September holidays in the sun

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September holidays in the sun

… of course you do. We have found 25 trips that seek the late-summer heat, from the Med to Mauritius

Med cruise — 25°C

Douglas Ward, author of the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships, has described a trip aboard the Crystal Serenity as the equivalent of a week in a Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton hotel. This eight-night sailing departs from Barcelona on September 11, calling at Palma, Sorrento, Taormina, Corfu, Dubrovnik and Venice. Book by August 30 and fares start at £3,102pp, a saving of £576, with Crystal Cruises (020 7399 7601, crystalcruises.co.uk).
Flight time: 2 hours

Liguria, Italy — 24°C
If your perfect holiday involves elegance, style and impeccable service, you’ll love the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa, a shrimp-pink edifice with a rooftop pool opposite Portofino, at the discreet end of the Italian Riviera. Classic Collection Holidays (0800 294 9323, classic-collection.co.uk) is offering seven nights for the price of five for September 12 departures; from £799pp, B&B, including flights.
Flight time: 2 hours

Aracena, Spain — 32°C
The real Spain lies in the wooded valleys of the Sierra de Aracena National Park, north of Seville and hard against the Portuguese border. Here, life moves to the rhythm of the moon and the whims of the season. Nature tolerates man, and the result is an earthly paradise. Your guides are Nick and Hermione Tudor, who offer walking, riding, yoga and pure loafing holidays at Finca El Moro (fincaelmoro.com). A week in a cottage for two starts at £500. Fly to Seville with easyJet or Ryanair.
Flight time: 2½ hours

Casares, Spain — 26°C
Never mind the awful name — the DDG Retreat (00 34 659 168217, ddgretreat.com), a tropical garden in the Sierra Crestellina, above Casares, in Andalusia, is said by many to be the most romantic place in the world. Six utterly private casitas with stocked wine fridges are scattered amid the banana plants, with views over Gibraltar to Africa. Facilities include a pool, a spa, a sauna and hammam, and a simple restaurant; a week’s self-catering starts at £438pp. Airlines flying to Malaga include British Airways and Jet2.
Flight time: 2½ hours

Alentejo, Portugal — 28°C
No time for a week off? Take a hedonistic long weekend instead, at the Convento do Espinheiro, in the secret foodie hotspot of Evora. The former convent retains its connections with the divine: try a gold-nectar massage in the Diana Spa, a candlelit wine tasting in the cellar or an ambrosial dinner for two at the Divinus restaurant. Sunvil Discovery (020 8758 4722, sunvil.co.uk) has four nights, departing on September 19, from £616pp, B&B, including flights, car hire, one dinner, a wine tasting and a spa treatment for each guest.
Flight time: 2½ hours

Lazio, Italy — 27°C
The couple who cook together stay together, so cement your love with carbs on a luxury cooking holiday from GoLearnTo.com (0845 625 0445). You’ll be cooking dishes such as zuppa di pane, sagne e fagioli and salsiccia con patate e peperoni in a professional kitchen at an 18th-century home in the medieval village of Castro dei Volsci. A week costs £1,330pp, full-board, including transfers and tuition. Airlines flying to Rome include easyJet and Alitalia.
Flight time: 2½ hours

Sicily — 27°C
Borgo San Vito, a three-bedroom villa on the island’s northwestern tip, isn’t a luxury property. No designer has been near the place, the gardens are wild and the pool lacks infinity. The unhip seaside town of San Vito lo Capo is a short cycle ride away, it’s three miles to an unfashionable beach — and you will adore every bit of it. Quality Villas (01442 870055, qualityvillasitaly.com) has a week at the end of September from £1,365. Fly to Palermo with Ryanair or easyJet.
Flight time: 2½ hours

Umbria, Italy — 24°C
Winner of this feature’s Ludicrously Romantic Escape prize is Renato’s Tower, a five-storey medieval high-rise in Borgo San Biagio that sleeps two, with a hot tub on the terrace and predictably gorgeous Umbrian views. If you can bear to go out, there’s also a shared pool. CV Travel (020 7401 1099, cvtravel.co.uk) has a week from September 21 for £995, self-catering. Fly to Florence with British Airways.
Flight time: 2½ hours

Zadar, Croatia — 25°C
Sail Croatia (0800 193 8289, sail-croatia.com) reckons September is the perfect time to explore the northern isles of Molat, Mali Losinj, Cres, Krk, Rab and Pag, snorkelling in secluded bays and swimming ashore for exhilarating bike rides to rural tavernas for long lunches. A week costs £409pp, B&B, including activities and guides. Fly to Split with Wizz Air.  Flight time: 2½ hours

Montenegro — 26°C
Montenegro is emerging as one of the Mediterranean’s hottest destinations, with no shortage of billionaire investors building world-class hotels. The Avala Resort & Villas, in Budva, is one of them. Its facilities include three pools, a spa and a rather good cocktail bar. And it’s cheap. Wexas Travel (020 7838 5892, wexas.com) has a week from £579pp, B&B, including flights, for departures from September 14.
Flight time: 3 hours

Ithaca, Greece — 28°C
Legend has it that Odysseus landed in Dexa Bay, on the Ionian island of Ithaca, to hide his war plunder in a cave on the slopes above. It’s something to ponder beside the pool at the pretty Villa Aretusa, 15 minutes above the same bay. If you can’t let the matter drop, the cave is 20 minutes uphill. Good luck. Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays (020 8459 0777, ionianislandholidays.com) has a week from September 21 for £756pp, including flights, car hire and a welcome hamper.
Flight time: 3½ hours

Mykonos, Greece — 26°C
In Mykonos, you want to be ensconced in a dazzling white boutique property that looks like the backdrop for a Vogue swimwear shoot. That place is Grace Mykonos, which makes all its guests feel like beautiful people. Spend the days soaking up the sun and the views, and the evenings sampling the town’s ultra-hedonistic nightlife. Abercrombie & Kent (0845 485 1143, abercrombiekent.co.uk) has five nights from £795pp, B&B, including flights.
Flight time: 4 hours

Kalkan, Turkey — 30°C
Kalkan is a pretty, bougainvillea-clad harbour town in Lycia, and the Oasis is a boutique hotel hidden in a labyrinth of fragrant passageways. The secret is to book one of the two ground-floor suites, which have private plunge pools, but if you prefer to swim in the ocean, there’s free entrance to the elegant Yali Beach Club. Anatolian Sky Holidays (0844 273 3586, anatoliansky.co.uk) has a week in a suite for £651pp, B&B, including flights, departing on September 23.
Flight time: 4 hours

St Lucia —31°C
Anse Chastanet is the beach resort with magnificent views of the Pitons, the pair of jungle-covered volcanic plugs on St Lucia’s west coast. They’re visible from your suite, from the beach, and from the bar, from which, on occasion, you may see four of them. Tropic Breeze (01752 880880, tropicbreeze.co.uk) has a week for just £1,359pp, half-board — a saving of £550 — for departures before October 15.
Flight time: 8 hours

Barbados — 31°C
Remember the Almond Beach Club, at the posh end of Barbados? Great location, shabby service? The property is under new management and has been renamed the Club, Barbados Resort & Spa. It has three pools, a spa, and a tiny beach with free watersports — and the gorgeous Sandy Lane beach is right next door. An all-inclusive week costs £1,099pp with Tropical Sky (0843 636 4220, tropicalsky.co.uk).
Flight time: 8½ hours

Huvafen Fushi, in the MaldivesHuvafen Fushi, in the Maldives (Michel Renaudeau)Miami — 31°C
Flight prices to America drop in September, making it an ideal month for a road trip. Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194, bon-voyage.co.uk) is offering a luxury nine-night fly-drive to Miami from £1,595pp, room-only, with two nights at the art-deco Park Central hotel, on South Beach; two at the Coconut Palm Inn, near Key Largo; three at the Azul Key West; and two at the Postcard Inn Islamoradas. Crucially, hire of a convertible is included.
Flight time: 8½ hours

Watamu, Kenya — 29°C
Slowly but surely, Kenya is going upmarket. Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri has raised the bar in the Masai Mara, and now we have Medina Palms showing the Kenyan coast how eco-luxury is done. Located on the fabulous Watamu Beach, the ultra-luxurious resort is still in its soft-opening phase, which means you can get a deal. Red Savannah (01242 787800, redsavannah.com) has a week from £1,880pp, B&B.
Flight time: 8½ hours

Masai Mara, Kenya — 25°C
If you’ve never seen the Great Migration — aka the greatest natural show on earth — here’s your chance. Exodus (0845 863 9601, exodus.co.uk) is running what amounts to a long weekend in the Mara for £1,949pp, departing on September 4. Sandwiched between two overnight flights are three all-inclusive nights in a luxury tented camp, six game drives and, if you’re lucky, a couple of crossings.
Flight time: 8½ hours

The Maldives — 30°C
If you’re going all the way to the Maldives, you need to do it right. You need a beach you can call your own. You need a private pool. You need a butler to mix your drinks and, above all, you need an underwater spa. Which brings us to Huvafen Fushi. ITC Classics (01244 355527, itcclassics.co.uk) has a September week in a Deluxe Beach Bungalow from £3,189pp, half-board — saving £1,610.
Flight time: 10½ hours

Kuchchaveli, Sri Lanka — 30°C
Huge investment is transforming Sri Lanka’s little-known east coast, opening up a part of Asia every bit as mysterious as Burma. The Jungle Beach Resort is the first hotel to open here. An eco-friendly property on a beach where elephants still come to bathe, it offers innovative cuisine and superb cocktails. Fleewinter (020 7112 0019,fleewinter.com) has a week from £1,239pp, B&B.
Flight time: 11 hours

Praslin, Seychelles — 27°C
You know what you’re getting with the Seychelles — white beaches, sapphire seas, coconut palms and superb seafood. You’re also getting a pretty good deal: £500 off a week at the Constance Ephelia resort, with Just Seychelles (020 8840 0969,justseychelles.com). A week starts at £1,749pp, half-board, departing on September 22.
Flight time: 11½ hours

Rio de Janeiro — 25°C
Kick off your Brazil tour with four nights’ B&B in Rio, staying at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, before flying down to the Iguaçu Falls for a couple of nights’ B&B at the exclusive Hotel das Cataratas, the only property on the Brazilian side allowing 24-hour access to the falls. Tear yourself away and head north to the Pantanal for three nights’ all-inclusive jaguar-spotting at the Caiman Ecological Reserve. Prices start at £3,980pp with Bespoke Brazil (01603 340680, bespokebrazil.com).
Flight time: 11½ hours

Madagascar — 25°C
Tsarabanjina is a private island, 90 minutes by boat from Nosy Be, off Madagascar’s northwest coast. The choice of activities is almost endless: you can lie in a hammock, go snorkelling, read a book, lie in a hammock, go snorkelling or circumnavigate the island in 45 minutes. Audley (01993 838585, audleytravel.com) has nine days from £3,672pp.
Flight time: 12 hours

Mauritius — 23°C
The new St Regis Mauritius Resort has a lot going for it. First, the location, on a turquoise lagoon. Second and third, the Iridium spa and Simply India, run by the Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. Fourth, the butlers, who, it’s said, never say no. We could go on. It won’t be scorching, but it’ll be no lower than 18C at night. That also means it’s a five-star steal. LuxuryHolidaysDirect.com (020 8774 7297) has a week in a junior suite for £1,619pp, half-board.
Flight time: 12 hours

Western Australia — 32°C
Tropical Broome is where the outback ends in the 14 miles of white sands at Cable Beach. Get there for September 20 and you’ll see the magnificent Staircase to the Moon, when the whole town turns out to watch the optical illusion created as the full moon rises over the mud flats. Travelbag (0871 703 4240, travelbag.co.uk) has a night at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Perth Scarborough and six at the Pinctada Cable Beach Resort and Spa, in Broome, from £1,369pp, room-only.
Flight time: 17½ hours

Temperatures: the average daily maximum for September
Flight times: from London. For regional departures, contact the operator