Summer is over, but September promises a last taste of the season if you play your cards right. The weather is just a touch cooler and the beaches a little less busy, making this the time for your best escape of the year.
This resort and port city boasts a picturesque and impressively renovated old town. Take a walk along the promenade or head north to check out the stunning Batumi Botanical Garden, which is home to plants from all over the world. This place is also known as the Las Vegas of the Black Sea – great for those who want to get their gamble on.
Lublin offers all of Poland’s charm, without the crowds. Stroll through the historic Old Town, catch a local match at the football stadium or take in the city’s majestic history with a tour of Lublin Castle.
One of the oldest cities in Hungary, Esztergom is nicknamed Hungarian Rome and is home to the beautiful Esztergom Basilica. The Mária Valéria Bridge connects the city with Slovakia so you can actually cross the border on foot.
Many travellers only drive through Split on the way to Hvar or Vis, but the bustling Croatian city is a destination in and of itself. Don’t miss the Palace of Diocletian, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Marjan Forest Park Nature Reserve.
Beirut is often overlooked by tourists, but it is a vibrant and affordable beach city that ought not to be missed. The people are friendly, the food delicious and the nightlife goes on until morning.
The Baroque city of Trapani is a seaside jewel in Sicily’s crown. Take a dip in the Med followed by a bowl of al dente (just cooked) spaghetti before exploring one of the historical churches.
Once a prominent stop on the Silk Road, Bukhara is less well known than Tashkent but equally teeming with impressive architecture. Check out the Lyab i-Hauz, set around one of the city’s few remaining hauz (ponds).
Located off the coast of East Africa, Zanzibar is a beach bum’s dream come true. Known by some as the Spice Island, you can expect your fresh seafood to be perfectly seasoned and your daily meals to come alive with flavour.
Be among the first to take advantage of what is been dubbed the new Croatia. Swim or boat over to the nearby island of Ksamil for one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe or soak in Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history at the ruins of Butrint.
Think sun-drenched, white-sand beaches are the preserve of Caribbean islands? Enter Chintheche. Go for a quick dip in Lake Malawi and sip a drink in the relaxing atmosphere, all for a friendly price.
One of the few affordable spots left on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is a dolce vita fantasy. Munch on the last of this summer’s tomatoes, swim in the sea and stroll the cobbled roads with a gelato in hand.