Kate Simon

Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.

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The island of Korcula

Summer Guide 2013: Islands

Take your pick of seven new properties on the Greek Islands available through Ionian Villas (01935 477196; ionian-villas.co.uk). "Artist's Villa" on Paxos, built in 2011, has three bedrooms and sits on a hilltop surrounded by olive groves overlooking Gaios port. It costs from £1,330 for a week's rental. Meanwhile, two-bedroom "Morpheus", a newly completed property on Antipaxos, is one of only four villas with swimming pools that are available to rent on the island. It costs from £1,120 for a week, including rental of a Suzuki 4x4. International travel costs are not included.

The Via Francigena in Italy, an old pilgrimage route to Rome

Summer Guide 2013: Bikes

Freewheel along the Via Francigena in Italy, an old pilgrimage route to Rome, on a 172-mile tour that links Parma and Lucca. Let an E-bike take the strain, firing up its electric engine when you need a little help on those hills. The week's tour costs £641pp, based on two sharing, through Freedom Treks (01273 224066; freedomtreks.co.uk), including B&B, two dinners, luggage transfers and route maps. International travel costs extra.

The Al Andalus luxury train in Spain

Summer Guide 2013: Railways

Take a whistle-stop tour of Norway on a new 10-day rail journey from Diamond Rail Holidays (0844 544 3801; diamondrailholidays.co.uk). The trip travels to Copenhagen and includes a cruise along Naeroyfjord and Geirangerfjord. Departs 15 July and 2 September from London St Pancras; £2,095pp, based on two sharing.

Welsh Road Trips includes the hire of a two-seat electric car

Summer Guide 2013: Roads

Set a gentle pace on the highways of Mid-Wales in an electric car with Welsh Road Trips (welshroadtrips.com), an initiative by three hotels in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Guests are given directions between the three properties, with two nights' B&B provided at each establishment – Lasswade Country House in Llanwrtyd Wells, The Old Vicarage Dolfor near Newtown, and Westview Guesthouse in Llowes. Price £595pp, including hire of a two-seat electric car.

The Devon coast

Summer Guide 2013: Beaches

Explore the coral beaches and white-sand shores of Connemara in Ireland on a new sea-kayaking adventure. The guided ocean trek is based on the tales of Granuaile, a 16th-century Gaelic pirate queen. It traces her route along the Atlantic coast from Connemara to Achill Island, staying at waterfront B&Bs along the way. The price is €1,250 (£1,058)pp, based on two sharing, with Wilderness Ireland (01479 420020; wildernessireland.com), including six nights' B&B, some meals, equipment hire and the services of a guide. Travel to Connemara costs extra. Departs 1 June and 7 September.

Italy’s Dolomites

Summer Guide 2013: Mountains

Learn about life in the Swiss mountains with the new BaseCamp package at Nira Alpina (00 41 081 838 6969; niraalpina.com). Keep all the family amused on a summer break at this designer hotel in St Moritz, in the Engadine Valley, with workshops for children on edible mountain plants, how to milk cows and make cheese, and active pursuits including kite-surfing, climbing and sailing. From Sfr875 (£606)pp for five nights' B&B, picnic two guided hiking tours, plus other trips and treats. Children aged under 12 can stay free of charge in their parents' room. International travel costs extra. Departures are between 15 June and 13 October.

Amsterdam’s canals

Summer Guide 2013: Cities

Head to Amsterdam's canals as the city marks the 400th anniversary of these waterways, and take a look, too, at the Rijksmuseum (rijksmuseum.nl), which has just reopened following a 10-year restoration. Doubletree by Hilton (00 31 20 5300 800; doubletree.com) is offering a Canal Tour Package throughout summer, including two nights with breakfast and a one-hour canal tour. Price €338 (£286) for two people sharing. International travel extra.

What will you do for your holiday this summer?

Get set for summer 2013! Beach break or river cruise? Mountain trek or island idyll?

Let Kate Simon be your guide to a great escape.

A high-rope and zip-wire challenge on an Adventure Day at one of the centres run by PGL

Summer Guide 2013: Forests

Thrills in the tree-tops are guaranteed for adults and children who take on the high-rope and zip-wire challenges on an Adventure Day at one of the centres run by PGL, pictured (0844 371 2424; pgl.co.uk). The day package of activities costs £40pp and is available at various PGL centres around the UK.

The hills and valleys of Priorat in Spain

Summer Guide 2013: Treks

Get in the saddle of a heavy horse at the only riding establishment in the UK specialising in these magnificent beasts. Cumbrian Heavy Horses (01229 777764; cumbrianheavyhorses.com), near Millom, is offering a new three-day ride around the central Lake District on its Clydesdale, Shire and Ardennes breeds this summer. The trek passes through the

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