Holiday season is in full swing and our Facebook feed is full of dreamy holiday images – we’ve started daydreaming about where we’d love to be, from action-packed outdoor adventures and foodie wonderlands to totally chilled-out beach breaks! Make the most of our wandering thoughts and book yourself a last-minute getaway.
We’ve scoured the globe for great prices, so all you have to do is book*. Secure your accommodation through i-escape, then follow our recommendations for travel, and voila! It’s time to start packing…
Scottish Sojourn – £421 per person (3 nights, 18-21 August)
With the Commonwealth Games and the Fringe Festival taking place this month, and the 40th Ryder Cup the month after, Scotland is the place to be at the moment. But there’s lots more to this tiny country than Edinburgh and Glasgow. Venture north and you’ll come across the dramatic highlands and the home of the mysterious monster Nessy. Spend days walking, kayaking and visiting the stunning castles that dot the surrounding landscape.
Stay: at Loch Ness Lodge, a decadent retreat with jaw-dropping views over the world’s most famous loch. It feels wonderfully secluded, but is in fact just a 15-minute drive from Inverness. A turret at one end of the long, grey-roofed building adds a touch of Baronial grandeur, and the genuine smiles from the staff will mean you’ll never want to leave. Their current offer of a 10% discount on 3+ nights makes a 3-night stay in the Superior (Oykel) room just £283.50 per person.
Fly: from London Gatwick to Inverness with easyJet for £100 per person, departing on Monday 18 August and returning on Thursday 21 August.
From the airport: We’d recommend hiring a car to make the most of the area. Hire with Rhino starts from £75 for 3 nights.
A Tuscan Treat – £451.50 per person (4 nights, 26-30 August)
Lucca is a true gem in the Tuscan countryside. Although often overlooked in favour of Florence or Pisa, it’s one of the best-preserved medieval cities in all of Italy, enclosed within 4km of imposing 16th-century walls. Inside it’s a treasure trove of churches, palazzi, statues, towers and piazzas, from Romanesque to Renaissance. Plus, thanks to its winding lanes, it retains a delightfully medieval atmosphere.
Stay: at gastro-hideaway Tenuta San Pietro, just 7km outside the town. Owned by a Norwegian family, Tenuta is the perfect combination of minimalist Scandi-chic and luxurious Italian elegance. Expect mouth-watering food, an impressive wine cellar (there are 350+ bottles), and a vast olive grove alongside spoiling touches such as an infinity pool with views to die for. Thanks to the hotel’s current offer of 30% off, a Luxury Double Room is just £277 per person for 4 nights.
Fly: from London Stansted to Pisa with Ryanair for £142 per person, departing on Tuesday 26 August and returning on Saturday 30 August.
From the airport: In order to fully experience Tuscan life, we’d recommend hiring a car; prices start from £65 for 4 nights with Rhino.
Total cost: £451.50 per person, including all taxes.
Thai Tranquillity – £1381.50 per person (7 nights, 12-19 August)
Koh Samui, just off the east coast of Thailand, has it all: white-sand beaches, elephant treks, hidden waterfalls, food markets, boat trips, exotic wildlife, water sports and spoiling spa hotels. Sip lychee martinis under swaying palms and let relaxation wash over you. Bliss.
Stay: at hill-top bolthole Silavadee Pool Spa Resort. This tranquil haven, where dark teak and light cedarwood blend with bamboo and local textiles, has an indulgent spa, 2 huge infinity pools and a selection of restaurants. There’s currently a 30% discount, making a 7-night stay in a Deluxe Balcony room only £408 per person, including all taxes.
Fly: from London Heathrow to Koh Samui with British Airways for £955 per person, departing Monday 11 August (indirect overnight flight via Bangkok arriving Tuesday 12 August) and returning Tuesday 19 August (indirect overnight flight via Bangkok arriving Wednesday 20 August), including all taxes.
From the airport: Silavadee can arrange transfers from Koh Samui airport for £9.25 per person (one way).
Total cost: £1381.50 per person, including all taxes.
*Please note that only the accommodation may be booked through i-escape.com. The information on travel is provided as a service to you, and must be booked through other websites, as indicated. All prices and availability are correct at the time of publishing. The per person prices are based on 2 people in a double/twin room or an apartment for 2. Published on 30th July 2014.