Here comes the sun! And with it, a wave of warm and tingly feelings. Our summer holidays always seem to have that little extra sprinkling of excitement. The countdown to take off fills you with a childlike giddiness and in the last few days you're feeling like a kid on Christmas. There's no better present than your summer getaway. Whether it's the guarantee of vitamin D, quality time with all your loved ones or just lazing by the pool – this is what you've dreamt of through those cold winter months. But imagine having this all to yourself! Your private villa is your own little slice of summer – giving you privacy, personal space and a pool that you rule. Could your 2019 summer holiday be your best yet? All the inspiration you need is waiting below.
Where better for your summer holiday than the Sunshine State? Indulge your inner child, quench your thirst for thrills and admire outstanding natural beauty – it’s all on offer here. Theme parks are often the first port of call for Floridian holidaymakers and who can blame them! Where else could you encounter the animal kingdom up close, cruise down waterpark slides and see your favourite characters brought to life? Big kids, small kids – they all love Orlando’s theme parks.
Nature lovers will tell you that there’s nothing greater than the great outdoors. And Florida is where this really rings true. The Everglades offer the ultimate road trip from your villa, taking you to a magical world of mangroves, alligators and brilliant birds. Airboat rides are synonymous with the national park, whizzing around the swampland and its fascinating residents. So the wonderful walking routes of the national park might surprise you. The Anhinga Trails gives you ‘gators and turtles on foot, while the whimsically named Gumbo Limbo trail is a shaded stroll among the trees.
Swap the murky marshes for the crystal-clear water of Silver Springs State Park. Tourists have been flocking here since the 1870s, gliding across the springs on a glass-bottom boat. Alligators, turtles and schools of fish all call the springs home, dancing away below the boats. From the well-known to a somewhat hidden gem, Caladesi Island State Park largely goes under the radar. This uninhabited island is a tranquil paradise, with an exotic and remote feel. Picture palm trees lining the golden sand, sea turtles and Gopher Tortoises roaming free and mangroves winding their way to sea.
Florida’s gulf coast is a spectacular cocktail of fine white sands, clear blue waters and incredible sunsets over the sea. With golden rays sinking into the azure waters below, be sure to take in a setting sun on your Florida summer getaway. Clearwater is one of the finest beaches for this, with evening entertainment adding to the natural beauty. There’s even sunset cinemas! This might be the best movie backdrop ever. Siesta Beach is a haven for families in Florida, offering shallow waters, tennis courts and a shaded playground. Turtle Beach is a quiet stretch, catering more for adults than little ones. The seas aren’t as shallow, making it a great spot for snorkelling and swimming. And with the tranquil atmosphere, simply sit back and soak in the Sunshine State.
The summer holiday destination that truly offers something for all tastes. Once we start diving into everything Mallorca offers, you’ll probably be left scratching your head at how it all fits onto the island. But if you’re feeling adventurous you could be ticking it all off! It takes less than an hour and a half to drive from north to south and east to west – so no sight is too far. A holiday hire car has never seemed so appealing.
Summer and sand go hand in hand and if you’re daydreaming of golden beaches, Mallorca won’t disappoint. Once again this Balearic gem spoils its visitors for choice. Finding family friendly beaches is a piece of cake, so that’s keeping the kids entertained taken care of. Playa de Muro is the perfect playground for little ones, with soft sand for beach frolicking and shallow waters for splashing around. And when you all need to cool off, pine trees give you that spot in the shade. Maybe you’re heading away with a loved one and need a quiet cove for quality time? Everything you crave can be found at the end of a short coastal path. Playa es Caragol is a quiet curve, away from the hustle and bustle. Relax, rest and recharge in sandy paradise! Es Trenc is an all-round favourite, giving you a flavour of both. Secluded but offering plenty of space, there’s also watersports for those who just can’t sit still.
There’s something magical about a waterpark on your summer holiday. It’s your chance to cool off, make a splash and enjoy an adrenaline rush! Or maybe just glide along the lazy river? Mallorca offers three amazing waterparks. If you’re searching for slides, slides and more slides, start planning your day at Western Waterpark. With three jam-packed areas, you’ll feel like a kid in a sweet shop. And if you’re feeling brave you might even conquer the highest slide on the island. Aqualand pairs splashy fun with animal encounters, while Hidropark is all about the action. Bouncy castles, trampolines and a mini golf course offer even more fun between riding the slides.
If you’re craving a cultural summer getaway, Palma is the place to be! The 14th century cathedral stands proudly above Mallorca’s capital, sitting beside the shimmering sea. A beautiful blend of old and new, its stained glass windows meet the artistic touches of Antoni Gaudí. Wandering the streets gives you more glimpses of past complementing present. On the surface Passeig d’es Born may just seem like a boulevard of brilliant shops, but there’s so much more to this amazing street. If these walls could talk they’d have an impressive story to tell. Born has been Palma’s heartbeat for more than 100 years, witnessing countless celebrations and demonstrations. Statues and monuments help bring this story to life, so keep your eyes peeled as you take it all in.
If French is the language of love, expect the south to speak straight to your heart. You won’t find too many destinations that can charm you in as many different ways. Whether it’s the glitz and glamour of seaside towns, or rural and historic highlights of rolling countryside.
Cannes and St. Tropez have added a legendary sophistication to the coastline. Luxury yachts, upmarket boutiques and harbourside cuisine make it ideal if you’re craving style. But if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that there’s so much more to the Côte d’Azur. And Cannes is the perfect example. Beyond the bright lights a medieval town awaits! Le Suquet’s winding streets whisk you away to the historic castle, church and local markets atop the hill. With fishermen’s houses and inviting restaurants lining the route, your journey’s just as enjoyable as the destination. And if you find yourself missing the glamour, Le Suquet offers amazing views over Cannes below.
While the Côte d’Azur takes the crown for glamour, Provence is the undisputed historic heavyweight. When it comes to Roman architecture there’s nowhere better than Nîmes! The amphitheatre here remains in impeccable condition, giving you a glimpse into gladiatorial past. As many as 24,000 eager spectators would gather here to watch brutal battles between brave warriors. Just a short stroll away sits magnificent Maison Carrée. So impressive that it wouldn’t look out of place among the monuments of Rome. Or perhaps it would. Despite constant use dating back to the 11th century, it’s one of best preserved ancient temples in the world. This is your perfect excuse for those ‘when in Rome’ levels of holiday indulgence.
If you’re a football fanatic heading to France in summer 2019, you’re in luck. The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be hosted here and stadia in the South of France will welcome a number of games. Plenty of flicks, tricks and skill will be on show in Montpellier and Nice, between 7th June and 7th July. The perfect addition to your summer villa holiday in France.
The Algarve comes alive in the sizzling summer months. With the glorious sun shining a spotlight on everything that makes the Algarve a year-round favourite. Sand, seafood and history - a quick glance at the summer calendar shows you that these are at its very heartbeat. Do you love building your own little castle on the beach? The International Sand Sculpture Festival could soon have you dreaming even bigger. Imagine lost cities, Hollywood blockbusters and wonders of the world, all shaped from sand. You could soon be planning your own extravagant masterpiece! Bringing these plans to life is another matter altogether.
Seafood lovers will passionately tell you that there’s nothing better than the catch of the day. And the Algarve might just tempt you to agree! Sea air aromas float along the summer breeze, all across the coast. Once you’ve caught the scent, it’s time for a taste test. Fishy festivals are the perfect place to sample the local catch and traditional dishes. Whether that’s at Olhao’s Seafood Festival, Portimão’s celebration of sardines or plenty more culinary events. Carefully crafted by local chefs, you won’t be heading home disappointed. Or hungry!
Silves offers history buffs the perfect dose of scintillating re-enactment. Its Medieval Fair tells fascinating tales of the past, transporting you back in time. Watch jousting knights on horseback, listen to traditional music or take in a procession. You can even dress up if you like! Giving yourself the ultimate medieval experience, or perhaps just interesting snaps to show your friends. .
There’s nothing better than beating the crowds! Heading for a destination just before it hits the radar and claiming a little piece of it for yourself. With Istria’s Rijeka named as European Capital of Culture in 2020, expect plenty to be clamouring for this part of Croatia as the events and celebrations begin.
Why Rijeka? It’s home to Croatia’s largest port, plenty of historic delights and architectural gems to explore. Add a bustling atmosphere and that’s all the boxes ticked! With a canvas of Austro-Hungarian buildings, the touches of Roman flair seem like careful brush strokes on this masterpiece of a city. Rijeka’s Roman arch is the perfect example. Tucked away on an Old Town side street, this 4th century structure is a testament to the empire’s structural talents. A stroll through the city feels like a crash course in culture. Spot the cathedral, admire the impressive museum and take in the impressive clocktower. Sitting above the city gates that once separated Rijeka from Roman Tarsatica – it’s a must for history-seeking holidaymakers.
Istria itself is a cocktail of captivating history, seaside charm and rolling countryside! So if you’re harbouring your own dreams of conquering Croatia, it’s ideal for your 2019 summer holiday.