Top picks for summer 2012 holidays

Wednesday, 4 January 2012 4:20 PM

If you are already counting down the days until summer and are keen to start planning your overseas getaway right away, your intentions might be thwarted by trouble deciding where to go - particularly if you have limited time available to take off.

Indeed, should you only be able to take a short break next year, you may wish to set your sights on somewhere in Europe, and, for sun worshippers, holidays in Greece could be ideal.

This historic country boasts some of the most fascinating archaeological sites in the world and will certainly keep history buffs busy. In addition, it has a fascinating culture, welcoming locals and some beautiful scenery to explore - the nation really does have something for everyone.

However, you may still find it difficult to choose whether to book Greece hotels on the mainland or on one of the islands, which include Cos, Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos.

If you plan to enjoy mainland Greece, the peninsular of Peloponnese could be ideal as it has a wealth of fascinating historical attractions to see. Should you prefer to spend your short break on an island, meanwhile, Corfu Town's narrow streets should provide plenty of attractions to keep you busy.

For a spot of pampering, book yourself into a luxurious hotel on the islands of Santorini or Mykonos where you can completely unwind, while you'll find Kos promises an equally relaxing getaway that is sure to send you away feeling refreshed.

You may be sold on heading to Greece, but another equally popular option for summer holidays is a stay in a Spanish hotel.

Its European location makes this country just as easy to reach as Greece, with flights regularly jetting off from across the UK to both mainland Spain and its islands.

Indeed, the country is one of the most popular destinations for a summer holiday among Britons, largely because it can be reached within a matter of hours, leaving you with more time to get on with enjoying yourself.

Again, there are many resorts to choose between, from the Costa del Sol and the city of Barcelona on the mainland, to the nearby Balearic or Canary Islands - each of which has its own unique attractions.

The Canary Islands enjoy great weather almost all year round and the capital Gran Canaria is a tourism hotspot, making it ideal for family breaks.

Lanzarote promises a more laidback trip, where you can spend your days admiring the unusual volcanic landscape, while Fuerteventura is perfect if you want to try your hand at water sports and indulge in some surfing. Tenerife is also likely to be a consideration as it is such a firm favourite with holidaymakers.

The Balearic Islands have just as much to offer, from the world-famous nightclubs of Ibiza to the sunny beaches of Menorca and Majorca. Keep in mind that although this archipelago has something of a reputation for a party atmosphere, this is only present at certain resort areas on the coasts and you will find plenty of places with a more relaxed vibe if that's the type of holiday you enjoy.

On the mainland, the Costa del Sol is simply beautiful and boasts miles of perfect beaches perfect for catching some rays.

The city of Barcelona offers all this and more, with the city a rich mix of beaches, boutiques, restaurants, museums and nightclubs.

Why not start planning your summer 2012 holiday now?

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