It’s getting to that point in the year where the weather in the UK isn’t playing ball and we start to look forward to a proper summer holiday.
I haven’t been on a holiday longer than 3 days for a good 4 years because I have tried to pack city breaks into 20-something days annual leave, but this year, I quite fancy a bit of sun and chilling out by a pool.
After doing a bit of research about the best (and not the most expensive) places to go, I’ve rounded up my top 5 destinations.
Malta has always been one of those places that I’ve heard about from time to time, but never really had any interest in. I remember reading somewhere that they have over 300 days of sunshine a year, which, when you think about it, is a pretty good indication that you’ll be getting good weather on your summer holiday: The capital, Valetta was also voted the sunniest in Europe and is the ‘Capital of Culture’ for 2018.
There are three Maltese islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino – all of which boast crystal blue waters, UNESCO heritage sites and some of the best diving in the world (not that I’ve ever scuba dived in my life, but good if the mood struck me!) The food (which is always an important topic in my mind) has a Greek influence due to its position in the Mediterranean, but also focuses on rustic breads, meats and seafood, all of which I can get on board with.
I feel like Malta is one of those places that could maybe get overlooked because it is so close to the popular Greek islands, but, Sky Scanner voted Malta as their top destination for Summer holidays in 2017 – and you’d hope they know their stuff!
Up until about 5 years ago, I had never heard of anyone holidaying in Croatia, and then all of a sudden it became the place to be – I’m guessing festivals like Hideout and Love International have put it on the map.
When I looked into holidaying in Croatia, it really caught me by surprise at how beautiful it was and how little time it took to get there (just over 2 hours). There are 3 main tourist destinations – Dubrovnik, the stoned-walled old town with a lively beach scene; Zagreb, the bustling capital city and Split, known for its beaches and Roman architecture. There is also the Plitvice lakes area, which is a forest featuring 16 lakes connected by waterfalls.
The flights are a bit all over the place when I looked, but averaged around £150 in June/July which I think is pretty good for that time of year. Also, with it not having the euro, it’s cheaper when you are there – bonus!
Where else would you go as a blogger to get those incredible outfit shots against white-washed walls and blue-domed topped buildings then the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini, but as a trip there can be quite on the pricey side, I started to do my research on some of the more affordable destinations.
One of the islands that came up time and time again on my searches was Crete, and I can see why – crystal blue seas, incredible local food and tranquil sandy beaches – it was also the birthplace of Zeus if you’re into your Greek mythology.
When I started looking at images of the island, I was really taken aback by how beautiful it was. I feel like it has a bit of a reputation as it’s home to the party capital of Malia, a famous hotspot for the drunken underage, but if you’re looking for a piece of Greek charm, then Crete should definitely be on your list (and if you’re really desperate, you can do a day ferry to Santorini!)
4. Almafi Coast
Is there anywhere more beautiful in the world than Italy? In one word – no! Italy is one of my most favourite places to holiday for a city break, but the Almafi coast is somewhere I have never had the pleasure of visiting yet.
If the food isn’t enough to immediately sway you, the Almafi coast is deemed by Unesco to be an outstanding example of Mediterranean landscape and it’s easy to see why. And if you like to get out in the great outdoors, there are also some of the best hiking spots in Italy around the area.
The weather reaches early 30’s throughout summer but is also very pleasant throughout spring and autumn if you were looking to go slightly more off season.
If you’re looking for something a bit more out-there, then you can’t go wrong with Cuba. Cuba is one of those exotic places that has always massively appealed to me, mainly because it is so mysterious and the photos I’ve seen look picturesque.
I won’t delve too much in the history of Cuba as we’ll be here all day, but the colourful houses, incredible beaches and overall natural beauty should be enough to cure your wanderlust. If a change of culture is what you’re after then you can’t go wrong with a trip here.
And if the tropical climate doesn’t immediately take your fancy, the Cuban capital, Havana is also the birthplace of the rum brand, so win win!
Where are you recommendations for a summer holiday?