The Best Destinations for a Last-Minute Holiday in 2017

The Best Destinations for a Last-Minute Holiday in 2017

Whoever said failure to prepare is preparation for failure clearly never experienced the thrill of being spontaneous. While it's all very commendable to plan things months and years in advance, sometimes it's just wonderfully liberating to make a snap decision. Never more so than with planning holidays. Forget the Year of the Rooster, 2017 is turning out to be the Year of the Last Minute Merchant. Lucky for you, we know all the best spots to head to in the next couple of months...



After years of political strife Myanmar has, in more recent times, taken great strides towards democracy and in turn towards tourism. And visitors will find a country completely (and unsurprisingly) unspoilt, awash with beautiful cultural monuments, historic ruins, colourful markets and bountiful countryside. You'll also be hard pressed to find a friendlier nation of people, all eager to introduce their wonderful country to travellers. Take a slow boat up the Irrawaddy, look out over the temples of Bagan aboard a hot air balloon at sunrise and relax, cocktail in hand, on the shores of Inle Lake. The best time to visit is between October and May, so now is the perfect time to head to Myanmar.



From the labyrinthine cobbled streets of Antigua to the towering temples of Tikal and the peaceful still waters of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala is a perfect snapshot of authentic Central America. Even more so because it is also home to the largest indigenous population of any Latin American nation. The country, jostling for contention with its neighbours, has recently sought to carve something of a niche for itself in the form of eco-tourism, which it has done to great success. Head there between now and the end of April and you will be guaranteed the best weather for exploring all Guatemala has to offer.


Andalucia, Spain

While much of Europe doesn't paint itself in climatic glory during February and March, if you can wait until April things start to hot up in areas like Andalucia, which boasts a rather tantalising eight hours of sunshine per day in April. Stay at the beautiful Hacienda San Rafael, a family-run former olive farm perfectly perched halfway between Seville and Jerez, and explore not only the two cities but the rugged Spanish countryside surrounding the hotel, dotted with fascinating fortified towns which formed the historic frontier of the Christian and Muslim kingdoms.


Florida Keys, USA

The Florida Keys, a string of over 1700 tropical islands stretching 120 miles off the coast of the USA towards Cuba, feels like a destination apart from the rest of the USA - many of the towns have a distinctly Caribbean feel with a vibrant and laidback atmosphere, streets lined with hipster seafood shacks and beautiful beaches. This area is every outdoor-lover's dream with the main attractions being the fishing and the diving (on the world's third largest living barrier reef).



If you're in immediate need of a weekend away and don't want to travel too far, there are few better destinations than Morocco. Flights from London take just three and a half hours and there is no time difference so there's no need to sacrifice yourself to jet lag to achieve holiday heaven. The bustling souq, chic boutique hotels and fragrant cuisine of Marrakech make for one of our all-time favourite city breaks. If it's getting away from it all you need - a few days in the wide open spaces of the Atlas Mountains will rejuvenate the most weary of travellers. And as for beach options, the temperature in Essaouira teeters around a balmy 20ËšC at this time of year.



The wild card entry. Anyone with an appreciation for the great outdoors, excellent hospitality, plentiful (and delicious) food and booze, and a desire to explore somewhere a bit different should seriously consider Georgia. The cobbled streets of its elegant capital, Tbilisi, bear the marks of a history under various rules, including the Persian and Russian Empires, making for a fascinating dichotomy of architecture. Beyond the city you'll find mountain scenery to rival that of New Zealand and Canada, which in springtime is bursting with colour, transforming it into something of a pastoral idyll.