This time of year is pretty dull, grey and boring with the dark, dreary nights and cold mornings. It’s hard to think so far ahead but I’m determined to make the most of next summer. I’ve been to the Spanish Balearic islands many times and a few Greek ones but I quite fancy doing island hopping trips or visiting some unusual coastal places that are off the beaten track. Here are the ones I have on my hit-list for summer 2017 – I can’t wait already!
Santorini was relatively undiscovered by camera hungry tourists but now it is one of the most popular islands in Europe – over recent years it has been voted by many websites and magazines as the best island location in the world – it’s that good.
It’s a stunning location, with cliffs towering up 300m up from the sea and the cliffs are gently layered by volcanic craters. The main island of Thira is littered with white Cycladic houses – you should sit on the cliff tops and watch the sun setting – the glow as the sun meets the sea and bounces off the cliffs can be truly spectacular. While on the island you’ll have the opportunity to discover the ancient Minoan site of Akrotiri and the traditional hilltop village of Oia. Don’t worry if history isn’t your thing – Santorini also hosts award winning wineries, art galleries, night-life to rival Marbella, five star accommodation and unique dining experiences. Finally you can kick back and relax on one of the many black sand beaches.
You’ll have to book flights through London or Bristol to fly to Santorini – to get the best of the summer sun travel in July or August. Check out these discount codes for hotels.com to make a saving on your accommodation.
This UNESCO protected but forgotten Scottish island has been uninhabited since 1930 when the locals could no longer survive in such a remote location. Often referred to as ‘the island on the edge of the world’ due to the impact of weather, St Kilda is the remotest part of the British Isles which lies 41 miles west of Benbecula. Getting here is a bit of a challenge but it’s totally worth it. The seabird and wildlife population is outstanding to see amongst the staggered cliffs and sea stacs. No one lives on the island so you can only visit on an organised day trip by boat from Skye. It’s a 3 hours sail but the crew will look after you with food and refreshments as well as explaining about the nature and history of the island. Once you are there you can walk around the island where you’ll see the empty croft houses with the washing lines still outside from the day the island was abandoned – history geeks and wildlife fans will love St Kilda. Get there before the island is overrun with tourists.
No not the food supermarket, but the country of Iceland. You won’t be considering this for a summer chill out holiday but the weather is actually very mild throughout July – as it’s so near the Arctic circle the long days mean you have more time to explore this rugged and dramatic island – make sure to stop at the geyser’s hot springs or visit Thingvellir National Park. Here you can find hiking, diving and fishing trips. The hotspot is of course, the capital Reykjavik where Nordic influences are still very much alive. The busy bars and restaurants host a feast of entertainment and the local specialities of fresh fish, lamb and vodka. Iceland is ideal for a trip with your pals or even as a couple. The daily flights from the UK mean you can easily take off on an Icelandic adventure for a weekend. It can be expensive though so shop around for meal offers and drinks promotions.