No plans for summer holidays yet? Here are our best last-minute getaways!
There is nothing to worry about if you still haven't gotten around to booking your summer holiday. You can still find flights to some of the best destinations in Southern Europe, to suit a variety of tastes.
Many of the popular destinations in Europe are mostly booked for the coming holiday season, but there are still fantastic places to book your flights to. Even if you are late in the game, you have some excellent options to choose from. Now is the time to hurry up though, seats will get snapped up quickly.
The largest city of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy is known as the culinary hub of the area, but it has much more to offer. The city boasts the oldest university in Europe, many incredible historical sights, and revered museums.
For the food lovers there are tons of "not to miss" experiences. FICO - the Italian food theme park has great eateries, shops, and demonstrations. There are also lots of events, such as BBQ's and Aperitivos to take part in. Even though grown-ups will probably enjoy this the most, there is a petting zoo and some other attractions for children too.
When booking your accommodation, it is advisable to get a place with a kitchen. Bologna has many amazing food markets so you might want to do a little bit of cooking yourself. The oldest and most atmospheric of the markets is Mercato di Mezzo, a covered shopping area with roots all the way to the middle ages.
If you only had time to do one thing in Bologna, you should head out to the Piazza Maggiore, where you can combine your love of food, history, and culture. The piazza is surrounded by little restaurants and cafés to savor local delicacies. In and around the square there are some of the city’s most important sights such as Basilica of San Petronio. In the evenings you can enjoy street music and even movies in an open-air cinema.
If you are looking for a relaxing beach-side holiday, you won't go amiss with Turkeys Antalya. The city is located on the southern coast, also known as the Turquoise Coast, for good reason. The waters are stunningly blue and clear.
One of the best beaches is Konyaalti Beach, slightly to the west of the city centre. The beach is well-known for its lovely scenery with cliffs on either side, and the Taurus mountains. There are lots of restaurants and bars along the beach so getting refreshments is easy. The beach is more pebbly than sandy, but many visitors like that since you avoid getting sand everywhere.
If you do want sand between your toes, try Lara Beach. It has Blue Flag status, meaning both the beach and water are exceptionally clean. Some of the beach is reserved for hotel guests, but there are plenty of free to enter stretches. There is also a good selection of services available, from exclusive beach clubs to simple umbrella hire shacks.
You can even enjoy the sea without getting your swimming gear on. In Antalya Old City there is a pretty marina where you can see traditional fishing boats as well as yachts. If you want to soak up the atmosphere, have a Turkish coffee in one of the little cafés.
Croatia's capital offers a wonderful blend of history and cutting-edge culture. Zagreb is a great option for anyone interested in art, design, and architecture or wanting to experience live events or music.
Zagreb has almost forty museums, ranging from the traditional to the slightly obscure. The inventor Nikola Tesla has his own museum. There are also museums dedicated to life in Yugoslavia in the 1980s (Zagreb80) and to mushrooms (Muzej gljiva). There are great major museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art.
If you want to take something home, the city is studded with great design and craft shops. The concept shop Croatian Design Superstore is a great place to start. It has a bit of everything from home decor to books and jewellery. It often hosts events and exhibitions and even has co-working space. Another great one stop shop is Take Me Home that has lots of lovely gift items.
The Greek Island of Santorini is a favourite of honeymooners, and no wonder, it is possibly the most romantic and aesthetically pleasing spot on the Mediterranean.
If you really want to make the most of the romance of the place, make sure you head out to the best sunset spots. Oia on the northwestern tip is the most famous. There are designated viewing points in the town, but anywhere you look will probably be astounding. The combination of white buildings, windmills, and blue dome churches, all surrounded in orange and pink light can't be forgotten.
For a fun date (or a day out with friends) visit the local wineries. The island has particularly good, volcanic soils that makes for great wines. Some of the wineries organizing tours and tastings include Santo Wines and Domaine Sigalas.
If you want to stay in style in the capital of Fira, make sure you choose one of the hotels with an infinity pool. There is nothing better than soaking in the pool while gazing over the turquoise sea. The hotels with infinity pools are not the cheapest, but definitely worth the splurge - even if only for one night.