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Great short-haul half-term holidays

If you’re on the hunt for one last dose of summer sun with the family before the winter sets in, there are numerous fantastic short-haul holiday options to pick from this half-term.

Not only do all of these locations provide the warmth you crave, they’re also within easy reach – making for relatively stress-free journeys with the kids in tow.

Packed full of beaches, attractions and other sites that all of the family can enjoy, all of the following locations promise their fair measure of October sunshine.


Located in the central Mediterranean, the islands of Malta have plenty of beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, making it a perfect setting for an autumn getaway.

The surrounding clear blue seas provide the perfect spot for scuba diving, with numerous caves and wrecks just waiting to be explored.

Meanwhile, the capital Valetta has the warmest winter weather of any European capital and hosts historical re-enactments regularly in recognition of the archipelago’s rich history.

You’re in luck when it comes to sunshine too, as you can expect around seven hours on a daily basis in October.

Malta scuba diving


Rich in both history and culture, Cyprus gets plenty of sun too – 326 days a year to be exact.

There’s plenty more than it’s numerous Blue Flag beaches to keep you entertained too, as you won’t have to travel far in any direction to uncover ancient ruins and picturesque architecture.

Paphos, named European City of Culture in 2017, is full of Greco-Roman treasures just waiting to be discovered, while there are numerous hiking and cycling trails.

For those seeking some excitement, there are plenty of water sports to try out too, from jet skiing and kayaking to banana boats and parasailing.

Cycling in Cyprus


With its rugged mountains, expansive desert and lengthy coastline, you won’t be short of something to do in Morocco.

From the souks of Marrakesh to the coastal resort of Agadir, you can immerse yourself in culture and heritage at every turn.

The Atlas Mountains provide numerous trekking opportunities and the chance to discover desert sports, while the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean are ideal for surfing and swimming.

Morocco is mid-way through a vision to make it one of the top 20 tourist destinations in the world too, so you can be sure your needs will be well catered for.

Souks in Marrakesh



The volcanic island, dominated by Mount Teide, is popular with Brits all year round thanks to its exceptional weather and golden sandy beaches.

The largest of the Canary Islands, temperatures regularly surpass 20°C throughout October, while the sea, at 24°C, is the warmest it is all year.

You can let the kids run wild in Siam Park, voted the best waterpark in the world by Trip Advisor for the last five years, or choose to relax by the pool if you fancy a lazy day in the sun.

The weather varies across the island though, with Mt Teide notably wetter than other areas – by staying on the coast though, you should avoid the majority of the rainfall.

Mount Teide in Tenerife

The Algarve

The Algarve sells itself on providing numerous sandy beaches and breath-taking cliff views, although there is plenty more to Portugal’s southernmost region.

Temperatures can reach a max of 23°C and while it is generally sunny, be prepared for the odd spattering of rainfall that may disrupt your time on the beach.

However there are plenty of adventure parks, karting facilities and zoos to capture the imagination, while Parque Aventura is home to a mammoth paintballing arena.

While the kids are busy, you could always take the chance to visit one of the region’s numerous golf courses where you can play a round amid stunning scenery.

Praia de São in Albufeira


Costa Brava

With eight hours of sunshine a day, the Spanish Costas provide a great value break for all the family.

Relax on some of the finest Blue Flag sandy beaches facing the Mediterranean, take part in various water sports or indulge yourself in the local cuisine.

You’ll find some of the most scenic Greco, Roman and Iberian archaeological sites in Europe in the region too, perfect for if you want to brush up on your history when away from the beach.

If you fancy a little bit different, the hustle and bustle of Barcelona is less than two hours away by train.

Sant Joan in Costa Brava


Another of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve with a diverse set of unique attractions and activities.

Think camel riding on a volcano or dining out in a volcanic cave and you’re on the right lines. Or just bask in the autumn sun, as temperatures tend to average around 27°C in October.

As it’s the furthest east of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote enjoys warm weather and little rainfall, with seven hours of sunshine each day being more than enough to top up your tan.

Los Hervideros Cave in Lanzarote


Although this is stretching the definition of short-haul, Dubai is another popular destination in October.

With flights taking around seven hours from the UK, a guaranteed 10 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures averaging 29°C are closer than you may think!

 Dubai skyscrapers

Date Created: 17/09/2019

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