Luxury holiday destinations: Where to go and when


Settle on your ideal luxury holiday destination with a helping hand from our guide to Europe’s top choices…

Planning on booking a summer getaway? You’ll find a whole host of places that showcase the finer things. Luxury holiday destinations come in all shapes and sizes, offering excellent sunshine hours between June and October, culinary marvels, city sights, chic shopping opportunities, great golf and more.


Lake Garda

Luscious lemon groves and an illustrious lake paint a picture of sheer bliss in Lake Garda. Throughout summer, the days are hot, the glistening water is warm enough for a dip and the evenings are mild.

Spend time relaxing by the shores of Sirmione and exploring old historic sites such as fairytale-esque Scaligeri Castle. And Monte Baldo cable car ride will afford you unrivalled views of Malcesine. As for the food, well, it’s Italy! Expect lemons and olives, while old favourites like bruschetta, creamy pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas won’t be hard to come by.

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Oozing picture book charm, Dubrovnik is a knockout Croatian city with serene beaches right on its doorstep, too. The UNESCO-listed Old Town is the best place to start a getaway here. Work your way around the walls that wrap around the city, where museums are sprinkled about and terracotta-topped buildings create a postcard scene.

Seamlessly move from exploring to relaxing with a trip to popular Banje Beach to catch some rays. Don’t miss the chance to go island-hopping either to one of the gorgeous natural lands across the sparkling water. Lush Lokrum is a firm favourite, dazzling all who venture here with its dense forest and Benedictine monastery.


The Algarve

Stunning golden beaches, quaint old towns, sleek hotels - welcome to the Algarve. Vilamoura is one of the most luxurious resorts and boasts five phenomenal courses as part of the esteemed Dom Pedro Golf offering. Get a taste for the glam beach club life and dine al fresco around the yacht-filled marina.

Albufeira is a shopper’s delight, with the fabulous open-air AlgarveShopping mall leading the way. While if you venture over to enchanting Faro, you can wander around the warren of rustic architectural gems and savour local classics such as grilled sardines.



Dreaming of a green wonderland surrounded by sapphire-hued waters? Madeira is just that. The warm climate of this Portuguese archipelago makes it the ideal pick for a getaway during summer. Peaceful Canical Beach is a picturesque pebbly plot that’s a superb choice for relaxing in the sun or enjoying a stroll.

Madeira’s also known as an adventurer’s haven, with its lush levadas providing the perfect backdrop to a hike. But if you’d prefer a go-slow round of golf, the 27-hole Santo da Serra course has bragging rights to epic natural landscapes, while the 18-hole Palheiro Golf Course is perched above gleaming Funchal Bay.



When you close your eyes and picture Greece, it’s likely to be Santorini’s sugar-white villages dangling on the edge of the caldera that you’ll see. This idyllic island’s a luxury playground, stuffed with world-class restaurants, superb wineries, and out-of-this-world views. On the west side, it’s all about pin-up villages topped with sky-blue domes and showstopping sunsets. In the east, it’s a more laid-back affair where the black-sand beaches of Kamari and Perissa beckon. Fira’s the island’s vibrant hub, where swish hotels are carved into the cliffside and designer boutiques flank the streets. Take the cable car down to the old port for an out-of-body experience, as you soar over the edge of the volcano. Soar off here in summer to see Santorini at its best.



Antalya oozes five-star appeal thanks to its winning combination of sweeping scenery, cultural treasures, and spectacular beaches. Traditional Turkish charm can be found in the old-city district of Kaleiçi. Terracotta-topped Ottoman mansions line the cobbled streets and yachts bob in the moon-shaped harbour. Glitz and glamour are on full display in Lara Beach, nicknamed ‘Turkey’s Las Vegas’ because of its themed hotels and all-day, all-night entertainment. Ruins and relics more your thing? Then head for Side, where the Old Town boasts the 2,000-year-old Temple of Apollo. Take a walk here at sunset to admire the ruins in all their glory as the sun paints the marble in candyfloss colours.

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Mainland Spain

From flop-and-drop breaks to adventurous escapes, you can experience it all and more in mainland Spain. Holidays often revolve around the countless Costas but choosing between them can be tricky! Sun-seekers make a beeline for the Costa Blanca’s beaches and in the Costa del Sol, golf getaways are a given. There’s no shortage of cultural-rich cities either,- bustling Barcelona’s best for sightseeing sprees while Alicante’s a stylish spot for label-loving shoppers. Fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie? The country’s diverse landscape produces a plethora of treats for the taste buds. Try shrimp-stuffed paellas in Nerja, tomato-topped gazpacho in Mojacar and sauce-soaked patatas bravas in Salou, all swigged down with a glass of fruity sangria.



Lively resorts? Tick. Cultural treasures? Tick. Spectacular sights? Double tick! This jewel of the Canaries more than delivers when it comes to fun in the sun. Beaches play a starring role here, from Playa de los Gigantes’ inky-black sweeps to the swathes of golden sands at Playa del Duque. When it comes to dramatic scenery, Tenerife’s snow-capped Mount Teide is a crown-clincher. The lunar-like landscape is a hiker’s haven, but if you don’t fancy the trek there’s a cable car that will whizz you straight to the summit. In the sunny south, you’ll find a trio of resorts that are a hit with the Brits. Costa Adeje’s A-lister approved, flushed with five-star retreats that have welcomed everyone from the Beckhams to Mariah Carey.

Posted: 1st Mar 2022. Updated: 6th Oct 2023.

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