With the British summer a fleeting memory, we’ll soon be swapping our sunglasses, shorts and lack of socks for a combination of thermals, jumpers and coats.

Yes, memories of soaking in poolside sun with a cocktail may be drifting away as we approach the Christmas shopping rush; but don’t let that distract from next year’s summer holiday.

2015 isn’t as far away as you think, and planning your holiday now will ensure you can enjoy your summer in some of the best places around. Here are four of our top destinations to watch for next year.

Sicily

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Sitting just off the tip of Italy’s mainland, Sicily takes the shape of the ball to the boot shaped country. With warm weather into October, this is the perfect place to visit across the summer, providing the perfect setting for those looking for relaxation and activity in equal parts.

With rugged, green landscapes you could spend the days walking, hiking and cycling across magnificent plains like the Nebrodi Mountains, Madonie Mountains, and Etna volcano, covered in stunning fauna and flora. National Parks such as the shaded Alcantara Gorge also provide excellent days out filled with fantastic scenery.

For those looking for a relaxing time, Scoglitti on the southeast coast is a quaint fishing village close to white sand beaches, such as Bianco Piccolo and Baia del Sole. Whereas San Vito lo Capo on the north western coast provides stunning soft sand, clear waters and a backdrop featuring Monte Cofano.

The excellent cuisine – noted as some of Italy’s best, alongside Ancient Greek and Roman histories, visible in the temple and hilltop amphitheatre in Segesta, combine to make Sicily a fabulous summer destination.

Malta

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Floating in the Mediterranean Sea, this archipelago of seven islands is often overlooked in favour of the Balearics or Canaries. But this little place packs quite the punch when it comes to vacation time.

Boasting a climate made to create the ultimate tan, you can enjoy your time relaxing on one of the many beaches. With golden sand and glistening blue waters, Mellieha Bay is one of the more popular beaches around, considered one of the best in the Med; enjoy your time either relaxing or participating in various water sports. A few miles away from the town of Mgarr you’ll find Golden Bay beach, featuring equally impressive relaxation qualities, fabulous snorkelling opportunities and a number of quaint restaurants nearby. But don’t just stop at the beaches; try exploring nature spots like the Dingli Cliffs for amazing views over the ocean and island.

Malta is fabulously unique in the fact it not only offers you the perfect setting for a beach getaway, but also harbours a fascinating historical landscape. Explore relics of the past like St Agatha’s Tower, the Tarxien Temples (a World Heritage site) and Mnajdra. But ensure you take a trip to the island’s capital; Valletta. This is considered one of the most historic areas around, was given UNESCO World Heritage status, and features intricate baroque architecture, winding cobbled streets and an abundance of cafes, taverns and restaurants, alongside one of the best waterfronts around.

Croatia

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Situated at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean is the one and only Croatia, a holiday destination that oozes uniqueness. Although a fabulous holiday spot all round, it’s the Dalmatian Coast that’s slowly becoming the place to be.

With its jagged coastline, featuring a wealth of islands dotted just off the shore, visitors to places like Dubrovnik will be wowed by the sheer beauty that surrounds them. Nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, it lives up to the name presenting you with jaw dropping Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, giving an old meets new feel. Spend days admiring the ancient city walls, or visiting sites like the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, whilst experiencing the thriving nightlife and succulent cuisines on offer.

Elsewhere in Croatia you’ll find MlJet, a narrow island that is home to one of the most breath-taking national parks around. Spend hours exploring the lush green forests, surrounded in sparkling lakes and be wowed by the wine, olives and goats’ cheese on offer. For stunning beaches head to Korcula, filled with a wealth of shingle beaches, where you can dive into the warm blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Tunisia

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For a destination with a scorching climate throughout the year, look no further than Tunisia. Located in the northernmost area of Africa, this captivating location offers up everything from long relaxing days at the beach, to exploring ancient marvels across the landscape.

With so much history, visit places like the ruins at Carthage and the Bardo Museum to learn about the area’s 3,000 year history. The El Jem Amphitheatre lets you see first-hand some of the amazing architecture that has existed in Tunisia for years – it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Combine this with unique natural wonders, like the Chott El Jerid salt lake, best viewed at day break, and you’ll feel like you’re in another world all together.

For those hoping for some rest and relaxation, there are plenty of beaches waiting for you to claim your spot. One of the best is La Marsa with its soft white sand, where you can lay and relax before taking a dip in the clear blue waters – there are also plenty of water sports on offer here too. Raf Raf beach is another you simply have to visit, with a road that runs through a mountain, the port, bay and beach feels as though they’re beneath you as you arrive – almost floating. Various water sports, horse and camel riding are also available here.

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