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Holiday. It Would Be So Nice

Author: Lauren Coleman

Having just returned from a trip in Lisbon, which I’ll share with you all soon, I remembered how refreshing it is to have a break away. It had been about 18 months since I’d got on a plane and the combination of sun, relaxation and adventure was just what I needed.

On Charlotte’s recent beauty travel post, reader Kate recommended Amazon packing cubes which I duly ordered but they didn’t arrive in time for Portugal. Therefore it wouldn’t be cost effective to not put them to good use by booking a holiday would it?!
James and I are now considering a week away in June, maybe going back to the Antalya province of Turkey as we had an incredible holiday in Kalkan a couple of years ago. We’ve also considered going further afield and one of our friends did suggest jetting off to Bali. However nothing is set in stone and so I’m open to suggestions.
If any of you have any recommendations for holiday locations for James and I then I’m all ears. A few pointers below:

  • As we’re only going for a week I’d prefer the flight to be less than 10 hours
  • Warm and ideally sunny climate
  • Happy to laze and lounge on a beach or by the pool but we also like to take in the sights on one or two days
  • Good bars and restaurants for some decent dining and after dinner drinks
  • Quite open to self catering or hotel accommodation

With most if us heading back to work tomorrow I thought we’d all like to look forward to a bit of an escape over the next few months I’d love to know where you’re going on your holidays this year? What was your criteria and where have you booked?
Thank you for any location suggestions you may send my way and I’m looking forward to hearing your 2017 summer holiday plans. Don’t make me too jealous!

{Contributors}
Author
Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman

48 thoughts on “Holiday. It Would Be So Nice

  1. Hi Lauren! I couldn’t agree more that those packing cubes must be put to good use…

    Hope you had a fab time in Lisbon, it’s such an amazing city (and those custard tarts are sooooo tasty!). All the ceramics are to die for too.

    We have just spent a week in Andalucía visiting Seville, Málaga, Granada and lots of
    lovely spots between them. It’s been an amazing holiday (there are loads of photos on Instagram @joyfilledjaunts if you want to take a peek!). We visited the Alhambra yesterday which was the real highlight – stunning blooms in the gardens and take-your-breath-away architecture. You could definitely get a lovely villa in the less touristy beach areas around Málaga for a week and then venture into Granada for the day if you’d rather have a fixed base to make it more relaxing. Málaga has also got really cool. We had an INSANE dinner at the Michelin starred José Carlos García in the harbour and the Pompidou has a fab outpost gallery a few doors down.

    This summer we are going on safari in Kenya and then on to the Seychelles for a few days. I am SO excited, it really will be a dream holiday come true!

    Holiday enabling is my favourite kind and I can’t wait to hear what others have to share…

    1. Oh Katherine, what a gorgeous time you seem to be having.
      And Safari in Kenya? You are going to have an incredible time. Enjoy!

  2. We went to Antalya itself as part of our honeymoon, the new town is a bit of a party destination I think but the old town is beautiful. We also loved Elounda in Crete. Now we have a little one in tow we are off to Centre parcs in May for a week, something I never thought would be for me. We did it last year when she was tiny and it was just so easy being somewhere completely set up for babies/kids so have decided to go again this year. Our little girl is now walking/running/climbing so can’t wait to see what she makes of it this year.Happy holidays xx

    1. I’ve got friends who make Centre Parcs an annual thing as it’s perfect for the little ones. Have a wonderful time x

  3. We’re yet to book a summer holiday this year as our first baby is expected to arrive any day now (i’m 9 days overdue and fed up so dreaming of holidays is nice escapism!!!).
    However if we do go away it’ll probably be to the south of France to a town called Collioure where my family have an apartment. I cannot recommend it enough, sun, sea, food, wine, beautiful scenery and there are lots of things to do and see. Plus only a short flight away.
    X

    1. Ooh have just googled Collioure and what a beautiful place.
      Hoping your new arrival arrives very soon Izzie! x

  4. Have you thought about the amalfi coast? Take in sorrento, positano, Capri? You could also day trip it to Pompeii. Absolutley stunning scenery and fabulous atmosphere for evenings x

    1. We’re off to Italy for a wedding in September so I’d ruled out Italy this year, however it’s at the other end of the country so it’s definitely an area for me to consider. Thanks Claire x

  5. Love a spot of holiday inspo. Plus you’ve just reminded me that I need to order those packing cubes pronto as only a few days till Madrid. Having been to Bali I’d probably say it’s a bit far for a week, nearly 16 hours with changes meant the first few days were spent feeling very lethargic. Mind you if you fancy just lazing that is fine. We spent the first part of our hols in Ubud which was beautiful and lots to see and do and then went on to Lombok and Jimbaran Bay. We stayed here as a treat in Ubud (https://hanginggardensofbali.com). Amazing. Otherwise the South of France is always a great bed or how about Santorini, I’ve always thought it looks amazing. Happy holiday choosing xx

    1. Santorini is just amazing, we loved it there. I want to go back to stay at the Santorini Grace. We stayed at the Mykonos Grace on our honeymoon and it was wonderful. Xx

  6. Oh wow love those packing cubes, we’re off to the Canaries in a few weeks with our 3 kids (terrible parents, taking the kids out of school for 4 days 🙊) and those cubes look perfect for sorting everything in the kids cases. Our main summer holiday this year in August is Sardinia – never been but love all things Italian. If I had a week away sans enfants, just me and husband (I’m daydreaming now!!) then I’d do America East coast – New York for a few days, followed by Long Island for Gatsby exploring and beach fun. Happy holiday shopping!

  7. We’re off to Berlin next week for a couple of days for our abroad holiday, then proper holiday is in costa del Norfolk. (Praying for sun 🙏🏻🙏🏻). We had an amazing holiday in Croatia & Montenegro last summer – Croatia’s islands are so beutiful and in Montenegro we stayed on the lake of Kotor where there was sun & scenery in abundance. Also it’s pretty ‘undiscovered’ so far by brits so you don’t feel too touristy. Plus there’s loads to explore in terms of history & little towns. So if you’re wanting something a bit different I would definitely recommend!

    1. Great shout on Montenegro Becs, I haven’t thought of going there. We had a gorgeous break in Croatia several years ago.
      Have a super time in Berlin x

  8. We went to Bali on honeymoon, apart from Ubud, we weren’t that impressed. We’ve travelled quite a lot and found it a bit blah. Which sounds very spoiled, but I honestly wish we’d not travelled as far after our wedding as we really just wanted to relax and chill and could have done this much closer to home which would have been more relaxing.

    I wish we’d gone to Italy…we love Italy and in particular love Cinque Terre. It’s stunning. For a week I would recommend a two stop trip, there and then into Tuscany. I was sceptical about Tuscany and thought it might be a bit cliched but it was absolutely stunning. We stayed in an agriturismo apartment in Tuscany and it felt like another world.

    1. Snap on Bali and I’ve never found anyone to agree with me! We went there for our honeymoon and aside from Ubud, we weren’t very impressed. Other countries in SE Asia are so much more exciting and have better food options. Xx

        1. I’m a bit late to this but for what it’s worth, we did Indonesia a few years ago and Bali was also not really my thing, very touristy and just plain beaches and touristy things to do in the centre. Much better was Java, we did central and eastern Java as well, and I heartily recommend Mount Bromo at sunrise, Ijen was also fascinating with the sulphur mining. Borobodur and places like that were also great to visit. Not so relaxing as a beach holiday but really fascinating.

  9. I’m off to Florence mid May. I went with a friend last year and loved it – I’ve decided to go back and try and see some of the things I missed (Duomo and Uffizi as the queues were huge) and possibly to buy more hand bags… I’m thinking of visiting Naples in August and doing some day trips, including to Pompeii. I’ll be travelling on my own this time, so I didn’t want to travel huge distances from the airport – 1-2 hours by coach max ideally. I love Italy – I’d definitely recommend going and would happily go back again and again.

  10. I would second recommendations to the Amalfi coast, we got engaged on Capri and it is sooo beautiful and obviously romantic! We’ve got a short break to Barcelona as a delayed honeymoon in a week (without kids, yes!!) and a trip to the Puglia region in Italy where we are staying in a restored Trullo, really cheap option, the whole trip for 4 of us including flights for £750 😀 Good luck with your holiday planning, it’s my favourite thing!

    1. Theresa which trullo? I’ve been searching for a reasonably priced one for a while now!! Please let me know your secret!

  11. We loved Bali A LOT and it makes me sad to hear that people were a little underwhelmed by it, but I can understand it’s perhaps not for everyone.
    Personally I’d say a week isn’t long enough as I would recommend visiting a couple couple of places ~ Ubud which has been mentioned is incredible {we stayed at The Hanging Gardens} and Seminyak comes with such a high recommendation from me. We stayed at The Samaya and absolutely loved the area. So laid back, with a really cool, bohemian feel but without the backpackers… or at least it was like that 5 years ago!
    If you weren’t set on June, I’d 100% say Dubai. But how about Mykonos or Sardinia? We’re headed to Puglia in Italy in June which looks fab! X

    1. Hi Katie, yes maybe Bali is one for us to keep on the wishlist until we have more time.
      Have an amazing time in Italy x

  12. Looking forward to reading about Lisbon – city breaks are brilliant for satisfying the travel bug without too much time away. We’re off to Berlin in July (soooooo excited) then I’ve got a girls weekend away in Amsterdam a few weeks after that and an annual trip to Madrid (the shops, the bars, the food, the streets, the Spanish ❤️❤️) with a girlfriend in October. Might even squeeze in a holiday with Mr L sometime in September too. 2017 has potential to be a great year for holidays!

    But enough of my showing off! If you liked Kalkan (we got married on a gulet in the bay18 years ago – it was quite a different place then!) try Kas along the coast. We had a week there in 2015 and it was just perfect. Amazing food, beautiful sunsets, cool bars – lots of yachties and Turks, so quite cosmopolitan and not as developed as Kalkan, but still geared towards visitors. We stayed in a fabulous airbnb place and had our own little swimming jetty in a tiny cove. I go into a state of instant relaxation the minute I think of it.

    Our favourite place to holiday is the Costa de la Luz in Spain; fly to Gibralter, (you do need a hire car) and airbnb somewhere along the coast. We love Vejer, Cadiz is fab, some beautiful pueblo blancos, Sanlucar is amazing and we adore el Puerto de Santa Maria – a typical Spanish town, where we rarely see/hear English tourists but lots of Spanish – it’s where the Sevillanos holiday. It’s not perfect, but the fact that it’s a place where people live as well as others go on holiday just makes it call to my soul. Can you tell how much I love it? It’s my spiritual home in Spain 😉 Wherever you choose you’ll have a fantastic time.

    1. Wow Anita. You’re going to be a jetsetter this year!
      Thanks for all the recommendations. Some heavenly places in there x

  13. I would second Collioure, although it’s tiny and gets really busy in high season, ditto the Amalfi coast, Capri and Ischia. Greece is one of our favourites, really loved Skopelos and have heard Symi is beautiful too.

    1. Thanks Jackie. We really must do more Greek Islands. We were really disappointed by the northern coast of Corfu a few years ago (though we had a fab holiday thanks to the company). We shouldn’t let it tarnish the rest of Greece!

  14. We went to Formentera a few years back and it’s just amazing. Not a high rise hotel in sight, some of the best beaches I’ve ever experienced, and great for a balance of exploring different parts of the island, and relaxing.

  15. The best time to do Pompeii is January or February as it’s almost deserted then and really magical. There are lots of other sites around Naples that are amazingly atmospheric and beautiful and less crowded- head to Pozzuoli or the Villa Poppaea for something a bit different. And Herculaneum, obviously. You can get to all of them on the Metro. Not on the Metro but stunning is Paestum- the most amazing Greek temples.

    Matera is incredible by the looks of things! And I found Goreme in Cappadocia fascinating and beautiful too.

    Sicily? Siracusa is stunning and the whole island is magical- or so I hear, I’m dying to go! If I do I want to splurge and go to the temples at Agrigento and stay at the Villa Athena- Google it and be amazed! Ideal time to go is now, wild flowers are lush.

    Also google the Adler Bagno Vignoni if you’re considering Tuscany. It’s basically heaven on earth.

    Morocco could be cool- fabulous riad hotels abound… Fez is the ancient capital and an alternative to Marrakech?

    Also Jordan. Spas, scuba diving and Petra. It’s immense.

    Ex archaeological travel researcher (yes it was a dream job…) so a million ideas here!

  16. Ooh I do hope you get on the packing cubes, Lauren! Literally, I cannot remember how to pack now without them.

    I’d really like to go to Oman or Mauritius, both of which are under 10 hours flight I think. I’ve heard really good things about Oman and my sis in law goes to Mauritius nearly every year so it must be nice.

    I’d recommend Kenya but it might be a tight squeeze to pack everything into a week. If you ever get 10 days or two weeks, you can do a three day safari in the Masaai Mara then fly to the coast (takes around an hour) and have some proper R&R there. Flight is only 8 hours and you don’t have to worry about jetlag as it’s only an hour or two ahead of the UK.

    Somewhere closer to home is Madeira, we went for my Mum’s 50th and it was lovely! I went to Fuerteventura in March and liked it more than I thought I would – it’s worth hiring a car as the scenery in-land is much more interesting than around the coast.

    We’re going to the Douro region of Portugal at the end of June as it’s my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary – can’t wait! Hope you have a fab time wherever you decide to go, Lauren. 🙂

  17. Last September we were in Sardinia and really loved it. We had 4 hotels in 2 weeks, as I wanted to see as much as possible. Every hotel and every new place was great and I can recommend Sardina very much. Good food and nice beaches. In 4 weeks, we will fly to Florida and will travel from Miami, to Key West, up to Sarasota, further up to Savannah and then back over Orlando to Miami Beach. I’m looking very much forward to that holiday!

    1. My sister and her husband have been to Sardinia a couple of times and said how wonderful it is.
      Have a great time in the States Mia.

  18. Last year we visited Corsica and I was overwhelmed with how beautiful it was. The sea is so clear – literally unlike anywhere I’ve seen in Europe and as a non-sea swimmer this actually tempted me to well out of my standing depth. I’m not one for returning to the same place (so many places to see!) but we’re actually going back this summer for a relaxing break mid wedding planning.

    1. Years ago my husband James went to Corsica (on a 90th birthday cruise for his friend’s grandmother!) He’s always talked about going back as he mentioned how beautiful it is.
      Have a relaxing break Katie x

    2. Hi Katie

      Just wondering where you would recommend to stay in Corsica? Did you travel around the island or stay in one hotel? It look beautiful!

      1. We stayed in a villa in the hills near Porto Vecchio with my parents but would love to see more of the island! That or we’ve toyed with the idea of a few days on Corsica and then catching a boat to Sardinia for a few days.

        The beach close by was fantastic (as I said, amazing clear water!) and we also visited some natural freshwater pools where it’s easy to find some quite secluded spots for a swim and picnic (google Piscines Naturelles de Cavu).

  19. The South of France is always a good idea in June. Lovely weather, just warm enough to take a dip in the Sea and enjoy the rest of the day at the beach or lazing around the pool. You’ll certainly avoid massive tourist crowds around that time of the year so jetting around Cannes and Monte Carlo is still a treat. Visit Grasse, Mougins, Saint Paul de Vence and Antibes to get that fabulous french Riviera flair…it’s really amazing. My husband and I have been going there for years, celebrating our wedding there only last year,…it’s amazing!

  20. Again, super late to this (sorry!) but I massively massively recommend Panarea, one of the islands off Sicily. We stayed in this incredible little place called A’Piccaridda (https://www.sawdays.co.uk/italy/sicily/messina/a-picciridda) and it was INCREDIBLE. I hear Panarea is a party town in the summer, in July and August, but if Carolina has availability in June I would jump at the chance. It involves a ferry out to the island but once you are there it is a sanctuary. No vehicles, no street lights, incredible fresh food from the restaurants who serve things they grow or fish caught that day. And out of season they open just for you (as we discovered). Gorgeous.

  21. We are off to Palma for 4 nights in a couple of weeks – I cannot wait!! We did a week’s holiday in Mallorca a couple of years ago, stayed in the countryside and drove to different corners of the island. My memories had been as a child on package holidays so not quite the thing I’m after now – I was blown away by how beautiful the island was.

    We had one day trip to Palma – it rained all day and all I saw of the city was little alleys under a brolly running from one tapas bar to the next (not a bad way to spend the day tbh). I’m really looking forward to going back and exploring and seeing the city properly, we’re staying a little out of the centre up on the hillside so should be perfect and a work colleague lived there for a while so she’s giving me an insider’s recommendation list of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. Score!

  22. I would recommend Alexander The Great Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus. Really fab hotel, good weather, Paphos is lovely and flight about 51/2 hours.
    We have been a few times although we can’t always get in as we have 3 kids so need connecting rooms.

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