If there was ever a time to treat yourself to an ice cream, or better yet, air conditioning – this is it.
Although the 30°C plus temperatures are pretty stifling, hopefully it’s laying the foundations for a long, drawn out summer when everyone can perfect their tan, have plenty of BBQs and charge up on vitamin C before the darker days of autumn, and then winter, approach.
So, keep that sun cream out of the cupboard, go and buy some more charcoal and purchase that paddling pool you’ve had your eye on for the last few weeks. And better yet, take a look at these holiday ideas below – from exploring Italy’s historic waterways by boat to experiencing sun-drenched Croatia in a boutique hotel.
Explore Italy’s historic waterways in your own private space, with Le Boat
Many of us have seen the news reports from Venice, the city’s waterways are cleaner than they have been for decades as a result of far fewer tourists visiting this spring. Now that Italy is returning to normal, those wanting to make the most of the region’s historic waterways can choose an option that allows them to travel in a manner that is socially distanced by nature. Le Boat is the No.1 provider of boating holidays on Europe’s beautiful inland waterways bringing together 50 years of experience, expertise and memories. In Italy, a holiday with Le Boat means self-drive river cruising at its best, on a private craft that can sleep between 4 and 10 people. The enchanting city of Venice, its surrounding islands and classic Italian countryside and beaches are yours to discover and enjoy from the superb vantage position of your own sundeck. Head towards Trieste and discover the old traditions, quieter lifestyle and unspoiled landscape of the Friuli region. To the south of the Venetian lagoon, the protected nature reserve of the Po Delta and the nearby colourful villages will delight nature lovers. A seven-night self-catered cruise in Italy, starting and finishing at Le Boat’s base at Casale, on board the Caprice sleeping up to six, arriving 19 September 2020, is priced from £1,429 per boat / £238 pp. Transport to and from the base is not included.
Le Boat (023 9280 9124, www.leboat.co.uk)
Experience sun-drenched Croatia with Pierre & Vacances
Croatia has had one of the lowest rates of Coronavirus in Europe, and with average temperatures of 25C in September, it makes for the ideal location for anyone seeking a late summer getaway. One such option is the four-star Hôtel Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort, which is operated by the leading accommodation provider Pierre & Vacances. The hotel enjoys a great position on the beautiful Croatian island of Hvar, less than 100m from the beach and only a ten-minute walk from the bustling and historic town centre. The upscale Premium property benefits from a fabulous swimming pool with waterfalls, impressive Mediterranean gardens, a children’s club, and a state-of-the-art well-being centre. The rooms are elegantly decorated throughout with colourful touches, giving the interiors a welcoming atmosphere. To stimulate the taste buds, the resort has four restaurants offering table or buffet service and serving a range of superb regional and international cuisine. A seven-night stay, at the Hôtel Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort, arriving 26 September 2020, is priced from £1,238 (£619 pp) for a suite sleeping two adults and includes breakfast. Flights and transfers extra.
Pierre & Vacances (0870 0267 145, www.pierreevacances.co.uk)
There is still time to escape to Tuscany, Italy with Al Fresco Holidays
As life continues to return to normal throughout Italy, it is proving popular with UK tourists seeking a late summer escape. Tuscany’s Montescudaio Camping Village is a great option for those wanting to make the most of the outdoors, while enjoying excellent value and amenities. New to Al Fresco Holidays this year, the site is ideally located in a picturesque forest and is well positioned for exploring nearby villages and sampling the famous regional cuisine, while the delightful beach at Cecina is only four miles away. There is an impressive outdoor aqua complex with two family pools and a giant 80m waterslide, as well as a dedicated kids’ area with a smaller slide and fun water features. The holiday village benefits from a pool side restaurant, which doubles up as a takeaway, and the onsite bar is the perfect place to relax after a day of cycling or using the park’s very own climbing wall. A seven-night, self-catered stay at the Montescudaio Camping Village, arriving 26 September 2020, is priced from £397.95 for a three-bedroom Verdi Lounge mobile home, which sleeps up to eight. Price excludes travel although transport can be arranged with Al Fresco Holidays.
Al Fresco Holidays (0161 332 8900, www.alfresco-holidays.com)
Explore the Swiss mountainside and local cuisine on Verbier E-Bike weekends
Until 27 September 2020, guests can explore the Swiss Alps by electric bikes, choosing a Rando Gourmande tour. The trails range from 25 km to 40 km and can be done solo or with a guide. The Rando Gourmande allows guests to discover authentic, local cuisine and produce whilst experiencing the stunning landscape where it is produced. Each of the two Rando Gourmande itineraries include four stops which offer a variety of local delicacies such as fresh pastries, aged meats and fine wines.
The Verbier E-Bike weekends run each Thursday to Sunday until 27 September 2020.
The Rando Gourmade costs from £59 pp.
A three-night stay starting 24 September 2020 at the Plein Ciel 118 costs from £316 pp based on two people sharing on a self-catered basis.
An October half-term break with your family, in the Austrian Tirol
The October half term is the perfect time to visit the Austrian Tirol with your family. The weather is mild (still reaching highs of 16 degrees centigrade), the trees are various shades of red and gold, the resorts are quieter, the prices are cheaper and there is still plenty to do. Not only is swimming great for fitness, but it can be enjoyed regardless of the weather and when there’s a slide or two involved, it’s even more fun. There are plenty of pools around the Austrian Tirol, with the Aqua Dome in the Ötztal Valley renowned for its thermal spring water. However, two options ideal for families are Atoll Achensee in Maurach that comprises a water play area, a sports pool and an infinity pool – plus plenty of other activities – and Familienbad Ehrwald in the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena. The latter has a giant tunnel slide, a pool dedicated to children and a modern spa area, should the parents want some time to themselves. Stay in Innsbruck to make the most of the many resorts. A week’s stay, from 24 October 2020, at Basic Hotel: Innsbruck, costs from €1,512 / £1,360 total for a family of four sharing a suite. Flights, transfers and meals extra.
Austrian Tirol: www.visittirol.co.uk