From the finest pour in a grand chateau, to the best-kept secret of Ibiza, some of the best places for you to soak up the summer sun are just a short hop away from Stansted Airport.
With over 7,000 wine growers set against an elegant 18th-century backdrop, Bordeaux is an essential destination for epicureans who embrace joie de vivre (joy of life). La Route des Châteaux is the most famous wine route.
It follows the D2 road along the left bank of the Gironde river through the Medoc vineyards and passes the premiers crus of Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 – Margaux, Latour, Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild. After all the sightseeing, drive south towards the greater Graves region and relax in a red-wine bath at the famed Les Sources de Caudalie. Bliss.
Summer in Corfu guarantees dazzling sunshine, stunning sunsets, a bronze tan and endless selfies which you will be eager to share. For a total island escape, head to the sleepy village of Agios Gordios where its 1km-long sandy beach is nestled below verdant slopes of cypresses and olive groves.
A quintessential dip for romantics is at the picture-perfect Canal d’Amour where, according to legend, lovers who swim in its waters will be granted ever-lasting love. Make sure to spend some time in Corfu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site where Venetian, French and British influences still remain.
Europe’s party capital is known for world-class DJs spinning tracks and sending clubbers into fits of euphoria. Line your stomach with delicious seafood at Can Pujol on the edge of San Antonio first, then party at some of the best clubs – Amnesia, DC-10, Eden, Pacha, Privilege, Space and Ushuaia to name but a few.
The best kept secret of Ibiza, however, is actually its incredible diving sites. Take advantage of its calm and clear waters, swim with a school of barracudas, explore old shipwrecks, and discover many sea caverns.
One of Europe’s smallest capitals, Ljubljana is a delightful, visitor-friendly city best explored on foot or by bike. It has a wealth of museums and galleries to satisfy culture-seekers. Housed in the Auersperg Palace, the City Museum contains some 200,000 artefacts charting the city’s history from prehistoric times.
One outstanding exhibit is the world’s oldest wooden wheel, thought to be more than 5,000 years old. The spectacular Postojna Caves, 40-minute away by car, boast some of Mother Nature’s finest work that took millenniums to produce, is another must-see.