For all the talk of holidaying in your own country, it’s still very tempting to take off somewhere different and more exotic. While July dates are filling up quickly, you can still get some bargains before the school holidays start.
And if you’re looking ahead to October, some of these ideas might inspire you.
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Steer clear of the sweaty crowds on the coast and breathe the clear air of the French Alps. At Les Deux Alpes near the Ecrins National Park, you can swim in mountain lakes, go mountain biking, hiking and even ski on the glacier. During July, Peak Retreats is offering two weeks for the price of one at its self-catering residences Au Coeur des Ours for holidays ending by 27 July. A one-bedroom apartment costs £499 for a 6 July departure, including a ferry crossing, rising to £584 during the school holidays.
With direct flights from Gatwick to Tivat, it’s easier to visit Montenegro’s port town on the Bay of Kotor. From Tivat, you can explore Kotor itself, along with Mount Lovcen and the glossy marina at Porto Montenegro. Inspired Luxury Escapes has seven nights at Hotel Palma, which is right on the beach, from £606pp including flights and breakfast.
Catch one of nature’s greatest spectacles as the great migration of wildebeest and zebra takes places across Kenya and Tanzania. You can get a taste of safari during an eight-day holiday offered by Tropical Sky. Start with five days relaxing on the beach at Papillon Lagoon Reef before spending a couple of days on game drives in the Taita Hills and Tsavo East National Park. The starting price of £1,779 includes flights, transfers, full board and game drives, for departures from 1-10 July.
Western Crete has some of the loveliest beaches on the island, yet it’s only a short drive to the freshness of the mountains where Carob Tree Cottage sits surrounded by olive and orange groves north of Platanias. This two-bedroom stone cottage is beautifully done up, with beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls. In the lush garden is a pool and sun terrace with barbecue and dining area. Vintage Travel has a week’s rental from 9 July for £1,139. Flights and car hire can be arranged.
Book now for October
Temperatures are pleasantly in the high 20s in this laid-back island in the Indian Ocean. At Mauricia Beachcomber Resort, you’ll have soft white sands within crawling distance, along with a palm-fringed outdoor pool. Grand Baie’s nightlife and shops are just a short walk away. Beachcomber Tours has a seven-night half-board break from £1,369pp, departing 6 October, including flights and transfers. The price includes an early-bird discount of £362.
Pretend it’s still summer on a relaxing holiday overlooking the Mediterranean in Paphos. The Almyra Hotel, set in eight acres of landscaped seaside gardens, has heavenly views from its numerous terraces, spa and pool – also a scenic spot for private or group yoga classes. The Healthy Holiday Company has a week’s holiday from £1,115pp for departures throughout October, including flights, transfers and breakfast.
Lucca in southern Italy (iStock)
Enjoy the mellowness of autumn deep in Tuscany, specifically in the appealing town of Lucca. A stroll within its 16th century walls reveals an enchanting collection of medieval towers, Renaissance palaces and café-filled squares – and Pisa and Florence are also handy for day trips. Long Travel has a seven-night holiday at the elegant four-star San Luca Palace from £974pp, including flights, transfers and breakfast.
Mary Novakovich is editor at large at 101holidays.co.uk
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