High three European Solar Locations for a Final Minute Luxurious Winter Trip
With the advent of technology and easy phone bookings, the number of travelers booking last minute has steadily increased over the past few years – and with the uncertainties associated with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it has on international travel the ability to make last minute reservations or changes to bookings is more important now than ever.
Gone are the days when it was imperative to book the luxury hotel or the lavish penthouse apartment early. These days you can just go online, browse your favorite accommodation pages and make your choice. With a confirmation e-mail that arrives in just a few seconds, it is now even possible to book for the next day or for the same week. Although some accommodation options continue to fill up quickly on certain occasions and during school holidays, you can usually find something that suits your needs with little stress.
Thanks to AirBnB management companies, you’re not just limited to hotels either – and you can find yourself a nice flat or apartment through Air BnB within a day or two if you prefer a little more privacy than a hotel gives you . Where previously busy property owners simply wouldn’t have been able to handle last minute inquiries, they can now let others do it for them. The result? More accommodation options than ever before, no matter what time you book.
So if after a year of canceled vacations and getaways you can’t wait for a luxury vacation in 2021, it’s not too late to book for January 2021. And as travel restrictions keep changing, so too may I be hesitant to do so and prefer to wait until a few days before your planned departure.
While this may seem like a daunting plan for a long haul trip, the good news is that there are plenty of sunshine destinations a little closer to where you live that you could be flying to in a matter of weeks. If a last-minute luxury vacation sounds appealing, these are the places to consider.
With a whopping 300 days of sunshine a year, Malta is a great travel destination any time of the year, but in winter, when the streets and beaches are quieter, it feels laid back and relaxed. Steeped in history, this underrated Mediterranean gem is a foodie paradise. It offers a variety of high-quality high-end restaurants and cafes as well as a variety of first-class five-star hotels.
Surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world and home to the fascinating capital Valletta, there is just as much here for culture lovers as for nature and ocean enthusiasts. A must-have bucket list and the perfect place for a winter break.
January average temperature high: 16 degrees
Where should we eat: Panorama at the British Hotel, Valletta or Barracuda on the Sliema coast.
Where to sleep: The Grand Hotel Excelsior Valletta or the Corinthia Palace Hotel are elegant five-star offerings that offer a range of high-end facilities. For a more authentic Maltese stay, check out AirBnB for some of the best places to stay in Valletta.
While Madeira has long been considered the destination of choice for an older age group, in recent years Madeira has reinvented itself as the perfect spot for an adrenaline pumping getaway – so if you want to lounge around the pool or hang out on the beach then it’s boring for you it could be just for you
This miniature outdoor Eden is a stunningly beautiful destination that, much like Malta, has been grossly underrated over the years. It is probably a popular winter destination for all age groups. With its black sand beaches and rocky terrain, it is the ideal location for mountain biking, abseiling, tobogganing around town, and other adventurous activities.
January average temperature high: 12 degrees
Where should we eat: Il Gallo d’Oro is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Madeira. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Where to sleep: The five-star Cliff Bay Porto Bay or the Savoy Palace, both in Funchal.
The Greek islands
The Greek islands might normally be viewed as a summer destination, but a trip to the beautiful Aegean Sea during the winter months takes on a whole new allure. The waters of many islands – including Milos, Paros, and Santorini – are still warm enough to swim in in January. Visiting the off-season allows you to explore the islands’ breathtaking panoramic views without having to fight the crowds.
Another great choice for winter, Rhodes is known for its beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures that persist during the coldest season.
January average temperature high: Paros – 15 degrees. Milos – 13 degrees
Where should we eat: Head to Santorini’s Lauda and Lycabettus restaurants for top Michelin-starred dining and an evening to remember.
Where to sleep: If you’re looking for luxury accommodation, settle in Santorini – the other islands are easily accessible by ferry. We rate the suites of the Gods Cave Spa Hotel in Megalokhori or the Aqua Luxury Suites in Imerovigli.