Follow the sun and extend your tan long into winter
As autumn approaches, there’s still time to make the most of the sun by travelling to warmer climes. Ten Lifestyle Group recommends some of the top destinations to top up the tan in serious style.
Even at the height of summer, Sicily is remarkably quiet compared to other Mediterranean islands, but come October and November it’ll feel like you have the place to yourself. With the average temperature settling at 26C in October and early November and the sea still bath-water-warm, it’s perfect for getting one final summer beach fix. Away from the sand, every corner of the island is worth exploring. Whether it’s wandering the souk-like markets of Palermo, scaling mighty Mount Etna, sipping wine in the rolling vineyards or fine dining in Ragusa Ibla, it’s an enchanting place to see out the summer.
one final summer beach fix. Away from the sand, every corner of the island is worth exploring. Whether it’s wandering the souk-like markets of Palermo, scaling mighty Mount Etna, sipping wine in the rolling vineyards or fine dining in Ragusa Ibla, it’s an enchanting place to see out the summer.
Where to stay: For all-out luxury with a real sense of place, it has to be the Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel. This property combines five-star luxury and family-friendly facilities, and its four restaurants make good use of fresh local produce.
Compared to the clusters of small archipelagos off the mainland, Crete is more like a small country than simply another Greek island. As the fifth largest land mass in the Mediterranean Sea, various empires have swept through over the centuries, leaving behind their architectural, culinary and artistic legacies to create the diverse set of cultures and customs seen today. The rugged, mountainous interior is dotted with gorges and pockmarked with caves that are ripe for exploration, while those hoping for a late summer fly and flop will relish the isolated coves in the south and Europe’s only palm-tree-lined beaches in the east.
Where to stay: The small Venetian port of Hania is one of Greece’s most evocative cities and its winding streets are lined with boutique shops, hotels and tavernas, all tumbling towards the working harbour.
With summer months reaching up to 50C, autumn and winter are much better times to travel to the Emirate when temperatures are in the mid-30s. Indulge in the luxurious way of life with a round of golf on a desert oasis golf course, followed by shopping at the gold souk – one of the cheapest places in the world to buy the precious metal – and finishing at the Burj Al Arab’s Skyview Bar where you can enjoy panoramic views over the whole city with a cocktail tailor-made by a mixologist with a mobile bar. To fully immerse yourself in Bedouin culture, venture into the surrounding desert and spend the night under a canopy of stars with sunset barbecues, belly dancers, quad biking and even camel riding.
Where to stay: If you’re travelling with your partner and want a hotel that feels a little more romantic than the large mainland resorts, opt for the beautiful One&Only The Palm, on the westernmost tip of the man-made island. With views across the water to the Dubai Marina, the riad-like villas and Moorish-inspired suites are surrounded by gardens, pavilions and pools.
Given the sub-tropical climate of this island all year round, there really isn’t a bad time to visit Mauritius; however, September to December is probably the best time to travel when humidity is at its lowest and temperatures lie in the high 20s. Although well-known for its weather and being a tourist hotspot, the island is rich in culture with a fusion of religions and languages from around the globe. In November, Mauritians celebrate Diwali, the festival of light, during which small clay lamps lit at sunset line the walls, streets and balconies of the towns. The golden beams of light, which are meant to guide the goddess of wealth and good fortune into their owner’s house, can be seen everywhere across the island.
Where to stay: As well as rooms with ocean views, The St. Regis Mauritius Resort offers world-class windsurfing, dolphin-watching cruises, two golf courses nearby, deep sea fishing and diving.
The island’s mountainous interior is blanketed in thick rainforest and a holiday here is as much about mountain biking, hiking and zip-lining through the lush jungle as it is flopping on the beach. It’s also home to some of the Caribbean’s best diving spots and there are countless water sports on offer. It’s close enough to the equator to mean that it doesn’t have well-defined seasons and the temperature rarely drops below 26C – it’s also clear of the hurricane belt making it a safe option in autumn and winter.
Where to stay: Few sights in the Caribbean are as arresting as the volcanic Pitons and they are an impressive backdrop for the luxurious Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort. After a tiring day of kite surfing or hiking, indulge in a Lava Shell massage at the hotel’s spectacular Rainforest Spa where traditionally built tree houses serve as treatment rooms. For dinner, ascend the mountain to Ladera for West Indian food, including plenty of grilled fish washed down with the local Piton lager.