Points-based timeshare ownership is a clever way to fill the gap between summer and winter, so why not use your points towards a mini-break somewhere different this autumn? Here are 5 places to get away to before winter sets in:
The UK celebrity favourite, Marbella’s blue sky autumns and local festivals make it a great place to escape to for a short break.
Why go? Hire a car and explore the untouched coast near Tarifa, west of Gibraltar, or head for the hills of Ronda for chestnut season. The town’s tapas bars are superb, its bullring famous and Ernest Hemingway was a big fan. Ronda is full of history, character and a foodie favourite – it’s where you’ll find one of Spain’s best Michelin star restaurants, Tragabuches. Ronda is an easy drive from Marbella, well signposted and well worth a day’s excursion.
If you want to see more of the Cadiz coast than Tarifa, drive up towards Jerez, the capital of sherry making, and visit Arcos Gardens Golf Club & Country Estate in Arcos de la Frontera. It’s a beautiful inland golf resort and part of the Registry Collection’s luxury destinations. www.registrycollection.com www.arcosgardens.com
Why go? To recharge your batteries before winter sets in with a rejuvenating golf or spa break. Club La Costa www.clublacosta.com and Petchey Leisure www.petcheyleisure.com both have resorts near the beach in the Algarve, making it a logical choice for an autumn sunshine escape. If you’re renting a car, don’t miss Vilamoura’s smart but very relaxed harbour, with its cafés, restaurants and mini and mega yachts.
Golfers will enjoy the green space at Hilton Grand Vacation Club’s Hilton Vilamoura Resort & Spa. The resort is set in 40,000 m2 of stunning Algarve scenery between the Pinhal and Old course golf clubs. A golf centre, beautiful spa with zen gardens, pools, waterfalls, amazing adventure park for children, excellent onsite dining and good nightlife are just some of the many attractions herewww.higvc.co.uk
Why go? If you’ve done the beach holiday this summer and are more in the mood for a city break then you can’t go wrong with Paris. It’s especially beautiful in autumn and couldn’t be easier to reach (just hop on Eurostar from London’s St. Pancras station).
After you’ve visited the main sites, there are plenty of side streets and “undiscovered” quartiers to explore. Do the Left Bank and the tourist hotspots, but then head over to the lovely Marais quarter if you have time. This neighbourhood is packed with interesting shops – you’ll find up-and-coming designer boutiques, quirky bookshops and loads of delicious boulangeries and brasseries.
Central and convenient, the Multiresidence de l’Elysee is Interval International’s newest Paris resort. Your very own pad in Paris (in a six-storey building on the Rive Gauche by the River Seine) comes with a prestigious address and is close to the Champs-Elysees – right between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. www.intervalworld.com
Why go? Cornwall has so many charms there are too many reasons to list, but food, local beer and wines, beautiful beaches – and cheese – would be some of them! Even the royals head to Rock during the summer, while foodie favourite Padstock, home to three Rick Stein restaurants, is another big draw.
If you’re taking the kids, don’t miss a trip to the Eden Project, a fascinating eco-biosphere style attraction that stretches out into the countryside. There’s a gift shop, and huge “biodomes” where you can wander through different climates and learn about Mediterranean and tropical plans and fruit trees. In summer, the Eden Project is famous for its music festival, the Eden Sessions, and in winter there’s more magic again as its ice skating rink transforms into a Christmassy winter wonderland – kids can skate while parents join in or watch from the sidelines with a glass of wine in hand.
Club La Costa has two resorts in Cornwall: Hustyns near Wadebridge, which is not far from Padstow, and Trenython in Fowey, famous for its Daphne Du Maurier literary festival.www.hustyns.comwww.trenython.co.uk
Why go? You can’t go to Dublin and not go to the Guinness factory! Just hop on the Dublin City Sightseeing Tour for an eagle-eye tour of the city (wrap up warmly if you’re on the top deck) The city’s cultural attractions are legendary, from Dublin Castle to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and it’s a very walkable place with plenty of bookstores and cosy pubs to linger in along the way. Dublin Zoo is the third oldest in Europe and beautiful Phoenix Park, an oasis of green in a historic stone city, is one of the largest city parks in any major capital. Step back in time in Brown Thomas, Dublin’s famous department store which dates back to 1849, where the latest in Irish and international designer fashions, luxury gifts and beauty are all under one elegant roof.
Dublin has been giving London a run for its money lately on the food front, as more Irish chefs dominate the food scene and the city’s dining options are exciting and eclectic as well as quintessentially Irish – and if you’re a books-and-coffee lover, Dublin’s a treat.
The Fitzpatrick Hotel Holiday Homes, through RCI, are the place to stay if you’re looking for a base that offers peace and quiet yet is a 20-minute drive into Dublin. Killiney, the local beach, is famous – it’s where Bono, Eddie Irvine and Van Morrisson have homes. Fitzpatrick Hotel Holiday Homes are Gold Crown resort apartments right next to Fitzpatrick Castle, which is now a hotel, and room offer views of the Wicklow Mountains. www.rci.com