While summer in the UK may last but a few short weeks, in many parts of Europe, the long, sunny days stick around for much longer, with autumn only really kicking in at the end of October.
Though this may be bad news if you’ve used up all your holiday entitlement, if you are able to jet away, you can not only find empty beaches, but you can also enjoy great value-for-money, even in leading resorts. Here are just three places where late-summer sun is guaranteed. If you fancy making a last-gasp getaway, Monarch has some fantastic deals.
Turquoise Coast, Turkey
6,500ft above by Chris Frewin
Nothing beats the end-of-summer blues quite like last-minute holidays to the Turquoise Coast. Indeed, with departures available from several different parts of the UK, it’s possible to ditch the cooling weather and the back-to-work and school blues and be lying back on some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches just a few short hours later.
Given the natural beauty of this part of Turkey, not to mention the widespread availability of budget-friendly last-minute holidays, the question is not one of whether to pack up and jet off, but where to stay on the Turquoise Coast.
For families, few places beat Ovacik. Here, just yards from a picture-postcard beach and the warm, dazzling blue waters that give this stretch of the coastline its evocative name, families can rent simple but comfortable villas.
Opting for a villa instead of a hotel gives you the chance to enjoy that extra little bit of freedom and some home comforts while overseas. What’s more, since you’ll have your own kitchen, you can not only save money, but you can also spend lazy evenings on the terrace, enjoying freshly-cooked dinners prepared from the fruit, vegetables and fish you purchased that very day from the market stalls in central Ovacik. You’ll also be well-placed for heading to Olu Deniz, a stunning lagoon and one of the region’s most-famous natural wonders.
Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Dubrovnik, Croacia by Mario Fajt
It’s not just Turkey that enjoys long hours of sunshine and high temperatures long after the autumn chill has settled over north-west Europe. Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is also perfect for a little late-summer sun – an ideal climate for exploring old castles, churches and traditional villages, all of which you can enjoy without breaking the bank.
If it’s a varied, late-summer break you’re after, then consider staying close to Dubrovnik. By day you can laze on idyllic strips of sand, including Lapd Beach, which remains as beautiful as ever but significantly less-crowded than usual once August has come and gone. By night, meanwhile, you’ll be perfectly placed to sample world-class seafood in the quaint, family-run restaurants found within the ancient city walls. If lying back on a beach isn’t your thing, however, then Dubrovnik is also home to a massive number of historic gems, including the 11th century Rector’s Palace and the imposing Lovrijenac Monastery.
Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria
black sea by Valentin Komposterov
Bulgaria is yet another great place to enjoy some late-summer sunshine without the crowds – or the high prices – of better-known destinations. In particular, the Black Sea Coast enjoys high temperatures well into October and also boasts countless unspoilt, pretty beaches that are perfect for young families.
If it’s a quiet, relaxing break and the chance to recharge your batteries before returning to a winter of work you’re after, consider heading to the laid-back holiday resort of Elenite. Here, as well as the sun and sand of nearby Sunny Beach, you can explore traditional villages, take to the water for some sailing or go inland to explore out peaceful mountains and lakes.