12 days in Europe in August

May 29th, 2003, 09:29 AM
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12 days in Europe in August

I'm trying to plan a 12-14 day European vacation in early August with a friend, leaving from the Washington DC area. Initially we were considering Spain/Portugal, but everyone says it will be miserably hot, plus the places we want to go may be too far apart (Barcelona-Madrid-Lisbon). The more I read, the more limited my options seem to get (France shuts down in August, Italy is too hot as well, etc). Even many of the Fodor's reviews of different countries say not to go in August.

While we're very flexible as to where we go, we have to go in early August. Does anyone have good recommendations as to where we SHOULD go? Austria/Prague? Belgium/Netherlands? The more detailed, the better!
ngray is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:28 AM
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I live in DC area also and try to go somewhere cooler than here because it's so hot. That is almost anywhere in Europe, actually (although probably not Spain or Italy or Greece). Personally, I have gone to Ireland, Scotland and England in August and can recommend them all highly. I think I've read that Prague in August can be quite hot due to the geography for some reason (much hotter than Paris) and of course it is a peak tourist destination now--I wouldn't choose it, myself. Paris isn't a bad choice for climate as it's much more moderate than DC, and you can get hotel discounts during that time, also, due to less business travel. I think a lot of people are on vacation in Europe in August all over -- I'd rather go to Paris than the Riviera where those from Paris are going TO.
Christina is online now  
May 29th, 2003, 10:37 AM
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Our first trip to Europe was France in August several years ago. Paris was experiencing a major heat wave (in the 90's), but we had a wondeful time. A handful of places were closed down, but Paris, as well as the French countryside was fabulous. Don't let the August myth scare you away! Another country to consider is Austria. Vienna rivals Paris in beauty, and the Alps and Wachau Valley will be great in August.
zootsi is online now  
May 29th, 2003, 12:04 PM
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And I might add that Scandinavia, and Norway also has a nice weather in August as it is usually dry and hot. Hot defined as 20-25C for Oslo and a little bit colder and wetter in Bergen. So I would definately check out northern Europe if you would be interrested in that...

Cobos is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 03:25 PM
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I have been to both Paris and Venice several times in August(s). France does not shut down, Venice was not too crowded, etc. I would stick with the destinations that interest you most, call me crazy, even in August.
suze is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 06:34 AM
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It would be wise to resign yourself to the reality of high temperatures in August and pick your destination based on your dreams, not the weather. No matter where you go in Europe in August you will be hot. I recommend the Greek Islands, at least there you can enjoy a lovely swim in the Aegean when you want to cool off. And many of the hotels now have swimming pools. I've lived on Santorini twice for 6 months each time, and even though it sometimes did get as hot as about 102'F for a day or two, it wasn't intolerable. If you're from the D.C. area I don't think this will bother you too much since you have to deal with humidity where you are, and that isn't the case in the Aegean.

It's the kind of place where you want to relax anyway. It never seems to stop anyone from enjoying themselves, why should it stop you?
May 30th, 2003, 07:34 AM
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Do try to avoid the hotter areas if you actually plan to get out and sightsee. Yes, since you're from DC you've experienced hot, humid weather, but people living there (I'm in Maryland) don't routinely go out on such days and engage in physical activities--we tend to stay in our air conditioned offices, homes, and cars or, if we want to get out of the house, go to a place that is air conditioned. When you're on vacation, you want to get out and do things, not stay in the air conditioning. And when it's very hot out, walking around seeing the sights can easily become a real trial.

If you do go to the hotter areas, get an air conditioned hotel room. Nothing worse than coming back to your hotel at night exhausted and ruddy-faced from tromping about in the heat only to find you can't sleep because your room is hot and stuffy.

If you find yourself in an area where it's hot, do the outdoor things early in the morning or after the sun goes down. Dress appropriately. Don't worry excessively about fashion as long as your clothes are neat and clean--you're on vacation and no one expects you to dress the same as the locals who will be in their offices and shops while you're scurrying about out in the heat.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 09:09 AM
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The Alps in August--lots of choices.
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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May I sugget Finland and Denmark?
ira is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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Count me in Rufus' camp -- yes, I live in DC and it's very hot and humid here in August which is WHY I want to leave. You can't do anything here but stay inside if it is really hot. It can actually be dangerous to go outside when it's very hot (and I remember one summer a few years ago with it was over 95 for 3-4 weeks straight and you couldn't hardly do anything). YOu do not walk around for hours sightseeing when you live here in August. Even trying to see the neighborhoods, etc., by walking around, you won't enjoy that if it's very hot--it's not the same at all having to live with something as being a tourist.

Going some place miserable in August can ruin your vacation and be a waste of money. I would like to go to Italy and Greece, also, within next few years but I would never do it in August because I know I wouldn't enjoy it as much.

I have never been to Scandinavia, but also thought that might be a possibility.
Christina is online now  
May 30th, 2003, 11:09 AM
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How about Scotland? I have been there at the end of May, the middle of June, & the end of August. During any of those times, I was shivering in the early mornings, even with a light jacket, but the rest of the day was always comfortable & enjoyable. 12 - 14 days you could spend some time in England, Scotland, & maybe have alittle time for Wales. Maybe 5 days in northern England, 4 days in Scotland & 3 days in Wales. Scotland & Wales have some of the most friendly people I have come across. As for Scandinavia, you could spend about 4 days in Oslo, 4 in Stockholm, & 4 in Copenhagen, & visit some of the surrounding areas of those cities. The weather is usually nice & it stays light well past about 10pm.
Bill_I is offline  

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