From anthems on your iPod to boogie boarding on the beach and the coolest cocktails in the hottest clubs, our ABC of fun in the sun is your blueprint guide to what’s sizzling this summer. The mercury’s high and rising
A is for… anthems
On your ipod, on the beach, blaring from your car stereo or filling your hotel room: summer needs a soundtrack. Ibiza DJ Graham Sahara – a Pacha and Playlist regular – predicts that clubbers will be grooving to If by Haji Emmanuel ft Robert Owens and Let’s Work by Kurd Maverick. On the radio, Song 4 Mutya by Groove Armada should still be around for a while, and you’ll want to put Rihanna’s entire Good Girl Gone Bad album on your ipod, especially Shut Up and Drive. Justin Timberlake’s Summer Love and Shayne Ward’s You Make Me Wish will make it big in the charts.
B is for… board
There’s nothing quite like riding a long, smooth piece of wood in the water. Take lessons in surfing, waveskiing (a mix of kayaking and surfing – easy for beginners), kitesurfing (using a kite to lift you and the board up) and more at the Extreme Academy in Cornwall (01637 860543, www.watergatebay.co.uk) and The Spot (+31 (0)23 571 76 00, www.gotothespot.com) near Amsterdam. For big rollers, hit the Atlantic coast near Bordeaux, while the best place for wind sports is the coast of Tarifa near Malaga. To see how it should be done, check out the World Bodyboard Championships in Lisbon, 22-26 August.
C is for… cocktails
Cool down after a day in the sun with a mojito in Barcelona’s oldest cocktail bar, Boadas. Opened in 1933 by Miguel Boadas, who used to mix drinks for Ernest Hemingway in Cuba, this classy, atmospheric bar has remained almost unchanged to this day.
D is for… dancing the night away
Get into the groove at Liquid in St Helier, Jersey (01534 789356, www.liquidnightclub.co.uk), Sodabar (029 2023 8181, www.thesodabar.com) in Cardiff or Mecca in Prague (+42 (0)602 711225, www.mecca.cz)
E is for… easy glamour
“Everyone from rock stars to royalty is still wearing oversized frames this year, especially the ones by Tom Ford and Linda Farrow Vintage, “says Fiona Lintott, Fashion and Beauty Editor at Conde Nast Traveller. “Colourful jewellery looks good with a tan, and on holiday you can afford to go for unusual items you might not normally wear.” Check out local markets at your destination for quirky items at bargain prices. “When shopping for your trip, swap your H&M shopping habit for new store COS, who do understated chic to perfection,” says Fiona. “You will be far less likely to bump into someone on the beach or in a bar in the same outfit.”
F is for… factor 15
Don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen to avoid the dreaded lobster effect.
G is for… golf
Tee off at the world-class golf courses of Spain, Portugal and, of course, Scotland. Try La Torre (+34 968 044 879, www.polarisworld.com) near Murcia’s Mar Menor inland sea. It’s a challenging course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Or take a swing at Penha Longa’s Atlantic Course (+351 21 924 9011, www.penhalonga.com) on Lisbon’s Golf Coast. It’s set in a spectacular national park. Of course, there’s nothing like playing a round at the home of golf, St Andrews (01334 477036, www.standrews.org.uk) near Edinburgh. All six courses, including the prestigious Old Course, are open to the public, although you might have to go in a ballot to get a tee time. You can play on St Andrews Balgove Course from just £8 for a round, and it’s ideal for children and beginners, so the whole family can join in.
H is for… Hollywood blockbusters
Summer’s all about silly fun, which you’re sure to have watching the hilarious Knocked Up (24 August), clever high-school flick Super Bad (14 September) and Adam Sandler’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (21 September). The year of the threequel continues with Rush Hour 3 (3 August), The Bourne Ultimatum (17 August) and Resident Evil Extinction (21 September), providing just what you’d expect. And did you forget to see The Simpsons Movie (27 July)? D’oh!
I is for… island hopping
Search for seashells on the picturesque shores of St Brelade’s Bay in Jersey, Formentera near Ibiza and Ria Formosa in the Algarve. Get back to nature on Cabrera Island in Mallorca, the Inishkea Islands near Knock and the Ile aux Oiseaux near Bordeaux. Europe is filled with fabulous islands, but perhaps none as magical as our very own Skye near Glasgow. In Rough Guides 25 Ultimate Experiences: Islands (£2.99) it ranks as the fourth best island in the world, with “the charm of its rugged shores, the drama of the jagged mountain tops and the seductive allure of the wonderfully green landscape” being complemented by the delicious local cuisine – fresh seafood, woodland mushrooms, wild venison, heather honey, creamy cheeses and “oatcakes made on a traditional flat skillet in the kitchen.
J is for… just for kids
From tots to teens, most resorts have a kids club full of fun-filled activities. The ones at Parque da Floresta (+351 282 690007, www.parquedafloresta.com) near Faro and The Balmoral (+44 131 556 2414, www.roccofortehotels.com) in Edinburgh are especially good. Drop the kids off and spend the day having grown-up fun.
K is for… kites
Blustery weather doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. Roll out the kite in a field or on the beach for a memorable afternoon. To learn from the experts, check out the Chester Kite Festival near Manchester, 22-23 September
L is for… leaving the beach
Europe’s cities and towns are thriving in summer. Cycle along the canals of Amsterdam, devour an Italian ice cream in one of Rome’s picturesque squares or meet the locals in Paris’ Parc Andre Citroen.
M is for… mountain highs
Head to the hills to take in Europe’s most majestic views. Climb the peaks of Mourne Mountains in County Down or scramble down into the gorges of the Pyrenees near Perpignan.
N is for… natural beauty
“The key look this summer is a sun-kissed golden glow rather than a deep, dark tan,” says Glamour’s beauty director, Alessandra Steinherr. “Try one of the new moisturisers with fake tan built in, which will give a more natural look than fake tan on its own. Even many men who don’t feel comfortable using fake tan are happily slathering on tinted, non-oily moisturisers. Give your make-up regime a break on holiday. All you need to pack is a good smudge-proof mascara to withstand the heat and a tinted lip balm to moisturise the lips and give a hint of colour. For a boost of colour, paint toenails hot pink or coral.”
O is for… open tops
Cruising through gorgeous scenery and cities with the roof down, sunglasses on and the wind in your hair – there’s nothing like it. Hop in a classic E-Type Jaguar from Gourmet Touring (+33 (0)632800474, www.gourmet-touring.com) in Bordeaux, a striking Austin Healey 3000 from Cornwall Classic Car Hire (0845 458 1108, www.cornwallclassiccarhire.co.uk) in Newquay, or Peugeot 206 Coupe Cabriolet from Hertz at most bmibaby destinations (www.bmibaby.com)
P is for… picnics
Visit the local market and stock up on cheese, pates, fruit, bread and wine for the perfect al fresco feast. Throw your blanket down on Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire near Cardiff, leafy Petrín Hill overlooking Prague or in the atmospheric ruins of Ostia Antica near Rome.
Q is for… quintessential summer item
“If you buy only one item for your holiday, make it a good-quality swimsuit,” says Fiona. One-pieces are in for women, while men should stick to mid-thigh to knee length swim shorts. “Designer swimwear will fit much better and last longer than high street versions,” says Fiona. “Eres, Melissa Odabash and Heidi Klein are all doing fantastic suits for women, while Orlebar Brown make great swimshorts for men. When deciding on a colour, bear in mind that black suits everyone, and don’t risk pale or white until you have a bit of sun. Wear red if you want to get noticed,” says Fiona. “To cover up, women should your swimsuit under a summer smock. Kaftans have had their day.”
R is for… resolution
Not of the ‘I will stick to my bikini diet’ kind. We’re talking megapixels here. In the excellent book, How to Photograph Absolutely Everything (£25, Dorling Kindersley), Tom Ang shares his tips for taking successful holiday snaps. “When photographing scenes with people, it is better to be too close than too far away.” This especially applies if you’re shooting a landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower. There is no point asking your mate to lean against the Eiffel Tower if you have to dash across the Seine to get the whole tower in the pic. They’ll be nothing but a dot. Get them to stand close to the camera and have the Eiffel Tower in the background. If you want to eliminate the crowds around landmarks, another method is to “point the camera upwards, crouching close to your subject.”
S is for… sand
In your shoes, sunscreen lotion, swimming trunks and hair. Grains of it appear as a reminder of your holiday for weeks after you get back home.
T is for… tents
When Cath Kidston started making tents, it was clear that camping had gone upmarket. Now 20-something Sloane rangers happily share showers with young families and old hippies.
U is for… umbrellas
When it rains in summer, it pours. Stay dry with a stylish umbrella from www.simplyumbrellas.co.uk
V is for… volleyball
…frisbee, petanque and croquet – it’s the best time of year for a fun game with friends.
W is for… wildlife
Watch whales in Tarifa near Malaga (www.firmm.org), puffins and seals at the Scottish Seabird Centre near Edinburgh (01620 890 202, www.seabird.org) and cranes at the Parc Ornithologique du Teich near Bordeaux (+33 (0)556 228093, www.parc-ornithologique-du-teich.com). Humans aren’t the only animals who enjoy the warmer weather.
X is for… Xátiva
Hundreds of fountains keep this village make this village near Murcia a refreshing respite on a hot summer’s day, while Tivoli near Rome comes a close second with 500 fountains and cascades.
Y is for… yachts
Get a taste of the high life by hiring your own, or watch millionaires at play on theirs. The best places for yacht-spotting are the Cote d’Azur between Nice and Marseille, Puerto Banus near Malaga and St Helier in Jersey.
Z is for… zzz…
Pop up the parasol, roll down the blinds or hop in the hammock. Nothing says summer holiday like a leisurely lunch followed by an afternoon siesta. Bliss.
See it online here: http://bmibabymagazine.com/2007/08/a-z-of-summer-welcome/