From dancing the tango in Buenos Aires to exploring the Edinburgh festival…
Every month, Kiwi.com brings you a few ideas for things to do, places to go and things to see in the coming month. So if you want to know the best places to visit in August, here are our suggestions…
Passionate performance, Buenos Aires
One of South America’s greatest artistic exports is the tango, a dance synonymous with passion, lust, and smouldering looks while clasping a rose between your teeth. Since 1999, Buenos Aires has been celebrating the dance with the Tango Festival. Gathering some of the greatest proponents of the art from all over the world, the city spins and struts to the rhythms of the music from 9 to 22 August.
Even if you’ve never tried to learn the dance before but fancy yourself as cutting rather a dash on the dancefloor, there are 10 days of free classes for beginners, as well as more advanced classes for those wanting to polish their skills. Can’t find a partner? Never fear, there’s even a database and app so those in Buenos Aires alone can find a partner of their level to practice with. How fabulously flirtatious!
Explore the lesser-known Portugal
Want a European beach getaway but without the sunburnt masses? Whisper it, but this just might be the place. About an hour’s drive from Lisbon lies Comporta, a place that manages to be both exclusive and unpretentious at the same time, a remarkable feat, you’ll agree. Empty beaches give way to rice paddies and green fields, dotted with thatched houses and the odd villa, many of which are for rent. The laid-back atmosphere means that if all you fancy doing is strolling, swimming, sunbathing and possibly venturing into the village for a glass of something delicious, this is the place for you.
It’s become somewhat of a mecca for those with impeccable taste – designers Christian Louboutin and Philippe Starck both have places here – but who would rather be seen with a plate of bread and cheese and a glass of wine, than be snapped partying. The aesthetes among you will also be drawn to the local arts and crafts scene: the lanes around the village house small, independent shops selling homemade clothes and scarves, paintings by local artists, and bespoke furniture. It truly is a place to be cool without anyone knowing.
Romance and revelry, Yorkshire and Edinburgh
2018 marks Emily Brontë’s 200th birthday, and so the Brontë Parsonage Museum – keepers and maintainers of all things Brontë – have a year-long exhibition of Emily’s life and works entitled Making Thunder Roar. The town of Haworth in Yorkshire is steeped in their legend, and the parsonage in which they lived is a site of what can only be described as pilgrimage for their legions of fans from around the world. After exploring the town and the museum, head out onto the wild and windy moors to explore the countryside that inspired their works. There are companies that will sell you a week long walking tour, including hotels and meals to keep you going as you spend seven days striding across some of the most stunning scenery Britain has to offer.
While you’re in the UK and steeped in the culture, head north to Edinburgh, and the legendary Fringe festival. Comedy, theatre, music and more take centre stage as the entire city becomes home to over 3,000 different shows in venues ranging from the vast to the tiny. Of course, you’ll never see them all, but with such variety you’ll never be bored! Also, bear in mind that even if you start to feel that a one-man devised ballet about the role of cats in 17th century French literature is something that didn’t really need to happen, simply take advantage of being at large in one of Britain’s great cities.
A century of Bernstein, USA
Leonard Bernstein was one of America’s great composers, and he would have turned 100 on 25 August. To commemorate this, many cities (most notably Philadelphia, New York and Boston) are holding events to celebrate his life and work. Jamie Bernstein, one of Leonard’s three children is thrilled about the range of events: “The diversity is incredible,” she says. “There are symposiums at universities, exhibits and film festivals. Opera and theatre companies, ballet houses and orchestras are also participating.”
Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music, for example, is running at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia until 2 September. It is showcasing more than 100 artefacts from his life, spread over 2,200 square feet. From his piano to annotated manuscripts of his scores to West Side Story, it’s the indispensable guide to a remarkable person. Perhaps the biggest celebrations will be taking place in Lenox, Massachusetts, culminating on 25 August with a gala concert featuring some of the biggest names from classical music, Broadway and film. Tickets start at a mere $12.
Art everywhere, Niigata, Japan
Not necessarily the first name that comes to mind when thinking of destinations in Japan, the lively coastal city of Niigata boasts a botanical garden, an enormous aquarium and some of the best seafood you’ll eat in the entire country (and that’s up against some pretty stiff competition, as you can well imagine!). But what really makes August the time to visit is the annual Arts Festival. Each year is themed, with this year being Questioning Homogenous Space, examining the role of art in maintaining individuality.
Installations and exhibitions abound, with art institutions from around the world setting up temporary bases around the city. Special events include exhibits examining the art of the Lascaux and Altamira cave paintings, and presenting the ways of life of the people who created them. Dance troupes and musicians from as far afield as the UK, Turkey, Cameroon and Slovenia will be performing, and the entire month promises to be a feast for the artistic and cultural soul.
Take advantage of the season, the Maldives
The peak season for tourists visiting the Maldives is December and January because it’s a popular destination for people looking for a spot of winter sun. The chain of 26 atolls that make up the country is known for its clear blue seas, white sandy beaches, and a sense of peaceful paradise. Basically, it’s every beach holiday inspiration travel photo you’ve ever seen.
With calm sea conditions at this time of year, it’s the perfect period to try scuba diving, windsurfing or kayaking. Whale sharks are more common around August, and due to the incredible underwater visibility, you can be confident of seeing one. Back on dry land, the Unesco-protected coral stone mosques are unique in the world, and even if that seems too strenuous, you can always just lie on the beach and let your cares drift away on the warm breeze.
Not sure which trip to take? Try NOMAD and visit them all