Five tried and trusted short-haul summer sun spots - all with return flights under £100.
1. Malaga, Spain
Southern Spain is a bang-on bet for guaranteed sunshine and beach fun. With many cheap flights from the UK, and just a couple of hours away, and it's both easily accessible and easy on the pocket. Malaga is a convenient starting point for exploring the Costa del Sol and Andalucia, although you may get no further than whiling away your days enjoying leisurely lunches and picking your favourite yacht in the glitzy harbour. Maybe one day?
2. Alicante, Spain
One of Brits' most-loved Spanish holiday spots, Alicante has beach resorts and miles upon miles of great beaches close by on the Costa Blanca. Along with all that sun, sand and watersports (which equals summer fun for all the family). Alicante itself is a stylish, historic Mediterranean port bursting with cultural and culinary delights so explore its café-lined streets, pick up a souvenir from its outdoor markets and take the chance to try paella as the god of seafood and rice intended.
3. Corfu, Greece
Kavos, Roda, Ypsos, Gouvia, Dassia… these names might conjure up images of discos, Brits abroad, and drinking bowls of alcoholic concoctions, but dig a little deeper and those happy images from tourist brochure Greece abound: olive groves, azure blue seas, empty white beaches, atmospheric tavernas, traditional hospitality… Sounds great actually!
4. Pula, Croatia
Croatia is growing in popularity with British tourists but still receives a tiny proportion compared to Spain or France. However, the hot summers and abundance of beaches and islands (there are 1185 of them!) along the Istrian and Dalmatian Coast make it an ideal alternative to better known summer destinations and it’s a good value option too.
Tenerife is an easy destination for a hot, hot, hot summer holiday. It’s no surprise that millions of tourists flock to its sunny beaches and comfortable resorts. For something a bit different, take a break from the beach to explore the stark lunar scenery of the island’s volcano, El Teide, which is the third-largest in the world.
and five fantastic ideas for further afield...
Antalya is a large, buzzing city with museums, Roman remains and fineTurkish food. But sunseekers should head to the beaches along this stretch of the Med known as the ’Turkish Riviera’, where watersports – from parasailing to jet skiing – are particularly popular. Although fairly unspoilt, Antalya has a choice of activities to keep visitors busy, whether it’s shopping or golf, diving, museum hopping or horse-riding.
The charm of Sharm, or at least one of them, is that it boasts blazing sunshine pretty much all year round - in winter it regularly reaches 25 degrees C, while it heats up further in summer, so lazing by the pool is a preference for many, But there's more to do than bronze, like scuba diving, for which Sharm is renowned with its blue Red Sea stuffed full of colourful corals and fish. Designer boutiques, ritzy casinos, bars and restaurants offer entertainment on dry land.
8. Cape Verde
The Cape Verde islands, drifting off the west coast of Africa, have only made their mark on the tourist map in the last few years and is perhaps perceived as a winter sun destination,so summer sees few tourists and reasonable prices. Feel like a proper castaway in this still-unspoilt sub-tropical escape with china-white beaches and swaying palms lapped by aquamarine waters. If you get bored of topping up your tan, there is sailing, surfing, sunbathing and golf to keep you occupied.
The big, brash delights of Disney and the rest of Orlando's theme parks and attractions attract an army of Brit families to Florida year after year, but there is more to the Sunshine State than mega mice and rollercoasters. Like beaches! There's so much sand: the Space Coast, with superb white sands like Cocoa Beach, the gorgeous Gulf Coast from Clearwater to Naples, the lesser-known Panhandle, the Gold Coast resorts like West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and the Florida Keys.
We'll throw in an exotic option for the more adventurous lover of tropical temperatures and palm-fringed sandy strands. The recent launch of direct flights from the UK and the opening of a number of luxury resort hotels have propelled Vietnam into the spotlight as a new possibility for long-haul sun. Ong Lan Beach and Bai Sao on the island of Phu Quoc is possibly the best beach in the country, but there is plenty of competition.