Six hot holiday destinations to book now
With kids back at school (seeeee YA!), suntans fading fast and nights drawing in, we all need something to look forward to. Fear not mudsters! Hero over at Muddy Bucks & Oxon is already on the case, seeking out your next holiday hotspot. Whether you like to drop and flop or prefer something a bit more active, there are some great ideas here…
I made the mistake of going on my summer holidays at the end of July – I felt very smug at the time, but have now had a month of working with everyone else sunning around (grrrrrr) and am in dire need of something to look forward to.
If you’re needing some inspiration too, voila mes braves, I’ve got it going on right here. I’ve been on the blower to Feel Good Holidays, the bespoke travel agents based in Henley who curate cool holidays in Europe and further afield) for some expert short haul ideas, so get your gnashers around these locations and wave to me poolside!
For romancers: Dubrovnik, Croatia
When you first set eyes on the walled city of Dubrovnik from the winding cliff top road, you can’t fail to be in awe of its beauty and setting. Sticking out into the azure sea, it is hard to imagine a more stunning city, surrounded by islands – the closest is a 10 minute hop away by boat from the old harbour. Inside the city walls is a labyrinth of marble streets, baroque buildings and more restaurants you can shake a stick at. Want to get a better view of the city? Walk along the ancient city walls for breathtaking views and spot the clifftop bars where the cool kids hang out.
For shoestring travellers: Kefalonia, Greece
Just another Greek island? Maybe, but Kefalonia is blessed with a lush mountainous landscape, vineyards and beautiful coves lapped by bluer-than-blue sea. It’s underdeveloped compared to some Greek islands and has a few great looking villages such as Fiskardo and Assos. The cuisine is delicious and should be enjoyed in one of the gazillions of waterfront tavernas This is an under-explored island that would tick the box for both a ‘drop and flop’ holiday or ‘get out and about’ without blowing the budget.
For trendsetters: Puglia, Italy
An up-and-coming destination, Puglia is Italy’s sun bleached heel, where savvy travellers come to escape the crowds of Tuscany and enjoy a more rustic experience. With over 800 miles of beautiful coastline, Puglia offers wonderful beaches, stunning medieval towns, adorable trullis (little white smurf-like houses), and last but not east, an earthy culinary experience full of local specialities.
For teens: beach clubs
If you want a family holiday without grumpy teens, the best way is to keep them busy. La Manga Club in Murcia is spread over 1400 acres and offers a huge variety of pro-quality sports facilities. Another option is Villa Vita Park with 8 swimming pools, 18 hole golf course, tennis, volleyball and a teenage activity programme in summer. Or how about Ikos Oceania & Olivia in Greece, both all inclusive resorts meaning the kids can eat and drink the hotel dry without racking up your bill. They have teen programmes and sports academies in the summer months.
For city breakers: Munich
Ask anyone what they know about Munich and they’ll tell you it’s the home of the Oktoberfest (which bizarrely is in September), but Munich has so much more to offer. Summer months are best spent wandering around the huge ‘Englisher Garten’ in the middle of the city which the Isaar river flows through. Join the locals at long trestle tables in one of the many Beergardens for giant ‘Bretzen’ and ‘Steins’ of beer or wander the old pedestrian quarters of the city for great people watching, high brow shopping and rustic beer halls serving hearty, earthy food. With Summer nearly over, the lovely thing about Munich is that its pleasures persist – winter months are magical here with Christmas markets throughout the city.
For families: Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
This country is simply beautiful, with stunning islands everywhere you look, crystal clear waters, magical walled towns and cities jutting out into the sea and wonderful food cooked over open fires. Accommodation varies from simple B&B’s to boutique hotels and excellent family resorts. It’s just 2 hours flight away so really accessible, and is largely still undiscovered from a mass tourism point of view – no Benidorms to blight your family holiday!
Feel Good Holidays, Market Place, 1 Market Place Mews, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AH. Tel: 01494 412927. www.feelgoodholidays.co.uk