As the summer begins to come to a close and this weekend offering the last opportunity for a bank holiday weekend getaway until Christmas, there are several wonderful destinations to entice for a last minute escape.
Catch the action in Spa
Sunday sees the Belgian Grand Prix take place on its famous Spa region race track, with Lewis Hamilton looking to maintain his 19-point lead over team-mate Nico Rosberg. With the possibility of Hamilton facing a grid penalty it looks like this year will be more exciting than ever. Fly directly to Liege, the closest airport to Spa-Francorchamps, to see it up close.
With first and second practice sessions on the Friday and third practice and qualifying on the Saturday, there is plenty to watch and make a full weekend of what many say is one of the finest F1 race tracks on the circuit.
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, built in 1921 (and first used for motorcycle racing) did not see motor car racing until 1924, with the first Championship Grand Prix being hosted in 1950.
Its current 44 laps through the beautiful contours of the Ardennes forest remain as popular with drivers as fans, and its legendary Eau Rouge corner proves one of the most challenging on the international circuit. Known for its changeable weather conditions, with rain often falling on one part of the track as sun shines on another, racing can be particularly gripping to watch.
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Sun, sea and sand in Las Palmas
However, if a more consistent climate is more your thing Las Palmas’s sandy beaches will undoubtedly provide day long sunshine. Heading away from the urban bustle of Playa de Las Canteras, Las Palmas’s longest beach and often referred to as a mini Havana, venture to the south side of the island for Maspalomas beach with its stunning sand dunes.
Away from the beach, explore the old streets and squares of Las Palmas’s most historic old quarter, Vegueta, where Christopher Colombus is said to have stayed on his way to the Caribbean.
Tracing the city’s origins back to the 15th century when the Castilians arrived by boat, it is home to its cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, museums featuring both history and art, a number of excellent restaurants – including the romantic courtyard of Casa Montesdeoca, a favourite of the King – plus a weekly Sunday craft market. Vegueta’s neighbouring Triana – with which it forms a World Heritage Site – offers lots more to explore too, with a further selection of fine dining and shopping.
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Discover Soho in Malaga
To the mainland and Malaga, Europe’s most southerly city and birthplace of Picasso. Its roots going back 2800 years may not be apparent in the numerous hotel and resort developments it once was famous for, but recent years has seen a dramatic transformation of both the city’s waterfront and its museum and gallery scene.
Now home to its own branch of the Pompidou Centre, there is also Picasso’s parental home and the artist’s eponymous museum to see, plus the excellent Contemporary Art Centre in the Soho district amongst many others. After a day of culture, Soho also has a number of wonderful options for dining and drinking, alongside the city’s popular rooftop bars, which provide the chance to catch a cooling evening breeze.
So whether it’s sport or culture, or the simple delights of sun, sea and sand, this coming weekend could offer a spectacular short break to crown these last few weeks of summer.
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