Summer has come to an end and we’re not even sure when it began. For those looking to escape the grey skies and autumn chill, we’ve put together this week’s Lux guide on the best European destinations to continue that summer high. Don’t pack away those bikini’s and sunglasses just yet, there’s still time for some fun in the sun.
Known as the warmest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus enjoys hot and sunny days long into the autumn. With an average temperature of 33°C, even the sea stays pleasantly warm. The charming port of Limassol is a great choice with a selection of golden beaches and historic sights. Visitors can take a stroll through the old town and marvel at Limassol Castle or explore the Roman amphitheatre of Amathus. This region is also home to one the islands most popular beaches, Coral Bay. Stretching over seven miles, you’ll have no problem finding a secluded spot. As night falls, you can indulge in an authentic Cypriot feast from the delicious meze dishes to fresh seafood and the local favourite, souvlaki.
Where to stay: Colombia Beach Resort. This award-winning five star hotel is nestled in a panoramic bay with beautiful views of the Mediterranean. It features an 80m lagoon pool, luxury spa and fine dining restaurant.
Famed for its whitewashed hill towns and secluded beaches, this picturesque region in Italy remains relatively untouched by mass tourism. With over 800km of coastline, you’ll be spoilt for choices when finding that perfect beach. In the southern coast, the area of Port Cesareo is worth visiting, aptly named the Maldives of Italy. Torre Lapillo Bay is the most famed beach with white powdery sands meeting the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. For a true taste of Italy, visit the region of Salento which is known for it’s deeply rooted tradition of cucina povera. This style of cooking showcases the simple and locally sourced produce which makes for a culinary feast. From fresh pasta to world renowned wine and exquisite sea food, this area is foodie heaven. Puglia has a beautiful Mediterranean climate throughout most of year. October and November remain warm and dry with temperatures only dropping below the 20s towards the beginning of December.
Where to stay: Borgo Egnazia. Featuring traditional architecture from the region, this five star hotel has a beautiful design and offers world class service. It includes four swimming pools, a heavenly wellness centre, three tennis courts and its own private beach.
Known as the greenest of the Canary Islands, the often overlooked La Palma remains a hidden gem with no shortage of natural beauty. You won’t find any high rise resorts at this quaint island which has kept all of its old world charm preserved. Head to the area of Tazacorte on the west side of the island which features a charming fishing harbor and black sand beach. It’s also a great spot for a seafood feast and from here you can take a once in a lifetime excursion, visiting the island’s resident dolphins. Walking fanatics will enjoy the diverse landscape with volcanic terrain, steep mountain trails, beautiful coastal views and enchanted forests. It’s a great escape where you can enjoy untouched nature virtually to yourself. Average temperatures during October are 23°C with very little chance of rain.
Where to stay: Hotel Hacienda de Abajo. Nestled in the heart of Tazacorte, this historic retreat has a well-equipped spa, beautifully designed rooms and an outdoor pool.
The Lycian coast in Turkey is an awe inspiring destination, famed for its rugged cliffs and picture perfect beaches. Once the home of the Lycian people, the crumbling ruins of their ancient city can still be seen in the cliff-top’s overlooking the region. For a truly relaxing break, head to the fishing village of Kas. It has a quiet and laid back atmosphere with a sleepy harbour and authentic Turkish restaurants. It’s also the perfect spot for scuba diving with plenty of operators catering to all abilities. For a memorable day out, take a boat excursion to the sunken city of Kekova, and you can stop for some snorkeling. You can look forward to an al-fresco meal by the sea with beautifully prepared meze dishes. Be sure to try the local specialiy, sigara boregi – fried feta-cheese pastries. Weather remains pleasantly hot throughout the autumn months with a warm sea temperature and few rainy days.
Where to stay: Peninsula Gardens Hotel. Situated in Kas, this boutique hotel boasts stunning views across the ocean. Each room features its own private plunge pool and guests can enjoy some pampering at a cavernous spa and hammam.
With 300 days of sunshine and some of the finest beaches in the Mediterranean this could be your new favourite holiday destination. It also has a greater density of historic sights than any other country in the world. For a tranquil haven far from the madding crowds, stay at the neighbouring island of Gozo which is home to spectacular natural wonders and quaint fishing villages. It’s also a scuba diving mecca with plenty of dive sites from sunken shipwrecks to underwater caves and tunnels. You can also visit one of the island’s most popular sights and natural phenomenon’s, known as the Azure Window. This limestone arch rising out of the crystal waters can be reached by boat and makes for the perfect holiday photo. Goza is also home to some of the best restaurants in Malta which serve up an eclectic mix of Maltese, Goizitan and Mediterranean cuisine. It’s a feast for the senses with the freshest seafood, delicious local cheeses and baked treats.
Where to stay: Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz. This exclusive resort overlooks the picturesque valley in San Lawrenz on the island of Gozo. A luxury spa offers an oriental hammam and has two indoor pools, a steam bath and a Jacuzzi. Guests can enjoy fine dining at an award winning restaurant.