If you’re planning to get away and enjoy the last of the summer rays, there are plenty of options for a late summer break. Take a little inspiration from our suggestions below.
Croatia has become hugely popular over the last couple of years, with tourists flocking to enjoy its azure waters, rich heritage and traditional festivals. Out of high season, it’s a little more tranquil; you can lay on a Korcula beach by the Adriatic waters, stroll around the cobbled streets of Rovinj and explore Diocletian’s magnificent palace free from the bustle of summer tourism. Further inland, the nature parks are a paradise of canyons and waterfalls, and if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a bear at Kuterevo in the Velebit mountains.
Home to the Matterhorn, the world’s most photographed mountain, Switzerland is a majestic country of soaring peaks, deep valleys and sparkling lakes. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Aletsch Glacier, 120 square kilometres of ice that presents some of the most startlingly beautiful scenery in Europe. Zermatt is also popular with both skiers and summer visitors. Its impressive views of the Matterhorn are protected by a strict car-free rule. Only electric vehicles are allowed for local commerce.
A largely undiscovered country compared to its neighbours, Luxembourg blends gorgeous scenery in the form of the lush Ardennes forests with the dramatic history of its capital. One of the highlights is Luxembourg City’s Chemin de la Corniche, widely reputed to be Europe’s most beautiful balcony with its spectacular views over the city.
September is when Slovenia really comes to life. High season is over, but the sea is still warm enough for a swim, and the relaxed pace is ideal for a more leisurely exploration of the historical towns and Alpine landscapes. You can make the most of the country’s main attractions too – the underground caves of the Karst region, and in particular the Škocjan Caves, are breathtaking in their beauty. Book onto a guided tour for the best experience of these subterranean wonders.
Sun seekers and wine lovers should pay a visit to Portugal during September. In the Algarve, the climate is still warm enough for a beach holiday and picturesque walks along the coastline. From mid-September to mid-October, the Douro region celebrates its grape harvest festival with traditional meals and music – this is not to be missed by connoisseurs! A boat trip along the river Douro puts you in a kind of no-man's land, with Spain rising above you on one side and Portugal on the other; sometimes it can also reward you with a rare sighting of a golden eagle.