The Ten Best Last-minute breaks
Monday 23 August 2004
Gulet cruise in Turkey
Gulet cruise in Turkey
From £455 for seven nights' full board with flights from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester on 30 August
If you can wait until Monday before you set off, you could cruise along the coast of southern Turkey on a traditional Turkish sailing boat. The captain and his crew do all the work, and the chef emerges three times a day to serve a selection of Turkish meals. Anatolian Sky Holidays (08708 504040; www.anatoliansky.co.uk)
Villa in Pollensa, Mallorca, Spain
From £775 for one week's rental of a villa sleeping five, with pool, from 28 August. Flights can be arranged
The town of Pollensa is at the unspoilt northern end of Mallorca. It has a lovely sandy beach with shops and cafés, while the old town, just inland, has masses of charm. Villa Select has a choice of properties that are available from this weekend, so this is a great opportunity to round up a group of friends and find something that's suitable for everyone. Villa Select (01789 764909; www.villaselect.com)
Estalagem Quinta Do Estreito, Madeira, Portugal
From £713 for seven nights' bed and breakfast with flights from Gatwick during August. Small supplement for departures from regional airports
The five-star Estalagem Quinta Do Estreito is in an attractive location on a hillside above a small fishing village. The hotel is ideally placed for walking, visiting the town of Funchal (which is a short drive away) or simply relaxing. Rooms have balconies with a sea view, and the hotel has a swimming-pool, sun terraces and a sauna. Castaways (01737 812255; www.castaways.co.uk)
Casa alle Vacche, near San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy
£300 for a self-catering apartment in Tuscany sleeping three, with car hire and flights from Gatwick to Pisa on 28 August
The Casa alle Vacche is one of a number of self-catering properties in Tuscany still available from Crystal Italy. It is in an attractive part of the region and has a double bedroom, a sofa bed in the living area, kitchen, shower and the use of a shared pool. Crystal Italy (0870 888 0263; www.crystalholidays.co.uk)
Topaz Aparthotel, Bugibba, Malta
£408 for seven nights' bed and breakfast accommodation, with flights from Heathrow on 25 August
The Topaz Aparthotel is in a wonderful location close to St Paul's Bay, one of the most popular and attractive beaches in Malta. It has extensive facilities, including a pool-side bar, sun terraces and volleyball courts. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés along the seafront promenade, while Sliema, an excellent centre for shopping, boat trips and nightlife, is just around the bay. Malta Direct Travel (0208-561 9079; www.maltadirect.com)
Rex Turtle Beach Hotel, Tobago
£604 for seven nights' room-only accommodation, with scheduled flights from Gatwick on 30 August
This is a good deal to one of the most attractive islands in the Caribbean. All the rooms at the Rex Turtle Beach Hotel have a patio or balcony with ocean views, and there are plenty of water-based activities on offer including sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. The hotel has a choice of bars, a coffee shop and restaurants. Virgin Holidays (0870 220 2788; www.virgin.com/holidays)
Merton Hotel, Jersey
Two nights' bed and breakfast for £189 via the fast ferry from Poole or Weymouth to St Helier; £195 with flights from Gatwick
There is plenty at the Merton to keep the whole family occupied, including the Aquadome (with its water slide, water cannons and pool), tennis courts and a fitness centre. Jersey Travel Service (0845 121 4849; www.jerseytravelservice.co.uk)
Orient Palace Hotel, Sousse, Tunisia
£459 for seven nights' bed and breakfast accommodation, with flights from Gatwick on 29 August
This five-star hotel is on the seafront in Sousse and is an excellent base for exploring the desert, where scenes from The English Patient were filmed. Sousse has excellent nightlife and the hotel offers a selection of water sports. Cadogan Holidays (02380 828313; www.cadoganholidays.com)
Butlins Resort, Bognor Regis, West Sussex
£99 for three nights' self-catering accommodation, from 27 August, in an apartment sleeping four
No longer called holiday camps, Butlins resorts have changed beyond all recognition in recent years and offer excellent value and facilities for a family break. You will be staying in a well-equipped apartment with two bedrooms, and although you will need to pay for food there is no need to spend on anything else: most of the entertainment, the funfair and Splash Waterworld are included in the price. Butlins (0870 242 0870; www.butlinsonline.co.uk)
Aresti Villas, Zakynthos, Greece
£459 for seven nights' self-catering accommodation in a villa sleeping six, car hire and flights from Gatwick on 27 August
Aresti Villas offer top-quality accommodation that's ideal for a family or group of friends. The villa has three bedrooms and a good-sized kitchen and living area. Outside is a shaded terrace, private pool and a children's play area that's shared with other properties. Although the villa is secluded, there is a taverna within easy walking distance. Simply Ionian (0208 541 2202; www.simplytravel.co.uk)
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