Matala beach in Crete (Alamy/PA)
Matala beach in Crete (Alamy/PA)

Wishing you’d had a proper holiday? Check out these great deals for a late summer break

The sun is still shining and the water is still warm enough for a swim in many parts of our favourite short-haul destinations, says Sarah Marshall.

Sarah Marshall
Tuesday 07 September 2021 14:33

It’s not been the smoothest of summers this year. Border restrictions, an erratic traffic light system and general uncertainty have kept most travellers at home.

But as vaccination rates increase and restrictions across Europe ease, travel looks set to become easier over the next few weeks.

With the sun still blazing across many parts of the continent, there’s still time to enjoy our favourite destinations. Availability is also better during this period, now the European August vacation has drawn to a close, with some fantastic deals on offer.

So don’t pack away the swimsuit just yet…

Lanzarote

The Canary Islands are famously whipped by winds – perfect for watersports but perhaps not so ideal for slurping ice creams on the beach. But during September, gusts calm to a gentle breeze. Combined with fewer tourists, beaches are blissful and the waters hit their annual peak of around 23C.

Jet2holidays.com offer seven nights at the four-star Seaside Los Jameos Hotel, close to Playa de los Pocillos on the south coast, from £656 per person (two sharing), including flights from London Stansted.

Malta

During mid-summer, the heat can be intense on tiny island Malta, making it challenging to visit the many outdoor historical sites. By September, the temperature is a more manageable 28C – meaning seas are still warm enough for swimming and temple tours can be done without breaking into too much of a sweat.

Tropical Sky is currently offering £350 off all holidays to Malta booked by September 30. A seven-night B&B stay at the five-star Phoenicia Malta in Valetta – Malta’s amber-hued fortified capital – costs from £1159 per person in October, including flights from Gatwick.

Mallorca

With the water temperature averaging 25.1C this month, waves lapping this Balearic island are still inviting enough for a swim. Fewer sunbathers on the beach means there’s more space to throw down a towel, and a slight breeze makes is possible to enjoy hikes or bikes rides.

Travel Counsellors offer a seven-night B&B stay at the Zoëtry Hotel, a resort and spa built within a 14th century manor within easy reach of Palma, from £589 per person (two sharing), including flights from Luton on October 17. Book by September 30.

Crete

One of the hottest and sunniest spots in the Mediterranean for the next few weeks is undoubtedly the largest Greek island, Crete Divided by mountains, the south is African in feel while the north is more Mediterranean.

Although it’s been a bumper season, many properties are extending booking periods into autumn and winter with some great deals available. Holiday Pirates offer a 14-night B&B stay at the four-star Iro Hotel in Hersonissos from £243 per person (two sharing), including flights from Bristol. Departs September 28.

Marrakech, Morocco

Probably the most exotic destination fully vaccinated travellers can reach without quarantine, Morocco’s atmospheric city of riads and souks is also the warmest holiday option. Pose for selfies in the brightly daubed Jardin Majorelle beneath a North African sun and wander through the mayhem of musicians and storytellers in Jemaa el-Fnaa.

TUI offer an all-inclusive seven-night stay at the adult only TUI BLUE Medina Gardens from £466per person (two sharing) – saving 46%, including flights from Manchester on September 27.

Cornwall

You don’t necessarily need to go overseas for a late summer suntan. Plenty of bright days lie ahead in the West Country and now crowds have thinned, the beaches are far more enjoyable to explore.

Surrounded by tropical gardens close to the Helford River and Falmouth, Hotel Meudon is well placed to explore the landscapes of Daphne du Maurier’s novels. Take advantage of cooler days and hike the South West Coast path, discovering sites of importance with local historian Paul Miller. A two-night midweek guided walking break costs from £186 per person (two sharing), including breakfast. Visit meudon.co.uk.

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