Summer holidays to book in spring

BY Richard Mellor

1st Jan 2015 Travel

Summer holidays to book in spring

Spring is here! Time to bag some bargain holidays before you miss out! Travel expert Richard Mellor gives his tips for bagging a summer holiday bargain.

Spring is a happy time – a time of bluebells, lambs, bank holidays, Easter egg hunts and Grand National gambles. But it can also be a time tinged with disappointment: disappointment that the best villas, hotels and adventures have all booked up for summer already. To dodge such sadness, you must reserve the best places now. Right now!



Tuscany remains ever-popular, and especially its rarest commodity: smaller villas with pools. Specialist To Tuscany reports just two free mid-August weeks, for instance, at the four-person Granaio at Palazzo a Merse, part of a restored watermill, and boasting a private terrace and shared pool. It’s a bargain at £585 per week, too.

What about Greece? In the spectacular Pelion region, Real Holidays has just a pair of weeks left at four-bed bolthole Villa Daphne where, from the private pool, a short footpath winds down via olive groves to a secret cove below. You’ve also little time to snaffle a place on the best Greek islands. Sunvil reports just a few August seven-day slots remaining at Crete’s bargain Afrodite Apartments, where perks include a pool, family units and numerous sandy coves nearby.

Villa Daphne


One of Spain-Holiday's most popular properties is the Linda Vista Villa, in the southern town of Marbella: a spacious, five-bed family favourite perfectly situated for beachcombing and town-going trips alike. Certain August weeks continue to be available – for now. Read about road trip adventures in Spain.

Linda Vista Villa Marbella


Even the best staycations are flying off the shelves

One of Brecon Beacons Cottages’ most popular rentals in Old Crofftau, a 17th century stone farm building with original oak beams, a ‘60s Wurlitzer juke box and sensational views. As a mountain stream trickles by behind, buzzards soar overhead. Just a few summer days are free. Find hidden gems in Wales.

Brecon Beacons Old Crofftau



Time’s also running out to get a summer room at Europe’s best boutique hotels. Mr & Mrs Smith reports that the Amalfi Coast’s cliffside Monastero Santa Rosa – beloved for its restaurant and infinity pool – to be already three-quarters full, while i-Escape’s beachfront Hostal Empuries in Catalonia, Spain is equally sought-after. A combination of Chesterfield sofas, yoga classes, a secluded beach, a spa and a kids’ club help explain the popularity.

Monastero Santa Rosa



Certain trips further afield require equal urgency.

In Peru, summer’s the peak time to trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu but, with only 500 daily permits issued, space is sorely limited. June & July’s permits have already vanished; it won’t be long until August’s go too. Including a four-day version of the trek, ResponsibleTravel.com still has availability on family holidays to Peru departing on 1, 8 and 15 August. Age-wise, think teenagers and upwards. Read more about deepest darkest Peru.

Mahu Picchu


Adventure group-tour operator Exodus has launched a new family version of its Mount Kilimanjaro ascent along the Lemosho route. Aimed at children aged 13 or above, this eight-day climb takes in icefields, volcanic caldera and the fabled summit of Africa’s highest peak. But with just two departures this summer, interested parties must act fast.


So there we are… Hang on. Why are you still reading this? Get booking!

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