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AST-MINUTE HOLIDAYS need not pose a peak-season problem — if you think outside the box. If you are fixated on Italy, Spain, Greece or the south of France, don’t worry — they all have hidden gems which are likely to have August availability when the hotspots are full to bursting.
Italy boasts at least two regions few people have even heard of, despite their beauty.
Ciociaria, half-way between Rome and Naples, straddles the boundaries of Lazio and Abruzzo and has a couple of enchanting places to stay. Sotto le Stelle — “under the stars” — is a mediaeval-to-modern apartment conversion in Picinisco, a tiny hilltop village whose impoverished inhabitants walked to Scotland to find work a cen-
Extend your horizons from Marbella — try San Sebastian
Spain on the wild side: the Islas Cies, close to Vigo
Val Comino: French vibe, Italian setting
No space on Santorini? Head for Halki