10 of the best last-minute travel destinations for August

Before the grey skies start creeping back in, extend your summer by booking one of these last-minute destinations for August, whether it be a weekend or a week-long break.

1. Sintra, Portugal

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A short train ride from Lisbon you’ll find the magical town of Sintra. Pena Palace is the standout star of this town with its elaborate tilework, but our favourite spot has to be Quinta da Regaleira for the abundant greenery and Instagram-worthy Initiation Well.

2. Naples, Italy

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It will probably be overrun with tourists (as the majority of Europe is during the summer months), but Naples is home to some of the best pizzerias in the world and is your gateway to the ancient town of Pompeii and celebrity haunts like the Amalfi Coast and Capri.

3. Zanzibar, Tanzania

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For some glorious tropical sun, head to Zanzibar – an archipelago off the coast of East Africa. Temperatures here average around 29C in August, making it the perfect way to extend that heatwave feeling. Go snorkelling and look out for sea turtles in the pristine blue waters or simply lie on the beach and soak up the sun.

4. Edinburgh, Scotland

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Three words: Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You’ll find the cobblestone streets filled with buskers, actors and artists all gearing up to perform at Fringe, which is on throughout the month of August. A little closer to home, Edinburgh is just a train ride away from London and the perfect destination for a summer weekend break.

5. Salzburg, Austria

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The hills are alive in Salzburg, the Austrian setting in the Sound of Music. While blanketed in snow come winter, this Austrian village is a gorgeous mix of rolling green hills, ancient castles and glistening lakes to explore during the summertime.

6. Galway, Ireland

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Summer is when Ireland truly shines and the permanent winter grey makes way for clear skies and lush green. Galway on Ireland’s west coast is the perfect base for a weekend or week-long break. Discover rugged Connemara or join the tourists at the Cliffs of Moher before driving along the Wild Atlantic Way.

7. Zagreb, Croatia

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While Croatia just missed out on the World Cup title, the small but mighty country will be in celebration mode all summer long making it the perfect time to visit. Rent a yacht and sail along the Croatian coast or take a walk through the Plitvice Lakes National Park, wherever you go the water will be sparkling and the people as enchanting.

8. Reykjavik, Iceland

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Winter in Iceland is famed for its snowy landscape and Northern Lights spotting – but it transforms into another world come summer. August is the prime time to visit Iceland and visit all of its lush scenery and majestic waterfalls without having to spend hours in below-freezing temperatures. Plus you get the bonus of near-24 hour daylight, which is a unique experience in itself.

9. Isles of Scilly

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For a taste of tropical paradise right here in the UK, the Isles of Scilly are your most unassuming summer destination. The archipelago off the coast of Cornwall is filled with white sand beaches, turquoise waters and sub-tropical temperatures. The perfect family getaway.

10. Lac D’Annecy, France

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While many flock to Provence and the French Riviera at the first sign of sun, the French Alpine lakes are less tourist trodden but just as welcoming. Lac D’Annecy is a fairytale town, like something out of Beauty and the Beast, with its expansive lake and towering mountains that encompass the cobblestone village. Plus, Geneva in Switzerland is just a short bus ride away which makes for the perfect day trip.

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