Enjoy Spanish holidays in September

The kids have gone back to school, the beaches are quieter and the temperatures, while still hot, are no longer scorching. Spanish holidays in September are pretty perfect.

The budget airlines, especially Easyjet (easyjet.com) and Ryanair (ryanair.com) offer flights to numerous Spanish destinations from all around the UK. When the holiday frenzy of July and August gives way to serene September you will notice that the fares decrease, and it's possible to pick up some great bargains.

Spain has so much to offer beyond the costas, with mountain villages, Moorish heritage and some of Europe's most romantic and dramatic castles. We picked three of our favourite Spanish cities where you can enjoy that September sun.

Granada (turgranada.es) is stiflingly hot in summer, but September reveals the languid charms of this ancient city. The Alhambra Palace is one of the Moorish marvels of Europe, an exquisite temple of idyllic living. Wander the mesmerising streets in the evenings, sampling the tapas and sherries of the bars and restaurants, and listening to the street music.

Salamanca (salamanca.es) is a dramatic old university city, proud and elegant with its characteristic golden sandstone buildings. The students are drifting back by September, giving the city a lively air, but there is still a hint of fiesta in the impressive great square of the Plaza Major.

Valencia (en.comunitatvalenciana.com) has the beaches, and the authentic paella to eat at its beachside restaurants. It also has Santiago Calatrava's fabulous ultra modernist City of Arts and Sciences. By night follow the bar trail through one of Spain's charming medieval old quarters.  Sea, science and sangria: a perfect combination for holidays in September.

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