Updated August 26, 2022
Published September 16, 2019
The drearier months aren't far off, meaning a quick sunshine hit to tide you through winter is the ideal treat. The sun tends to stick around a little longer in some not-too-far destinations and, even better, some of the best deals can often be found later in the season, too.
To give you a little inspiration, we've rounded up nine great deals under £399pp - and one if you're looking to splurge - so you can stay warm in late September and beyond.
*All deal pricing below is accurate as of August 26, 2022. Prices based on two adults travelling together and are subject to change. Deals are subject to the partners’ T&Cs. Always check FCDO travel advice before booking your holiday.
Turkey is cloaked in roasting temperatures throughout summer, but by September things have calmed down. Yet there are still sizzling beach opportunities with temperatures well up in the late 20s.
Coastal Marmaris is the place to go for all night partying and a buzzing resort, while the seaside city of Bodrum offers a culture injection where you can visit one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Tomb of Mausolus.
The reliable Algarve in Portugal is a superb choice for beach babies looking to soak up some rays and get a lovely tan in time for the last months of the year. Gorgeous golden stretches of sand cradled by rugged coves and a turquoise sea offer a great getaway at this time of year. And if you want a day off from the beach, towns such as vibrant Lagos and historic Tavira are just itching to be explored.
Temperatures often reach the late 20s in September, and holidays here are just as appealing from a cost point of view.
The beauty of Spain as a holiday destination lies in its diversity. Whether you want an entertainment-packed family break in Benidorm, a culture-soaked Barcelona getaway or a history-rich holiday in Seville, Spain comes up trumps.
And don’t forget its islands. In the Mediterranean Balearics, party island Ibiza is going out with a bang – its epic closing parties to see out the summer run into early October. Little Formentera, with its powder-white sands and harbour-side restaurants, and sleepy Menorca offer undisturbed R&R, while ever-popular Majorca has a bit of it all.
Over in the Atlantic, Spain’s Canary islands are year-round winners, but are especially lovely in late summer with temperatures reaching the mid-20s in September and October. Stay on the tourist trail on main islands Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, or pick up-and-comers, La Palma and La Gomera for a quieter break. Alternatively, turn your holiday into an island hopping adventure for a taste of them all.
Although Croatia cools down after August, you're quite likely to snag sunny weather all throughout September. The mercury hovers in the low- to mid-20s and the sea stays a balmy 23C.
Speaking of the sea, Croatia’s nabbed a sizable chunk of coastline, so you’ll never be far from a stretch of golden sand or a pebbly cove. Central Dalmatia (think Split, Trogir and the island of Hvar) is a staple for good value all-inclusive deals, while Dubrovnik’s ancient city walls and winding lanes are guaranteed to charm.
The Greek islands have a few things in common: great food, outstanding scenery, balmy waters and beaches galore are pretty much guaranteed on all the most popular islands. To narrow down your option, consider the largest, Crete, for glorious stretches of sand and plenty of historic sightseeing or Santorini for traditional whitewashed villages and some of the world’s most scenic sunsets. Rhodes also has more history and exemplary Greek island architecture.
Note that some Greek island resorts start winding down after the peak summer season, so some shops, bars and restaurants will be closed.
Cyprus has long hours of sunshine in September with temperatures still hitting the 30Cs even this late in the year. Beach lovers can get their fix at resorts with long sandy stretches such as Lara Bay, Ayia Napa and Protaras, or if you’re feeling active, you could go off the beaten track to explore the spectacular Troodos Mountains.
History buff? Brush up on your knowledge at one of Cyprus’ archaeological sites, such as around the village of Kouklia or the eerie ancient ruins of Salamis in the Turkish-occupied north.
Malta is jam-packed with history and its toasty temperatures allow you to bask your way through balmy days. Although the island doesn’t have many sandy beaches (Malta's are often of the rocky variety – more of a jumping off point for a dip in the beautiful Med than a place to lay your towel), sandy spots can be found at the aptly-named Golden Bay or Mellieha. In any case, many of the hotels have such fantastic pools and great views that you’ll have prime flopping territory right on your doorstep.
Sightseeing is also a must here. Hop-on-hop-off buses let you take in the highlights of the island or you can hire a car and explore on your own terms.
You’re bound to get a taste of la dolce vita wherever you stay in Sicily – this Italian island certainly appreciates life’s good things.
Cosmopolitan Catania is an excellent pick for a mix of city vibes and the outdoors; you’re near rumbling Mount Etna here and can summit the active volcano on a day trip. Capital Palermo is still more gritty than glam but grand UNESCO-listed architecture abounds and the food is as delicious as it is affordable. For a classic beach break, look to towns such as Cefalu, Taormina and Trapani.
Temperatures in Morocco vary throughout the country but average in the late 20Cs in Marrakech, for example, at this time of year. You'll enjoy getting lost in this vibrant city with its whirlwind of chaotic souks, splendid mosques and stately palaces. If the beach is more your bag, popular resorts such as Agadir offer sea and sand and myriad bars and clubs to keep you entertained by night.
For a traditional Moroccan experience, head up into the Atlas Mountains, with their stunning scenery, to visit Berber towns. Or climb aboard a camel and ride into the desert to have dinner in a Bedouin camp.
September heralds the start of the cooler months in Dubai – though for this sweltering city, that means temperatures topping out at around 38C instead of the low 40s. Hardcore sun worshippers who can cope with sizzling heat, may want to consider it for a late summer or early autumn break as it can be a good time to nab a bargain.
If it gets too hot, you can retreat to an ever-growing growing number of malls or visit sights such as the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Away from the beaches, souks tempt with gold, spices and other delights.