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Were you in Europe in August? How crowded WAS it?

Were you in Europe in August? How crowded WAS it?

Old Sep 1st, 2016, 10:31 AM
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El Pais, the Spanish newspaper reported record number of tourists for their beach areas for the summer. It seems people are shunning beaches in other countries.
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Old Sep 1st, 2016, 01:03 PM
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Every time I've been to Europe in August it has been riddled with Europeans. . .

Oh, wait.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 01:50 AM
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It all depends on where you go. Cities have less business travelers in summer, and locals go on holiday. This is mostly true for August. Therefore some areas are quiet; restaurants are often easier to book. However if you go to prime tourist sites, you'll probably find it busier.
You will find deals from hotels that usually cater to business travelers.

For resort areas and beaches it's completely different; since that is where the locals go. Hotels will be busy, and you cannot count on special deals. August is often busier than July. This is also true for the Belgian coast, when early July is still fairly quiet, particularly during the week. First two weeks of August are the busiest time of the year.

In the Netherland, on the other hand, many schools start again in the middle of August. Universities start the last week of August. It's back to school and business for many people from the middle of August.

Therefore, Isabel, it's not such an easy question to answer, without knowing where you plan to go.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2016, 11:50 AM
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I've been in France since mid August.
A couple of places on the north coast of Brittany were jam packed and horrible, but Finistere, and inland, were lovely, and not at all crowded. We are now in Vendee and because the weather is still so lovely, and it is a weekend it is a bit more crowded than we would like, but it is still easy to avoid the honey pots.
Mostly European tourists, with very few Americans/Canadians/etc. Scared off I guess, or preferring the big cities and obvious places.

My grandsons started back at school mid August, just as summer finally arrived in the Netherlands. Other areas of the Netherlands started school holidays later and so returned later.

Wending our way eastwards from now on I guess. Have to be home mid September.
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 05:01 AM
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The responses here pretty much confirm what I been thinking - but of course as with everything "it depends".

In general August is more crowded than July (especially early July).

Coastal areas - especially 'resort' type, are more crowded than cities, which can be less crowded in August than at other times of the year (but the major tourist 'sites' within cities will be more crowded).

And sometimes things just make no sense at all. I looked at the link bvlenci posted about Rome hotel occupancy, which did show March being lower than July. Two years in a row I was in Rome in July (2014 and 2015) and stayed at the same hotel (Floris) for about €104/night. The March in between those two Julys I tried to book there and it was €175. I even emailed them to make sure it wasn't an error. I ended up staying at another hotel that March (2015) and the people there said that March was busier than July (no it was not Easter week). So just now, out of curiosity, I checked and next March (2017) the price at the Floris is €82/night.
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 08:20 AM
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Twice I ended up in Venice in August. It was crowded and hot but I loved it anyway.
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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I would expect the SW UK to be crowded any time UK schools are out. This varies by district, but is roughly the last third of July plus all of August and maybe the beginning of September. Traffic will be worse around the weekend.>>

IME that's partially correct Thursdays, but if you ignore the weekends, local travel in the SW can be easier in school hols as you don't have to contend with the dreaded school run, which adds a good ¾ hour each way to my all too regular trips from Cornwall to Plymouth. if you are travelling into or out of Cornwall/Devon on the M4/M5/A30 in July and August, Fridays and Saturdays should be avoided if at all possible. the weekends in the Easter hols and at the ends of the May and October half terms can get pretty manic too.

Otherwise most roads will be ok so long as you don't try to get into St Ives or Polperro or Looe or Mousehole in which case you will wish you hadn't.

The other times to avoid are when it's raining - then the towns are heaving and you will be very lucky to get parked which is a bit tough on those of us who are just trying to go to work!
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 12:12 PM
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ann - but if you're on holiday, presumably you can avoid the school run? You might well still be eating breakfast during the morning run, no?
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 03:58 PM
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ann - glad you saw this as one of the main reasons I started this thread is I'm trying to plan a trip for next summer, the focus of which is your area. In very preliminary planning I've come across statements such as "don't go in August" so I was hoping late June/early July would be better. I do want to go to St Ives, Looe, Mousehole! - are you saying I should forget the whole thing? (I think you're kidding, but maybe not). If you were a tourist wanting to see the southwest of England when would you go? Where would you go? If I go next year it has to be summer, but if that's really a terrible idea I could wait a few years till we retire and then could go another time. But this has been an area of England I've long wanted to visit so was really hoping it could work out sooner rather than later.
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 06:17 PM
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DH and I visited Munich, Fussen, Innsbruck and Salzburg during the first 2 weeks of August. We never travel in August but DH was turning 60 and he wanted to do it in Germany. It was high season so of course it was more crowded and more expensive than usual but our trip was out of this world and I have no regrets. We never went any place that was so crowded that we said forget it, the lines are too long. If August is the best time to go then just go.
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Old Sep 4th, 2016, 06:57 PM
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I was in Moscow and Berlin towards the end of July.
crowded and crowded
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Old Sep 5th, 2016, 02:18 PM
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ann - but if you're on holiday, presumably you can avoid the school run? You might well still be eating breakfast during the morning run, no?>>

Thursdaysd - that's a good point, especially regarding the mornings. But IME the afternoons between about 3 and 4.30 are pretty bad in term time, and then that runs into the afternoon getting home from work rush-hour.


Isabel - I am so sorry if I have put you off in any way. Definitely for the sort of trip you're thinking of late June/early July would be better than August when places like St ives and Mousehole are real tourist hotspots. The West Country as a whole is best when the children are at school because it is very popular with families though there's lots here for everyone, of course.

As for where to go, what do you like doing? how long have you got? do you like to stay in one or two places or to move on after a day or two? give me a few clues and I'll see what I can come up with.
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Old Sep 6th, 2016, 03:38 PM
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Thanks. I'm glad you feel late June/early July wouldn't be too terrible. I'm just in the very preliminary stages of planning but thinking about 5-7 nights (then will head north). We won't want to move every night so maybe two bases - can you suggest two villages that might make good bases? I like to 'see' places (and photograph them) but the three other people I'll be with like to hike and sit in pubs.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 01:47 AM
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isabel - you yourself have mentioned Looe, St Ives, and Mousehole. St Ives would make a good base for the north coast [plenty of walking and pubs, plus wonderful light for photography] and easy access to the far west of the southern coast including Mousehole.

For the south coast, I'm not so fond of Looe as a base though in truth I don't know it terribly well; I think that Fowey would be better. We spent two separate weeks' holiday there before we moved down here and found it an excellent place to stay. You can catch a boat across the estuary to the Polruan on the other side and there is loads of walking including the famous Hall Walk.

Slightly further west Falmouth is also a terrific place to stay and again, we stayed there for a week before we moved to Cornwall and there is loads to see and do - too much for a few days, but you can always come back. It is a great place for boat trips, garden visiting, and walking again of course.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 01:49 AM
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BTW, the end of June, beginning of July is pretty good time to visit Cornwall - not too much traffic and hopefully nice weather. The gardens will not be at their peak - that' happens between February and May - but there is still loads to see and do.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 04:21 AM
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Corfu in early May was fabulously void of cruise ship tourism (just one or two each day). A friend who visited in August (on a cruise) said it was horribly crowded; on their six hour stopover they only had time for Achilleion.

Heidelberg in mid-June found us with mild crowds, nothing unmanageable.

Hallstatt in late-June was jammed with day-trippers who thankfully left the lovely village to those of us staying overnight.

The Großglockner Alpine Road was mildly busy in mid-July on our weekend day drive, though more surprising was how crowded Krimml Falls was that same weekend.

August here in Vienna actually seemed a little quiet, comparatively. The HOHO buses were not filled, and we had no trouble sitting at favorite restaurants in the Inner Stadt on weekend nights.

Now, September...I spent the better part of the morning in the Inner Stadt today. The students are mostly gone, having been replaced with slow-moving tour gloms. Hopefully today is my last foray until Christmas market season.
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