Five Sunny City Breaks to Take this September

Seeking one last shot of sunshine? Don’t miss our round-up of five beautiful cities to visit this month, from a chic coastal town on the French Riviera to a dusty and dazzling Moroccan hotspot

We all knew it was coming, but the reality of waving goodbye to those long, light-filled days has been more difficult than we'd imagined it would be - and we're fairly certain that we speak for most of the nation on that one. As leaves go from green to brown and the warm air turns crisp, we can think of no better time to squeeze in one last hit of sunshine. Returning from a balmy adventure of beach-crawling, bar-hopping and menu-tasting, we've drawn up a sunny shortlist of the cities to make a beeline for this September. From a much-storied Moroccan creative hub to Sardinia's crumbling piazzas, here's where to go.

September sun: five fabulous cities for a late-summer getaway

cagliari sardinia


Sardinia, Italy

Situated north of Tunisia and south of Corsica, Sardinia ranks as the Med's second-largest isle. One of the quieter Italian destinations, what this place lacks in swarms of selfie sticks, it more than makes up for with its therapeutic landscape. Being blessed with a diverse variety of ecosystems, it is home to dramatic mountain ranges, wild woodland areas, rocky coastlines and stretches of golden sand. We're heading to the vibrant city of Cagliari, a charming enclave brimming with ancient ruins, chocolate-box churches and towering Pisan-Romanesque palazzi. Start your day by visiting the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari, which tells of the city's history by way of statues, goldsmithery and jewels. Come sunset, skip to the walled citadel of Castello to find free-spirited dancing and drinking in quirky bars.

Where to stay: Hotel Miramare Cagliari

Tangier, Morocco



Often overlooked in pursuit of Marrakech's heady souks and Fez's stellar food stalls, the ancient city of Tangier oozes with creativity. A favourite destination among tortured writers searching for inspiration (Allen Ginsberg and Truman Capote were regulars here), this place has a magnetic energy threaded throughout its dusty, sun-scorched streets. Spend days flitting between craft stores and independent boutiques, before slipping into one of the vibrant bars tucked inside crumbling art deco buildings - El Morocco Club is our favourite for top-notch spirits and a chilled-out setting.

Where to stay: La Maison de Tanger

Marsaskala, Malta



Perched on Malta's southeastern edge, the magical Marsaskala is home to a harbour lined by a happy mish-mash of yellow and apricot villas and a coastline dotted with deserted caves lapped by piercingly blue waters. Less than a 30-minute drive from the capital, Valletta, the town has long been prime territory for long-weekending city types, but its tranquil trails are fast gaining an international following among those in the know. Foodies should make a beeline for Bongo Nyah, where a tapas menu fuses flavours from four different continents. Party people, however, should gather their gang and head to Zion for the ultimate sundowner. The boho beach shack is loved for its palm-fringed courtyard, experimental cocktails and a banging house music playlist.

Where to stay: Talbot & Bons

Menton, France



Nicknamed "the Pearl of France", Menton is located near the Franco-Italian border between Provence and Genoa: picture a colourful streetscape decorated with belle époque palaces, ruby-red villas and pops of marigold at every turn. Compact and bijou, this is a place best explored on foot. Stroll sun-drenched avenues, hop between serene beaches - Plage Rondelli is one of the loveliest - and taste your way through the area's delicious culinary specialities. Must-tries include bouillabaisse and fluffy lemon desserts (this being the centre of France's lemon industry). Make Villa Genesis your base, partly for its huge, palm-flanked swimming pool, but mainly for its super-comfortable beds.

Where to stay: Villa Genesis

Salamanca, Spain
Photo credit: Lenori /



Spain's oldest university city and the eastern gateway to Madrid, Salamanca is one of our favourite spots for a long, lazy weekend. Narrow cobblestone passageways lead to cathedrals, centuries-old churches, monasteries and libraries that are all built in peach-coloured sandstone. To best appreciate all its visual splendour, we suggest taking an early-morning wander through the iconic Plaza Mayor. When it comes to fine dining, you're spoilt for choice. Our top picks are El Monje, where a candle-strewn courtyard is the backdrop to fresh-from-the-ocean seafood platters, and El Mesón de Gonzalo, where succulent cured meats and local wines make for a romantic evening.

Where to stay: Palacio de San Esteban

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Where to Travel in September