There’s still time to catch some lingering heat of summer in the southern Mediterranean, but October is an equally pleasant month for a city break. As long as you avoid school half-term, you should escape the crowds. And if you’re thinking about a January holiday – either in the snow or in the heat – take a look at some of these ideas.
It’s not every day you find a beach at the bottom of your garden, but the Barbati Beach Suite in Corfu offers just that. This airy, one-bedroom beach house also has a hot tub on its long sea-facing deck, where you can enjoy fabulous views of the Ionian Sea. GIC the Villa Collection has seven nights’ self-catering at Barbati Beach Suite from £589pp, down from £923pp. The price includes flights departing 8 October, as well as car hire.
Bologna often gets bypassed by tourists in their rush to get to Florence or Venice. But they’re missing out on some of the best food in Italy, sublime architecture and one of the most agreeable atmospheres in the country. And for a mellow October city break, its combination of food, culture and history is irresistible. Citalia has three nights’ B&B at the Hotel Al Cappello Rosso – just a few seconds from the central Piazza Maggiore – from £594pp, departing 21 October. The price includes flights, transfers and bike rental.
Treat yourself to a relaxing break that combines yoga, tennis and spa with superb views of the Aegean Sea. The Sianji Wellbeing Resort is about 15 miles from Bodrum and offers the chance to be as active or indolent as you like. All of its rooms have sea views as well as balconies, and you can take part in daily yoga, t’ai chi, fitness or aqua aerobics programmes. The Healthy Holiday Company has a week’s B&B at the resort from £795pp, including flights, transfers and free fitness programmes. Departures at this price are throughout October, excluding half-term week.
October’s mild temperatures make it a good time to explore Japan, which you can do on this seven-night self-guided tour. Spend the first few days in Tokyo before getting a taste of the countryside in Fuji-Hakone National Park. Then hop on the bullet train to Kyoto and lose yourself among the temples and exquisite gardens of Japan’s second city. InsideJapan’s Price Cruncher tour costs from £1,661pp, including flights, B&B accommodation, transport and some private guiding. Departures are throughout October.
Book now for January
Enjoy France’s quiet ski slopes in January before February’s school holidays kick in. Val d’Isère’s high-altitude slopes are on the doorstep at Chalet Champs Avalins, where the new La Daille gondola is within gliding distance. Ski Total has a week’s catered holiday at the chalet from £619pp for a 20 January departure. The price includes flights, transfers and catered accommodation. That means breakfast, afternoon tea and six evening meals with aperitifs and wine.
For a change from the classic Goa beach holiday, surround yourself with lush jungle at the boutique Niyala Hermitage. Taking inspiration from Moorish architecture, this 13-rooms hotel offers a luxurious escape – but you can still take the shuttle to the nearest beach if you fancy a change from the hotel’s swimming pool. Goa Experience offers seven nights’ B&B from £1,099pp for a 31 January departure, including flights and transfers.
Discover the richness and variety of Malaysian cuisine on a culinary tour that also takes in Singapore – and includes a bit of luxurious pampering. You’ll start in Penang where you can combine beach time with a cookery class. Then carry on to Kuala Lumpur and Malacca before flying to Tioman Island for cuisine that mixes Malay with Thai and Indochinese flavours. End the tour in Singapore with visits to Chinatown and the floating market. This 12-night holiday with Exsus Travel costs from £3,290pp for an 8 January departure and includes all flights and transport, B&B accommodation and specified tours.
Mary Novakovich is editor at large at 101holidays.co.uk