Hawaii has a multitude of dazzling beaches to offer

Whether you want to make friends with the street-wise monkeys of Kuala Lumpur or share a pint with a fiddle-playing Dubliner, August is the month to discover the variety of opportunities on offer around the world.

Best August holidays for… cities

Short haul: Dublin, Ireland

August destinations 2011 - DublinDublin is a vibrant and welcoming city
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Despite the economic problems faced by Ireland in recent years, Dublin maintains its reputation as a vibrant and welcoming city. Although you may well encounter a splash of rain, going in August maximises picnicking opportunities in Dublin’s picturesque parks or sitting aside a river bank.

If the weather does fail you then fear not, getting wet whilst walking through the character-filled, and often cobbled, streets is all part of the Dublin way of life, and there are also a range of museums to fill the days.

It is the people of Dublin who make the place so loved by visitors. Long summer days can be spent easily meandering through the streets of Dublin to uncover unassuming pubs where small Irish folk bands abide with their mix of traditional instruments, laughter and pints. An impromptu performance may be easier to come across than you would imagine and makes for a brilliantly atmospheric evening that will contribute to an already memorable visit.

Long haul: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

August destinations 2011 - KLKuala Lumpur offers a vibrant mix of cultures
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Unlike other Asian cities in August, you can avoid having to brace against the monsoons this summer by venturing to the enticing, and dry, Kuala Lumpur. From its impressive Petronas Twin Towers to the monkey-riddled Batu caves, Kuala Lumpur draws in visitors with its varied and historic sites.

The wide range of cuisine available due to Malaysia’s Chinese, Indian and British influences means there are also plenty of new tastes to keep your palate entertained. Food can be enjoyed at a number of bustling food halls as well as at traditional local market stalls where you can rest after a busy day and sit alongside the friendly locals to take in the city.

An expansive market runs day and night and manages to avoid feeling overly claustrophobic due to the crisp air of its outdoor location. On display are a multitude of supposedly ‘designer’ goods that can be bartered down considerably thanks to the replicas available on every other stall. Enjoy the fun of it all as you take in the sites and market stalls, but don’t expect your souvenirs to last as long as your holiday memories!

Best August holidays for… beaches

Short haul: Varna, Bulgaria

August destinations 2011 - BulgariaVarna's history matches its beauty at this seaside resort
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Providing you’re not a skier, August is one of the best times to visit Bulgaria with temperatures reaching 27°C (81°F). Varna, the biggest seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, has plenty to contribute to the country’s summer success.

As a potential contender for 2019 European Capital of Culture, Varna proves it is far from being a typical seaside resort, offering history impressive enough to rival its elegant stretch of beaches. Projecting a certain level of class is important for Varna in order to counter-balance the city’s growing reputation as a party place.

Varna’s International Folk Festival is also an August highlight, allowing locals and tourists alike to embrace worldwide traditional dance and music after a day spent soaking in the Bulgarian sunshine and culture.

Long haul: Hawaii, USA

August destinations 2011 - HawaiiBeaches along the southern coast attract both turtles and travellers
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Hawaii’s reputation as a mini paradise makes it an obvious choice for a summer break, and rightly so. With a multitude of dazzling beaches to choose from and the added draw of turtles and spinner dolphins that are as helpless to resist Hawaii’s charm as the holidaymakers, the place seems to take hold of all that encounter it.

All the islands have similar climates, with the enchanting beaches that run along the southern coast hosting temperatures that simmer around 30°C (86°F). However, the trend in weather is not mirrored by the number of visitors to each small haven, with some far more cluttered with tourists than others.

The beautiful island of Lanai may be slightly more awkward to get to than the other options Hawaii has on offer, but in exchange for a short plane ride from Honolulu is the isolation and seclusion this island has to offer. Its one beach offering is enough to satisfy a search for tranquility, as a lack of beach options is equaled by the lack of competition for a spot on it.

Best August holidays for… the outdoors

Short haul: Lapland, Sweden

August destinations 2011 - LaplandLapland retains its magic even in summer
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Lapland evokes thoughts of snowy backdrops and Father Christmas preparing his reindeer for their big day, but it seems there’s more to this magical place than Christmas spirit.

The home of the native Scandinavians, known as Sami, has scenery to rival any found within Europe, and with plenty of stunning hikes available for beginners and experienced hikers alike there is ample opportunity to explore the inspiring landscape on offer. There is also the chance to encounter the traditional Sami culture through trips organised by tour operators in nearby towns.

Due to going out of season, Sweden's spectacular Arctic mountain ranges will be unrivalled for their serene and peaceful feel, ensuring plenty of time to slow down and appreciate the magnificent sights. The breathtaking scenery is equalled only by the most stunning national parks northern Europe has to offer.

Long haul: New South Wales, Australia

August destinations 2011 - AustraliaWrap up for a summer in Oz
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It’s hard to comprehend that the sunny, glossy images of Australia aren’t a year-round reflection of life down under. As a result, skiing in Australia may well be the last thing that comes to mind for a summer getaway.

Snow levels in Oz can be a problem, but with powerful snow guns now used frequently to top up areas where required, the beautiful Charlotte Pass Village, in New South Wales, could be the answer to a summer ski session.

Situated in one of the highest areas for skiing in the country, Charlotte Pass Village has on average more natural snow than any other resort in Australia. As part of the Kosciuszko National Park, this place will provide a spectacular backdrop to your adrenaline-fuelled trip and adds the unique element of skiing through eucalyptus trees that are exclusive to the ski fields of Australia.

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