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.

Go below the waves at Pico in the Azores on the new Blue Shark Diving Adventure. The clue is in the name – this is one of the best places to spot blue sharks, plus mako sharks are often sighted here. And you'll be in open water – no cages. From £1,095pp for a week, based on two sharing, with Dive Worldwide (0845 130 6980; diveworldwide.com), including return flights with TAP Portugal from Heathrow via Lisbon to Horta, as well as transfers, accommodation, some meals and a dive pack.

Spend a few nights under canvas in a safari tent on the Isles of Scilly. A new luxury campsite at Peninnis Farm (01720 421008; peninnisfarmluxurycamping.co.uk), just minutes from Hugh Town on the island of St Mary's, has seven tents for hire, each sleeping six. These superior outdoor abodes are stylishly furnished and feature kitchens, shower rooms and open-plan living and dining areas, with a woodburner for chilly nights and a decked terrace for balmy summer evenings. From £895 per week. Travel to the islands costs extra – and be warned that the closure of the helicopter link to the islands from Penzance means that options are fewer and prices high.

Tour the islands of the Dalmatian coast with Wexas Travel (020-7590 0610; wexas.com) on an eight-day cruise. The journey begins in Split and continues by traditional motor yacht calling at eight islands including Brac, Korcula, pictured, and Hvar, as well as the port of Dubrovnik. Price £664pp, based on two sharing, including seven nights' half-board. International travel costs extra.

INSIDER TIP

Kate Andrews, Director, Loco2.com

"If you plan an international train journey that starts outside London, buy a ticket to 'London International', for example through raileasy.co.uk. Then, if the UK part of your journey is delayed, you are protected under international passenger rights and you'll be guaranteed a place on the next available Eurostar."

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