If you aren’t a skier planning a snow-packed season on the slopes, perhaps you long for a respite from the cold in some scenic, sun-filled spot. Contemplate Spain, where the summer crowds have thinned, the weather is temperate for most of the year, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular.
Consider Formentera, a quiet neighbor to Ibiza and part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, with stunning beaches and a laid-back atmosphere free of chain restaurants, brand name stores, and pretense. While A-listers like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell have been spotted on holiday here, there is no airport (you can ferry there) and mostly small, boutique hotels, making it an idyllic spot if you’re looking for peace and quiet.
Granada, home of the magnificent Alhambra, is one of Spain’s most distinctive and cherished destinations, a lively Andalusian city home to flamenco venues, Moorish sights and a distinctive tapas culture. Located at the foot of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, it’s close to the sunny Costa Tropical, where you can soak up sun on the coast throughout the fall with the snow-capped panorama as a backdrop.
For stunning natural beauty and an excellent year-round climate, as well as fabulous food, and inviting sunny beaches, Spain’s Canary Islands are among the best winter sun destination in Europe. You can hit the white, sandy shores of Fuerteventura, the closest island to North Africa, explore the nightlife and dramatic natural parks of Tenerife, and/or soak up some culture and a bit of history in cosmopolitan Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
If golf is your thing, Spain is home to a wealth of magnificent golf courses, led by the fabled Ryder Cup venue in Valderrama, a few miles from Gibraltar. More great courses are located along the Mediterranean Coast, extending from the Portuguese border in the Southwest to Barcelona and the Costa Brava in the Northeast.
With a year-round climate perfectly suited to golf, together with amazing food and wines, a rich historical and cultural mosaic, and easy access to glorious beaches, Spain’s Mediterranean Coast may well be the perfect fall vacation destination.