Silvery lakes, soaring mountains, pine forests, and a coastline crammed full of beaches – it could only be Montenegro. Holidaymakers have been flocking to Croatia for the last few years, but now its under-the-radar Baltic neighbour is coming into its own. The liveliest resort in Montenegro is Budva, where you’ll find a glitzy yacht-packed harbour and a history-soaked medieval town. For a low-key break, pick Petrovac which is all about the quiet, secluded coves. And, if you’re planning a family trip, head to our sister site First Choice to check out the brand-new Holiday Village Montenegro resort in Ulcinj which officially opens in summer 2018, and will be debuting all the classic Holiday Villages facilities like an Aerial Adventure course, à la carte eateries and swim-up rooms.
If you want more from your holiday than a fly-and-flop retreat, pick Costa Rica as your destination of choice. In this Central American country, there are plenty of once-in-a-lifetime adventures to be had, from zip-lining over treetops and taking a dip in the Tabacon hot springs, to spotting rare species of plant and animal life on a jungle expedition. Pick a Multi-Centre tour and you can combine beaches and national parks in one trip. On the Pacific Explorer Tour & Stay trip, you’ll see the best of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and amazing wildlife, and then get your tan on at Guanacaste’s best beaches.
Swap the Greek Islands for the lesser known Halkidiki on Greece’s mainland, and you’ll be able to enjoy secluded, tourist-free beaches and snap photos of the stunning scenery before all your friends. You’ve got a duo of peninsulas to choose from in this region – Sithonia, which is full of tiny fishing villages, and Kassandra, the most popular, which is known for its gorgeous beaches. On Kassandra, you’ll find the stylish Sani Beach hotel, which is set right on a seven-kilometre Blue Flag Beach. There’s so much to do at this place, from traditional resort activities like tennis and volleyball, right through to scuba diving, visiting an onsite farm and bird watching. There’s even an open-air theatre that puts on full-blown performances of famous musicals – you probably won’t even need to leave the resort.
You don’t have to go long haul for perfect weather and footprint-free beaches. Cape Verde boasts year-round sunshine and some seriously pretty white sand numbers for you to relax on. The flight time from London is six hours and the time difference is just one hour, so you won’t have to worry about jet lag, either. Sal is the biggest island of the ten-strong archipelago, and has its own eight-kilometre stretch of sand. Our adults-only TUI SENSIMAR Cabo Verde resort is the perfect hotel for couples or groups of friends. It boasts a coveted beachfront spot along with two pools for you to choose from, and three top à la carte restaurants.
Lonely Planet named Mauritius as one of its best places to visit in 2018, so make next year the year you finally book that trip. While this tropical island is synonymous with honeymoons, thanks to its beautiful beaches and boutique hotels, it offers so much more to see and do. If you’re a culture vulture, you can tick off the colourful Tamil temples, see every shade of sand at the Chamarel Coloured Earths, and fill your Instagram with snaps of the old colonial architecture. Animal lovers will enjoy seeing parakeets, pink pigeons and Aldabra giant tortoises at the Île aux Aigrettes national park. And foodies can taste test the island’s distinct African, French, Chinese and Indian cuisine. The country is celebrating its 50th year of independence in 2018, so there will be street parties and parades to mark the special event.
The adults-only TUI SENSIMAR Cabo Verde in Cape Verde is right on the beach and boasts three à la carte restaurants.
The stylish Sani Beach in Halkidiki is set right on a seven-kilometre Blue Flag Beach, and has its own open-air theatre.
The Riu Palace Costa Rica has a peaceful setting right on the beach. Enjoy dining in the four à la carte restaurants or chill by one of the four outdoor pools.
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