The Best Places for a Holiday with Friends

The Best Places for a Holiday with Friends

“friendcation” seems like a great idea until you’re 205
messages into a “Summer 2k18” WhatsApp group (which you muted over
an hour ago) and you’ve got no further than being ridiculed about
that time you asked a “Spanish waiter” for his number – only to
discover he was actually from Birmingham and on his stag. From
cosmopolitan city breaks to beachside boltholes we promise there
won’t be a perma-tanned holiday rep wielding a bucket of Sex on the
Beach in sight in these less obvious group holiday destinations. We
can’t promise anything on the waiter front though.



Avoiding packed beaches is no mean feat. Half of Europe is
instantly wiped out as they offer all-inclusive deals with
complimentary kids club – no thanks. Instead, head to Himara aka
the Albanian Riviera. The local wine costs as little as 3€ and the
buzzy fishing town is bursting with fresh seafood shacks and boho
beach bars. Walk off the irresistible buttery baklavas you are
offered with each coffee in search of Gijiri I Akuarium beach. Just
a handful of candy-striped sun loungers dot the almost always
deserted blonde sands, so get down early. Nearby beachfront
accommodation, Scala Bungalows, will allow you
to easily slink from sea to siesta.



If beaches aren’t really your brigade’s thing then consider a
city escape to on-trend Belgrade. An emerging creative hub that is
recently being compared to Berlin, it’s
filled with innovative youngsters striving to shake off its
chequered past. Set yourself among the in-the-know jet-setting
crowd at laid-back Café Leto or for thumping beats head to open-air
Barutana. Shake off impending hangovers on one of the world’s most
spectacular train journeys. With window seats easy to grab and
tickets costing less than your daily commute, the Belgrade Bar Line
drops you off in
biggest sea port, Bar, after a journey of sweeping
hills and glassy lakes.



Your teen escapades probably resulted in visiting one of

‘s party isles, but now it’s time to do Greece the
grown-up way. Paros is the secret Adonis of the Cyclades with its
whitewashed walls, bleached coves and blue-domed churches. Pitch up
at Kolymbithres Beach with its obscure granite rock formations,
then head to Taberna Vigla for a traditional serving of fava beans
in tomato sauce. Post sunbathing , lead the way to Fouska and dance until dawn among a bronzed crowd who
flock here every summer.

Île de Ré


Enjoyed by Hollywood A-listers and well-heeled Parisians every
year, pack the squad off to the idyllic Île De Ré.
Offering a certain “je ne sais quois” that the Riviera can’t rival,
explore rural cycle paths, sip local wine (try the Soif d’evasion
Sauvignon Blanc produced by the Les Vignerons vineyard) and gaze
upon the green shuttered houses that line the narrow streets. The
oysters are also said to be among the best in the world. Feel the
sand between your toes as you walk through the dunes to Villa Victorie, a mid-century,
design-centric home with heated outdoor pool that’ll fit nine of
your closest friends. It’s a far cry from those childhood summers
spent camping near a nondescript Frenchtown that was more faux pas
than fantastique.



The once gritty Italian city has smartened up in recent years,
but still packs a punch of underground cool. Discover a range of
cultural interest points ranging from decadent palazzos boasting
grand marble statues to the largest collection of Pompeiian
artworks in the world. With historical appetites satiated, shuffle
along to nearby open-air dance club Nabilah, located 20 minutes from the city centre, for
a late-night soiree hosted by some of Ibiza’s most legendary
resident DJs. Sore heads are cured with platefuls of Mama’s
spaghetti at Trattoria Da Nennella and pilgrimages to Gay-Odin gelato shop, which
specialises in handmade milky chocolate flavours. If you’re lusting
after the Cinque Terre, hope on a boat to the nearby island of

Tel Aviv


Revelling in the luxury that’s accustom to the Middle East but
without being flash,
Tel Aviv
switches gold for UNESCO heritage sites, Masada
sunrises, palm-tree-lined beaches and Michelin-starred restaurants.
The historic old town is dotted with brightly coloured bean bags,
intricately decorated parasols and an array of shisha bars – Bar
Ochel is a good starting point. In contrast, on the outskirts of
the city where sand dunes previously dominated the skyline, art
buffs will want to take in the striking architecture displayed at
Design Museum Holon. Catch ups with the crew are taken
under inky black skies at Sura Mare or taste-testing through the
critically acclaimed Asian-Mediterranean fusion menu at Taizu.

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