The cheapest destinations for early summer sun…

Updated May 21, 2022
Published May 22, 2019

Boom – just like that, it’s the end of May. We know, how did that happen? There’s you thinking you’ve got all the time in the world to sort out that holiday and now summer is basically next week.

Don’t panic, though – the weather is already hotting up across Europe, and there are loads of cracking deals to choose from. So, get your booking face on – we’ve dug into our data to reveal the ten cheapest places for a quick early summer escape.

1. Costa Brava, Spain

Early summer temperatures: 27C

The Costa Brava treads the balancing act between mass appeal and unspoiled seclusion like a tightrope walker.

On the one hand, you’ve got the likes of Lloret del Mar and Blanes – every bit classic beach destinations – the other, long, untouched stretches of the typically wild, rocky coastline that gives the Costa Brava its name. With Girona and Barcelona nearby, plus the tiny fishing village of Cadaques (Dali’s old stomping ground) to the north, there’s plenty of culture too.

You’ll find some of good-value deals in Calella and Lloret del Mar.

2. Bourgas region, Bulgaria

Early summer temperatures: 25C

We’ve been banging on about Bulgaria for a good while now, but if you didn’t already know, here goes again: it’s cheap. Really cheap. And the beaches aren’t too shabby, either. With plenty to choose from in this sunny stretch, the Bourgas region is a real Black Sea beauty for an early summer holiday.

There’s culture, too. The old towns at Nessebar and Sozopol, two seaside towns in the region, are packed full of delightful things to see: historic churches, cobbled streets, pretty 18th-century Bulgarian architecture and ancient ruins can be found in the towns.

Find deals aplenty at Bourgas and Sunny Beach. Did we mention it’s cheap?

3. Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

Early summer temperatures: 25C

Gran Canaria is one of Spain’s premier sun traps. Which is handy, because that’s what this article is about.

The island is fringed with golden beaches, and you could easily spend a week hopping between the best of them. Two favourites – Amadores Beach and Puerto Rico beach – are much quieter in early summer, so it’s unlikely you’ll fighting for a sun bed.

Fill your non-beach days with a spot of dolphin watching off the coast, a quick spin on a jet ski or a nice walk – there’s a reason they call this island the “Mini Continent”.

4. Costa Dorada, Spain

Early summer temperatures: 26C

It’s hard to beat the action-packed Costa Dorada if you’re travelling with the little ones this summer. The kids will love PortAventura, an enormous theme-park complex containing PortAventura, Ferrari Land and the PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park.

Nearby Salou, with its brilliant beaches and bargain prices, makes an ideal base. Chilled Cambrils is a little more sedate, while Sitges has a more cosmopolitan vibe. For a quick culture fix, head out to the Roman ruins in Tarragona.

5. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Early summer temperatures: 25C

Basking in year-round sunshine with sparkling seas and sand to match, beach break clichés may ring true in Tenerife – but this Canary to easily earn fans and keeps them coming back. And it’s not just about the cheap and cheerful southern beach resorts – Tenerife’s diversity is also one of its biggest charms.

Head north and you’ll find time-warp villages and near-deserted volcanic beaches. Inland, the island is a walker’s dream, with towering Mount Teide one of the most challenging walks on the island.

Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas have the familiar sun, sea and sand that most families are after, while quieter towns Las Caletillas and Buenavista Del Norte are top choices for a Tenerife holiday without the clichés.

6. Sicily, Italy

Early summer temperatures: 23C

We know what you’re thinking: Italy, cheap? But Southern Italy is a different kettle of pesce. Down here, prices tend to be lower than the glitzy rivieras of the north.

Enter Sicily: The Med’s largest isle is about as far south as Italy gets. It also happens to be a drop-dead stunner (we’re talking a ten). Think ancient hilltop towns and sapphire bays, drool-inducing seafood pasta, crumbling churches and spluttering volcanoes.

The majority of deals centre around major cities Palermo and Catania. Picked Palermo? Mondello beach and Capo Gallo nature reserve are just 40 minutes away by public transport. Catania has La Playa, 18km of uninterrupted sand bookended by the city at one end and the Oasis Simeto reserve at the other. Plus, mighty Mount Etna is right next door.

7. Benidorm, Costa Blanca

Early summer temperatures: 26C

Benners needs no introduction. It’s got a lively seafront promenade, sandy beaches – take your pick from twin bays Levante and Poniente – and a compact old town crammed full of bars and restaurants.

Fill your non-beach days with thrills at Aqualandia or Terra Mitica, on boat trips to the tiny island of Tabarca, and sunset strolls out to the scenic Balcón del Mediterráneo, a lookout that juts right out into the Med.

Beyond Benidorm, there’s bustling Alicante, traditional Torrevieja and, to the north, lovely little Calpe.

8. Marmaris, Turkey

Early summer temperatures: 25C

Well-connected Dalaman is the ideal jumping-off point for some of Turkey’s most idyllic coastline. But it’s party town Marmaris – picture pine-covered mountains plunging down into a sparkling bay and a bustling marina, and you’re there – where you’ll find some of the cheapest deals in early summer.

On top of the great value deals, eating and drinking will not cost the earth, either: the pound is worth almost double on the lira compared to last year.

Olu Deniz, with its so-blue-it-looks-fake lagoon (honestly, it is that colour), and Dalyan, home to remarkable cliff-hewn tombs, are also popular hotspots around these parts.

9. Malia, Crete

Early summer temperatures: 26C

History seekers, avid hikers, fly and floppers… Crete draws all types with its wondrous natural assets and staggeringly rich past.

Between the island’s whopping 1,046km of coastline, lush mountainous interior, and seemingly endless blanket olive groves, you won’t be stuck for something to do. For history, you’ll find a glorious mishmash of fingerprints from the Minoans, ancient Greeks and Venetians all over Crete.

Some of the cheapest deals can be found in loud and lairy Malia, but if you want something little more chilled, look to nearby towns Elounda or Sissi.

10. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Early summer temperatures: 26C

Endless sandy beaches – shimmering gold, striking black or sugar-white, depending where on the island you are – are Fuerteventura’s bag.

With 304km of coastline, you’re never far from a photogenic swathe of sand here – head to smaller fishing villages, such as El Cotillo and Tarajalejo, for a bit of quiet. Then, there’s the 9km of sand at Sotavento, one of the best windsurfing and kitesurfing spots on Fuerteventura, and a couple of intriguing towns to sate your cultural cravings.

Take a day trip to pretty Betancuria, smack bang in the centre of the island and its first capital, and Antigua, home to the Majorero Cheese Museum, dedicated to Fuerteventura’s world-renowned export. And yes, tastings are encouraged.

*Please note: The research looks at 7-night package holiday searches made through TravelSupermarket between January 1 and May 11, 2022 for departures between June 1 and July 17, 2022. The order of the destinations is based on the median price. Deal prices may not rank in the same order. All deal pricing is accurate as of May 21, 2022. Prices are subject to change. Deals are subject to the partners’ T&Cs.

All early temperatures based on average high temperatures.

Have a comment or question about this article? You can contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

Latest travel tips and advice

Travel Advice

Ask the experts: How to bag the best hotel rooms

From nabbing the best views to sweet talking your way into an upgrade, improve your chances of getting the best hotel room – without paying through the nose – with these expert tips.

Read moreabout Ask the experts: How to bag the best hotel rooms
Travel Advice

7 common hotel rip-offs and how to avoid them

Read moreabout 7 common hotel rip-offs and how to avoid them
Travel Advice

When is the best time to book a cheap last-minute holiday?

Read moreabout When is the best time to book a cheap last-minute holiday?
Read more from the blog