also the month that the Perseid meteor shower peaks. This meteor shower is generally considered to be one of the most impressive of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere.

To get the best view, head to Big Bend National Park in Texas which was recently awarded International Dark Sky Park status, thanks to its clear skies and stargazing opportunities. Camping is available in the park but for a view of the sun setting over the nearby valley check into La Posada Milagro.

Puffins and pufflings in Iceland

Puffins and pufflings in Iceland

Nostalgia, Iceland and Wales

August sees parts of Iceland open up that are inaccessible for most of the year. Routes to the Highlands and Westfjords are now clear and visitors will be able to watch the young puffins learning to fly in the Westman Islands, in between a spot of bilberry picking.

The Pembrokeshire coastline

The Pembrokeshire coastline

For an added serving of childlike adventure, head to the gorgeous Pembrokeshire beaches in Wales. Even during the hottest months, these beaches are big enough to never get crowded and it’s a great opportunity to hike the famous Wales Coast Path. The route starts in Chepstow so book yourself a stay in the Castle View Bed & Breakfast for a hearty breakfast before setting off.

Cheeses stacked at the local market

Cheeses stacked at the local market

Food, Portugal

Portuguese food is having a moment and many restaurants are taking inspiration from Portugal for their autumn menus. Alentejo is a region famous for it’s cheese, sausage, olive oil, truffles, partridge, and wild asparagus. Lastly, make sure to check into the Albergaria Do Calvario in the small Alentejo town of Evora and pay visit to their small but well-stocked Wine Museum.

The famous Portugese custard tarts

The famous Portugese custard tarts

Or if you’re planning to see as much of Portugal as possible you can start in Lisbon with a visit to the Ribeira Market and Pasteis de Belem: birthplace of the Portugese custard tart. Then there’s Porto for seafood, the Algarve for Arroz de Marisco, and Pico Island for World Heritage Vineyards.