As summer’s hot, humid curtain drops, we’re now faced with the final stretch of 2023 – and, if this time last year is anything to go off, the coming few months, with their inevitable hellbroth of deadlines, piercing temperatures, and relentless blanket of darkness, will certainly make their impact felt on weary minds. So, if you've made the smart decision to hold off from splurging all your annual leave during the months gone by and have a few holiday days to spare, it may be worth escaping the incoming chaos by hurrying to destinations with fair, pleasant climes.
To nudge you in the right direction, we’ve once again collaborated with holidaywear label Orlebar Brown to set you up with a curated, considered list of destinations that’ll inject a bit of vibrancy – and, hopefully, vitamin D – into your spirit. Moreover, we’ve come up with a small edit of items you may want to pack away in the holdall, in order for you to escape in style…
Spending time in Mexico is one of life’s purest pleasures, and its capital pulsates with energy and a bright spirit, and, most famously, is a lightning rod for the food-obsessed. Mexico City’s sprawl – with its fine-diners, scores of markets, and taquerias – is far easier to navigate in the mild climes of autumn and winter, and makes for a fine respite from the TikTok, iPhone-toting crowds of Tulum. Temperatures can average between 20–24°C, so don’t pack away those T-Shirts just yet.
For those feeling the cold-season bite taking its toll on worn-out limbs, an island escape might well be the remedy. French Polynesia, defined by its jewel-hued water and topography thick with greenery, is remote, incomprehensibly beautiful and gives off the feeling that you’re at the end of the world. The Brando, the eco-focused resort whose existence owes a lot to the feted Godfather actor, is the marquee pull to this part of the world, and it’s best enjoyed when the crowds slowly start to fade away in the latter parts of the year (the property, on the whole, is sardine-packed from July to September). Book out a villa and slink away to the stretches of sand – the in-tray can wait just a little longer.
Though its temperatures soar slightly higher in winter, the general Cape Town climate is still manageable enough to enjoy the glories of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head without overheating while doing so – and, despite the fact it’s long been on the radar due to big destinations that draw an international crowd, such as Thomas Heatherwick’s Zeitz MOCAA, the South African capital continues to vibrate with a constant supply of independent, local venues, such as the experimental Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen; StateoftheART Gallery, which showcases contemporary works from around the country; and The Pot Luck Club whose menu includes listings such as springbok tataki.
Giles Linen Shirt
Fallon Cotton Chinos
Terry Towelling Polo
Its counterparts – Barcelona, Madrid, Seville – will, with little doubt, soak up the tourist masses, but Girona, with the appeal of its medieval walls, old quarter and marigold-hued houses that line the waterways, packs its punches. Ladlefuls of beef with wild mushrooms and sweet-bitter sips of ratafia will inject warmth into your travels – and, if you can spare the time, El Celler de Can Roca, celebrated as one of the world’s best restaurants, still pushes the culinary envelope even after 37 years of being open.
The latter section of winter – February and the months around it – is a period in which Belize has its lowest chance of rainfall, making it ideal for travellers wanting to explore its national parks, nature reserves, Mayan ruins and the Belize Barrier Reef. Its diverse topography – forests; swampy coastal plains; and mountains, among it all – also makes for an appealing contrast against the typical ski-holiday getaways during that time of year. A cluster of premium flop-and-drop hotels, such as Belcampo and Blancaneaux Lodge, facilitate a reboot.
Already planning for next summer? Here are 6 uncrowded destinations where you can find a hot-weather escape…
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