Five Places You Should Have Visited this Summer

Five Places You Should Have Visited this Summer



The
nights are drawing in, temperatures are dropping and coffee
shops are about to start flavouring everything with pumpkin spice.
There’s no denying that summer is over. But whether we’ve spent it
crisscrossing the Cyclades,
gorging ourselves silly in Italy
or bronzing on Europe’s best beaches, we can’t help but get a sense
of FOMO when friends and family frolic in destinations we didn’t
quite get to. To stave off summertime sadness and ensure we’re
putting our days of annual leave to the best use, we’re already
planning next year – summer 2019.


Bodrum

Turkey

In-the-know travellers will tell you that
Bodrum
was back in vogue this summer. Thanks to the pound’s
strength against the lira, the country being relatively politically
stable and a handful of new luxury hotels bedding down in the
Turkish Riviera, it is once again the place to see and be seen.
Six Senses Kaplankaya is located
just north of Bodrum (best accessed by boat), while the gorgeous
Amanruya sprawls in olive groves
just 20 minutes from town. LUX* resorts pitched up on a
private peninsula, closely followed by the Bodrum Edition, who brought the
the cool gang with bleached sands (a rarity in the area) and an
infinity pool that slinks into the sea. Between draping yourself on
minimalist sun loungers, head to the Bodrum Bazaar, which snakes
through the white cubic houses showcasing the finest silks and
decadently detailed textiles and fragrant local snacks.


Ksamil

Albania

With miles of undisturbed coastline, blindingly blue waters and
secluded islets, southern Albania’s
coastal towns could almost be mistaken for the Caribbean. One of
Europe’s most underrated summer holiday destinations, head to
Ksamil for a holiday that switches between sun beds and sacred
sites. Act out Crusoe fantasies on the four inhabited islands that
frame the shore before returning to dry land to get stuck into
catch of the day.
Albania
‘s varied cuisine draws influence from Greece and Italy
– sample the best at the oceanfront Guvat, where pork souvlaki
should be followed by the local specialty of mussel and arugula
pasta. Visit the stone city of Gjirokastra and the ancient ruins of
Butrint to dig deeper in the country’s past – the Romans,
Venetians, Byzantines and Ottomans have all left a visible mark,
making the Albanian coast a cultured summer getaway.


Valetta

Malta

Valetta’s
social calendar really upped the ante this year – they were awarded
European Capital of Culture 2018 and embarked on a slew summer of
celebrations. The ravers and misbehavers started descending in
early May for Annie Mac’s Lost & Found festival, while calmer
revellers stared open mouthed at the energetic Valetta Pageant of
the Seas
festival
in June, which was closely followed by the innovative
International Arts and the star-studded Malta Film Festival. Aside
from being the life and soul of the party, Malta‘s
honey-coloured capital is also a fascinating architectural mix of
North Africa, colonial England and Sicily. Europe’s history is
displayed in opulent churches (visit St John’s Cathedral for its
encrusted rib and patchwork marble floor), imposing fortresses and
baroque palaces. Mix city sights with a trip to local’s most
cherished secret, Gozo. Easily reached by ferry, the intimate
island is awash with world-class dive sites, blond beaches and
undiscovered coves. With 300 days of sunshine gracing the island
each year, it’s the perfect place to chase the sun.


The Azores

Portugal

While it may have been dubbed the “new
Iceland
” and “Europe’s answer to Hawaii“,
until recently few could point out this Jurassic Park-esque

archipelago
on the map. But thanks to an influx of direct
flights, The Azores are
no longer the best-kept secret in the Atlantic – news of this wild,
adventure playground is spreading fast. Cliffs, lime-green rolling
hills and mazes of cascading waterfalls smother these
Portuguese
islands, while over 27 species of whale and dolphin
skim their striking shores. Geared towards the get-up-and-go crowd,
days will be spent hiking majestic mountains, kayaking across
piercing lake-filled calderas or canyoning down steep, gushing
waterfalls. Those who seek a gentler escape can wallow in the
Termas de Ferraria hydrothermal baths and the iron-water pools in
Furnas on the largest island of São Miguel.


Tbilisi

Georgia

We first covered
Tbilisi
in 2016 and since then its popularity has been on a
steady upwards trajectory – largely among the Berlin crowd.
A charming, sometimes confused amalgamation of East and West, with
a dash of old town charm, the Georgian capital has a thriving
creative scene with a very palpable sense of a younger generation
making things happen. Crumbling, art-nouveau buildings meet
contemporary steel and glass architecture, while the riverbanks
bustle with flea markets – veritable treasure troves of everything
from Elvis vinyl’s to repurposed Soviet propaganda. Gallery-cum-restaurants
are springing up all over, dishing out spruced-up traditional
dumplings alongside freshly squeezed glasses of sea-buckthorn
superfood juice, against a backdrop of exposed brickwork or
tongue-in-cheek Soviet
kitsch. This urban revival is encapsulated at Fabrika, a former Soviet sewing
factory that has been transformed into a multifunctional creative
hub with a vibe reminiscent of Hackney or Williamsburg.
You heard it here first.

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