Whether you’re looking for long days of sunshine and idyllic beaches or extraordinary wildlife encounters, the world’s best Islands to visit in August offer travelers some fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
From searching for blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos Islands to sizzling Sardinia, with its myrtle-scented hikes, culture-rich capital, and dreamy beaches, there is an island to visit in August for every type of traveler.
Late summer is a wonderful time to get away and recharge before a new season begins. From searching for migrating humpback whales in Iceland’s cool waters to sunbathing on a deserted Caribbean beach, take your pick from these island destinations.
Mykonos is beautiful and glamorous in equal parts. In August, this Greek island’s bars are hopping and its beaches are buzzing with party-loving travelers.
The weather is balmy and the water is warmed by the Mediterranean sunshine, making this Cyclades spot among the best islands to visit in August.
One of Mykonos’ biggest draws is its beaches, with dozens of soft shores to enjoy. If you prefer to be in the thick of the action, go to Paradise, Super Paradise, or Psarrou beaches on the south coast.
There is a quieter side to this windswept island, though. For a calmer Mykonos beach with fewer visitors, try Paralia Ftelias, tucked into the central north coast.
Enjoy a soothing dip in the clear water before drying off and dining at the chic and relaxed Ftelia Pacha, a beachfront restaurant and bar with an Ibiza vibe.
Mykonos Town, also known as Chora, is filled with chic boutiques such as Amnesia for gorgeous jewelry, floaty dresses, and leather sandals.
Try Themis Z for stylish tablescapes and stylish resort wear, while Rarity is a must-visit if you’re looking to extend your art collection. There are outposts of Dior and Gucci, and an abundance of fashion, leather goods, and home boutiques to explore.
One of the best things to do in Mykonos, however, is simply to stroll among Chora’s pretty whitewashed buildings with their floral doorways and brightly-painted balconies.
Admire the gleaming white church of Panagia Paraportiani in Mykonos, which is actually five churches, one built on top of the other.
Visit the head-turning Windmills of Mykonos and watch the sun disappearing into the horizon from laid-back Little Venice. For prime sunset viewing, right on the waterfront, you’ll want to arrive early or book ahead.
If you’re looking for jaw-dropping adventures, Iceland is one of the best islands to visit in August.
This mid-north Atlantic island is home to dramatic black-sand beaches, brooding volcanoes, and thundering waterfalls. The wildlife in Iceland is extraordinary, too, especially during summertime.
Thousands of migratory eider ducks descend on the tiny grass-covered Vigur Island, 66° north, near Ísafjörður in Iceland’s Westfjords.
Join a bird-watching safari to the island, which is also teeming with around 100,000 puffins, a rare colony of black guillemots, razorbills, and Arctic terns. There are regular whale sightings in the waters around Vigur Island, too.
Summer is undoubtedly the best time of year for whale watching in Iceland. From Dalvik, near Akureyri in north Iceland, you could go in search of Eyjafjordur’s humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, harbor porpoises, and even blue whales, fin whales, and orca.
Similarly, from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, try a fast-paced RIB (rigid inflatable boat) whale-watching trip to look for marine mammals on the west coast.
Reykjavik is especially inviting during August. Visit the striking Hallgrímskirkja church, the tallest building in Iceland that pierces the sky with its razor-sharp architecture.
The elegant Harpa concert hall, a magnificent oceanfront building that reflects the water in its glass facade, hosts a repertoire of opera, jazz, blues, and other musical genres.
Join a 45-60 minute guided tour to go behind the scenes at Harpa before wandering through Reykjavik’s walkable city center. There’s a colorful blend of street art, independent boutiques, cafés, restaurants, and bars, centered around Laugavegur, the city’s main shopping strip.
For a relaxing experience, head to the rugged landscape of the Reykjanes Peninsula and the soothing waters of the Blue Lagoon, one of the most beautiful places in Iceland.
The geothermally-heated pool’s silica-rich water has deep hydrating and cleansing benefits and the backdrop of the volcanic Mount Þorbjörn against the Blue Lagoon’s milk-hued water is otherworldly.
Lying in the dazzling Ionian Sea, to the west of Greece’s mainland, you’ll find sun, sea, and delicious food on Zakynthos, also known as Zante.
Zakynthos is one of August’s best islands to visit for its warm sea, perfect for swimming.
The star attraction on Zakynthos is Shipwreck Beach, or Paralia Navagio, on the north of the island.
This sandy cove, carved into soaring limestone cliffs, is one of the most beautiful places in Greece and is only accessible by boat. In the center of Navagio is the rusting shipwreck of MV Panagiotis, which ran aground here in 1980.
Swimming and diving in Zakynthos’s clear waters are among the island’s most popular activities. Greek beaches, including Tsilivi, Alykanas, and Laganas, are within easy reach of the capital and offer sweeping soft sand, watersports, bars and restaurants, and sun loungers.
There’s a kaleidoscope of marine life to be discovered underwater, too, with the island a breeding site for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.
The Barracuda and Octopus reefs on the Keri Peninsula and the island of Marathonissi, in the southern part of Zakynthos, also draw divers and snorkelers for their colorful array of grouper, bream, and moray eels.
Studded with mountain villages, olive groves, monasteries, and wineries, Zakynthos’ hinterland is equally rewarding, while culture-hungry travelers will enjoy the island’s capital, also called Zakynthos.
Delve into Zakynthos’ 16th-century Agios Markos Church, which draws parallels with St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and climb to the ruins of Bóchali Venetian Castle, high above the town. Stop at the castle for an iced tea or coffee and gaze at the unending sapphire-blue views that unfold toward the mainland.
Bonaire is a nature lover’s paradise, and with fewer crowds than other Caribbean islands and temperatures hovering around 86-88°F, August is a wonderful time to visit.
Bonaire is the most unspoiled of the three ABC Islands, with the wildlife-filled Washington Slagbaai National Park occupying the northern swathe of the island.
Follow one of the walking tracks or three hiking trails to search for parrots, iguanas, parakeets, and flamingoes, while sea turtles nest on the tropical white shores.
You’ll want to pack a snorkel, with the turquoise waters around Bonaire and the smaller island of Klein Bonaire—one of the largest uninhabited Caribbean islands—a protected marine reserve.
Witness the dazzling display of Caribbean coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds and some of the 350 species of fish that inhabit these rich waters, such as mahi-mahi, clownfish, blue parrotfish, barracudas, and queen angelfish.
For a totally tropical island experience, one of the best things to do in Bonaire is to take a water taxi from Kralendijk, the capital of Bonaire, to visit Klein Bonaire Beach, famous for its chalk-white sand.
Alternatively, commandeer a kayak in Lac Bay, where a wild tangle of mangrove forest meets a remarkable reef, home to queen conch, baby seahorses, and baby rays.
Roughly the size of Indiana, the green-hued island of Ireland is a wonderful place to explore, especially during August when the country sees the least rainfall.
In characterful Cork, southwest Ireland, savor the local delicacies at the historic English Market. You’ll find stalls brimming with regional produce that Ireland is known for, such as cheese, sourdough bread, smoked salmon, oysters, and whiskey.
Take a history lesson at the castle-like Cork City Gaol, which housed prisoners in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including the socialist, suffragist, Irish politician, and revolutionary, Countess Constance Markievicz, in 1919.
Consider spending time in the attractive seaside town of Cobh (pronounced “cove”), with its rainbowed-colored houses and skyline-defining cathedral.
Cobh is also known as the location of the Titanic’s final port of call before embarking on its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in April 1911. Visit the White Star Line’s former ticket office to learn more about the world’s most famous ocean liner.
Located adjacent to Playa del Carmen on the mainland’s Yucatán Peninsula, Cozumel is an undisputed paradise island thanks to its swaying palm trees, crystal-clear water, and sugary sand.
Enjoy the slow pace of life on some of Cozumel’s best beaches. Check out Chen Rio Beach on the east coast for its out-of-the-way, relaxed feel, or Playa San Francisco on the west coast for sun loungers and jet ski rental.
The 30,000-acre Cozumel Reefs National Park surrounds the island, lying within the north section of the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world.
Dip below the surface to see the ethereal display of coral and swim among snappers, groupers, parrot fish, angel fish, and scorpionfish. Pods of playful dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees can also be spotted offshore.
In San Miguel, the capital of Cozumel, explore Mercado Municipal, the traditional market, where mango, pineapple, banana, and papaya fill vendors’ stalls. Taco stands, freshly squeezed juices, spices, vegetables, and other street-food stalls are also available.
Cozumel is also home to some of Mexico’s lesser-known Mayan ruins, including El Cedral, dating back to 800 A.D. This unassuming ruin belies its former stature as a revered ceremonial site.
Further north, the larger UNESCO-listed San Gervasio archaeological site features a number of structures, though none are intact, including a temple, a chapel, and what was the residence of the Mayan ruler of Cozumel.
If a languid day spent on a sun-kissed beach is your idea of a vacation well spent, opt for a dose of la dolce vita on Sardinia for your August island getaway.
While many European hotspots can become crowded during the peak of summer, with over 1,000 miles of coastline, Sardinia offers ample space for sunseekers to unwind.
Travel to Tuerredda Beach on the southern tip of Sardinia for its seductively soft sand and rustic feel. This Sardinian beach is flanked by a thick pine forest and faces the tiny Isola di Tuerredda, after which it takes its name.
To remain close to the capital, Cagliari, head for Spiaggia del Poetto for its four-mile stretch and the pink flamingos that can be spotted in the wetlands behind the beach.
You may struggle to tear yourself away from Cagliari, though. The city oozes beauty and glamor, with layers of history, and exquisite Italian gastronomy.
Discover the necropolis of Tuvixeddu, a sprawling hillside burial site established by the Carthaginians in the 6th century B.C. Tick off several city sights in the Castello district, starting with the opulent Palazzo Regio.
This former royal residence was built in the 14th century, though it has been extensively modified over the centuries and features brilliant frescoes and a grand staircase.
The island of Curaçao is a wonderful vacation choice in August. Outside of peak season, travelers will see fewer crowds but still experience warm temperatures.
What strikes visitors most about Curaçao’s capital, Willemstad, is its UNESCO-listed downtown area, with its prevalent Dutch colonial architecture. Stroll along the vibrant Handelskade on St. Anne’s Bay to admire the colorful waterfront buildings and browse the local market.
Saunter across the swinging Queen Emma Bridge, opened in 1888, this pedestrian pontoon bridge connects the Punda and Otrobanda districts.
One of the best things to do in Curaçao is to visit the Kurá Hulanda Museum for its thought-provoking history of the African slave trade. The Curaçao Maritime History Museum is insightful, too, for its exhibition detailing the island’s seafaring past.
Active travelers will love Curaçao’s sprawling Christoffel National Park in the north of the island. Set on three former plantations, this jungle-covered park is dominated by the mighty Christoffel Mountain, the island’s tallest peak at 1,230 feet.
You could join a jeep safari or take off on one of the eight hiking trails to go in search of the park’s four species of orchids, nine reptile species, and some of the 263 bird species, including the brown-throated parakeet, crested caracara, and the blue-tailed emerald.
Carve out time on one of Curaçao’s incredible beaches for a lazy afternoon by the water. Try Cas Abao Beach, a 40-minute drive north of Willemstad for its milk-white sand, arching palm trees, and thatched parasols.
The remote and largely uninhabited Galapagos Islands are unique because of their flora and fauna. Lying roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, this 19-island volcanic archipelago is among the best islands to visit in August.
At this time of year, the Humboldt Current cools the waters, slightly cooling land temperatures, too, creating the perfect environment for nature hikes.
The Galapagos Islands are a real-life natural history museum. Inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection in 1859, its species include frigatebirds, sea lions, land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, and penguins.
Visit the Charles Darwin research center before gazing at unique cacti formations, land iguanas, giant tortoises, and pink flamingos on Santa Cruz.
A highlight for many travelers here is observing nesting blue-footed boobies—with the best time to see them between June and August.
Watch sea lions lolling on the beach, and look for scavenging lava gulls and Sally Lightfoot crabs on Mosquera Island. Don a wetsuit and head underwater, where you might spy sea turtles, marine iguanas, sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and orcas.
With temperatures consistently reaching 80 to 85°F, Malta is one of the best islands to visit in August for warm-weather seekers.
This tiny speck of an archipelago—consisting of the largest island of Malta, plus Gozo and Comino—lies in the southern Mediterranean. Travelers are greeted by Megalithic temples, shipwreck dive sites, tranquil coves, and golden beaches.
History is, arguably, Malta’s biggest bragging right with evidence that the islands were first inhabited 7,000 years ago. Begin to unpack some of Malta’s past in Valletta, the honey-colored UNESCO-listed capital.
Set on the north side of Malta’s Grand Harbour, facing the Three Cities, Valletta is a compact, walled city on a rocky outcrop home to fanciful balconied buildings and magnificent Baroque churches.
One of the most bewitching is St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where travelers pore over the domed-frescoed ceiling and Caravaggio’s The Beheading of Saint John, painted in 1608.
The city’s rich tapestry of decadent palaces and extravagant buildings was established by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century. By contrast, one of Valletta’s newest buildings is the 2015 Renzo Piano-designed Parliament House, next to the ruins of the Neoclassical Royal Opera House and minutes from St. George’s Square and the Grand Master’s Palace.
From the peachy, photogenic streets of Valletta, make your way to Lower Barrakka Gardens on the edge of the city walls and down to the Grand Harbour.
One of the best things to do in Malta is to relax on a traditional taxi boat as you’re guided from the city’s walls, across the sparkling water, to the captivating Three Cities, Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua.
If you’re in Malta to unwind, travel via boat to Gozo’s Blue Lagoon for a thrilling day of paddling, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Go as early as possible to secure a sun lounger and try to beat the crowds.
There are plenty of superb seaside spots around the main island, too, including Singita Miracle Beach, Marsaskala, and Marsaxlokk.
Are you ready to plan your next summer escape? Explore our August cruises to some of the world’s most beautiful islands and book your next getaway.