Croatia’s only recently become one of Europe’s must-visit hotspots, so it’s no surprise that there are still plenty of gems left to uncover. Kvarner Bay, nestled up at the north of the country, offers bright blue waters which are home to pods of bottlenose dolphins. Hop between the network of islands to visit quiet fishing villages and sandy beaches, or head inland to the bars and markets. Rab Island, the home of the new TUI SENSIMAR Carolina, is the perfect place for your summer getaway – explore picturesque Rab Town's winding streets, quaint shops and restaurants, and climb the historic bell towers for some stunning bay views. And, if you prefer getting off the beaten track, Kvarner Bay’s got plenty of opportunities to leave the crowds behind. Try hiking to hidden lakes within the forest-covered mountains, or exploring local vineyards.
Italy’s southern coast leads the pack when it comes to mainland beach breaks. The Calabria region has managed to stay under the tourist radar so far, but its combination of sandy stretches and rustic charm has recently started to cause a stir. Beaches in Capo Vaticano and Tropea flaunt Caribbean-quality credentials, but there’s plenty to keep visitors busy away from the coast, too. Most towns are perched on clifftops, with impressive views, and they’re home to historic sites like Norman cathedrals and 15th-century castles. Foodies won’t be disappointed either, with sweet red onions, hot peppers, and chilli pork sausages representing the region’s food scene.
Miles of soft sand lined with palm trees, national parks full of wild elephants, and towering ancient monuments are just a glimmer of the offerings in Sri Lanka. There are plenty of traditional spots to explore during the day, but head to the Hikkaduwa region to experience the country’s nightlife scene. Bars and restaurants line the promenade, and you can expect beach parties and festivals, including the Hikkaduwa Beach Fest, featuring international DJs, which takes place every summer. You won’t miss out on Sri Lanka’s authentic side either, as Hikkaduwa has Buddhist temples and food stalls to explore. Plus, there’s loads to keep watersports enthusiasts happy, from surfing to snorkelling and diving.
Just a two-and-a-half hour flight from the UK, Majorca’s a well-known hotspot for sunseekers. It’s more than just a fly-and-flop break though, as Majorca’s got a hidden side worth exploring. Alcudia effortlessly blends the island’s best bits – spend your day relaxing on the seven kilometre-long beach that runs from the marina and through a nature reserve, or stretch your legs by walking the trails, keeping an eye out for marsh frogs and purple herons hidden in the lagoons. Over in Alcudia’s old town, explore the cobbled streets that wind through the city walls, and cross squares filled with markets, cafés and boutiques. Plus, don’t miss the parish church of Sant Jaume, and the ancient ruins of Roman city, Pollentia.
If you fancy rubbing shoulders with Hollywood A-listers on your next holiday, make tracks for Los Cabos, on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. There are two big names in the region worth exploring. Cabo San Lucas pleases party-goers with its exciting nightlife scene, with a themed club or bar for almost every occasion – plus, you might get lucky and spot a celebrity or two. Meanwhile, quieter San José del Cabo has a more authentic feel, with colonial architecture, local art, and a delicious food scene to dive into. And experiencing both is easy. Just twenty miles run between the two resorts – and the road is littered with world-class golf courses.
When it comes to archaeological sites, the Lost City of the Incas – more commonly known as Machu Picchu – is one of the world’s most impressive. Found deep within the Andes Mountains on the Inca trail, the site is home to ancient Inca ruins that date back centuries. Tourists can hike up to the site following the footsteps of historian Hiram Bingham, who discovered it in 1911. Once you’ve reached the summit, you’ll be treated to dramatic views of the Andes and can explore remains of the buildings and public squares. Make time for the museum at the bottom of the trek, too, to learn about the history of the site.
Ready to make 2019 your best travel year yet?
Browse the list of destinations we have on offer around the world, and find out why you should book your summer 2019 holiday early. And, if you fancy going on a few short breaks next year, take a look at our list of our favourite long weekend escapes...
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Author: Lizzie Butler
The TUI MAGIC LIFE Calabria will line up a packed-to-the-rafters activity programme and an impressive five restaurants, just a pebble-skim from the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The TUI SENSIMAR Carolina feels like an exclusive hideaway. It's perched on the shores of a tree-smothered island, with views of Kvarner Bay.
The Riu Sri Lanka boasts an excellent beachfront location, modern rooms and a fantastic dining scene.
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