Post-Summer Getaways: France, Spain + Portugal

As the summer winds to a close, one way to beat the fall blues is by jetting off for a short break. It refreshes the mind, doesn’t need to break the bank, and lets you skip the summer crowds. So where should you go?

Well, there’s no shortage of choice, but the old favorites might be your best bet. France, Spain, and Portugal are all but a short flight away and each have countless great destinations within. But to keep things simple, here are three specific destinations you should consider for your post-summer holiday:

Côte d’Azur, France

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With the combination of glitz and glamour, not to mention lovely weather well into the fall, the French Riviera is an excellent choice for a post summer trip. An ever-popular destination with tourists, you’ll notice the crowds dissipate as August turns into September, and this is perhaps the best time of all to visit. The Côte d’Azur is much more than a single destination, and you’ll find the coast has a glittering array of jewels in its crown.

From the pastel-coloured Old Port of Saint-Tropez, the city sites and promenades of Nice, the upmarket glamour of Monaco, the super -yachts moored at Cannes, to the inland vinyards and medieval villages of Provence, this beguiling part of France is perfect for an invigorating break.

Lisbon, Portugal

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The Portuguese capital offers a first-class city break. Thanks to its elevation across seven hills, the city is bursting with beautiful viewpoints. Wandering through its winding streets is a rewarding activity in itself. But Lisbon offers far more than just that.

Thanks to its long and storied history, Lisbon doesn’t want for historical sites. The Torre de Belem is a must see, with the fortified tower being one of the Portuguese capital’s most iconic sites. Why not also take a trip on Tram 28 and take in some of Lisbon’s most attractive and historic neighbourhoods – like Baixa and Alfama – from the comfort of a 1930s wooden tram?

If you’d prefer some relaxation, then why not hit one of the many beaches close by. Praia da Adraga overs a beautifully unspoilt beach only seven miles away, and nearby Portinho da Arrabiba offers some of the clearest waters in Europe.

Lanzarote, Spain

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Slightly further afield lies Lanzarote. Thanks to its location off the coast of Africa, this Canary Island offers year-long sunshine and is the perfect place to unwind. Like any tourist hotspot, the crowds begin to thin after the summer high season, and there may well be good deals on packages to be found. With plenty first-class resorts, accommodation should be no problem, and once you get their you’ll be greeted by a magical island.

One site you have to visit is the breath-taking Mirador del Rio. Created by beloved local son César Manrique, this 500-metre-high viewpoint offers stunning views across the Atlantic and over nearby island La Graciosa. It also has a café to let you sit and enjoy the view.

Closer to sea level you’ll find a whole host of unspoilt beaches to relax on, and further inland plenty of quality vinyards to sample. There are few destinations quite as ideal for an autumn break as Lanzarote.

Now that I’ve planted the seeds, where are you going to be buying your tickets to?