Sarah Loughlin hunts down the best travel deals for holidays in September.
As the summer comes to an end its time to take advantage of those great travel deals and make the most of the nice weather in Europe. Whether its a long weekend in Spain, staying in a tree house in Turkey, or quite simply a ridiculously cheap holiday in Greece, these are my top September picks:
A Weekend Break:
2 nights in Barcelona, Spain: Saturday the 20th- Monday the 22nd September
Fancy a sangria on the beach this weekend? Who doesn’t! Barcelona is the perfect place for a city break, you can spend the morning sight seeing and the afternoon soaking up the last of the summer sun in a deck chair! It is due to be a balmy 27 degrees C out there this weekend!
Flights and Accommodation with British Airways From London Heathrow for just £150.50 per person based on two people sharing. The deal includes a hotel which is about a 20 minute taxi ride from town, but if you fancy somewhere more central there are several hotels to choose from.
Top 5 must see in Barcelona:
Las Rambla – The 1.2 km long pedestrianised central road in Barcelona. This leafy street is a great place to meander around looking the the shops, or maybe stopping for a sangria to do some people watching. Keep an eye on your bags though, I didn’t experience any problems, but it is said there are pickpockets in this area.
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria– A huge food market located off Las Rambla, where you can find everything from fresh fruit to cows tongues! This busy bustling market is a great place to grab a fruit smoothy, or a snack from one of the bakery stalls to keep you going until dinner! If you are squeamish stay away from the meat stalls – I turned a corner while looking for my friend and came face to face with a skinned animal head! The market is closed on a Sunday, so make sure you add it to your Saturday to do list!
Parc Güell – This park, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, was designed by architect Antoni Gaudí. There are mosaic sculptures and buildings set amongst the foliage with foot paths to guide you around as well as view points to stop and take a few holiday snaps. Although it is not walking distance to the Las Rambla, it is definitely worth a visit, there is something for everyone. Whether you love art and history, buskers and live music, or just amazing views. There is a part to the park that is free to access, but if you want entry to the main section it will cost €7 per person (we just did the free bit).
Barceloneta – the city’s 7km long beach front, was a pleasant surprise. The sandy beach itself is very clean and has a great atmosphere, and it is only 20 minutes walk from the center of town. There are also nice bars and restaurants along the beach front.
Eat some Spanish food: Luckily there were no ‘hanger‘ incidents like on our visit to Rome, so I ate at some great places in Barcelona. La Taberna del Cobre has fantastic tapas and sangria! They have a nice courtyard for sitting outside in the sunshine or a cosy restaurant inside if it is a bit cooler in the evenings. I would recommend the croquettes, they were my fave! Around the corner from the restaurant is a quirky little cocktail bar, perfect for a pre-dinner drink or the start to your epic night out in Barcelona. TOP TIP: the Spanish tend to eat and go out for drinks a lot later, so do not be put off if a restaurant or bar is empty at 8pm – it will be full of people by 10.30pm!
A week in the sun:
Seven nights relaxing in Crete, Greece.
This offer from Thomas Cook is quite literally almost too cheap, £106 per person for flights, transfers and accommodation? It is certainly cheaper than spending the week at home in London! Leaving on the 23rd of September from Stansted for seven nights these self-catering apartments, which are only a short walk from the beach have great feedback on Tripadvisor. It is due to be around 30 degrees C next week, so if you just fancy relaxing and reading your book by the pool this would do the trick!
Two weeks in the sun:
14 nights in a tree-house in Çıralı, Turkey.
My pick for two weeks in the sun this month would be Çıralı in Turkey. I have read so many great things about this place! Far removed from the typical Turkish All Inclusive beach holiday, you can expect hiking, climbing, mountain biking and maybe even some turtle spotting!
The unique backpacker style tree house accommodation famous in this area of Turkey is what particularly attracts me to this place. There is a lot of History here with the ruins of the ancient city of Olympus to visit, as well as sights such as the Chimera – eternally burning flames that are kept alight by natural gases seeping out of the ground. It is also close to some great beaches if you fancy a few days of relaxing among the sight-seeing and activities.
The nearest airport is Antalya, there are plenty of flights from the UK to choose from, all under £100. Being an overly excitable and impatient person, now that I have learned a bit about it I would hop on the London Stansted with Thomson tomorrow evening! At only £98.98 per person, why not! The other benefit of booking so late is the slightly more accurate weather forecast, which looks incredible next week: 30+ degrees C!
I found a place called Olympos Woods Treehouses who have positive reviews on both booking.com and Trip Advisor, and at only £187 for a tree house (£93.50 per person based on two sharing) for 13 nights you cant go wrong! If that doesn’t take your fancy there are plenty of tree houses to chose from in the area.
The Olympos Woods Tree-houses are a two hour drive from Antalya airport, set back from the coast about 30 minutes from the beach. The Thomson flight lands at midnight on Friday so if you didn’t fancy driving that evening you could grab a hotel in Antalya. Again you are spoiled for choice when it comes to hotels but IC Hotel Airport is only 600 meters from the airport and has good reviews. The hotel also responds to feedback on TripAdvisor which is always a good sign. It is £81 per night for a double room on Friday the 19th of September.
Car hire is very reasonable at only £190.59 for the entire two weeks. Due to the remote location it is probably handy to have a car, but there are also transfers and public buses available.
For tips on searching for great holiday deals see my post ‘How to Fly for £17 Return’.
All prices and availability were accurate on Thursday the 18th of September; please check websites for up to date pricing.