INSPIRATION • July 2020

Extend your summer: the holidays to book now

We all want off-the-beaten-track more than ever before. The good news is that the travel buffs behind The Club know exactly where to go to escape the crowds and reclaim your summer. Just make sure to check the govs foreign travel advice before you book

Crete
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Crete, Greece

Says who: Bryony Coleman, philhellene and The Club copy editor
Fly into: Heraklion or Chania
Crete may have a rep as a party island, with ravers flocking to the more rambunctious resorts of Malia, Stalis and Elounda, but there are many parts where life strolls along at a slower pace. Rethymno on the northern coast is one of its most laid-back regions, and the peaceful fishing village of Panormos, which is partly traffic-free, is all narrow cobbled streets and idyllic little coves. Stay at Villa Kynthi (booking.com; 10 Avios/£1), an intimate, family-run guesthouse with a charming courtyard and surprisingly lavish interiors. It’s a great launchpad for excursions to nearby monasteries and mountain villages such as Margarites – known for its pottery studios.
Know before you go: Fill out this compulsory health form at least 24 hours before you fly and either print or download the QR code to your phone ready for inspection. You may be tested for Covid-19 on arrival, but currently travellers from the UK will not have to self-isolate if they show no symptoms. You must wear face masks on public transport and in taxis.



Germany
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The Bavarian Alps, Germany

Says who: Hannah Ralph, alpine enthusiast and The Club content editor
Fly into: Munich
Right now, getting into Austria is still a bit of a faff. That’s why savvy travellers will fly into Munich, drive two hours south and stop just short of the Austrian border, in Germany’s beautiful Bavarian Alps. A land of biergartens, alpine lakes and Cinderella castles, the border is a picture-book glimpse into the Germany of yore, with more than a touch of Austria’s appeal. At Munich airport, the choice is between driving southwest toward Bavaria’s mountainous Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle (pictured), or southeast toward the milky blue lakes of Berchtesgaden, where boutique Berghotel Rehlegg (booking.com; 10 Avios/£1) has a warm welcome at the ready.
Know before you go: At the time of writing, there is no need travellers from the UK to self-isolate on arrival in Germany or when back in the UK. You must wear a face mask in certain public spaces. Visit the UK government’s website for the latest information.

Spain
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Costa de la Luz, Spain

Says who: Ross Clarke, Hispanophile and The Club contributing editor
Fly into: SevilleGibraltar or Malaga
Everyone knows the ‘Costas’, but not many consider Costa de la Luz, a glorious piece of coastline stretching from Tarifa to Huelva in southwest Andalusia. Try Playa El Palmar for swathes of sand without the crowds, before heading north to biodiverse Doñana National Park for a taste of Spain at its most remote. In nearby Vejer, book on to a private cooking course at Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen, where you’ll learn everything from how to whizz up classic Andalusian dishes to selecting the perfect sherry.
Know before you go: Fill out this compulsory health form less than 48 hours before you fly and either print or download the QR code to your phone ready for inspection. Your temperature may be checked on arrival, but currently travellers from the UK will not have to self-isolate if they show no symptoms of Covid-19. Those aged six and over must wear a face mask in all public spaces. Visit the UK government’s website for the latest information.

Italy
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Franciacorta, Italy

Says who: Olivia McLearon, lover of all things Italian and The Club sub editor
Fly into: Milan
It’s time to get a new sparkling wine on your radar. Fly into Milan from London in under two hours and drive just an hour east to the beautiful rolling hills of the Franciacorta region. Italy may be famous for another fizz, but Franciacorta has far more in common with Champagne than with Prosecco – its lighter counterpart. It’s home to 100 wineries, including Bellavista, a winery housed in an amphitheatre, surrounded by 198 hectares of vineyards. Stay at dreamy L’Albereta (pictured) – a charming, ivy-cloaked villa, which has an award-winning spa.
Know before you go: At the time of writing, there is no need for travellers from the UK to self-isolate on arrival in Italy or when back in the UK. You must wear a face mask in enclosed public spaces. Visit the UK government’s website for the latest information.

France
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Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France

Says who: Anisha Patel, rosé lover and The Club’s content strategist
Fly into: Nice
Leave Cannes and St Tropez to the glitterati and head east. Just 25 minutes by car from Nice’s centre lies the blissfully calm Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Once a winter retreat favoured by Queen Victoria, the tiny village has all the hallmarks of a Côte d’Azur escape – pastel-fronted cafés with prix-fixe chalkboard menus, boutique-filled alleyways, Belle Époque villas and spectacular beaches backed by craggy cliffs – with a fraction of the crowds. For a languid Provençal lunch with summer-ready rosés, book a table on the garden terrace at La Table, the more modestly priced bistro at the swanky La Réserve de Beaulieu hotel.
Know before you go: At the time of writing, there is no need for travellers from the UK to self-isolate on arrival in France or when back in the UK. Those aged 11 and over must wear a face mask on public transport and in taxis and private hire vehicles. Visit here for the latest information.

Croatia
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Viganj, Croatia

Says who: Carl Harrison, peace-seeker and The Club picture editor
Fly into: Split
If you want open water, blissful calm and not a whole lot else, Viganj is your guy. In the summertime, this Croatian village (a scenic three hours’ drive from Split) plays host to windsurfers the world over – gaze on the horizon and you’re bound to spot the silhouette of their sails and shortboards – but it’s also a year-round haven for beach bums, who like nothing more than sipping golden hour cocktails on empty shores. Make charming Viganj Bed and Breakfast (booking.com; 10 Avios/£1) your base, before hopping on the ferry to neighbouring Korcula for a bougainvillea-clad Old Town, artsy boutiques and more of those stunning, sea-salty vistas.
Know before you go: At the time of writing, there is no need for travellers from the UK to self-isolate on arrival in Croatia or when back in the UK. You must wear a face mask on public transport and in taxis and shopsVisit the UK government’s website for the latest information.

Gozo
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Gozo

Says who: Ally Wybrew, Part-time Gozitan and High Life.com content editor
Fly into: Valletta, Malta
There’s more to Malta than ancient architecture, firework festivals and mouth-watering lampuki fish. Namely, its stunning sister island, Gozo. Fly into Valletta then head to Cirkewwa for a 25-minute ferry hop to the equally alluring but far less busy Mediterranean isle. Take a stroll around the 500-year-old citadel before heading down to St George’s Square for a pint of Cisk lager and some live local music. Wrap things up with dinner at The Boathouse in Xlendi Bay (book a table by the water’s edge) and finish with a sunset stroll along the cliff walk that starts by the restaurant.
Know before you go: At the time of writing, there is no need for travellers from the UK to self-isolate on arrival in Malta or when back in the UK. You may need to wear a face mask in certain public spaces. Visit the UK government’s website for the latest information.

This article has been tagged Destination, Travel Tips