From book festivals in Edinburgh to Elvis impersonators in Memphis, wildlife in Kenya to sun tanning in Greece, our August holiday ideas are sizzling hot
Best for families: Edinburgh, Scotland
We know what you’re thinking; we must be crazy to suggest Edinburgh in August when the city is chock-a-block as thousands of performers swing into town for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. But hear us out; instead of asking you to seek out a backroom comedian or bolshie cabaret act at the Fringe, lovers of literature should leaf their way through the excellent Edinburgh International Book Festival instead.
Held at the charming Charlotte Square Gardens from August 10-26, the Book Festival is free but you need to dole out for the talks and workshops you fancy. There will be 900 writers from over 60 countries taking part in more than 800 events for adults and children – including 200 inspiring activities for children.
Getting to Edinburgh, Scotland
Flights to Edinburgh are easily accessible from the UK and Europe. You can search for your flights on Skyscanner to find the best and cheapest available. Assuming you’re departing on August 10 and returning on August 17, a check on June 9 reveals the cheapest flights from London to Edinburgh are with Ryanair from £75 including return.
Best for city slickers: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Join devoted fans from around the world to remember Elvis Presley on August 9-17 at Graceland, his former home in Memphis, Tennessee. The most eager Elvis enthusiasts must definitely get their hands on a ticket for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Final (August 10) to see who best resembles this incredible icon. A surreal experience, this event is sure to evoke so many emotions, making you want to book your ticket for next year to honour the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ once again.
Getting to Memphis, Tennessee
Search for your flights on Skyscanner to find the best and cheapest available. Assuming you’re departing on August 8 and returning on August 17, a check on June 9 reveals the cheapest flights are:
- London to Memphis with British Airways from £1,131. This flight takes 11 hours 52 minutes with a stopover in Orlando.
- New York to Memphis with Delta from US$302. This direct flight takes 3 hours.
- Singapore to Memphis with Japan Airlines from S$2,015. This flight takes 25 hours with stopovers in Tokyo Narita and Dallas Fort Worth.
Best for beach bums: Zante, Greece
There’s no better time to hit the golden beaches of Zakynthos, as August promises idyllic temperatures and hours of blue skies and sunshine. Better known by its Italian name, Zante, this seaside getaway lures tourists every year with its rugged coastline, crystal clear waters and forested wilderness. By day, the shorelines are filled with bodies soaking up the rays before seeking refreshment in the waters or the sheltered coves hidden below the cliffs. Those seeking more action can explore the colourful reefs, dabble in one of the many aquatic activities or hike inland to the rural villages. As the sun dips beyond the horizon, the town lights up as festive taverns pump tunes into the streets, and diners feast on local Greek delicacies in the main square.
Getting to Zante, Greece
Flights to Zante are easily accessible from the UK and Europe. You can search for your flights on Skyscanner to find the best and cheapest available. Assuming you’re departing on August 10 and returning on August 17, a check on June 10 reveals the cheapest flights are:
- London to Zante with Thomas Cook Airlines from £249. This direct flight takes 3 hours 30 minutes.
- New York to Zante with a combination of Norwegian, Ryanair and Jet2 from US$1,240. This flight takes 16 hours 50 minutes with stopovers in Dublin and Manchester.
- Singapore to Zante with Scoot and Olympic Air from S$1,377. This flight takes 24 hours with a stopover in Athens.
Best for thrill seekers: Masai Mara, Kenya
Head to the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya for the annual wildebeest migration, where 1.5 million wildebeest, zebras, eland and gazelles traverse across the plains in search of more suitable grazing grounds and water. The dramatic highlight of this event has to be the Mara River crossing, filmed countless times for wildlife documentaries, this is where animals attempt to leap across the river, with the weakest picked off by crocodiles or predators waiting on the other side. The migration takes place between the end of July and the end of November, but the precise dates of the river crossing vary, so whether you see it or not will probably come down to luck.
Getting to Masai Mara, Kenya
Given that the Masai Mara is located within the wilderness in southwestern Kenya, the best option to get there is to fly to Nairobi, and then take an internal flight or coach – the drive can take you about 6 hours whereas the internal flight can take around 45 minutes to 1 hour. You can search for your flights on Skyscanner to find the best and cheapest available. Assuming you’re departing on August 11 and returning on August 18, a check on June 10 reveals the cheapest flights are:
- London to Nairobi with Emirates from £541. This flight takes 27 hours and 5 minutes on the way there and 16 hours and 45 minutes on the way back with a stopover in Dubai.
- New York to Nairobi with Kenya Airways from US$1,094. This direct flight takes 14 hours 30 minutes.
- Singapore to Nairobi with Cathay Pacific, Kenya Airways and Thai Airways. This flight takes 21 hours 45 minutes on the way there and 14 hours 41 minutes back with a stopover in Bangkok.
Before you go, check out the Kenya travel guide.
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