From more availability in highly-desirable restaurants to leisurely strolls in romantic hotspots without the heaving crowds, travelling out of season is a trend that keeps growing. The balmy temperatures of late spring and early autumn allow for the exploration of towns and cities without suffering from excessive heat, and the cool waters and quiet beaches bring back memories of times when travel was a more exclusive experience.
Here are some of our favourite destinations to visit in the low season.
A mix of rugged countryside, dramatic mountains and a breathtaking coastline, Mallorca remains one of the most desirable European destinations for the summer holidays. However, the middle seasons are ideal for guests wishing to explore the hiking trails of Sierra de Tramuntana or for foodies longing to taste the fresh harvest products at the many food fairs. The capital, Palma, is just as vibrant as ever and offers a variety of experiences – from stirring religious Easter celebrations to the more earthly pleasures of food and wine at the Santa Catalina market.
If sea views are on the wish list, the stunning six-bedroom Villa Puesta del Sol in Port d’Andratx offers a gorgeous vista along with high-end facilities such as a heated swimming pool, a spacious Jacuzzi, and a cosy wine cellar/bar. Alternatively, the traditional La Finca features seven bedrooms and a living area with minimalist décor, a fantastic outdoor space with a swimming pool, an organic vegetable garden, beehives, chicken coops and horse stables, along with exceptional mountain views.
South of France
From impressionist artists in the 19th century to the community of intellectuals, politicians and Hollywood stars in the early 20th century, the South of France has always been one of the places to see and be seen. From the sophisticated hotels of the Croisette to the quaint countryside retreats of Provence, its glamour has remained unchanged but the number of visitors has not, which is why an out-of-season visit can provide a more authentic experience.
The stunning six-bedroom Villa Maya in Saint Tropez is ideal for out-of-season travel, as it offers a heated pool together with a gym, a cinema room, and a full staff. For those looking for more of a bucolic idyll, Le Mas De Chabran is an 18th-century oil mill transformed into an elegant eight-bedroom country villa complete with rural benefits, including resident hens for fresh eggs and riding horses at guests’ disposal.
The picturesque and colourful towns of the enchanting Amalfi Coast have been some of the most desired European destinations for centuries. Yet its unparalleled charm can sometimes be overshadowed by the busy traffic of cars and people – not to mention the ubiquitous Vespas – especially in August, when most Italians take their summer holidays. This is why travelling in April, May, September or October is a great choice!
For smaller groups, the contemporary four-bedroom Villa La Palma is graced by spectacular views and tranquil gardens. For larger groups, the more traditional Villa Eris – perched on the rocks of Conca dei Marini – can host up to 12 guests and is just a few minutes’ walk from both the Fjord of Furore and the Emerald Grotto, two of the most iconic attractions of the area.