The best Autumn breaks for an Indian Summer
By Helen Wright
The warm weather lives on… if you fly south for the winter! It’s not too late to squeeze in a last-minute summer break. These are some of the best pre-winter hotspots that we could think of for a warm weekend getaway.
Littariccia, Porto Vecchio, Corsica
Set in the Corsican hills, this small retreat is the ideal place to escape real life for a weekend. It has an infinity pool overlooking the cascading landscape, what more could you want? The rooms are super cool with some homely touches and breakfast (posh jam on toast) is served by the pool. The mountain location is idea for active-types who want to hike and explore but if you’re feeling lazy you can just lounge on your private terrace and enjoy the last sun rays of the year.
Go for: The sunset over the Tyrrhenian sea.
Riad Cinnamon, Marrakech
Staying in this restored merchants house in the middle of the medina makes you feel like one of the locals. We had our own ‘body guard’ to escort us to and from restaurants and bars, and the owners and staff give the place a laid-back, personal feel. The roof terrace is perfect for a last-minute boost of vitamin D and for those looking for a bargain, the busy souks and bustling night market are just a walking distance away.
Go for: Shopping for early and original Christmas gifts.
San Domenico Palace, Taormina, Sicily
This cliffside setting, overlooking Mt Etna is worth a visit even if it’s not baking hot – although the sunny months in Sicily can last until late November. The rooms that overlook the bay could be straight out of a Bond movie – grand, dramatic and with fabulous Shakespeareian balconies. Situated on the edge of the old town, most bars and cafes are walking distance but the lush grounds and delicious Les Bougainvillées restaurant might mean you don’t want to leave all weekend.
Go for: Romance – and the poolside Mimosas.
Xara Palace, Malta
Handily, the temperatures in Malta stay up after the high season has finished, yet flights on Easyjet, RyanAir and Air Malta tend to go down. This classic 17th Century villa is a slick hideaway that has hosted none other than Brad Pitt, Madonna and Bruce Willis in its cosy rooms. Aside from the A-list, this family-owned boutique hotel (there are only 17 rooms) is within the walls of the ancient city and feels more like a members club than a hotel. It’s not as close to the sea as other properties but for a slick city break this will impress.
Go for: The Royal treatment.
San Roque, Tenerife, Gran Canaria
With sea views and the last of the warm winds, the Canary Islands are a great shout for some end-of-year sun. The hotel pool is moulded from volcanic lava and the colourful gardens offer plenty of corners to relax and chill out. For art lovers, the hotel has an interesting art collection with modern sculptures decorating the grand reception hall and work from local artists showcased throughout.
Go for: Topping up your tan.
Soma Bay, Egypt
With miles of desert one side and the glittering Red Sea the other, this stunning resort stretches across the end of a peninsula and has all of the ingredients for a perfect holiday. Plus, with year-round sunshine and temperatures in the high 30s during summer and never dropping below 20’C in winter, you’re almost guaranteed good weather. This large hotel has more of a resort feel but is perfect for anyone who wants to turn up, find a sun lounger and stay put for a few days.
Go for: The beach!
Additional information from Dominique Ayling.