This summer, the UK has seen some great sunny spells. Naturally, we don’t want it to end, and there’s still time to grab some quality sunshine close to home, before peak winter-sun prices kick in. Here’s our pick of value-driven destinations that are all within a few hours’ flight and offer a generous amount of rays.
Croatia: With rugged coastlines, cute fishing harbours and unspoilt islands, the Adriatic coastline of Croatia offers comfortable climes well into November. A range of budget carriers fly there now, including easyJet and Ryanair. Combine a flight with B&B stays for a flexible trip with as many or as few stops as you like.
Madeira: An island once sought by the more mature traveller, Madeira is now praised for its upmarket hotels and year-round sunshine. The luscious green landscapes are a favourite for walking enthusiasts, and whale-watching tours also depart from some points of the island. Prices tend to soar at the very end of the year, but many tour operators offer competitive packages up until November.
Morocco: North Africa sizzles during mid-summer, but carries a more bearable amount of heat into the winter months. easyJet flies to Marrakesh, for a city break of dizzying proportions. Get lost in the myriad souks and bazaars in the Old Town, and sample the modern Arabic-fusion restaurants of the surrounding areas. The seaside resort of Agadir is also a popular winter choice for sandy beaches and temperatures that average 22 degrees.
Southern Italy & Sicily: The southern region of Italy is blessed with gentle, sunny weather in our colder months. With the addition of budget airline service to many of the airports dotted along the coast, it’s easy now to grab a cheap flight to hotspots such as Reggio Calabria and Sicily to experience some laid-back Mediterranean charm.
If you fancy spreading your wings further in search of some early winter sun, consider The Gambia, Egypt and Cyprus — all are between five and seven hours away and offer escapes from the onset of the winter chills.