Cómo aprovechar al máximo un fin de semana en la playa


By Harriet Cooper

Photograph by Andrew Power/Getty Images

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Agosto 2016

¿Quién ha dicho que no es posible salir del trabajo el viernes, embarcar en un avión para disfrutar del sol, el mar y el glamour y estar de vuelta en la oficina 48 horas más tarde? Harriet Cooper cita tres lugares en Europa perfectos para una escapada de playa que nos darán mucho que hablar el lunes.

Ibiza, España

It has long been a byword for hedonism, but the picturesque White Isle isn’t all about partying hard. There’s a cooler, more laid-back side, too – you just need to know where to look...

Escápese

What more civilized way to end your working week than by catching British Airways’ 20:10 flight from London Gatwick? You’ll touch down at 23:30, but this is Ibiza time, so the party is only just getting started.

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Facturación/check-in

A ten-minute drive from the airport, Hotel Torre del Mar is on the quieter stretch of fashionable Playa d’en Bossa, making it a peaceful haven from the island’s vibrant nightlife. Interiors are minimalist, there’s a spa, two pools and free Wi-Fi.

Book a stay at Hotel Torre del Mar >

Don’t miss

En verano, la temperatura del agua puede alcanzar los 26 ºC, así que durante el día el foco está claramente en la playa. Tome el ferri hasta la vecina (y muy relajante) isla de Formentera, que tarda 30 minutos (compre los billetes en el puerto de Ibiza). Por la noche, arrasan los ritmos. Las macrodiscotecas como Pacha y Ushuaia están a tiro de piedra, pero tal vez quiera añadir a Hi Ibiza a su lista de grandes éxitos, que ha ocupado el lugar de Space, que cerró a finales del verano de 2016 tras 27 años de algunas de las mejores fiestas del mundo. Ya lo sabe: ahora toca ponerse los zapatos de baile.

  • Pick up some Portuguese ceramic souvenirs from Porches Pottery in the Algarve

    Who you calling chicken?

    Look out for the brightly-coloured Galo de Barcelos – the Portuguese rooster is a symbol of honesty, integrity and trust (thanks to local folklore). You’ll find the country’s unofficial emblem in every souvenir shop, mostly in ceramic form.

    Find things to do in Faro
  • Tuck into tasty Italian food at La Oliva, Ibiza

    Pruébelo usted mismo...

    La Oliva is open for dinner from 18:30-01:00 daily, from mid-April to mid-October. Booking is essential.

    Explore Ibiza
  • The pretty cliffside village of Positano, Italy

    ¿Sabía que...?

    Legend has it that Positano is named after Poseidon, god of the sea. The ancient Greeks and Phoenicians used the beach town as stop on their voyages to the west.

    Holidays in Naples

Drink up

The cool crowd hang out at Ibiza’s beach clubs, where the vibe is easy-going, the music chilled and the rosé is always on ice. Cotton Beach Club in Cala Tarida is worth the 30-minute cab ride. Reserve a sunbed on the white sand beach – like most places you pay by row, with the first row being the most expensive – and watch the sun go down as the beautiful people party.

Recargue energía

The winding cobbled streets of Dalt Vila (the older part of Ibiza Town and a UNESCO World Heritage site) come alive in the early evening. La Oliva is situated on one of the town’s most animated squares. Book an outdoor table and watch the street performers as you tuck into the Italian fare.

Bring it back

Head to one of Ibiza’s hippy markets, which offer a rainbow-hued collection of handmade clothing, jewellery, textiles and artifacts. One of the biggest is the colourful Las Dalias, which takes place on Saturdays in San Carlos – everyone from Bob Marley to Led Zeppelin has been. Go early to avoid the crowds.

Regreso a casa

It’s time to pack up your new kaftans and hop on the 18:05 BA CityFlyer, which lands at London City Airport at 19:30 – at a push you might be home in time for a cup of tea and the end of Antiques Roadshow. The perfect antidote to a wild weekend in Ibiza.

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

Feasting al fresco, Camparis at sunset, dancing in natural caves… it’s little wonder that this stretch of beguiling coastline in southern Italy is a favourite of sunseekers.

Escápese

Book a half day (go on, it’s Friday) and catch the 15:05 BA flight from London Gatwick, which arrives in Naples at 18:45. You will have missed the last ferry, so hop on a train at the main station to Sorrento – it takes between 45-90 minutes, depending on the train. Either way, you’ll get there in time for a glass of something chilled.

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Facturación/check-in

The Grand Hotel Capodimonte is nestled in the hillside above Sorrento and offers stunning vistas of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Rooms are spacious, the lush terraced gardens are dotted with olive and lemon trees, and there are five cascading swimming pools.

Book a stay at Grand Hotel Capodimonte >

Don’t miss

Sorrento is known as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast for good reason. During the summer season, buses and ferries depart regularly to the many small beaches and picturesque cliffside villages, such as Positano, known for its pastel-coloured buildings, vertiginous cobbled streets and bustling marina. Or take the 30-minute boat journey to Capri and visit the Blue Grotto, where sunlight illuminates the sea cave a brilliant blue.

Drink up

One of the most renowned clubs on this stretch of coastline, Africana, is a 30-minute cab ride from Sorrento. Set within natural caves at sea level in the village of Praiano, everyone from Jackie Kennedy to Rudolf Nureyev has let their hair down here.

Recargue energía

For a gloriously lazy lunch, take the ten-minute boat ride from Positano (look for the fishing boat with a huge red fish on the mast) to a shack on Laurito Beach. This is the family-run Da Adolfo where you can feast on mozzarella di bufala, handmade pasta and grilled catch of the day before sleeping it all off on a nearby sunbed.

Bring it back

Make space in your suitcase for the local liqueur limoncello, which is made with fresh lemons; or splurge on a pair of Positano’s famed leather sandals or some colourful ceramics, most of which are made in the nearby town of Vietri sul Mare.

Regreso a casa

BA’s flight on Sunday night takes off from Naples at 20:15 and arrives back in London Gatwick at 22:00 – meaning you won’t be propping your eyes open with matchsticks come Monday morning.

El Algarve

With its golden beaches, pretty whitewashed villages, fresh seafood and sleek five-star hotels, sun-kissed southern Portugal has everything you could wish for on a beach weekend away.

Escápese

You’ll need to slope off a little early from work (just remember to bring back a nice present for your boss), but catching the 16:00 flight from London Gatwick will put you in Faro at the civilised time of 18:55.

Find our cheapest flights to Faro >

Facturación/check-in

A 20-minute cab ride from the airport, the five-star Conrad Algarve ticks all the boxes. A location on the ever-fashionable Quinta do Lago? Check. Three Championship golf courses? Check. Four pools, a sleek spa, and restaurant by super chef Heinz Beck? Check, check, check. Modelled on an 18th-century Portuguese palace, the 154-room hotel is just a free shuttle ride away from a sandy beach.

Book a stay at Conrad Algarve >

  • Make a splash: one of four swimming pools at the Conrad Algarve

    Consejo de expertos...

    If you really want to splash out, book the Presidential Roof Garden Suite at the Conrad Algarve. The 300 square metre sanctuary comes with a private infinity pool and butler plus access to the exclusive roof garden.

    Reserve su estancia

Don’t miss

Fancy the chance to see dolphins swimming in their natural habitat? Catch a boat from Albufeira and explore the rugged coastline up to Carvoeiro, with its stunning coves, interesting rock formations and, of course, dolphins – there’s even a marine biologist on board to answer any questions.

Drink up

Head to the pretty whitewashed village of Salema – its main road is lined with fishermen’s houses, some of which are now bars and restaurants that spill out onto the beach. Take a seat on the sun-drenched terrace of Boia and work your way through a cold bottle of the local wine vinho verde.

Recargue energía

Spend a balmy evening at the Michelin-starred Vila Joya in Albufeira – the only restaurant in Portugal to make the top 50 in San Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurants list. It’s pricey and there’s a dress code, but sitting on the terrace, surrounded by flickering candles, eating exquisite food with the sound of the waves below is perfection.

Bring it back

The Portuguese have ceramics down to a fine art and the town of Porches is where you’ll find the best workshops, such as Porches Pottery.

Regreso a casa

You want to be fresh as a daisy at work, so Sunday’s 18:00 flight from Faro is a great option – you’ll land at London Gatwick at 20:40, giving you plenty of time to catch up on your beauty sleep (you’ll even be able to squeeze in a long Portuguese lunch before you leave).