How to Extend Your Summer

How long will the summer be for you?

We can’t accurately predict the weather at home, nor when the summer will end. But we do know that summer continues into September and October, across in places across Europe.

Between September and November you have many beautiful options, when temperatures in the low twenties and crowds are few after the mid-summer rush.

We could say it’s autumn-time travel. But this is about extending your summer and enjoying the sun, when it’s minus degrees at home for everybody else.

Here are eight destinations that will keep your summer vibe going for longer. They’re not unknown or unexplored, just easy destinations that are best visited between September and November.

1. Sicily

EliteVoyage CEO found Sicily to be a warm and sunny destination in late November, early December.

Sicily is the archetypal summer destination. Sunny, sultry and stylish. With Excellent resorts and lots of experiences for all ages. It was one of our trending destinations of 2022.

Now Sicily is becoming a year-round destination. High temperatures mean September and October in Sicily still have a mid-summer feel.

Petr Udavský went to Taormina in late November last year, when Grand Hotel Timeo extended its season for the first time. It was 23 degrees.

Grand Hotel Timeo, a Belmond Hotel

Taormina has some excellent five-star hotels to choose from, with Grand Hotel Timeo our personal favourite. It’s also a jumping off point for exploring Sicilian Baroque.

We recommend combining Taormina with the capital Palermo. A gorgeous, gritty, fun and fascinating city, except Palermo is too hot to enjoy in July and August. Stay at the Sicilian palazzo Villa Igiea, A Rocco Forte property.

2. Lisbon

Lisbon is best visited in September and early October.

Portugal’s colourful capital city is at its best in September and early October. This is after the peak summer crowds and intense August heat, but still when the streets and terraces buzz with people.

Lisbon is made easy by the direct flight connections, making it an excellent choice for a long weekend, especially as a couple.

Much of the experience is about slowing wandering the streets, exploring the many quirky boutiques, cafes, bars and eateries.

Don’t miss a traditional dinner and fado show, in the bairro (neighbourhood) where the music originated. It’s emotional, melancholic music, similar to flamenco yet very distinct.

For grandeur and space we recommend the renovated Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. If you want to be in the heart of the action, there are some smaller properties like The Lumiares, which are lower in quality but most convenient in terms of location.

3. French Riviera

Small destinations like Antibes, on the Côte d’Azur between Cannes and Nice, are much nicer after the peak summer crowds.

Autumn is a glorious time to explore the South of France. Beautiful weather, great food and traditional festivities, including the wine harvest.

As EliteVoyage co-owner David Eder discovered last year, the visitor experience is completely different outside the peak summer tourist season.

We recommend the French Riviera from mid-September onwards, after the famous Cannes Yachting Festival. The atmosphere changes completely, as chaos gives way to calmness and space. Plus better availability at the best restaurants.

A suite on the seventh floor of Carlton Cannes

Travel designer Dominika Hüttnerová visited Cannes in late September last year, enjoying 25-degree sunny days. She highly recommends the renovated Cartlon Cannes.

You can easily travel inland from the coast, where we highly recommend making your own perfume in Grasse. It’s a fascinating experience, although it’s incredibly hard to make a good perfume!

4. Mallorca

Stepan Borovec in Mallorca

We’ve featured the Spanish island of Mallorca a lot in recent months, notably Stepan Borovec’s guide to the island’s best hotels.

Mallorca isn’t so much of a beach destination. It has some lovely beaches. But until the Four Seasons opens in August there’s only one luxury beachfront resort on the island, the all-inclusive IKOS Porto Petro.

Son Bunyola, a relatively new Virgin Limited Edition property in a wild and empty part of Mallorca

We recommend Mallorca as an escapist destination. There are some delightful properties in the hills, or along undeveloped coastlines, like La Residencia, Son Bunyola and Grand Hotel Son Net.

Despite the mass tourism stereotypes, this Balearic island is a fantastic place to escape the rest of the world and enjoy a very authentic holiday.

Come for a long weekend and stay in the hills. Or come for a week and also stay at somewhere like Hotel Cap Rocat Mallorca, a boutique seafront hotel that epitomises the feeling of freedom and tranquillity the island can deliver.

5. Athens Riviera

One&Only Aesthesis Seafront Bungalow

Two new One&Only properties make the Athens Riviera an excellent choice for explorers who like to be first.

Petr Udavsky inspected One&Only Aesthesis earlier this year, just after it opened. He said:

It takes a special resort to make you forget about time and place. One&Only has achieved this in a major city.

It’s a romantic place for a few quiet days, and can also be a good choice with kids. Relax, spend some time exploring nearby Athens, and enjoy the September and October weather.

Rain is very rare in Athens in September, when the temperatures hit the high twenties. In October it drops to the low to mid twenties, with clear blue skies still the norm.

Cliff Villa at One&Only Kea Island

Opening this weekend is One&Only Kea Island, a secluded, almost secretive getaway that’s only 30 minutes by speedboat from Athens.

When autumn brings cold rainy days and the busyness of post-summer daily life, this undeveloped island and new resort look to be an ideal escape.

6. Marrakech

Private riad at Royal Mansour, Marrakech

October and November are the best months to visit Morocco.

In Marrakech the daily temperatures stay above 30 degrees into September. By October and November you’ll have warm sunny days, yet it’s cool enough to explore the city’s many urban treasures.

There are two other reasons we suggest Marrakech. Firstly the choice of hotels. In general, Morocco offers outstanding quality and value in terms of accommodation.

This is a country of artisans with a beautiful style, where the best palace hotels feel almost like museums and galleries.

The Oberoi Marrakech courtyard

Enjoy your own private riad within Royal Mansour Marrakech, the hotel owned by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. Or a villa with pool at the Oberoi Marrakech, which has the world’s finest lobby in our opinion. La Mamounia is also fantastic for design, although you need to book a riad to have your own pool.

These relaxing hotel stays are combined with a great variety of experiences. Marrakech is great for shopping and workshops with artisans. And within an hour you can leave the city for rural Moroccan experiences in the Atlas Mountains and sand dunes.

7. Valencia

The old town in Valencia, Spain

Direct flights between Prague and Valencia will now continue all year around.

Don’t visit this trendy and up and coming Spanish city in August. All the locals go on a holiday for a month, meaning all the cool independent shops and bars are closed. Only tourists hangout in Valencia in August.

September and October offer the authenticity that is making Valencia such a talked about destination. Valencia is a city for urban explorers who like great food and artistic hangouts. And it’s a city on the beach.

Paella isn’t Spanish, it’s Valencian. And it’s only usually eaten for lunch.

Even November is good for Valencia, as temperatures stay in the twenties almost until Christmas. Here it rains in spring, not autumn.

We know some decent hotels in good locations, like Hospes Palau de la Mar, but in Valencia only currently offers entry-level five-star properties.

8. Amalfi Coast

Stephen Bailey and a Vesuvius view from Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, last November

Many Italian resort areas stay open until the first weekend in November. Then they close after the All Saints’ Day festivities.

Unfortunately, these small resort towns are beyond popular in July and August. Prices have increased exponentially, as they’re popular with visitors coming from all over the world.

The Amalfi Coast in summer is poor value, very crowded and not the vibe most of our clients desire on their holidays.

It’s no longer an exclusive destination, but you can find exclusivity by travelling in September and October instead. The weather still makes it feel like summer as well.

Going on a lemon tour on the Amalfi Coast

Stephen Bailey visited last autumn and recommends combining two destinations. Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is the choice in Sorrento, combined with a stay at Grand Hotel Parker’s in Naples.

We will advise you personally about hotels in and around Positano and Amalfi village, as there are many important details you need to know before making a choice.

Don’t miss the lemons. Amalfi produces the world’s best and a day that starts in the lemon groves is always a good idea.

Extending Your Summer

It might be hard to think about what happens after summer. Especially when you’re looking forward to your summer holidays.

Another big advantage of travelling out of season is the availability of the best accommodations. So even when you book on a whim, with a few days notice, we can usually find a top suite in an outstanding property.

So save these eight travel ideas for a later date, knowing you always have beautiful options to extend your summer. And who doesn’t want a longer summer?

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