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Our little black book of enchanting places

Catch some October sun

Posted in DESTINATIONS By Maggie O' Sullivan

It might be October, but summer is not quite done in southern Europe yet. So sun hats on, factor 30 at the ready: here’s where to catch a few last-minute rays.

Sani Dunes, HalkidikiGREECE It’s no secret how much we love Sani Resort, set in a beautiful ecological reserve on Halkidiki’s Kassandra Peninsula. Earlier this year the resort opened a fifth hotel, Sani Dunes, which boasts the largest largest outdoor pool in Greece, an exclusive spa, private beach, three restaurants, bar and indoor heated pool. And there’s no real hurry: October temperatures are around 22C but the winters here are mild with plenty of bright sunshine. The Phoenicia, MaltaMALTA Temperatures are around 21C in mid-October with an average five hours of sun a day. The place to stay is The Pheonicia, just outside Valetta. This is Malta’s grande-dame hotel and was a great favourite of the then Princess Elizabeth when she and the Duke of Edinburgh were based on the island. It has recently been substantially renovated by new owners CampbellGray Hotels, who have succeeded in adding all the 21st-century comforts without destroying its grand, early 20th-century vibe. Don’t worry if temperatures do drop a little: The Phoenicia is the only hotel in Malta with a heated outdoor pool.Marbella Club, Costa del SolSPAIN The Costa del Sol offers daily temperatures of around 22F in October. We’re very fond of the Marbella Club, on the Golden Mile, partly because it has something to offer every kind of holidaymaker: sea, sand, golf, riding, swimming, gastronomy and wellness – oh and a promise to provide ‘320 days of vitamin D-drenched sunshine a year’.Ritz-Carlton Abama, TenerifeTENERIFE The Canaries are perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re one of the best bets for October sunseekers, with temperatures of 26.6°C not uncommon in October. The Moorish-inspired, apricot-hued Ritz-Carlton Abama, perched above Tenerife’s south coast, offers out-and-out luxury, with one of the best golf courses in Spain, a world-class spa, 10 restaurants, including two Michelin-star options and a funicular whisk you down to the hotel’s private beach. Ocean Suites, Pine Cliffs Resort, AlgarveALGARVE You might get soaring temperatures here in October though a pleasant 20F is more likely. Stay at Pine Cliffs Resort, set on a cliff top, surrounded by pine trees and panoramic views of the Algarve, with direct access to a lovely sandy beach, a prestigious 9-hole golf course and a tennis academy. If you’d prefer to self-cater, book into the new Ocean Suites which give full access to the resort’s facilities. Casa Badiola Golf House at L'Andana, TuscanyITALY October is a good time to visit Tuscany: expect bright, sunny days and cooler nights (with the odd downpour). One of the loveliest hotels is L'Andana, just outside Grosseto, in the Meremma, but if you’d prefer a little more independence, go for Casa Badiola Golf House, above, nextdoor, where each room has its own kitchen as well as a private outside area. It has its own swimming pools as well as a Kid’s Club and guests are welcome to use the ESPA spa and dining facilities in the main hotel.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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