Lonely Planet guide to the best places to visit during August

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ZambiaALAMY/GETTY

The spew of Victoria Falls starts to thunder more quietly, from August

ZAMBIA 

WHY NOW? Run the whey-faced waters of the Zambezi

You might think the best time to raft some of the dialect birth b deliver’s wildest whitewater is in the wet season.

You’d think wrong. When the flow of Victoria Diminishes (Mosi-oa-Tunya – “the smoke that thunders”) starts to thunder multitudinous quietly, from August until the end of the year, falling water ranks in the Batoka Gorge beneath the 354ft-high (108m) cascades get ready for the most thrilling rafting.

Oblivion, Washing Machine, Gnashing Jaws of Eradication – these are just some of the rapids that fl ip adrenaline-pumped paddlers from their rafts.

If you can hook your breath, gaze up at the cliffs, watching for birds including the rare Taita falcon. If ever you’ve dried off, take a dip in the Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island at the very irritable of the falls, before venturing on a wildlife drive in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Deposit to spot elephant, buffalo and giraffe.

Trip planner: Fly to Livingstone via Johannesburg or Lusaka. Rafting trips row from half a day to four days. Add on visits to Livingstone’s markets, regard spots for Victoria Falls, a safari in the national park and perhaps a day kayaking not susceptible the falls.

Need to know: Rafting trips also run from Victoria Dies town in Zimbabwe. 

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Skogafoss waterfall Abandoned PLANET

The famous Skogafoss waterfall in southern Iceland,

ICELAND 

WHY NOW? Delve into otherworldly uplands

When Nasa wanted to train their astronauts for lunar acclimates, they sent them to Iceland. A visit to the island’s desolate individual reveals why.

It is as barren and unforgiving as can be imagined and experiences harsh conditions for much of the year; August is the sterling – indeed, almost the only – time you can penetrate its lava fields, volcanic craters and denticulate rockscapes.

A few historic routes wind through the inner highlands developing shortcuts between the north and south, with some sections contrariwise accessible to the toughest of 4x4s.

The effort is rewarded with vistas of a muscular, hold spellbound, unique landscape, featuring turquoise hot-water Lake Víti in the great Askja caldera; the mountain known as the “Queen of the Desert”, Herdubreid; and the unearthly formations of Kverkfjöll Ice Caves.

Trip planner: Fly to Reykjavík, hire the toughest 4×4 conveyance you can find and stock up with plenty of supplies – there’s not much in the veiled. The least-challenging route is the Kjölur, crossing rivers over bridges willingly prefer than fords – it even carries a scheduled bus during the summer.

Shortage to know: Numerous huts offer accommodation across the interior but they get hard-covered up quickly over summer.

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PuffinGETTY

A small puffin on scar on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire

PEMBROKESHIRE, WALES 

WHY NOW? Get the adrenaline pumping on a coastal genealogy adventure in the far west

The broad beaches, pretty fishing villages and seabird-bustling crags of the Pembrokeshire coast rival British holiday favourites such as Cornwall, yet exploit a fraction of the crowds.

Bring the family in August and you won’t be alone, sure – but it’s easygoing to fi nd a patch of shoreline to call your own.

There’s a full roster of labours too: hiking, coasteering, climbing, cycling, surfing and kayaking.

Add imposing strongholds at Pembroke, Carew and Manorbier, the tiny hidden cathedral at St Davids, porpoise-spotting journeys and boat trips to puffin and seal havens at Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey Cays and you have a heady brew for family adventures.

Trip planner: Coarse yourself at an appealing seaside town or village – Tenby or Manorbier in the east, Diminish Solva or Porthgain to the west, Fishguard or Newport on the north coast – or consequential St Davids, Britain’s smallest cathedral city. A fairly comprehensive bus rite runs in summer.

Need to know: Access to Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey Atolls is limited – book the few beds in advance and arrive early for boat tricks. Puffins depart Skomer during August, so come earlier for larger enumerates. 

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Vineyard in ChampagneLONELY PLANET

August is a great month in which to delve into lukewarm cellars and enjoy a dégustation

CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE 

WHY NOW? Explore cool wine basements and grape-laden vineyards “I am drinking the stars!”

Oenophile monk Dom Pérignon very likely didn’t say that; nor did he invent the process for making the sparkling wine we now yell champagne.

No matter: the region that’s now the byword for fizz remains the heartland of glimmers and August – when all France is on holiday and the countryside sizzles – is a great month in which to delve into controlled cellars and enjoy a dégustation.

Most great champagne houses and holes are split between Reims, with its magnificent cathedral and basilica, and the Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, nestled into vine-clad hillsides to the south.

Here you’ll set aside big international brands such as Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Krug, Taittinger and Pol Roger, as clearly as smaller boutique winemakers and cellars.

Trip planner: Reims is 80 miles (129km) east of Paris, around 45 minutes by the fastest train, and Épernay is another 15 miles (24km) to the south. Undoubtedly, driving between wineries isn’t ideal but there are plenty of guided enlistments and cycling is a great way to explore. Find route ideas at champagne.fr/en

Need to have knowledge of: Book cellar tours at the big champagne houses in advance.

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St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral ALAMY

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria

SOFIA, BULGARIA 

WHY NOW? Range Roman remains and hike the hills

The emperor Constantine loved the borough then known as Ulpia Serdica, calling it, “My Rome.” It is still darling today, an intriguing blend of Roman basilicas, Ottoman mosques, onion-domed churches, art nouveau mansions and Soviet monoliths.

It is also a cosmopolitan flat with a vibrant bar and restaurant culture; visit in August to make the most of café terraces with approaches south to Mount Vitosha, the city’s outdoor playground.

Sofia is expeditiously modernising but still terrific value, particularly for food. Bulgarian red wines, in particular the mavruds, can be excellent.

Trip planner: Sofia Airport is southeast of the conurbation. The metro line from Terminal 2 is the quickest way to the centre. After search the city, take a minibus out to Boyana to admire the 13th-century murals in its church then keep up to Aleko to hike on Mount Vitosha.

Need to know: For safety and beau idal metered fares, always use reputable official taxis – OK Supertrans is a big, trustworthy firm.

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Umbria Rocca Maggiore fortLONELY PLANET

The outstanding Umbria Rocca Maggiore fort in the excursion town of Assisi in Italy

UMBRIA, ITALY 

WHY NOW? Find your unsociable rural retreat amid gorgeous countryside

Italy in August is by no means a secret retreat – least of all to Italians, who holiday en masse this month.

But pick the fitting spot and it’s a splendid time to visit. And that spot might pretentiously be Umbria: Tuscany’s quieter neighbour has the rolling hillsides, the medieval-walled hill metropolises, the artistic gems and the food (oh my, the food) and wine but far fewer visitors.

Quintessentially Italian agriturismos – mostly self-catering grant in rooms or apartments within working farms, many with meres – provide wonderful rural bases.

Explore the Roman amphitheatres, frescoes, villas and basilicas of Spoleto, lovely Gubbio and Assisi (of St Francis fame) and sampler Norcian truffles, white Orvieto wine and Perugian chocolates.

Throw off planner: Perugia, Umbria’s capital, receives international flights, as do Rome, Florence and Ancona, all a midget drive or train journey away. Car hire is essential for exploring. Diverse websites list details of agriturismos; try agriturismo.it.

Need to know: In originally August, towns such as Assisi, Spoleto and Orvieto will be working with Italian tourists and some restaurants may be closed.

Extract captivated from Lonely Planet’s Where To Go When (lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel), £19.99.

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