by Mary Novakovich, The Independent, March 1, 2017
Only a few more weeks to go till it’s spring, but it won’t come soon enough if you’re in need of a good blast of heat. While parts of Europe are warming up, only the southernmost reaches will be especially warm. If you want something more exotic, have a look at some of these ideas for a proper dose of sun.
The view from hotel Ta' Cenc (Hotel Ta Cenc Facebook)
Feel time slow down in Malta’s sister island, where the pace is agreeably languid and temperatures are starting to rise. The five-star Ta’ Cenc hotel near Sannat on the southern coast features a private beach as well as two outdoor pools and a spa complex. From here, it’s easy to reach the island’s star attractions including the Azure Window and the red sands of Ramla Beach. Classic Collection has seven nights’ B&B from £589pp, including flights and transfers, departing 15 March.
After unpredictable winter weather, March is dry and sunny in Vietnam. First-time visitors can try a classic tour of the country that takes in the main sights with a few fun experiences along the way. Experience Travel has a 14-night holiday that departs 7 March and includes seeing Hoi An by Vespa, a night in a junk in Halong Bay, sailing in the Mekong Delta and a foodie tour of Hanoi. The price of £2,670pp includes flights, transport, experiences and some meals.
Varadero is so hot right now (Getty)
Combine a few days in buzzing Havana with some chilled-out beach time in one of Cuba’s laid-back resorts. Start at the stately, 19th-century Florida Hotel in Old Havana before heading off to the smooth sands of Varadero at the all-inclusive Iberostar Tainos Hotel. The Holiday Place has three nights in Havana and four at Varadero from £1,299pp, including flights and transfers, departing 4 March.
Evade the searing heat of the United Arab Emirates by visiting Dubai before temperatures become unbearable. In December, the luxurious Al Naseem hotel became the latest addition to the Madinat Jumeirah resort and features classy Arabian styling and its own beach. Travelbeam has seven nights half-board, flights and transfers, from £2,270pp, departing 2 March.
Book now for June
Trullo Noce is picture perfect Puglia and will be warm in June (Long Travel)
Avoid high summer’s crowds and intense heat with a June break in one of Italy’s most appealing regions. It’s hard to resist the romance of a trullo, a Pugliese round whitewashed house with a conical stone roof. Surround yourself with olive groves and views of the Adriatic at Trullo Noce, a tranquil self-catering property with its own pool. Long Travel offers seven nights at Trullo Noce from £625pp, including flights and car hire.
June brings the dry season to Peru, which makes it an ideal time to for an active holiday. Explore its natural and cultural highlights on a tour that takes you through rainforests, deep in the Urubamba Canyon by raft and into the Sacred Valley by mountain bike. You’ll also visit Machu Picchu and end the journey in the high Andean city of Cusco. Exsus has an 11-night holiday for £3,950pp, which includes flights, transport, breakfast and experiences.
The lavender fields of Provence will be warm in June (although lavender season comes later) (Getty)
Get yourself in the mood for the summer’s Tour de France with a cycling holiday in Provence. If the Luberon’s hills seem too daunting to tackle on two wheels, go for the electric option. You’ll still need to pedal, but going uphill will be considerably easier. Headwater has a six-night self-guided cycling holiday through the hilltop villages of the Luberon, taking in the exquisite village of Gordes and the ochre landscape of Roussillon. The price of £1,409pp includes return flights, breakfast, four evening meals, bikes (with a £50pp surcharge for electric bikes), maps and luggage transfers.
Mary Novakovich is editor at large at 101holidays.co.uk