Side Street Style: 5 Short-Haul Exotic European Destinations

Side Street Style

A UK family travel and lifestyle blog

14/05/2018

5 Short-Haul Exotic European Destinations

Exotic destination


When it comes to exotic destinations we often thinks of places like Thailand, Costa Rica or far-flung Caribbean islands but you really don't have to hop onto a long haul flight to find those white sands and crystal blue seas as there are plenty of short haul exotic destinations right here in Europe, making them a great for a mini-escape when you have had frankly enough of the unpredictable British weather. This list could easily be doubled what I am going to share but I thought I would put together a mix of places I have either been to or want to visit and certainly capture that exotic far-flung feeling.

1. Isles of Scilly

Less than a 10-minute flight from Lands End and you are instantly transported to somewhere so unique and special you will wonder why you have never visited before. We spent a week exploring the Isles of Scilly in 2016 and have been dreaming of going back ever since. Every morning we woke up to the most beautiful views and would take barefoot strolls on the beach after breakfast, the Isles move to its own slower time and you easily fall into that relaxing feeling while embracing all the simple pleasures. Despite it being the height of summer while we were there it wasn't busy at all, often finding ourselves alone on our beach walks on St Martins. The Isles are certainly up there with any other isolated beach destination and I highly recommend it.


St Martins
Enjoying St Martins, Isles of Scilly


2. Kotor, Montenegro

Ever since I went backpacking and inter-railing through Europe (before kids) I would hear so many fantastic things about Montenegro and actually headed down that way but detoured up through Croatia and Hungary and ever since have always wanted to go back visit. For those who don't know Kotor is a fortified town on the Adriatic coast and has long been a hot spot for the yachting set but now with easily available flights, it has opened the way to move people being able to visit this secluded bay. Despite it being frequented by the rich and famous there is also a simplicity here as well as four National Parks. stunning lakes and beautiful beaches there is plenty of outdoor fun to be had.

3. Antibes, South of France

If you already read my blog regularly you will know I have a real soft spot for the South of France, having worked and lived there for a few months just before settling down it's somewhere that is very close to my heart, so much so that it was the natural choice for where I wanted to celebrate my 30th Birthday. What I love about Antibes is it's so creative, colorful but slower and more quaint than Nice and less pretentious than Cannes. It has wonderful beaches that are safe for families to swim in as well as plenty of Gelato shops, museums and that laid back vibe that harks ever so gently to years gone by when Hollywood starlets would visit this region to retreat from it all. I've also written a family friendly guide to The South Of France so do check it out.




4. Capri, Italy

This Italian island in the Gulf of Naples is famed for it's natural beauty and youthful hednomism that has been attracting visitors since Roman times and it somewhere that is very high up on my bucket list. There is so much to see and do on this small island including the famous Blue Grotto, a beautiful sea cave with a tiny opening that attracts a lot of tourists. You could also hire your own motorboat and explore the island or go hiking on one of many trails.

5. El Hierro, Spain

Most will not have heard of the island of El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, as well as the most natural and rugged and is completely self-sufficient using only renewable energy. It has a small airport that connects with Tenerife and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve which means it has limited construction and while there are hotels and Villas and I recommend you book in advance, Interhome have some on their website, it's an Island very rich in natural wonders including rich forest, lava features and sea cliffs as well as a stunning coastline.


Beach holidays

5 comments:

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  2. I've never been to any of these places, but I'd hop on a flight in a heartbeat if I had the extra cash! Great picks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. For as long as I can remember we always chose short haul holidays when my girls were little. All these places are lovely and make great holiday destinations.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I’ve never heard of el hierro before. Some great ideas here and they all look so exotic

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  5. I've never been to any of these places but they do look very nice and not far away either

    ReplyDelete

Lovely comments

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