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Time for a pre-university getaway?

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It’s official: summer is over, and students up and down to the country are due to return or start university over the next few weeks. The bank balance is full (god bless you Student Finance), so why not treat yourself to one last holiday, before it all gets real? This could be your last chance to relax before you have to get one of those things called a ‘job,’ so make it count!

Barcelona

This Spanish city is popular with students from all over the world, so why not jump on the bandwagon? Gaudi’s famous architecture runs throughout the city, with the Sagrada Familia Cathedral being the unmissable focal point –it’s actually still being finished. This view would be perfect for art or design students, looking to convince themselves that there’s a slight element of education in their holiday. Footie fans will enjoy a visit to the Barcelona FC football ground; the Camp Nouis one of the most impressive football stadiums in the world, with a capacity of 98,000 spectators. After you’ve ticked off the sights, there are loads of great bars and clubs for party animals, including the infamous Magic Club, renowned for its indie music.

Madeira

Perhaps you and your uni pals are looking for a relaxing break before the craziness of fresher’s week commences? Madeira Island is ideal for those who want to enjoy excellent sunshine, as well as take part in some great outdoor activities. Hike your way up into the mountains and try your hand at rock climbing. For the real adrenaline junkies, a spot of paragliding is an immense experience, and a brilliant story to boast about to your new flatmates. This may sound pretty old-fashioned (and maybe a bit like your parents) but, the views around Madeira are pretty incredible- they’re kind of similar to New Zealand…only much closer to the UK!

Dublin 

This city is great for groups who enjoy pubs and pints; the Guinness museum should be first on your to-do list. Inside the museum, you’ll get the chance to stand at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass (which is seven storeys tall), before discovering the craft of brewing this famous stout beer. Don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities to try a cheeky, free sample...or five.In the evening, head to the Palace, and no, this isn’t an actual palace, it’s in fact one of the oldest pubs in Dublin.If you fancy some traditional Irish music, then a trip the Cobblestone venue would be right up your street, with great Irish folk bands playing every night.

Albufeira

If you’re a sun-worshipping student and you want to come back with a great tan, then this lively resort in the Algarve has got your name written all over it. Its great location in southern Portugal means that temperatures can still reach highs of 23 degrees, so slap on that tanning oil. After a day spent on the sandy beach, head to the Praia da Oura strip where you’ll find plenty of buzzing bars and clubs. Don’t fret about blowing all your student loan on holiday, as most of the bars offer great drink promotions at cheap prices, so stick your straw in that fishbowl and suck away.  Fancy a daytrip? Then head to the Aqualand Water Park and give yourself a fright on the Kamikaze flume.

Benidorm

With vibrant nightlife, cracking beaches and plenty of activities, the buzzing town of Benidorm is great for students wanting to go a little crazy before heading back to the lecture hall. Maybe see this holiday as a mini fresher’s week warm up? Head to English Square where you’ll find all the main bars and clubs. After a few “lemonades” you’ll definitely be buzzing for a night out on the town! Make your way to thepopular Hippodrome nightclub, which stays open till the early hours and plays all the latest tunes.  Sleep it off the next day on the Playa de Lavante beach, or enjoy a cooked breakfast in one of the cafes dotted along the side of the promenade.

What are you waiting for? You could be on the beach or sipping that pint in no time at all. You don’t want to look back when you’re in the big, bad, ugly world of employment and think “I wish I’d ventured out and about more…” Take the plunge and have an awesome time.

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