wanderlust | chasing the sun

oh, how pathetic and predictable am i? throughout the summer i bemoaned the sun and all its deathrays of heat and every single by-product of those warmer months, but gimme one week of the cold and i am bored of that too and wanting the warm weather back. well, not even "warm weather" really, just... not the rain, please.

so, while i'm still behind the ball on posting my vienna snaps (they're coming, i promise), and i'm in the midst of planning two more winter breaks (nuremberg for the christmas markets and the lake district for christmas day!), i'm daydreaming of sunny city breaks and warm island adventures. although i've never really been one for beaches or resorts or anything involving the ocean, i can admit that there are a number of typical summer holidays i do want to take while on this side of the planet. these are my top three.
portugal; this time of year is always super cheap for island holidays in general, but you can even get all inclusive deals pretty cheap too which is always the important for me when i'm looking for extended stays overseas (i found tons of last minute deals at first choice fyi) . from the huge dramatic cliffs, to the sun-splashed beaches, and the warm, cobbled streets of coimbra and sagres, portugal nails the brief completely.

lisbon, porto and the algarve are the natural destinations for all those chasing the sun (and a good deal), but for me i'd want to head off the beaten track and head to madeira, the azores islands or evora. just as beautiful and with an abundance of history, they're likely to be less crowded with pasty white brits bargaining for tacky scarves and pottery. i hope.
croatia: oh gawd, where to start? well, dubrovnik and zagreb are both hailed by everyone who goes there are some of the most gorgeous places on the planet. and, in rain, hail and shine no less. so i guess that's as good a place as any? i'd like to keep my visit to a shine-y one, as i think a lot of the charm of this island country would be lost in the rain, but, what do i know?

like much of europe, croatia boasts it's fair share of historic cities and medieval cities, but unlike your bog standard european city, it also contains some of the worlds most gorgeous and natural attractions too; the plitvice lakes and adriatic coastlines are a basic example of the stunning scenes on offer in the ancient cities of croatia. and then, the dalmatian coast. take me to hvar; lavender fields, sprawling vineyards, spectacular beaches? what more could a girl want?
italy: i mean, as if pizza isn't enough of a pull, then there's the bloody pasta, ice cream and vino. it's a foodies dream destination, surely, and while i'm certainly not as well eaten as a few of you, i do bloody love a glass of wine. with the obvious historic and cultural pulls that italy has on offer, it's any wonder why i haven't actually made it there yet... even my own mother beat me to italy. she spent just under two weeks travelling from bottom to top this year, before heading into switzerland, and following her adventure only made me more resolved to get there as soon as possible. but, where to start?

obviously there's rome. and florence. and the vatican. and pompeii. and venice. and pisa. and -- well, you get the point. there's loads of places to see, and tones of history to absorb. mum's favourite part of the trip (after all the pizza and wine -- i am my mother's daughter) was the cinque terre in the north west; full of colourful houses and beautiful, crystal blue waters, it's about as picturesque as you can bloody get. and i want to go there. soon, too, please.

have you been to any of my sun-chaser destinations? 
leave me your recommendations below!



*written in collaboration with first choice*