Where to book a last-minute September break for Gen Z travellers

With Gen Z the most likely to book a short trip at the last minute, Isobel Turner seeks recommendations for sunny September breaks

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1. Turkey

What’s the brief?

A recent study by American Express Travel found that Gen Z prefer shorter breaks, and were most likely to book last-minute. In this case, a solo traveller wants a short trip where they can enjoy the sun and immerse themselves in local culture with a small, friendly group.

Ashley McGough, 18-29 product manager, Intrepid Travel

We suggest

“I’d recommend an organised tour where they can meet other like-minded travellers of a similar age. Our Five Days in Cappadocia tour, exclusively for 18-29-year-olds, strikes the perfect balance between guided excursions and free time. Most of this trip is spent in Cappadocia, which is famous for its hot-air balloon-filled sky – amazing photos are guaranteed! Plus, travellers can pay for a sunrise balloon ride and enjoy breathtaking views of the region’s landscape.

We show travellers Cappadocia’s iconic sights, while giving them a taste of local culture. They’ll witness the unique rock formations known as fairy chimneys, explore the underground city of Kaymakli that’s carved into the rock, and enjoy a traditional dinner in a local home.

The tour begins in Antalya and ends in lively Istanbul. In their free time, travellers can enjoy everything from cycling through Goreme’s hollowed-out hills to relaxing in a hammam. September is a great month to visit Turkey, as the summer crowds have thinned, but the sun is still shining with temperatures of around 24-30C.”

Book it: Intrepid Travel’s Five Days in Cappadocia tour, with three departures in September, costs from £410, including accommodation and selected meals and activities, but not flights.

2. Croatia

What’s the brief?

A young couple are looking to spend a few days in a sunny destination. They enjoy exploring nature and would like the chance to visit a national park, as well as looking round a town or city. They’d also like to visit bars and restaurants and sample local cuisine.

Noel Josephides, chairman, Sunvil

We suggest

“The Makarska Riviera is a beautiful part of Croatia. There’s lots to do and there are easy connections to other parts of the country, making it a perfect destination for this couple. The Hotel Osejava is located on the waterfront and is a great base for exploring.

Just behind the hotel is the Osejava Forest Park. A wander through the Dalmatian pines promises remarkable views, as well as secluded spots for swimming and sunbathing. To explore the coastline, I recommend a sea-kayaking excursion.

Visitors can enjoy views of the Biokovo Mountain and a swim in the sea. For nature lovers, a trip to Krka National Park is essential. Less than two hours from Makarska, Krka is famous for its imposing waterfalls, scenic walks and birdwatching. Split, Croatia’s second-largest city, is also within easy reach. Take a day trip to explore the town and sample local cuisine in waterfront restaurants. There’s also a range of lovely restaurants and bars in Makarska.”

Book it: Sunvil offers three nights’ B&B at the Hotel Osejava in September from £803 per person, based on two adults sharing, including transfers, luggage and flights from Gatwick.

3. Greece

What’s the brief?

A small group of friends want to go on a short holiday to soak up some sun. They’d like to relax by the pool and enjoy the atmosphere of a lively hotel, but also have the option to explore the local area, visit the beach and sample the destination’s nightlife.

Emilia Berni, head of marketing, Olympic Holidays

We suggest

“A few days in Kos would be perfect for this group. I’d recommend staying in the heart of the action in Kos Town at the Saint Constantine Hotel. It has an outdoor pool area, bar and restaurant, but the main draw is its central location.

As one of the livelier Greek islands, Kos has a vibrant nightlife scene – beach clubs hosting live DJ nights and a number of bars are all a stone’s throw from Saint Constantine. The mountain village of Zia is worth visiting one evening; traditional tavernas serve local tipples and the sunset views are the perfect pairing for any drink.

There’s also plenty to explore during the day. In the old town, ancient ruins, including a Roman odeon and a restored villa with original mosaics, offer a dose of culture. I’d recommend Lambi Beach, which is a 10-minute walk from the hotel and has plenty of loungers. There are restaurants along the shoreline, plus the chance to try watersports such as parasailing and banana boating. September is a great time for younger travellers to visit Kos as there are fewer families and there’s more of an adult vibe.”

Book it: Olympic Holidays offers four nights’ B&B at the Saint Constantine Hotel from £411 per person, based on six adults sharing three rooms. Includes flights from Gatwick on September 24.

PICTURES: Liam Neal/Intrepid Travel; Shutterstock/xbrchx; George Papapostolou

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