It’s no secret that a Mediterranean vacation in August holds its own set of unique travel challenges. August is the month that seemingly every person in Europe takes a holiday, so crowds (and as we discussed last month in the blog, temperatures) are at a maximum. In the cities, lots of things close as proprietors and employees head off to a seaside vacation, and in beach resorts, it can be hard to find some peace. Traveling in the shoulder season, however, isn’t possible for everyone- we know that between work, school and kids sometimes a hard earned vacation has to be in August- and with some of our expert travel tips, you don’t have to sacrifice your travel dreams just because the season isn’t considered ideal.
A few hours north of Venice, nestled in the northeastern part of Italy where it meets the border of Austria, you’ll find one of our favorite summer destinations- the Dolomites.
This magical mountain range is an Italian hot spot in the winter, renowned for sports like skiing and snowboarding, but in the summer these snow covered peaks turn to green hills laced with wildflowers and hidden lakes. The temperatures in the mountains are much cooler than in the cities in August, and the fresh mountain air is just what you need after a few days in the heat seeing the sites of Italy.
Mountain biking, trekking, even more adventurous activities like BASE jumping or more relaxed ones like world famous spa resorts make this region truly a stop for everyone. The renowned 5-star Adler hotel in Ortisei is famous for its luxury spa and treatments, whereas the Cavallino Bianco is constantly rated one of the best family hotels in Europe. In August, you’ll find the area busy but not as overwhelmed as it is during the winter ski holiday, it’s a great place to relax and recharge and take in one of the most special UNESCO world heritage sites in the country. In addition, the Dolomites are an area that encompass many different towns and villages, meaning that the August tourism is a bit more "spread out", and with a wealth of trails, tracks and activities, you'll find that you never feel overwhelmed with tourists.
Gastronomes take note- mountain villages like charming Modena are other wonderful stops. Walks and hikes through the hills go from malga to malga (a malga is a traditional Alpine summer structure where local farmers produce their own milk, cheese and yogurt). Other places like San Cassano are scattered with Michelin starred restaurants as you’d find in any famous city (and these ones are open over the month of August!). The cuisine of this area is an interesting blend of northern Italian and foods more typically associated with their northern neighbors of Austria and Germany. Famous for summer wild berries, fruit, jams and game like deer, the Dolomites are a spectacular dining destination in August.
The Dolomites are a great solution for clients and travelers looking for a bit of a break from the August crowds and heat, all with one spectacular view.