This weekend sees the last bank holiday of the year for the UK before Christmas that is, but nobody wants to think about Christmas (which is incidentally just 4 months away!)
These are the last couple of weeks before the back-to-school rush starts in earnest so sneaking away now is the last option before half term in October (or again Christmas) when it will be too cold to hit the European beaches. Also the weather this year has been absolutely awful I the UK; we started with drought and hosepipe bans, followed by the most rain on record! Many of the top tourist destinations in Europe by comparison have had steady (really really hot) weather.
And if you needed further convincing, the pound is currently really strong against the Euro, in fact at a two year high. So a quick getaway somewhere within Europe would be the cheapest it’s been for last 2 summers. And when you get back you’ll still have the end of the Paralympic Games to inspire you and steer you comfortably into autumn, and dare I say it again, Christmas.
So where’s hot, happening and easily accessible right now?
The Spanish Balearic Islands will always be popular with families and couples looking for a cheap getaway. The most popular of the Balearic’s are Majorca (Mallorca) which is pictured above, Minorca (Menorca), Ibiza and also the little-known Formentera. Majorca is the granddad of the islands with fabulous mountains and sea, perfect for hiking, walking and watersports. Minorca is quiet and sleepy, ideal for a romantic break or chill out. Ibiza of course is just winding up its frenetic clubbing scene for the season and will soon return to a more laidback atmosphere with great beaches by day and local entertainment by night. Don’t leave it too late though, I’ve been to the Balearics in late September and the weather was on the cool side.
Mainland Spain is a perennial family favourite with authentic wine and cuisine in the north, lively resorts in each of the Costas, think Costa Blanca, Brava, de la Luz, del Sol etc. There are also city breaks brimming with cultural and historical heritage such as the capital Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. And all within a two hour flight from the UK!
Other popular short haul destinations include both mainland Greece and her islands of Corfu, Crete and Rhodes. In fact there are 78 major Greek islands so there’ll be one to suit your taste and budget. And another perennial short-haul favourite is Turkey, where your tourist Euros will really stretch. Tourists enjoy the history and scenery with more ancient ruins than you could ever name, beautiful coastline, warm welcoming locals and a vibrant and fascinating culture.
If you want to get away in a few weeks either when all the children are safely back to school or in the October half term break then consider either Egypt or Tunisia which are both only about 4-5 hours from the UK, and more importantly, incredibly temperate in September, October and indeed even November.
I hope your appetite has been suitably whetted and I hope you have a fantastic late summer adventure!
By Julie Bowman