Brittany bargains

As the peak summer season begins, operators are turning to short-notice sales to help fill spare capacity. Brittany Ferries has a good August deal if you book by midnight tomorrow, 25 June: a return trip for a car plus two passengers on day sailings for £199, allowing up to eight days away. Motorcyclists (plus pillion passengers) qualify for half-price. These rates apply from Plymouth to Roscoff and from Portsmouth to Caen and St-Malo, any day from 1 to 29 August (

Five-star Florence

Kirker has a three-night stay at the Villa Medici for £698 per person. The former patrician's palace retains its period splendour with a grand piano in the lounge, draped fabrics in the rooms and two restaurants serving Tuscan fare. The deal includes breakfast, entrance into the Uffizi gallery and BA flights from Gatwick to Pisa with private transfers to Florence for travel between 9 July and 2 Sept. (

Swiss bliss

Summer in the Swiss Alps means lush green meadows, stunning serrated peaks and simple, untamed solitude. Inghams has a week's fully-catered stay in Saas Fee at the Chalet Ambassador for £499 per person, with easyJet flights from Gatwick or Manchester to Geneva and transfers on 25 July (

Going Dutch

Travelbag has a three-night city break in Amsterdam for £199 per person, departing from Gatwick on 9 July with easyJet. Accommodation with breakfast is at the Central Park Hotel. The location isn't central, but it is close to the western end of the picturesque Vondelpark – dotted with lakes, waterways and willow trees (