One of my favourite-ever memories is sitting atop a mighty dune, watching the sun set over the Atacama Desert, turning the sea of sand scarlet and orange. It was completely magical, as were the sights in Chile I went on to see: turquoise lagoons, explosive geysers and salt lakes covered in flamingos. Head south from Santiago instead, and you’ll drive through the ancient green forests and azure waters of the Lake District before you hit the pristine natural beauty of Patagonia, with its deep glacial fjords. If you love to hike, raft, kayak, climb volcanoes and drink fine wine under blankets of stars, there’s no more spectacular setting. (Deputy Editor Abi is currently scoping it out for her honeymoon next year).
Our other editorial focus for August is the Canary Islands. I’ve never been (to be honest, put off by the negative press of tacky resorts), but colleagues who have assure me there’s so much more to these beautiful winter-sun islands than a sprawl of high rises. On Lanzarote there are lava lakes and whitewashed towns with breath-taking views. Gran Canaria has rugged mountains and golden beaches, while La Palma is the lushest of the lot; heaven for hikers. And it goes without saying that we’ve winkled out some pure hidden gems for your holidays, away from the crowds and celebrating the natural beauty of each place.
Keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this month to find out more about Chile and the Canaries, or let us know if you’ve been or are going to either place. We’d love to hear your thoughts.