INSPIRATION • February 2022
Habitual holidaymakers can already make the most of long weekends, but 2022 really lands it on our lap. This year, because of the way the calendar falls – and the extra Jubilee bank holiday – Brits can squeeze maximum holiday from minimal annual leave. Frequent flier Shilpa Ganatra reveals the dates to know and places to be...
Time off: Easter weekend is 15-18 April – so book off 19-22 April for a ten-day holiday using just four days of annual leave.
Take off: Nice, France
Looking for a change of scenery? Nice offers glitz and glam set against the palm-fringed beaches of the French Riviera. Once you’ve had your fill of the rooftop bars and boat trips on the shimmering waters that give the Côte d’Azur its name, pitch up to the contrasting countryside of Provence just outside the city. You’ll weave through oil-painting vistas of rolling hills, springtime blooms and sprawling vineyards, where you can stop for lunch – and an exquisite glass of house rosé.
Time off: The early May bank holiday this year means that taking off only four days (3-6 May) – with weekends on top – turns into a nine-day stretch to enjoy.
Take off: St Lucia, Caribbean
Nine days is enough to hop over to St Lucia for a spot of Caribbean culture. Its annual jazz festival hits at the start of May, concentrated within Rodney Bay. Carry on the carousing at the Gros Islet Jump Up – a Friday night street party where the drinks and music flow in equal measure. During the days, soak up the tropical heat on idyllic beaches, or blow away the cobwebs with a challenging hike up the Pitons, the island’s emblematic mountains.
Time off: The special Jubilee bank holiday gives us 2-5 June off. Add three annual leave days (30 May-1 June) for a bumper ten days away.
Take off: Kos, Nisyros, Tilos and Rhodes, Greece
A long stretch merits a multi-destination holiday – so how about an adventure across the well-serviced Dodecanese islands? Kos’ electric nightlife is a strong starting vibe. Then, an hour’s ferry ride away, Nisyros is famed for its active volcano, from which mineral-rich hot water springs are born – perfect for a long soak. Next is the rustic island of Tilos, with its less-trodden beaches and relaxed hospitality. Then fly back from history-filled Rhodes… just not before visiting its charming old town and mighty Acropolis.
Time off: The bank holiday on Monday 29 August means you need only take four days off (30 August-2 September) to create a nine-day adventure.
Take off: Ponta Delgada, the Azores
A new direct route to the main island of São Miguel means it’s the perfect time to explore the Azores Islands. Dotted within the expansive Atlantic Ocean, the archipelago is a true wonder of nature. Experience this at the unique reserve of the Vila Franca do Campo Islet, while hiking across its dramatic landscapes, or when whale watching, with resident sperm whales (the largest toothed whale in existence), dolphins, sea turtles and flying fish ready to greet boat-trippers throughout the year.
Time off: The duo of Christmas holidays in 2022 means three annual leave days (28-30 December) delivers a very festive nine days away from work.
Take off: Orlando, USA
Why not end the year with a bang on a family trip to Orlando? Day trips to the Kennedy Space Centre or Crayola Experience are tempting, but the big hitters of Walt Disney World and Universal both have new attractions awaiting our return. Universal now delivers a new Bourne-themed stunt show and the VelociCoaster, and Walt Disney World has added Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, with the Guardians of the Galaxy rollercoaster experience opening this summer. Plus, if you stay until 1 January 2023, you’ll get to enjoy New Year celebrations, Disney style.
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