Our pick of the top destinations month by month
Festivals, fetes, factor 50 – hello, summer. It’s peak holiday season, and while home is intermittently bathed in that strange, warm light called ‘sunshine’, it’s an ideal time for a change of scenery. For great weather with a guarantee, though, you can’t go wrong with one of Europe’s many seaside resorts, or opt for a staycation and revel in the best of British summer.
Best for sun seekers
Miles of golden sandy beaches. Bustling city centres with a coastal vibe. Summer temperatures that stay in the high 20s. What’s not to love about Portugal?
If an answer is needed, it’s not a lot. Portugal is a mainstay on the summer holiday scene – and for so many good reasons. For the perfect fly and flop with endless sunshine, the Algarve should be your first port of call in Portugal. The countless beach resorts that line the southern coast of the country are real suntraps, where you can enjoy bathing in both sun and sea in glorious temperatures.
Many of the Algarve’s beaches are lined with traditional Portuguese taverns and restaurants, so when you’re done topping up your tan, take your pick of eateries and sample grilled sardines or salt cod – two of the national dishes of Portugal.
Unsurprisingly, the Algarve is a popular tourist destination come summer, so if you want to escape the crowds then good news: Portugal has something for that, too. Located in the mid-Atlantic, the Azores is an autonomous region of Portugal made up of nine volcanic islands and some seriously dramatic scenery. Head there for a more active getaway, including trekking and whale watching. Alternatively, try Portugal’s other autonomous region: Madeira. Visit the capital, Funchal, for some amazing, laid back nightlife, delicious fresh seafood, and the obligatory glass of the island’s namesake tipple.
Best for festival fever
Scotland isn’t known for its great weather, but if you can forego the sun for a week or two then it has one huge draw in August: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Far from one of ‘those’ festivals that require wellies and a temporary lack of personal hygiene, the Edinburgh Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world. Taking place over a 25 day period in the height of summer, the festival features thousands of acts in hundreds of venues across the city.
Established as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe is an event that celebrates creative freedom and allows anyone to perform anything they like, from comedy and dance to physical theatre and opera. There’s even kids entertainment, so there’s something to keep everyone happy.
Once you’ve had your fill of the festival, explore Edinburgh’s highlights. The Royal Mile is lined with shops that are perfect for picking up some Scottish souvenirs (whisky, anyone?), and runs from Edinburgh Castle, where the Scottish crown jewels are housed, to Holyrood Palace, an official royal residence.
Best for a complete escape
Think of crystal-clear water, white beaches and total luxury and the chances are you’ll think of the Maldives.
The epitome of tranquillity and lavishness, the Maldives is nothing short of a tropical paradise. A series of atolls and islands located in the Indian Ocean, a holiday to the Maldives will make you feel like you’re a million miles from anywhere, making it the perfect place for complete and utter relaxation and escapism.
Those crystal-clear waters we mentioned earlier? They’re perfect for snorkelling, and the exotic location makes for some equally exotic sea life to swim with, including manta rays and spotted whale sharks, not to mention the extensive reefs that are just waiting to be explored.
When (or if) you want a break from the beach, Malé, the capital, has a busy fish market, plenty of shops and some fantastic restaurants where you can try that fresher-than-fresh seafood. And on the main road of Majeedhee Magu, you’ll find 17th century Hukuru Miskiy, otherwise known as Friday Mosque, which is made entirely of carved white coral.
A holiday to the Maldives revolves around the beach, though – or, to be more specific, the ocean. Its island composition means you arrive at your chosen location by speedboat or seaplane, while the typical accommodation is an overwater bungalow. It’s sheer luxury, and we want to be there right now.
Ready to find out more or book your next trip? Give us a call – we’ll sort you out.