The nights may be lengthening in Britain, but it’s not too late for a final burst of sunshine in Greece. The five islands restored to the UK’s “travel corridor” list on Thursday – including Santorini – certainly increase our options.
And to these can be added some classic Greek islands which have never been on our no-go list. Here’s a selection of five getaways for October.
One of the quintet of islands beckoned out of quarantine this week, Santorini is a possibility if you are quick to book. You can grab a seven-night stay at the four-star Hermes Hotel (on the east coast at Kamari), flying from Luton on Friday, from £895 per person, booked through Olympic Holidays (020 8492 6868; olympicholidays.com); the price includes breakfast.
This month will be a good chance to see the most spectacular segment of the Cyclades archipelago without the crowds that can make it feel oversubscribed in high summer, and the cruise ships that dot the waters below the caldera cliffs.
Despite this week’s changes, Crete is still stuck on the quarantine list. But another of the most trusty mainstays of Greek-island getaways over the years – Rhodes – is free of travel restrictions for non-Scottish visitors from the UK, as it has been all summer. It can even be an oasis for a short-notice half-term escape.
For example, a seven-night stay for a family of four at the five-star Eden Roc Resort Hotel (at Kallithea, on the east coast), flying from Gatwick on Oct 24, costs from £3,849 in total, through easyJet Holidays (0330 365 5005; easyjet.com/holidays). This covers all-inclusive accommodation in a “garden bungalow”.
If you would prefer to avoid the giddy chatter of children at play while you sip your sunset cocktail, the Aqua Blu Boutique Hotel and Spa – an adults-only property on the north tip of Kos at Lambi Beach – could be a last-minute refuge.
You can book in for a seven-night stay, flying from Stansted on Oct 24, from £1,135 per person, including breakfast and transfers – with Sovereign Luxury Travel (01293 839584; sovereign.com).
Zakynthos (also known as Zante) has been released from the UK’s quarantine list this week, but availability is patchy at this stage of the season. This is not the case on the island’s bigger neighbour, Kefalonia.
Again, speed is of the essence, but a wide range of villas and hotels is still on offer through Ionian and Aegean Island Holidays (020 8459 0777; ionianislandholidays.com). A seven-night self-catering stay at the Karteri Apartments in Fiskardo, flying out of Gatwick on Oct 24, starts at £542 per person including transfers.
Elsewhere in the Ionian Sea, Corfu is as reliable as ever, with seafront resorts galore still open to sun-seekers in October. These include the five-star Rodostamo Hotel & Spa – a secluded retreat on the east coast at Kommeno Bay (a short hop from lively Dassia).
A seven-night half-board holiday, flying from Manchester on Oct 23, costs from £651 per person, including transfers, through Tui (020 3451 2688; tui.co.uk).