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Best last-minute holiday deals for September, from Sicily to Istanbul

Grasp the tail end of the summer with these last-minute breaks

Mary Novakovich
Thursday 29 August 2019 15:46 BST
Istanbul temperatures are less scorching come September
Istanbul temperatures are less scorching come September (Getty/iStock)

If you haven’t had a chance to take a summer holiday, now’s the time to enjoy warm weather without the crowds or the high prices.

September is a superb time to visit much of Europe, where the seas have had all summer to warm up. And if you’re planning ahead for a December break – Christmas or otherwise – have a look at some of these ideas too.

Go now

Algarve, Portugal

Once the August crowds have gone back to school/work, enjoy the beauty of Portugal’s long southern coastline from the secluded vantage point of Villa Miguel. Set in the countryside north of Faro airport, and only a short drive from the Roman ruins of Estoi, the three-bedroom villa has a pool and several terraces with views of the Atlantic. Vintage Travel has a week’s rental from 14 September for £899.

Sicily, Italy

A late-summer break in Sicily is an easy sell, particularly if you’re staying in the hilltop town of Castelmola. From your lofty perch you’ll have views of Mount Etna on one side and the exquisite town of Taormina leading down to the Ionian Sea on the other. Sicilian Places has a week’s holiday at the four-star Hotel Villa Sonia, which has an outdoor pool, superb views and a shuttle bus down to Taormina and the beach at Isola Bella. Departing 24 September, the holiday costs from £869pp and includes flights, transfers and breakfast.

Stay in the pretty town of Castelmola (Getty/iStock)
Stay in the pretty town of Castelmola (Getty/iStock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s heat becomes more manageable once September comes around, making a short stay in this endlessly fascinating city even more of a delight. Stay in the buzzing Karakoy district, wedged between the Bosphorus, Beyoglu and the Bosphorus Bridge. Stylish Karakoy Rooms hotel has elegantly understated rooms, some facing the sea, along with a roof terrace for fabulous views. I-escape has standard doubles from €89 a night and sea-view rooms from €139.

Quebec, Canada

As autumn draws closer in Quebec, so does the extraordinary display of colours marking the change of season. Visit from mid-September onwards to catch this vivid show, which you can see across the southern part of the province on a 14-day self-drive tour with Canadian Sky. The itinerary includes Montreal, Quebec City, plus whale watching and a boat cruise on the St Lawrence River, along with drives along the Gaspé peninsula and through Saguenay National Park. The starting price of £1,779pp includes flights, car hire, room-only accommodation and a river cruise, and is for departures throughout September.

Watch the leaves change colour in Montreal (Getty/iStock)
Watch the leaves change colour in Montreal (Getty/iStock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Book now for December


Combine a visit to Melbourne with one of Australia’s great drives in a 12-day fly-drive holiday with Wexas. Explore part of the 243km Great Ocean Road, taking in some of the country’s most astonishing coastal scenery. Go surfing at Torquay and meet koalas at Kennett River before driving on to Port Campbell and views of the towering Twelve Apostles rock stacks. Prices start at £1,775pp and include flights, eight nights of B&B accommodation, nine-day car hire and UK airport lounge access, for departures up to 10 December.

The Twelve Apostles in Australia (Getty/iStock)
The Twelve Apostles in Australia (Getty/iStock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto)


If you’re planning a white Christmas, preferably one in the French Alps and involving hurtling down a mountain on skis, Peak Retreats is offering 10 per cent off its Christmas holidays in Tignes if you book before 31 October. Stay at the newly built luxury residence Loge des Neiges in Tignes 1800, near the Boisses gondola. After a day on the slopes, you can relax in the indoor pool, hot tubs and saunas. Prices start at £641pp based on four people sharing a two-bedroom apartment, departing 21 December and includes Eurotunnel return crossing.


Christmas in Barbados? Yes please...
Christmas in Barbados? Yes please... (Getty/iStock)

For some early winter sun, take advantage of a half-price all-inclusive holiday in Barbados with Inspiring Travel Company. It’s offering a week at Sea Breeze Beach House hotel on the southern coast of the island, where you’ve got three pools and two beaches to choose from. Prices start at £1,939pp if you book by 2 October, and include flights, transfers and all-inclusive accommodation for a 2 December departure.

Mary Novakovich is editor at large at

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