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No kids allowed – holidaying in Europe after the school holidays

We come to the end of yet another peak holiday season and, as school term-time starts again, it’s finally time for the adults to plan their own great escape. But, with so many options to choose from, where should you go? Follow our top tips for some utterly blissful holiday escapes – without the children.

Head to the beach

A large pool, lots of company and ice cream on tap is pretty much holiday heaven for the average five year old but as we get older we long for something much less hectic. The beauty of travelling alone or in adult company is the excitement of getting away from it all. The thought of packing a picnic, jumping in a car with a good book and heading to a tiny cove to hide from humanity for a few hours is quite simply blissful. If you’re heading as close as Europe then Crete has some beautiful beaches which are more off the beaten track including Erimoupolis beach which is located on the North East part of the island. Turquoise seas, golden white sands and fabulous snorkelling awaits. Laurito Beach on Italy’s Amalfi Coast is well-known by locals but is more of a find (by boat) for tourists whilst Plage de Passable offers a relatively crowd free welcome in the usually busy Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat region. For those preferring a little commercialism and Champagne with their beach, then head to the Nikki Beach Club in Marbella – definitely a place to enjoy some coastal downtime without the children!


Be a culture vulture

Take the opportunity to stroll galleries and exhibitions and meander your way around a city at your own pace without worrying if everyone (other than you) is entertained. Recommended Autumn events include:

The Paris Autumn Festival runs from 12th September 2013 through to mid-January 2014 and combines theatre, music, dance, arts and film. It’s the perfect excuse to visit Paris in the autumn with plenty to see and do throughout the city at various venues.

The International Literature Festival is held in Berlin from 4th – 14th September 2013 with a diverse list of readings; whilst in Gothenburg Culture night is held on 11th October with a whole host of galleries and theatres opening late to offer readings, performances and access to exhibitions well into the night.

The Fiesta des Vermar in Binissalem is one of the best grape harvests in Spain which culminates in a huge grape fight. Spend the day here sampling the wines, enjoying paella with the locals and witnessing the giants parade. The event is held during the last week of September.

Travelling to Italy in the autumn is foodie heaven with everything from truffle to chocolate festivals, not to mention the all-important grape harvesting. Try Eurochocolate in Perugia for chocoholics, the San Miniato Truffle Fair for truffle lovers and the Torrone Festival in Cremona if you are particularly fond of nougat. In a nutshell the Italians love their food and what’s not to love? Pasta, pizza, truffles and ice cream, take us to food heaven we say!

Enjoy a few challenging walks

Little legs don’t walk very far very often so an adult only holiday is the perfect time to enjoy a few challenging walks and autumn is the perfect time to get out and explore the great outdoors as temperatures are a little cooler. The Tramuntana mountain range in Majorca enjoys UNESCO world heritage status and is the perfect place to head for a bird’s eye view of the island. Tackle it on foot or by bike but be sure to pack your waterproofs as rain is much more likely to hit the higher you climb!

Be pampered

If active holidays leave you exhausted just planning them then maybe the perfect way to spend a child-free week or weekend is quite simply to be pampered and watch the world go by. Opting for a spa hotel will ensure all facilities and treatments are quite literally at your door, that’s if you remember to book them. Alternatively book a private villa and draft in everyone you need to make your stay complete right through from the masseuse and manicurist to the chef and maid to cater for your every need from the privacy of your own holiday home.


Take time to seek out the best eateries

No children means less tastes and potentially fussy eaters to cater for. Use this to plan ahead and seek out the best places to go. The Michelin Guide is a dossier of top eateries which is well worth consulting and online review sites offer some personal opinions from travellers who have trodden the very same path. Alternatively, if you’re not much of a planner, ask the locals where their favourite place in town to eat is when you arrive. The chances are that it will be traditional, affordable and delicious – just make sure you take your phrase book in case it’s well off the beaten track!

Finally – holiday like a kid. Wake up early, don’t waste a day and live for every moment. That means forgetting about the iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, list of jobs at home, etc. and always saying a big ‘YES’ to enjoying an ice cream.

Claire Powell is Digital Marketing Manager at Abercrombie & Kent.

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