6 Last-Minute Holiday Destinations You Can Still Book This Summer

Left your summer break a little on the late side? All the best bits of Ibiza booked up? Fret not – there are plenty of dreamy destinations that offer beaches, sun and delicious dishes, and they’re still available to book. Read on for SL’s top last-minute travel tips for summer 2018…



Hotel Principe Di Salina

Located on the Sicilian island of Salina, Hotel Principe Di Salina offers amazing views of the islands, including Stromboli, Panarea, and the Aeolian Sea. At only 12 bedrooms (which are all beautifully decorated with rustic touches), this boutique hotel offers a luxurious stay – a private terrace for each suite, an infinity pool and a geo-thermal spa. The in-house restaurant offers healthy snacks such as poolside fresh juices, through to Italian-style family feasts in the evenings.

Salina, Sicily

Visit PrincipeDiSalina.it

Vmaison Boutique Hotel

With sister properties in Milan and Turin, this boutique hotel in Messina offers a design-led stay in the centre of the city, complete with a restaurant and terrace for guests to relax. Each of the bedrooms and suites mix colours, fabrics and shapes (think patterned headboards and tiled bathrooms), so that each room is completely different. Here, location is everything: the hotel is really close to the main shopping street, the harbour and the famous Messina cathedral.

Messina, Sicily

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I Banchi

A bakery, restaurant and pastry counter, I Banchi is a buzzy place to dine in Ragusa, Sicily. Open for sandwiches during the day, come 6pm the space transforms for aperitivi and fast-paced yet well-executed food – expect exemplary pasta alla norma and black spaghetti with burrata. Warning: you will be tempted to purchase something from the bottega on the way out.

Ragusa, Sicily

Visit IBanchiRagusa.it

Osteria Rosso Divino

A longstanding restaurant in the centre of Taormina, in 2012 Osteria Rosso Divino was transformed by four childhood friends into the wine-focused restaurant it is today. An atmospheric, candle-filled space, the restaurant centres on the small open-style kitchen lined with ceramic tiles. Menus change daily, but expect meat and fish to loom large. Jazz music often follows meals at the restaurant, and wine-pairing is an option.

Taormina, Sicily

Visit Osteria-Rosso-Divino.com


Valley of the Temples

The Valle dei Templi is an archaeological site in Agrigento. It’s one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and is one of the main attractions of Sicily, as well as a national monument of Italy. Top tip: make sure you get there early to avoid the crowds – and the heat.

Agrigento, Sicily

Visit ValleyOfTheTemples.com

Gelati Divini

One of the best gelato parlours in the area, Galati Divini has been serving up natural ice cream since 2000. It’s a great spot for anyone after something a little more unusual than just pistachio and stracciatella: highlights from the menu include Sicilian wine flavours such as Brachetto, Passito di Noto and Moscato.

Ragusa, Sicily

Visit GelatiDivini.it



Estalagem da Ponta do Sol

If you’re looking for a holiday filled with pools and beaches, then this hotel is for you. Set on the top of a cliff, and part of a 500-year-old village, Estalagem da Ponta do Sol offers spectacular views – especially from its outdoor infinity pool. Bedrooms offer a minimalist look with huge windows that let the views do the talking. The in-house restaurant also offers views of the ocean, alongside a largely Mediterranean menu. Surfing, diving, paragliding and whale watching can all be arranged.

Ponta do Sol, Madeira

Visit PontaDoSol.com

Sapientia Boutique Hotel

Created from three 18th- and 19th-century buildings, Sapientia Boutique Hotel offers a modern, affordable place to stay in Madeira. Bedrooms come as ‘rooms’, ‘lofts’ and ‘apartments’ and offer a minimalist look alongside plenty of space. A spacious patio offers guests the perfect place to unwind with a book or glass of wine, while its rooftop provides 360-degree views of the city. Our favourite spot is the Tasca das Tias Camelas bar, which serves our two favourite things: wine and tapas.

Coimbra, Madeira

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William Restaurant

Showcasing local, seasonal cuisine, hotel Belmond Reid’s Palace boasts some of the best restaurants in Funchal. For an extra-special treat, head to the Michelin-starred William Restaurant. With a menu that celebrates the finest produce from the island, guests can tuck into the likes of scallop carpaccio, fresh langoustines and open lobster ravioli while taking in the panoramic views of the dramatic Funchal coastline.

Funchal, Madeira

Visit Belmond.com

Boho Bistrô

Located opposite the famous Vine Hotel in downtown Funchal, Boho Bistrô is an intimate, relaxed restaurant that combines the best Portuguese ingredients with bold Asian flavours. Offering ‘dining with a view’, the brigade of chefs can be seen from the open kitchen as they create the likes of ceviche with wakame and tiger’s milk, suckling pig, and tuna tataki. Expect prettily presented plates and a plenty of vinho verde.

Funchal, Madeira

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Jardins Botânicos da Madeira

For the ultimate Instagram snap, a visit to the botanical gardens in Funchal is a must. One of the most beautiful landscapes in the region, the Madeira Botanical Garden offers great views over the city. For further vistas, there’s a cable car that connects the gardens to Monte Parish.

Funchal, Madeira

Visit VisitFunchal.pt



Hotel Forza Terra

Once overlooked in favour of more well-known Mediterranean nations, Montenegro is fast gaining a reputation as a great place to visit. Hotel Forza Terra offers a five-star environment to enjoy the country’s spoils. Located in the former Roman settlement of Dobrota, the property looks out over the beautiful Bay of Kotor. With many of the hotel rooms featuring private terraces and vistas, this is the ultimate place to unwind. A pool, bar, spa and Mediterranean restaurant that specialises in steak and wine completes the offer.

Dobrota, Montenegro

Visit HotelForzaTerra.com

Regent Porto Montenegro

One of the newest hotels in Montenegro, the Regent symbolises the country’s recent reputation as a must-visit luxury destination. Comprised of two stylish accommodation wings, the hotel offers one- to three-bedroom suites, penthouses and apartments. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, visitors should book into the hotel’s pool club, which offers four pools amid landscaped gardens, or the Yacht Club which has restaurants, tennis courts and a 64m infinity pool. The Murano restaurant is a must-visit.

Porto Montenegro, Montenegro

Visit RegentHotels.com


Restaurant Conte

Situated in the former cultural centre of Perast (a Unesco World Heritage site) Hotel Conte is located in an historic building on the seafront. Within, Restaurant Conte contains two stone dining rooms, a terrace with sea views and a terrace on the Baroque main square, where locals and tourists alike dine together. The restaurant specialises in local and Mediterranean dishes: expect the likes of octopus and squid salad; beef carpaccio; and penne with steak, truffle and mushrooms.

Perast, Montenegro

Visit HotelConte.me


Jul-Plantazé Vineyard

Montenegro is well-known for its wine, and this vineyard offers one of the best experiences for visitors looking to sample some of the local delicacies. Jul-Plantaže offers four types of excursions; we like the sound of the Montenegrin Wine Tour, which follows a trip to the Šipčanik wine cellar with five samples and a cheese board.

Podgorica, Montenegro

Visit Plantaze.com

Sveti Stefan Beach

An alleged favourite of Marilyn Monroe’s, this hotspot on the Budva Riviera offers pink sand beaches, deep waters and mountainous surroundings. Make sure you head to the south beach if you want to avoid an £80 per day charge.

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro



Casa Ellul

Located on a quiet street, yet within walking distance to all attractions, this sophisticated boutique hotel offers guests the perfect location to explore Valletta – a city rich in history and architecture. Originally a Victorian-period Palazzo, this small luxury hotel is decked out in a classical design, inspired by the building’s Baroque heritage, yet remains chic and modern. We’re a big fan of its Risette restaurant, which serves the likes of foie gras and rabbit liver parfait, mango and pickled summer vegetables; and rock fish with hispi cabbage, fennel and summer truffle.

Valletta, Malta

Visit CasaEllul.com

Valletta Vintage

Valletta Vintage is a collection of self-catering properties, designed as an alternative to mainstream holiday accommodation. Our favourite space is Atelier: a busy architects’ studio until a couple of years ago, this second-floor apartment enjoys sea views with direct sunlight from its south-facing windows. The minimal interior furnishings are a mix of lightweight steel and timber objects set on original patterned tiles and furnished with retro and designer pieces. The shared terraces and kitchen are two floors up.

Valletta, Malta

Visit VallettaVintage.com


In Hastings Gardens in Valletta, the atmospheric Rampila comprises a restaurant, wine bar and terrace. Designed and built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th-century as part of the defensive bastions guarding the newly constructed city of Valletta, Rampila is now a haven for good food and wine set against a spectacular backdrop. On the menu, expect to eat the likes of mussels cooked in white wine; octopus salad; and tortellacci pasta filled with rabbit meat, tossed in rabbit jus. The venue offers a selection of 80 wines, some of which are local favourites.

Valletta, Malta

Visit Rampila.com


Ta’ Frenc

Located on the island of Gozo, Ta’ Frenc is one of the longest-standing restaurants on the Maltese islands. But while it might boast a lengthy history and a traditional look (picture stone walls and vaulted ceilings), its approach to cookery is extremely modern: expect the likes of risotto with lobster essence, clams, lemon zest and sea urchin to feature on the menu. Make sure you save room for the hot Grand Marnier soufflé with custard and vanilla ice-cream.

Xaghra, Gozo

Visit TaFrencRestaurant.com


SUP Malta

One of the best ways to explore Malta, Gozo and Comino is by sea. And given how many caves and coves there are to explore off the islands, one of the most fun ways is via stand-up paddling (SUP). SUP Malta offers group tours (for beginners as well as pros) across the coastline, including Coral Lagoon and Smuggler’s Cove. Breaks for swimming and snorkeling are part of the package.

Various locations

Visit SUPMalta.com



Mama Shelter

Near the cool Cours Julien district, complete with its urban art vibe and mix of concert halls, young fashion designers and sunny terraces, Mama Shelter offers 125 quirky rooms spread over six floors. The hotel’s public spaces set the scene for communal gathering: there’s a live music stage, a four-metre-long foosball table which can be played by eight to 16 people, and its in-house restaurant is filled with long tables where guests can share simple sharing plates. Another bonus? Mama Shelter is located close to Plagues du Prado beach.

Rue de Loubiere, Marseille

Visit MamaShelter.com

Hotel C2

Located on the Cours Pierre Puget in the centre of Marseille, the stylish five-star Hotel C2 opened in the spring of 2014. Dating back to the 19th century, the building is full of character and has a rich history, having been home to the same Marseille family for almost a century. Alongside 20 tasteful bedrooms, a spa, bar and terrace, the hotel’s highlight comes in the form of a private beach. Guests can make the short trip aboard the hotel's specially-chartered boat from the Vieux Port to Degaby Island in Marseille's harbour, where there are magnificent views looking back at the city.

Rue Roux de Brignoles, Marseille

Visit C2-Hotel.com


Le Môle Passedat

At the centre of modern art museum MuCEM is a series of more casual offerings from Gerald Passedat, who operates the nearby three-Michelin-starred Le Petite Nice. We like the panoramic restaurant and terrace for lunch with a view, while there are food stalls for a quick bite, a café in the Fort Saint Jean for a more traditional dinner, a cooking school and a Mediterranean vegetable garden. Highlights from Le Môle Passedat include modern takes on local classics: octopus carpaccio sandwich; crab and harissa with quinoa and chouchouka; and veal chops with polenta.

Esplanade du J4, Marseille

Visit Passedat.fr

Victor Café

Well-known for offering one of the best brunches in the city (and it’s all-you-can-eat – bonus), Victor Café is extremely popular with locals. Located at the foot of the Vieux Port and open all year round, the restaurant echoes the New Hotel of Marseille’s contemporary design and setting. Set on a vast teak wood poolside terrace, guests can begin with a drink at the cocktail bar: its impressive wine menu features natural, organic and biodynamic wines.

Boulevard de Charles Livon, Marseille

Visit VictorCafeMarseille.com


Notre-Dame de la Garde

Notre-Dame de la Garde is a Catholic basilica, and the city's best-known symbol. A popular spot for spectacular views over the city, visitors can access the site via the ‘petit train’ – a circuit that runs from the old port to the top of the hill, taking in Valmer Castle and St Victor’s Abbey along the way.

Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, Marseille

Visit NotreDameDeLaGarde.com



St George Hotel

Situated by the beautiful Old Church Park in the centre of Helsinki, modern and minimalist St George Hotel offers 148 individually decorated rooms and five suites. Opened in May 2018, this Helsinki newcomer offers two restaurants; the relaxed Wintergarden at the heart of the hotel, and Restaurant Andrea, which has acclaimed Finnish-Turkish chef Mehmet Gürs in the kitchen. The property also features a bakery, bar, reading room, Monocle Shop and St George Care & Spa, an urban retreat which offers treatments and massages.

Yrjönkatu, Helsinki

Visit StGeorgeHelsinki.com

Hotel Helka

If you want to experience a more relaxed temple of Finnish design, book a room at Hotel Helka. Opened in 1969, the building was originally built in the 1920s as a women’s refuge. Today, it’s a modern mecca, tinged with touches of millennial pink throughout its design. Public spaces include two saunas (one just for hotel guests), a bar and three workspaces. Of the bedrooms, we like the look of the Junior Suite, which comes with its own private sauna.

Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu, Helsinki

Visit HotelHelka.com



Story is a cafe-restaurant in the Old Market Hall of Helsinki, offering a cafeteria, confectionery stands and meals from breakfast through to dinner, all within a bright, industrial space. A top spot for brunch, Story offers a great-value set menu which features eggs benedict or omelette; followed by overnight oats, porridge or granola; served with tea or coffee and a shot of ginger for €16.50.  With views over the waterfront, Story also makes a great destination for evening drinks.

Vanha Kauppahalli, Helsinki

Visit RestaurantStory.fi


Flow Festival

Taking place in downtown Helsinki, this urban festival is one of the coolest of the summer. Away from the music (which features the likes of Fever Ray and St Vincent), food is very much a focus at Flow. This year will see 40 varied vendors pitch up – from healthy smoothies to Michelin-starred feasts – plus there’s no campsite, so festival-goers will have the chance to explore all that the Finnish capital has to offer.

Suvilahti, Helsinki

Visit FlowFestival.com

Outdoor swimming

The Finnish capital is filled with natural swimming pools and public saunas – what a perfect hangover cure for too many lakkas. Of all the beaches, our favourite is Hietaniemi: located in the Töölö district, next to Hietaniemi Cemetery, it’s the most popular beach in central Helsinki.

Various locations

Visit Hel.fi

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