The one for going natural
Have a flipping great time with Paphos' turtle population / Image: Alamy
WHAT An island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
WHY With an average maximum temperature of around 27°C in October, Cyprus still boasts beach weather when the rest of the continent is cooling down. For the perfect mix of sun, sea, and nature, we recommend basing yourself in the western bit of the island – the area surrounding Paphos is chock-full of amazing archaeological sights and quiet stretches of sand. Make your first stop Lara Bay, a peaceful beach populated by heaps of green and loggerhead turtles who love nothing more than flapping around in the white sand.
DON'T MISS For secret beach vibes make a beeline to Coral Bay, where you’ll find warm Mediterranean waves unfolding along golden shores.
✈ Fly to Paphos – book flights and holidays
Read more: Commune with nature around Paphos
The one for adventure lovers
Do go chasing waterfalls in Madeira
WHAT An autonomous Portuguese island off the coast of Morocco.
WHY Madeira (currently exempt from mainland Portugal's quarantine rules) has a sub-tropical climate that stays pleasantly sunny year-round. It’s also dominated by slumbering volcanoes and thick forests, which makes it an ideal pick for an adventurous holiday. Take in Madeira’s confounding natural landscape on a hike across one of the many ‘levada’ trails – paths that follow the extensive irrigation canals that criss-cross the island, running under waterfalls and over mist-shrouded mountains.
DON'T MISS If you want to truly get away from it all, play castaway aboard the Bonita da Madeira – a 23m wooden ship that makes excursions to the nearby Deserta Islands, which, as the name suggests, are wonderfully deserted.
✈ Fly to Madeira – book flights and holidays
Read more: These are the most thrilling things to do on Madeira
The one for beaches galore
Ladiko Beach is an ideal place to lay your towel / Image: Adobe Stock
WHAT The largest of Greece's Dodecanese islands.
WHY Does your ideal holiday involve the beach and not much else? Then opt for Rhodes, whose southerly position means flop-on-the-sand-season stretches into late October (flights between Rhodes and the UK run until October 31 in 2020). Ladiko beach is the most famous on the island, and for good reason – with clear water, honey-coloured sand and lovely tavernas, it’s ideal for chilling to the max. But if you like your beaches a bit more under the radar, try Agios Georgios, a stunning secret cove lapped by warm turquoise water.
DON'T MISS When you need a tanning time out, take a stroll through the cobbled alleyways of the heart-stopping Old Town to shop for souvenirs while admiring the sun-bleached ancient ruins.
✈ Fly to Rhodes – book flights and holidays
Read more: Which Greek island is right for you?
The one for balancing old and new
Athens comes alive at night / Image: Adobe Stock
WHAT The Greek capital needs no introduction.
WHY Athens' cache of world-class sights speaks for itself. From the mighty hilltop Acropolis to the imposing Temple of Olympian Zeus, ancient history lives side by side with modern life in this fascinating city. Sure, you should stake out time in your diary to see all of the capital’s incredible landmarks – but don’t neglect the new Athens either, which teems with creative energy and a ragged party spirit.
DON'T MISS Start your day on a high note by sipping potent Greek coffee at the rooftop Public Café before strolling through the graffiti’d streets of Psyrri, a cool residential neighbourhood crammed with laidback restaurants and rowdy bars.
✈ Fly to Athens – book flights and holidays
Read more: Take coffee with a view in Athens