Where’s hot in August? Cue hollow laugh. It’s hard to find a part of the UK that hasn’t been baked by the scorching sun over the past two months. But if you want to get away from the daily grind, have a look at some of these holiday ideas in scenic parts of Europe – including one closer to home. And if you’re looking at a November getaway, here are the hot spots to book now.
If you’ve been inspired by the Tour de France and fancy some fresh clean mountain air, head to Les Deux Alpes in France. It’s packed with activities for the whole family, from mountain biking and hiking to swimming and even summer skiing on the glacier. Peak Retreats has a seven-night self-catered holiday in the four-star Alba residence at the foot of the Pied-Moutet mountain. The starting price of £152pp is based on five sharing a two-bedroom apartment and includes a midweek P&O Ferries crossing.
If you haven’t already found a cottage rental in the UK, there’s still some availability with Classic Cottages. Three miles from Sidmouth near Devon’s Jurassic Coast is St Giles Cottage on the edge of the village of Sidbury. This attractive period property has three bedrooms, a garden and, handily, is only 300 metres from a pub. It’s free from 18-31 August, and a week’s rental costs £943.
Lose yourself in Tuscany’s gorgeous landscapes by renting a villa deep in the Italian countryside. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, Vista La Torre has lovely views of the medieval towers of San Gimignano as well as an outdoor pool, a summer kitchen and seven bedrooms. Just the spot for a family gathering or a friends’ reunion, if you want to get a gang of 14 together. Vintage Travel has a week’s rental throughout August for £6,986.
Summer in the city takes on a different hue when you go north. Not one but three cities are on the itinerary of the Nordic Cities Explorer trip offered by Inntravel. Start in Copenhagen before taking the train over The Bridge (yes, that bridge) that connects Denmark with Sweden before ending up in Stockholm. After another couple of days, you’ll then take a cruise to Helsinki. This seven-night holiday costs from £1,190pp and includes rail and boat transport, breakfast and city passes. Flights are extra, and departures are throughout August.
Book now for November
The second-largest Canary Island is also one of the least touristy. Head to Fuerteventura’s north to enjoy long sandy beaches and the vast Sahara-like expanse of the Parque Natural de las Dunas. Just a few hundred metres from the white sandy beach at Corralejo is the four-star H10 Ocean Dreams, a sleek resort that’s for adults only. There’s an outdoor pool as well as a spa, and all rooms have balconies. Classic Collection has a seven-night holiday from £719pp, including flights, transfers and breakfast, departing 28 November.
November is one of the driest months in Kenya, where daytime temperatures are comfortably in the high 20Cs. Combine safari with a beach break on this eight-day holiday offered by Hayes & Jarvis. Start in Nairobi before exploring the Masai Mara, Nakuru National Park, Amboseli Safari and Tsavo National Park. You’ll end the trip on the Indian Ocean at Mombasa. The starting price of £2,289pp is for an 11 November departure and includes flights, transfers, accommodation, guides, park entrance fees, 4x4 transport and some meals.
This Portuguese island in the Atlantic still has temperatures in the low 20Cs even in November. Enjoy the sleepy charms of Canical, a quiet fishing village on the east coast of the island where rocky cliffs and dramatic landscapes offer some great hiking and walking. Inspired Luxury Escapes has four nights’ B&B at the five-star Quinta do Lorde, which has three outdoor pools as well as a beach and marina within staggering distance. The starting price of £293pp includes flights and transfers, and is for a 5 November departure.
Mary Novakovich is editor at large at 101holidays.co.uk
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