Cassis is a pretty fishing port less than an hour's drive from the seaside city of Marseille. Centuries old châteaux gaze over the water, while pastel-hued buildings are broken up by traditional bakeries and restaurants. In September, the weather hits the mid-twenties, an ideal temperature for a morning hike up Les Calanques followed by an afternoons spent tucking into plates of Provencal delicacies and lounging around the pool. A day trip to Marseille should see you to set up shop at Prado Beaches, a set of three sandy stretches that are great for families. Adults can also book in for a tasting tour at the Clos Sainte Magdeleine vineyard, which is known for its Provençal Rosé.
Where to stay…
A true oasis, Les Roches Blanches is an old mansion turned boutique hotel spilling out over the cliff toward the sea. Rooms are effortlessly chic, with beautiful art deco touches, while outside there’s a relaxed pool and terrace under a canopy of pine trees. Yoga classes take place every Monday and Sunday, while those who want to work up more of a sweat can join one of the midweek fitness sessions.
This tiny island in the Cyclades oozes bohemian glamour. A party island at heart, expect to find an abundance of stylish clubs, bars and restaurants in Mykonos, as well as some enviable beaches looking out to the Aegean sea. The aptly named Paradise and Super Paradise beaches are the busiest, so for something more secluded head to the Agios Ioannis. Don’t forget to carve out some time to explore Mykonos Old Town, which is brimming with pretty shops and authentic restaurants. Temperatures here often reach 26°C in September, promising lots of sunshine and balmy evenings.
Where to stay…
There are plenty of luxurious hotels on this island, but few are as chic as Soho Roc House. Perched above the ragged coastline, the exclusive hotel has just 45 rooms, along with a stunning poolside veranda and a terrace for al fresco dining. Ideally situated to explore the best Mykonos has to offer, the iconic Scorpios is just a short walk away.
Positano, Amalfi Coast
For some real heat, head to the Amalfi coast, where temperatures often peak at 30°C – even in September. The entire coastline is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with stunning natural scenery and beaches. Be sure to head to charming Positano, which overlooks a turquoise sea with rows upon rows of sun-kissed buildings. The most popular beach is Spiaggia Grande, which sits at the base of the village, but for something quieter, follow the coastal path to Fornillo, where an abundance of coral sun loungers and umbrellas await. Positano is also only a 25-minute drive from Sorrento, too, should you fancy a day out.
Where to stay...
A romantic hotel ideal for couples, Casa Angelina sits high on the iconic Amalfi cliffs. Understated chic is the vibe here, with simple yet elegant rooms that are light and airy. After a morning spent exploring, relax by the pool, where you can laze on sun loungers shaded by lemon trees. The Seascape Cocktail Bar is a great spot for an aperitif later on.
By September, Paphos isn’t as humid as in July and August, although temperatures can still reach the low 30s or high 20s. An idyllic getaway for those who love being in or on the water, there are plenty of secret coves to explore. One of the best is the Blue Lagoon, which is only accessible by boat or jeep. A vast natural pool, it’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling and turtle watching. Carve out time to visit Aphrodite's Rock, a mythological sea stack in the middle of the ocean. The nearby beach is pebbly but relaxing, with plenty of spots from which to enjoy the sunset. History buffs should also visit the Tombs of the Kings, housed within the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park.
Where to stay…
Set just north of Paphos, the Anassa resort looks out over Chrysochou Bay and boasts luscious gardens, two outdoor pools and a private beach. It’s just a short drive to Aphrodite’s Rock as well as the Blue Lagoon, and is home to a kid's club and activities team who can organise watersports for the whole family. It also has four restaurants and three bars which often put on live entertainment, so there’s something for everyone.
Soak up the late summer sun in Hvar, a Croatian island just a short boat ride from Split. Here, you’ll find beaches surrounded by some of the clearest water in the Adriatic, as well as an abundance of trendy restaurants, bars and beach clubs. For your culture fix, visit the Stair Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the grand Fortica in the town centre. For sunbathing and swimming, head to the popular Amfora Beach – home to a raised bathing platform known as Bonj Les Bains. Fancy a spot of island hopping? You’re in luck: Hvar is the perfect jumping off point for a trip along the Dalmatian Coast.
Where to stay…
Little Green Bay is a calming oasis near the buzzy port town. Sitting right above an almost deserted beach, staff can organise an afternoon boat excursion, complete with everything from snorkelling to kayaking. This year, Little Green Bay is available for exclusive booking only, so you’ll get the entire run of the hotel for the duration of your stay.
When it comes to a Grecian getaway, avoid the crowds by heading to Milos, a secretive island with some of the best beaches in the Aegean. In the pretty fishing village of Klyma, on the gulf of Milos, pretty whitewashed houses dot the landscape with their typical bright windows and doors. Meanwhile, the southern side of the island is home to the Kleftiko caves, a series of dramatic coves that rise up from the water. Only accessible via boat, be sure to book a trip there in advance. Tourists should also reserve an afternoon to visit Sarakiniko, a moonscape-style cave carved into the white rock.
Where to stay…
Right on the waterfront, with views out over the Aegean sea, the Melian hotel is an ideal retreat for couples. Along with the charming garden and private dock, there’s also an al fresco restaurant and cocktail bar. Plus, the concierge will organise a private cruise of the island’s secluded coves, should you wish to indulge in a romantic trip.