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Late Escape: 5 Exciting Last-Minute Destinations Before Summer Ends

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Just one possible destination for your fabu

Mario Fajt / Flickr / CC BY 2.

With autumn just around the corner, lots of people are itching to take one last trip before the weather turns. Think the first week of September is too late to plan your last summer hurrah? Think again. There’s still time to enjoy plenty of sun and relaxation in some of the world’s most gorgeous destinations. And no matter when you travel, you can find surprising last-minute deals on hotels.

We’ve hand-picked a few of our favorite end-of-summer vacation destinations, just for you.

#1 Malta

Europe, the Near East, and North Africa all collide on this tiny island nation in the Mediterranean, just 80 km south of Sicily. Presumably getting its name from the ancient Greek for “honey-sweet,” Malta’s historic architecture, striking limestone deposits, and sparkling coastline have made it a jewel of the European Union. Malta’s mix of cultures will fascinate you as well. While Malta’s official religion is Roman Catholicism, the Maltese language actually derives from the same roots as Arabic and Hebrew.

Malta’s capital, the micro-city of Valletta, is the smallest capital city in the European Union at less than a square kilometer. But don’t be fooled by its diminutive size — Valletta’s ornate palaces, limestone walls and ancient treasures will keep any visitor fascinated. For a place to relax off the beaten path, check out the beaches and lagoons that connect this tiny collection of islands.

#2 Ko Lipe, Thailand

If it’s pure sun, sand, and sea you want in your late-summer holiday, book a trip to the island of Ko Lipe. Off the western coast of Thailand, this pristine nature preserve offers endless seaside activities, including some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world.

Ko Lipe’s undersea wonders are matched only by its white sandy beaches, and breathtaking forest scenery. Relax at one of the beachside cafes, and hike up to the Koh Adang viewpoint to take it all in.

#3 San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

At first glance, San Miguel de Allende might seem like an unlikely contender for a fabulous late-summer getaway. With no international airport, this city in central Mexico is not easy to get to, and it’s nowhere near a beach.

Just one stroll through magical San Miguel, however, and you might be ready to stay forever. The city’s unmatched collection of 17th and 18th century buildings has earned it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s no wonder that San Miguel de Allende has a large expatriate population, with its stunning Spanish colonial architecture, lovely climate year-round, and world-class blend of arts and culture.

Visitors to San Miguel rave about its first-rate cuisine, often served atop the city’s numerous rooftop gardens. After a meal of traditional Mexican food, explore San Miguel de Allende’s many galleries and handicraft markets. This is one last-minute destination that might capture your imagination and your heart for a lifetime.

#4 Dubrovnik, Croatia

By now, you’ve probably heard plenty of rave reviews of Dubrovnik’s gorgeous setting, nestled on the Adriatic coastline, and its Old City, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. As one of the most well-preserved Medieval cities on the planet, Dubrovnik lives up to its reputation as one of the top destinations in southern Europe. While Dubrovnik is no longer as mysterious and unknown as it once was, the many attractions of this coastal Balkan city have lost none of their luster.

If you’ve been putting off visiting Dubrovnik, this fall might be the perfect time to go. The peak of tourism season has already passed, but high temperatures still reach a balmy 75F. Enjoy all the beauty and splendor this city has to offer, and a little peace and quiet.

#5 Fez, Morocco

One of the lesser-known major cities in Morocco, Fez is the craft-loving traveler’s dream. If you’d rather peruse local shops and outdoor booths than lay on the beach, and if you love the chaotic romance of the Middle East’s bazaars and food vendors, go to Fez.

Enjoy Morocco’s famously delicious cuisine, and explore the various markets for beautiful hand-crafted items, from jewelry and pottery to slippers and scarves. For textile enthusiasts especially, Fez is a must-see. It was the only producer of fezzes, its namesake wool hats, until the 19th century, and Fez’s inner old city still houses the oldest leather tannery in the world.

By early autumn, the hot summer in Fez has given way to more pleasant temperatures in the 70′s and 80′s. Be sure to bring your walking shoes, and get ready to pound the pavement (or cobblestones in this case). Fez’s medina, where the legendary leather tannery and some of the city’s most iconic markets are located, is one of the world’s largest car-free urban centers.

This post has been produced with the cooperation of Uyora, a last-minute summer travel getaway.

Andrea~S / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2

For a charming getaway in the Mediterranean, book a trip to Malta.
Vera & Jean-Christophe / Flick

Ko Lipe Island, Thailand: pure paradise, plain and simple.
Jiuguang Wang / Flickr / CC BY

You might be surprised by the unmatched beauty and charm of San Miguel de Allende.
mattharvey1 / Flickr / CC BY-N

One of the famous walled fortresses of Dubrovnik’s Old City.
Shantanu Shah / Flickr / CC BY

The artisanal tradition in Fez, Morocco, make this an ideal destination for shoppers and handicraft enthusiasts.
Mark Fischer /Flickr / CC BY-

For a truly unforgettable experience, see the legendary leather tanneries in Fez.

Huelo Dunn

Huelo is an American from the beautiful state of Oregon, living in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has several years of experience with blogging, social media management, community engagement and entrepreneurial development. She loves knitting, writing, good stories and Bulgarian hospitality. Her blog can be found here....(Read More)

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