Top spots for an Indian summer

September 12, 2012 by Lauren Rayner

Right folks, that was it. Summer. The Olympic torch has been extinguished and the Jubilee’s a distant memory. We stayed put to cheer on our athletes, eyes loyally glued to the Games. Our weather’s been patriotic too, putting on a fine show of British form with the soggiest summer in a century. And then we were rewarded with a burst of heat. Three days of scorching temperatures, spent urgently trying to mitigate our vitamin D deficiencies by lolling in the park.

And now you’ve got a taste for it. The feeling of sun on your skin. The satisfying prickle of a burgeoning sunburn. Wearing tops without sleeves. A glorious flip-flop tan. A glimpse of what summer should be. You’ve got a few days leave left and a whole summer to make up for. Where do you go?

Right then, sun-seekers, these are for you. Our top picks for heat-filled holidays before winter sets in. Get packing and don’t forget the sunscreen – flip-flop tans don’t look good on anyone.

Dahab, Egypt

Average September temperature: 31 degrees

We think any town named ‘gold’ (‘thahab’ in Arabic) for its coastline holds promise of glittering sands. Positioned on an isolated stretch of Egypt’s Red Sea coast, Dahab has been a seaside lure for Bedouins for centuries. Recently, it’s become a haven for adventurous travellers and luxury lovers keen to avoid the throbbing resorts of Sharm el Sheik.

dahab scuba

Dahab’s mellow vibe exudes from the market-lined boardwalk and waterfront restaurants in the centre of town – and continues a short drive up the coast where divers, snorkelers, desert trekkers and camel riders can be found enjoying what the region has to offer. It’s so chilled out you might find yourself struggling to peel your sunbaked limbs from the cushions of Ali Baba Restaurant at the end of the day (or your holiday, for that matter). But the locals are friendly – we don’t think they’d mind.

dahab

Mind made? Fly to Sharm el Sheik from £380 – Dahab is just a 2 hour drive away.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Average September temperature: 22 degrees

If you like a little culture with your beach escape, this compact city on the Adriatic is jam-packed with churches, museums and monuments harking back to the Middle Ages. Its sun-stained terracotta roofs are best viewed from the city walls, which can be walked full-circle in an hour. But it’s best to take your time strolling around the stone walls – which can reach 25 metres high in parts – because the views are worth savouring.

old town of dubrovnik

The main beach, Banje, can get rammed, so head to the locals’ favourite, Sv. Jakov beach, with views of the old town. Then at the end of a long, lazy day, head back into town and seek out an inconspicuous hole in the wall marked with a sign that says ‘best views in Dubrovnik’. Here, you’ll find the precariously-positioned Cafe Buza on the cliff side overlooking the Adriatic Sea – you’ll be hard pressed to witness a sunset that rivals one you’ll see while sipping a cold drink right here.

Cold Drinks "Buza"

Image: eugene

Ready to hit the Croatian Coast? Fly to Dubrovnik from £123.

Ölüdeniz, Turkey

Average September temperature: 22 degrees

The postcard icon of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast for its tranquil lagoon and brilliant white sand, Ölüdeniz is frequently titled Europe’s best beach. Sink your toes into the sand and take a look around – it’s easy to see why. Sheltered by mountains dotted with the colourful parachutes of paragliders, sheer cliffs that plunge into crystalline waters and thriving huts serving cocktails and seafood alongside traditional Turkish favourites (baklava anyone?).

Turkish delight

Take a boat out onto the water and visit the stunning Butterfly Valley, even without the butterflies (it’s the wrong season), the gorge offers a scenic climb into the hills. Back on the boat, sail across to the monastery ruins of St Nicholas Island – no need to stop for a snack, just wave down one of the pancake boats in the water and you’re all set.

pancake boat

Ready to go? Fly to Dalaman from £278. Visit our website or call 0208 045 4186 to book your Indian summer getaway now. 

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