By Louisa Rochford
As warmer weather creeps its way into our lives, leading to a swarm of open fridges to keep cool or scrambling to give any excuse under the sun to go outside and bask in the heat, the time comes to think about that much-needed holiday: but where to go?
Porches, a small town in Portugal, is tucked away on a hill on the edge of the oldest east-west road in the Algarve. Well known for its wine, the Rolha Wine Bar is a must-visit for any connoisseur or lover of the finer things. The Capela da Nossa Senhora da Rocha offers a breath-taking sight overlooking the Nova Beach on one side and the beach of Senhora da Rocha on the other, with a beautiful chapel to take in its history. If being hands-on is more your thing, the Porches Pottery will be sure to keep them busy or, alternatively, there’s always the Albandeira Beach to kick back if things get a bit too much! This lowkey area is perfect for a quiet, relaxing break from the usual hustle and bustle of life.
WHERE TO STAY:
Located on a cliff top and facing the Atlantic Ocean is the VILA VITA Parc Resort & Spa, a luxury resort that boasts countless amenities on the premises and is just a 5-minute walk from Praia dos Tremoços beach. The Oasis Suite Premium Rooftop allows for optimum sightseeing from the comfort of your home-away-from-home, plus a walk-in wardrobe, absolute privacy and prime indulgence, and is perfect for a romantic stay if that suits your fancy — this suite is adults only, after all!
Filled with swaths of rich, deep blue hues, relaxation is inevitable on this island in the southern Aegean Sea. Among other recognitions, Santorini was voted one of the world’s most beautiful islands in the 2015 Travellers’ Choice Awards and Reader’s Choice Awards, and it deserves all the praise it gets! In contrast to the vivid colours of the sea that surround the island are the crisp, pearl white surfaces of each building and the earthy shades of the cliffside that connects the two. Due to the climate on the island, the Santorini tomatoes (cherry tomatoes) are naturally and intensely sweet, tasty and coloured in a delicious shade of red. With the additional local specialties, including Melitinia (cookies made with unsalted mitzithra cheese and yogurt for weddings and festivals) and Brantada (a mouth-watering local fish dish), this gorgeous section of the archipelago would make any holidaymaker’s summer feel like a dream come true.
WHERE TO STAY:
For a place to stay, the Canaves Oia Suites serve the perfect accommodation for your trip: the Executive Suite features its own cave pool, a modern interior, a balcony to enjoy the unmissable sights to their fullest and 60 square metres of room for ultimate relaxation.
San José del Cabo, Mexico
Nestled into the westward nook of Mexico in the southern tip of its Baja California peninsula is San José del Cabo, a resort city filled with colonial buildings and beautiful sandy beaches. Featuring enumerable ways to pass the time, San José del Cabo offers an abundance of art galleries that showcase the work o local artists, activities such as swimming with dolphins, cruises, ziplines and the San José Estuary and Bird Sanctuary, a nature reserve spanning two thousand acres. The Playa Palmilla is the best beach to visit by far, with stunning white sand and sheltered waters that will leave sunbathers and snorkelers cheering with delight.
WHERE TO STAY:
With 84 suites and villas to choose from, the Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort will make for a flawless getaway. Featuring your choice of Ocean view or Garden view rooms, the sights will never be far away—though, of course, the TY Warner Mansion beats all the rest in terms of luxury. This 2,600 square meters worth of excellence is poised directly on the water’s edge with an unbeatable view of the Sea of Cortez, and features dual master suites, an infinity pool, a cinema room, a Hacienda-style kitchen with its own private chef and a tequila library filled to the brim with rare, aged spirits. How can you say no to that!
Situated in the Arabian Sea in South Asia, the Maldives consists of 1,192 small coral islands and is often named a tropical paradise: and what a paradise it is! Crystal clear water and deep lagoons ensure a perfect spot for snorkelling and diving—Banana Reef and Diving Bluetribe Moofushi are your essential stops for those—with a surplus of striking white beaches to explore. Visit Veligandu Island Beach or Alimatha Island in your downtime or for ultimate relaxation, long walks across the sun kissed sand, or dip your toes into the rich, blue waters that surrounds them. With a stable temperature of 30°C year-round, the Maldives promises a deluxe stay in paradise that warms the body and the heart.
WHERE TO STAY:
While you visit, Naladhu Private Island is the epitome of first-class accommodation. Just as the name suggests, Naladhu is a secluded island for a quiet, exclusive stay with 20 colonial-style houses each with their own private swimming pool and in-house spa. With so much natural beauty to take in, it’s only right to stay in your own private corner of pure paradise.
Santa Cruz, Galápagos, Ecuador
The Galápagos Islands of Ecuador need no introduction, but we’ll offer one anyway: consisting of 18 islands and 3 smaller ones in the Pacific Ocean, it hosts a plethora of rare and diverse wildlife, some of which can be found nowhere else in the world. It’s no wonder the islands are considered the foremost in wildlife-viewing activity! Santa Cruz, the second largest island after Isabela, is home to Tortuga Bay: while not ideal for swimmers for which the activity is forbidden, the area is perfect to witness the marine iguanas, Galápagos crabs and birds that it shelters. However, don’t put your swimsuit away just yet—there are always sandy and cobblestone beaches such as El Garrapatero and Scorpion Beach to scratch that itch to get into the water, or unwind with a bit of sunbathing should the day call for it.
WHERE TO STAY:
If you really can’t live without a good swim, the Pool Suite at the Pikaia Lodge is just for you. With panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and access to a private plunge pool, this 74 square metre trip to paradise is sure to wet your appetite—and if that doesn’t win you over, the king-sized bed, walk-in closet, bamboo-wood flooring and private garden certainly will!