The British summer may be well and truly over, but don’t despair - It’s always summer somewhere! Beat the post-summer blues by getting a dose of winter sun and booking a last minute sunshine getaway now and shop for the perfect holiday wardrobe with our latest arrivals from the hottest swimwear and resort wear designers hand-picked from around the globe. September is the perfect time to book a beach holiday in Europe. Children are back at school so you won't be fighting for a sun bed or having to pre-book a restaurant 3 days in advance. Head to Sicily and the Aeolian islands for a truly unforgettable experience...
WHERE TO GO
At the most southern point of Italy, Sicily has an array of wonderful holiday destinations to choose from. Head off-the-beaten-track to the Aeolian Islands of Salina and Panarea for a combination of tranquility and the buzziness of islands such as Mykonos and Ibiza. It will be out of season so many locals will have vacated their homes, but the sea will be at its warmest which makes it the perfect time to hire a boat, snorkel and explore deserted coves.
WHERE TO STAY
Capo Faro Hotel, Salina
Stay at Capo Faro on the island of Salina and explore the nearby towns of Santa Marina and Malfa. The hotel is located on the edge of a cliff with breathtaking views of Stromboli and Panarea. Before you leave don't forget to hire a moped and explore the island along its sole road that winds up and down the once active volcano for spectacular views. Alternatively, if you want to name drop stay at the iconic Hotel Raya on the island of Panarea where Italian hipsters come to people watch and be spotted. September is considered low season for the archipelagos, so you will definitely be able to enjoy the true beauty of this hotel and its views without the chaos that can be found in July and August.
WHERE TO EAT
For a romantic dinner head to La Locanda Del Postino situated in the town of Pollara, on the North West of Salina - the guest house and restaurant is located just above where the Italian classic 'The Postman' was filmed. Get here for before sun down for the best view of the sunset on the island. For a more casual dinner head to Da Alfredo in the town of Lingua to try the infamous 'pane cunzatu' a local speciality. If you are looking to enjoy some of the best seafood on the island, Il Gambero, also in Lingua, offers a more sophisticated menu. A local specialty is the fish of the day cooked under a bed of salt. Be sure to try a Sicilian Cassata for dessert and be blown away finished off with a glass of local Malvasia wine.
WHERE TO SHOP
Artisan ceramics from Sicily
Salina - There is a small row of shops in the centre of Santa Marina. Pick up traditional Sicilian ceramics and tableware - be prepared to be overwhelmed with choice.
Lipari - As one of the larger islands of the archipelagos, Lipari's shops are usually overflowing with tourists, so September is the perfect time to explore many of the wonderful artisan shops.
Panarea - Browse the island's hippest boutique at Hotel Raya with their carefully curated selection of jewellery, clothing and accessories, or enjoy a spot of fine jewellery shopping with brands such as Chopard, Rolex and Pomellato.
WHAT TO WEAR