Abroad Edit: Top 10 Destinations For A Girl’s Holiday

Budapest 2015

I’m sure more holidays must get booked in January than any other time of year. A nagging from employers to get vacation time confirmed, freezing dark days that make us dream of sun. Most of my holidays now are with Pete since so many of my friends have young families but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we may revisit a girl’s holiday in the not-too-distant future and when we do, I’m ready to go exploring.

There are so many choices these days for those of us who may not be spring chickens anymore but still want to escape and the day-to-day and have a good time. Here’s a starter for 10 of the best holidays to hit up with girlfriends.

1.     Miami

If you like to live the lux life, a trip to Miami should be on the cards. Aside from endless beaches and art-deco inspired buildings, the south coast of Florida offers so much for that stylish getaway.

What to do:
There are too many pool parties to count in Miami, especially during the summer time. Check if there are any events on at the National Hotel which is host to Miami’s longest infinity pool.

Bayside Marketplace is the place to be for outdoor shopping. Situated around the marinas at Biscayne Bay, this open-air mall is a great way to keep cool while trying on clothes and there’s often live music played from the main stage, too.

You’ll be able to spot plenty of famous faces in this area. Board the 90-minute boat trip that takes you through Biscayne Bay, narrated by someone who will point out the homes of the stars (all whilst sipping on a cocktail, yum).

If you want to relax on the beach, head to the Sunny Isles coastal stretch as this isn’t packed with tourists Or, if you’re feeling super brave head to Haulover Beach — the only nudist beach in Miami — to catch some rays without the tan lines. The best way to get around if you want to head further afield is with an SUV rental.

2.     Marrakech

This Moroccan city always leaves a lasting impression. Well-known for its rich culture and stunning palaces, there’s so much to do and explore.

What to do:

One tip is to leave a lot of space in your suitcase for bringing items back. You could spend hours in the souks of Marrakech, exploring the crafted clothes, bags, accessories and spices. It definitely beats a weekend shopping trip in the UK.

The le Jardin restaurant is the place to be, complete with indoor greenery, live music and serves Moroccan classics like tagines and authentic lamb dishes. If you fancy chilling at the coast instead of by the pool in a local riad, you can take the bus to the seaside city of Essaouira. Scour the local shops and enjoy lunch in one of the quaint side streets.

3.     Barcelona

Strike a balance between a beach holiday and a city break. It’s a leisurely 30-minute walk from the shopping centre, El Corte Ingles, to the paella restaurants on the beachfront. Enjoy people-watching over a glass of sangria and soak up the culture.

What to do:
Barcelona is the city where it’s impossible to be bored, and there’s much more than the Sagrada Familia. There are a few rooftop bars, but one with a great view is the 1881 per SAGARDI bar which is situated at the top of the History Museum of Catalonia and overlooks the marina. It’s a place for fine dining before the in-house DJ begins early evening.

If catching some sunrays is on the cards, prepare a picnic and head to Carmel del Bunkers. This used to be bunkers during the Spanish Civil War and now overlooks the entire city. Take a blanket up here, some food and drink and enjoy the sunset.

4.     Marbella

For that cool party vibe balanced out by some glam, Marbella is a good place to go. It’s similar to Ibiza in that you’re never far from a DJ set, but it’s often thought of as more refined. The locals enjoy going out in Marbella too and there’s an air of luxe surrounding the city.

What to do:

Forget the chaotic boat parties when exploring the shores. There are plenty of private boats available to hire from the port for the full day — play music, take your own food, capture the moments with a selfie frame and soak up the sun.

There’s plenty of culture to be had too with a trip to the old town. Head to Plaza de los Naranjos which is lined with open-air restaurants and is often host to street singers playing local tunes.

5.     Ibiza

Ah, Ibiza. The place that gets so easily dismissed because those that don’t know it think it’s just a one-trick pony. Of course there’s all the partying but there’s more on offer too.

What to do:
A trip to Ibiza isn’t complete with dancing the night away at Café Mambo, which visitors say it’s an unforgettable experience. Once a smaller venue situated on Ibiza’s sunset strip, it’s now one of the most famous venues on the island — host to the biggest DJs in the world.

Considered the old town? Partying for five nights can get tiring, but San Antonio isn’t that far from a place of serenity. Meander through the cobbled streets and be rewarded with some memorable panoramic views of the island before chilling out in one of the well-loved restaurants.

6.     Bali

For a little further afield with stunning aesthetics and views to upload straight to Instagram, Bali is your next destination. It’s also a great place to get away with the girls and relax on beaches like no other.

What to do:

There’s something for everyone to do when visiting Bali, whether it’s tripping the night life fantastic or looking to go somewhere that makes a peaceful retreat.

For the mellow fitness buffs, head for the Yoga Barn which is one of the most famous retreats on the island, located in Ubud. Here, there is a range of programmes for all abilities and lengths — find one that you can all enjoy together.

Seminyak however, is where the party is at. There is a strip of bars, cafes and restaurants — even some with bean bags on the beach so you can enjoy a drink while the sun goes down.

7.     The Amalfi coast

If you’re looking for a quick flight to Italy, Amalfi is on the west coast and has a beautiful coastline. It’s not so much a party destination but it’s still a nice place to soak up some more refined sunshine.

What to do:

Every village in this area is unique in its own right. From the cathedral in Sorrento to the picturesque town of Positano — each place has a different charm. Try and visit a few of them to make the most of coastal trip.

And of course, the Italian cuisine really can’t be beaten and there are plenty of buzzy little towns to soak up the relaxed atmosphere over good wine and food.

8.     Budapest

Hanging out in Budapest a couple of summers ago for my friend’s 50’s-themed wedding

Hungary is another destination growing increasingly popular with British tourists. A city of quirky bars and restaurants, as well as beautiful architecture, it’s also somewhere that’s full of life with plenty to do.

What to do:

At the Szechenyi Spa and Baths, you’ll be in for a treat. You can visit during the day too but on a Saturday, during the summer, it turns into a giant pool party.

Many of the ruined buildings in Budapest have been transformed into cool bars, so each visit will be a new experience. A lot of them are based in the Jewish Quarter and it’s worth doing a mini crawl around these for drinking spots like no other.

9.     Santorini

Who hasn’t dreamed of Santorini and its beautiful whitewashed buildings. It’s become more of a tourist destination in recent years and it’s clear to see why. The island perfect to visit with girlfriends for a chilled out relaxing break in the most stunning surroundings and perfect temperatures.

What to do:

Enjoy a glass of red? The 18-wine tasting flight at Santo Winery is the place to visit. The winery is one of the top spots to watch the famous Santorini sunset too, an extra bonus. There are certain spots where it looks its best, so sit back and enjoy the views which have been named by many visitors as the world’s best sunset.

10. Dubai

Dubai is best known for luxury shopping, rich visitors and residents, and towering skyscrapers. But, it’s also home to a lot more than that, including a very lively nightlife scene — perfect for letting your hair down on a ‘girls getaway’.


If there’s one place to visit in Dubai, it has to be the iconic Burj Khalifa. Head to the observation deck for astounding panoramic views of the city which have to be seen to be believed. Afterwards stop for a drink at the Atmosphere bar, located on the 122nd floor.

For cooling off and a bit of water fun, Aquaventure is the spot to head too. Everything from water slides to scuba diving to really let loose. And of course it wouldn’t be Dubai without being uber-glamorous so gladrags on with that favourite long sleeve dress before heading out for an evening meal.

And that’s a wrap on the 10 best places for a girl’s holiday. Now I just need to convince my friends they could do with a weekend/few days away – wish me luck!

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