This summer is one for the books with record-breaking temperatures across the country. Skip the sweltering beach, escape the stifling city, and head to an unexpected (and much cooler) vacation destination. Vrbo curated a list of six destinations where temperatures are the lowest during August, and a vacation rental to stay in each.
Average August temperature: 62 degrees
Known for its breathtaking fjords, U-shaped undersea valleys carved by glaciers, Norway is a must if you’re looking for a cooler vacation. Some of Norway’s most famous fjords are the Nærøyfjord and the Geirangerfjord, both on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Home to Viking culture, Norway is a country rich with history and heritage, with several annual Viking festivals that usually take place in the Viking farmlands.
While you’re visiting, make sure to hike the Nigardsbreen Glacier and visit the Langfossen Falls. This waterfall stands 2,000 feet high and has been named one of the best waterfalls in the world.
In some parts of Norway, the sun sets at midnight and rises again at 1am during the summer, making nighttime practically nonexistent. The cozy cabin below will serve as the perfect place to rest after a day of adventures.
Average August temperature: 51 degrees
Named the “Land of Fire and Ice,” Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers and most active volcanoes in the world. The marks of human hands are nearly unnoticeable in this mystical paradise.
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is one of the country’s most visited attractions. Here you’ll find the Blue Lagoon, which is a mineral seawater geothermal pool surrounded by fantastic volcanic landscapes.
Pro tip: Do not leave Iceland without visiting the Black Sand and Diamond Beaches.
Average August temperature: 52 degrees
Described as one of the biggest hidden treasures in South America, Uruguay has perfectly balanced colonial architecture and modern development. Uruguay sits between Brazil and Argentina, so it has strong cultural influences from both countries.
Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, which translates to “I see mountains,” showcases the country's traditional architecture. While visiting Montevideo, make sure to stop by Palacio Salvo, a beautiful conserved colonial building that was once the tallest skyscraper on the continent.
The coastline of Uruguay also has several historical landmarks along the way. Don’t miss Colonia Del Sacramento, a small colonial village that will make you feel like you have gone back in time, and Castle de Piria, a beautiful castle owned by one of the city’s founders.
Average August temperature: 65 degrees
Switzerland is a country that was able to dodge the wrath of both World Wars and in turn has preserved its medieval architecture, historical landmarks, and natural beauty.
Home to Europe’s largest waterfall, Rhine Falls, and one of the largest lakes in the continent, Lake Geneva, Switzerland has been described by many people as one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Switzerland may be a small country, but it certainly does not give that impression. Nestled between France, Italy, Germany, and Austria, Switzerland is known as the Land of Four Languages.
But Switzerland is perhaps even more known for the Swiss Alps, one of the world’s top spots for skiing.
Average August temperature: 65 degrees
Named America’s Great Last Frontier, Alaska is the land of bears the size of bison, national parks the size of nations, and glaciers bigger than some US states.
One of Alaska’s biggest highlights is Denali National Park. Here you’ll be able to see the highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley, as it sits at 20,310 feet above sea level. In addition, Denali National Park offers a close-up view of some of Alaska’s unique wildlife.
During the summer, Alaska has an average of 22 hours of daylight, so whether you’re looking to go hiking, biking, kayaking, or paragliding, adventure in Alaska never stops.
6. New Zealand
Average August temperature: 55 degrees
Even though you may have not visited New Zealand before, you might already be familiar with its natural scenery. The “Lord of the Rings” films introduced the breathtaking landscapes of the country through the big screen.
Home to the Kiwis, the self-appointed nickname for the country’s locals, New Zealand offers visitors a wide array of experiences. From its active volcanoes, deep glacier lakes, and unique wildlife to its dazzling fjords, New Zealand is a must-visit destination.