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Published Aug 16, 2022

We know some people adopt a meticulous approach to their summer holiday planning. Everything is organised months in advance, and all that's left to do is count down the days to the start of that long-awaited break.

While there's nothing wrong with that, for many others the method is quite different and an element of spontaneity is involved. Those with some time off in summer '22 and nothing yet booked are likely to be browsing destinations for inspiration - whether it be a Stateside adventure, a European city break, or a relaxing holiday by the beach.

Here are five of our top picks you might want to consider if you're planning a getaway in the coming months, with flights to each location leaving direct from Edinburgh.

Chicago

If you've never been to Chicago you'll be blown away by what the Windy City has to offer. It's not unusual to hear people say it's their favourite place to visit when in the States.

The food and drink is one of the big reasons why. If you think you've had a good deep dish pizza think again as the way they do them in Chicago, the original way, sets the standard. If that's not enough the barbecue joints are among the best you'll find anywhere, the brunch offering is top tier and the brewery tours are always a big hit.

The city, the third largest in the US behind New York City and Los Angeles, is a great place to explore on foot or by bike with huge sprawling parks and a lively waterfront. Sports fans can cheer on the legendary Chicago Bulls at the United Center or visit Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs. If you want to see the sights head on down to Navy Pier or hit the heights at the Skydeck Chicago.

Nimes

Nimes - Maison Carree

Located in southern France, this historic city boasts a strong Roman influence. In fact, some even refer to it as the 'Rome of France' and after a quick walk through its streets you'll know exactly why.

There's an array of impressive sites to take in. The Maison Carree temple and the Tour Magne watchtower are two of the very best while the legendary Les Arenes amphitheatre, which dates back 2,000 years, is a symbol of Nimes and is still used as a concert venue to this day.

The restaurants, wine bars and cafes offer a great place to kick-back and unwind after a day exploring and seeing the sights, while the bustling food markets are always an excellent option when you fancy a bite to eat.

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Jersey

Featured image - Destinations - Jersey

If exploring the great outdoors is your thing then Jersey could be the perfect option with its coastal trails, peaceful unspoiled beaches, and dramatic clifftops. The landscape is reason enough to make this island treasure your go-to summer destination.

Allied to that, the food offering is world class and the island is famous for its fresh seafood and creamy dairy products. The Jersey Crab Shack at St Brelade and Number 10 Restaurant and Bar are two of the top spots to eat out, while the farm stalls are must-visit.

Don't miss out on a trip to visit the Jersey War Tunnels which give an insight into what the island was like in WWII, and Mont Orgueil Castle which is regarded one of the finest Medieval fortresses.

Kefalonia

Island getaways don't come much more romantic than this. Kefalonia is home to some of the most dramatic coastal scenery anywhere in Europe with imposing mountains, lush beaches and crystal blue waters.

Greece has long been a go-to destination for many, and this peaceful island is a favourite for good reason. Myrtos Beach is one of the best around, the Melissani Cave is a geological phenomenon, and the Mount Ainos National Park, the only national park situated on a Greek island, is a wonderful place to go hiking. It's highest peak, Megas Soros, reaches 1,628m.

Fans of the Captain Corelli's Mandolin will recognise Kefalonia as the setting for the movie, and you can visit many of the places featured on the big screen.

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Zadar

Feature Image - Zadar

You've just Croat to visit this super-cool port city. Zadar is a place often talked up by travel bloggers who are sold on its rich history and must-see Old Town, mountainous surroundings, national parks, and unforgettable sunsets.

This is Croatia's oldest city, and there are regular reminders of that throughout with Roman ruins and monuments dotted around the streets. The site of the ancient Roman Forum is worth checking out, with the iconic St Donatus' Church - a unique Byzantine-style church - located right next to it. The domed ceiling on this church makes it the perfect venue for classical concerts held there in the summer.

One of the most amazing things to see in these parts is the Zadar Sea Organ, a 70-metre long natural musical instrument comprising dozens of organ pipes which combine with the sea and wind to create a magnificent sound.

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