Last-minute August bank holiday dealsSqueeze in a final sojourn in the sun as summer winds down
HomeAway travel expert
The end of August can be a bittersweet time; we have a bank holiday to look forward to, but summer – much of it, in any case – has passed: we come to the grim realisation that there aren’t too many baking days left to look forward to; autumn looms on the horizon, huge and resolute as a freshly-set sun. But hey, it needn’t all be doom and gloom. Indeed, the August bank holiday – which this year falls on Monday, August 26th, provides the perfect excuse to stretch summer out a little longer; to ignore the gathering tide of opinion advancing that flowery shorts and dark shades should be replaced by durable denim and warm scarves. Voices of dissent, my friends, pay them no heed!
Who wants to contemplate autumn when you can take a day’s annual leave on Friday the 23rd,and look forward to a long-weekend soaking up the sun? Of course, many Brit holidaymakers think just this; as a consequence, the cost of package holidays shoot up at this time of year. Finding affordable and comfortable accommodation in your resort, though, is half the battle; whether you’re jetting to Spain, Greece, Italy - or even visiting a hotspot on our own fair isle – you can find the perfect property at HomeAway. Read on for a rundown of our recommended destinations, each with a link to fantastic deals on accommodation in the area.
Top destinations for the 2014 August bank holiday
Late August is as good a time as any to visit Italy; temperatures throughout the country remain warm until September. Indeed, it is not uncommon for them to hit the high 30s in August, the result of the sirocco – a humid wind that blows in from Africa. As well as that, this is the time of year when many Italians take their vacations; as a result, there’s no shortage of traditional festivals – or festas – particularly along the coastline. If you’re a film buff, the Venice Film Festival might be of interest. Technically it doesn’t get under way until the 28th, but you can soak up the city’s buzz during August bank holiday weekend.
When contemplating a short break, one can’t help but consider proximity; the closeness of France to our own borders makes it an ideal destination for a quick getaway. You’ll find festivals and events aplenty, as – like in Italy – much of the populace take their holidays in this month. The beaches in the south of the country, meanwhile, are still pretty thronged, furnishing you with the opportunity to experience the kind of summer vacation vibe you’d typically associate with late June/early July back home. Browse our fantastic offers on accommodation in France, from roomy farmhouses in the countryside to chic apartments in the heart of Paris.
August is still very much the ‘high season’ in Portugal. In fact, temperatures can climb to over 40 in the Algarve, the Alentejo and upper Douro valley. If you’ve ticked France and Spain off your list – and you probably have – Portugal should be next on the itinerary; historic monuments like monasteries, churches and temples vie for your attention, while the countryside, much of it mountainous, offers endless cycling and hiking trails for lovers of the great outdoors. Basking in the sunshine on one of the many beaches along 200 metres of Algarve coastline, or exploring the beaux-arts architecture of Porto or Lisbon, a short break in Portugal is sure to please.
You don’t need your passport to enjoy a relaxing break over August bank holiday weekend. From London to Edinburgh, Cornwall to Cardiff, the UK is cross-hatched with cultural cities tailor-made for a fun-filled long weekend. Early forecasts indicate the south and east of the country will experience the finest weather in late August, so a trip to Newcastle, Southend-on-Sea or Eastbourne could be just the ticket, even if the sun might not exactly be splitting the clouds! If you’re in London, though, be sure to check out the Camden Fringe; there’s over 180 shows across 17 of the borough’s venues. The Real Street Food Festival, on South Bank, is another hot ticket this bank holiday weekend.
Maybe you’ve already hit these shores in June or July; does that mean you can’t go in August, too? Of course not! The heat – naturally - is still searing in late August, especially in Madrid and Seville, beach life is booming and the cities remain dense with thrill-seeking travellers. Head for San Sebastian on bank holiday weekend and you’re in for a treat; the Semana Grande is under way, a chaotic festival comprising some 280 events; there’s parties, fancy dress, bull-running, song, dance, food – and a lot more besides. Barcelona’s own street festival, Festa Major de Sants, is another highlight; it ends with an impressive fireworks and music display on Sunday evening. Wherever you are, you’re certain to have a ball in colourful Espana.