Thinking of getting away for some last-minute sun before winter sets in? Here are my top five autumnal escapes – leaving any minute now…
The sunny climes of the Balearics have a year-round appeal – but they really come into their own in autumn when temperatures are moderately balmy, making islands, such as Majorca, an ideal destination for the little ones. The all-inclusive Club Cala Romani Hotel, near to Callos de Majorca, is a great option for a budget get-away with all the family. There are lots of activities on offer for all ages, such as archery, squash, volleyball and tennis, as well as two beaches and tranquil gardens. Best of all, when you book through www.loveholidays.com you can stay for six nights from 27 October at a cost of £721 for two travellers, saving £97 per person.
Often overlooked for buzzier Mediterranean islands, Madeira has been quietly reinventing itself over the past few years into a chic destination far removed from its retiree reputation. With its glorious volcanic cliff tops, sweeping forests and lush landscape, it’s always been the isle of choice for those seeking natural beauty and a subtropical climate all year round. Discover it yourself and stay at Quinta Splendida, just outside the capital. Set in sprawling botanical gardens and boasting one of the island’s largest spas, this is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while. Perfect for families with older children, there’s a five-hole putting green and bunker within the grounds, bikes available to hire and stylish interiors.
Based on the western Algarve coast, Martinhal Beach Resort is one of Portugal’s most stylish family-friendly hotels. Winner of the World Travel Awards’ 2014 ‘Europe’s Leading Villa Resort’, Martinhal is renowned for its attention to detail when it comes to catering for children of all ages – from its crèche for children from six months to its futuristically-designed teenage club. Five swimming pools, a sports academy to teach surfing and football and a range of activities, including dolphin-watching and kayaking, mean that all the family are kept happy. The unique 1950s retro-inspired design and a wide range of eating options mean that you don’t have to compromise on style when holidaying with the family.
Come October, as our sun is setting on summer, the Greek islands offer guaranteed warm and sunny weather. Halkidiki, with its turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, is one of the most unspoilt of the islands. Base yourself at Sani Beach Hotel & Spa, which overlooks Mount Olympus and the glittering Aegean Sea. Inside the hillside-built resort, a traditional Greek palette of white and blue dominate the interiors, while outside there’s a 1km beach directly in front of the hotel – perfect for lazy days in the sun. Book with www.westernoriental.com for October and November late deals.
Five-star Sun Gardens, Dubrovnik is found on Croatia’s cobalt blue Adriatic coastline and is a short hop from the UK, making it ideally placed for a last-minute half-term break with the family. Combining traditional Croatian lifestyle with 50 acres of modern facilities, the resort offers a private beach, sports facilities and a wealth of stylish bars and restaurants. Children’s activities, sporting options and an award-winning Spa by Occo mean that the little ones, dads and mums are catered for. For those wanting to explore further, Dubrovnik, with its medieval ramparts, cobbled streets and cloistered monasteries, is just six miles away.