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Whether you are travelling with small children, hate long flights or you simply want a quick sunshine getaway, short-haul holidays on the beach are ideal.
With a flying time of less than three hours, brilliant beach weather from spring to autumn and a huge array of cheap sun holidays available on TravelSupermarket, the following destinations are perfect flip-flop territory.
Flights from London | Room only
Book sizzling sun holidays in Majorca, the beautiful and diverse Balearic isle that offers sun, sea and sand by the bucket load. Combine weekend beach breaks with shopping in Palma, go for all out family fun in Alcudia, or dance to the wild summer beats of resorts such as Magaluf and Palma Nova.
Portugal’s Algarve is the gorgeous setting for some of the best beach holidays in Europe. Water parks, spa hotels, golf courses, picture-perfect beaches… whatever draws you to cheap sunshine breaks, the Algarve makes holiday dreams a blissful reality.
Lounging in the generous sunshine along the sensational southern shoreline of Spain are some of the nation’s most popular beach holiday destinations: the Costa Brava, the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca.
Quiet and cultured beach holidays are available on the Costa Brava, which captured the heart of surrealist painter Salvador Dali. There’s nightlife if you want it, in Lloret de Mar, which has been stealing the hearts of holidaymakers since the invention of the package holiday. Family frolics on the sands of Platja Gran bring visitors to Tossa de Mar.
The Costa del Sol: the Coast of the Sun. Need we say more? Probably not, because we’ve all been flocking here for decades. From the super yachts and super clubs of Marbella and Puerto Banus, to family holidays in Torremolinos, we love beach holidays on the Costa del Sol.
Flights from Midlands | Half board
Benidorm is the major destination for sunshine holidays on the Costa Blanca, though Torrevieja and Alicante also boast huge sandy beaches and scenic mountain backdrops. With doorstep attractions that include Terra Mitica and Aqualandia, this is a prime family-fun zone and a great option for cheap beach holidays.
We think there is just one main reason to book mid-haul beach holidays: t-shirt weather in winter.
Sure, the holiday resorts of the Canary Islands are fantastic, and yes, the beaches that circle the Cape Verde islands have that Caribbean vibe going on. And, certainly, Spanish hospitality doesn’t come friendlier or much more genuine than it does in the Canaries. But really, who doesn’t relish the sweet sensation of slipping on a t-shirt in winter and strolling along a seafront promenade with bare, sun-kissed arms? Ooh, can you feel it already?
With flight times of just four to five hours and a wide choice of beach breaks – from budget getaways to five-star beach holidays – let’s Travel Super on a tour of TravelSupermarket’s top mid-haul picks for chilled-out beach holidays.
Tenerife is the tourism star of the Canary Islands, which dot the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. Chic, boutique getaway at the edge of the ocean? It’s yours. Action-packed family break (with a water park nearby)? You got it. Wild party nights and lazy beach days? Sure thing. In Tenerife, there are holidays to suit every type of visitor.
Flights from London | Self catering
Lanzarote is quieter than Tenerife and its beaches are sublime (check out Papagayo, for starters). Known for the volcanic landscape around Timanfaya and the sculptures of Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote’s main resorts are Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise.
Flights from Manchester | Self catering
Within sight of Lanzarote is neighbouring Fuerteventura. Quieter again, with sand dunes that appear to roll on forever near the main resort of Corralejo, Fuerteventura is the perfect place to have a go at water sports.
More dunes make sandy waves on the horizon of Maspalomas, in Gran Canaria, while DJs spin tunes in the resorts of Playa del Ingles and Puerto Rico.
Flights from Scotland | Self catering
Taking a pinch of scenery from the Canary Islands, a dash of Portuguese culture and more than a generous slice of Caribbean-style beaches (think white sands and turquoise seas), the islands of Cape Verde are another hot pick for mid-haul beach breaks, with flights taking just five hours from the UK.
Are you dreaming of luxury all-inclusive beach holidays, where glittering seas of aquamarine fold gently on to snow-white sands and palm trees offer shade to gently swinging hammocks? Does the thought of a barefoot stroll along a deserted beach under the light of a million twinkling stars send shivers down your spine? Are you already imagining yourself by the artfully lit cocktail bar, on the massage table (pan-pipe music optional) or sitting, knife-and-fork in hand, diving into some of the most delicious cuisine on the planet? If you weren’t, we bet you are now!
Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime splurge or one of many return visits to holiday heaven in the tropics, popular long-haul beach holiday destinations that get pulses racing include Cancun, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Barbados and the Maldives.
On Mexico’s dazzling Yucatan Peninsula is the lively resort of Cancun. Hot and sunny year round, peak season arrives with the best of the weather in November and runs until early April. If you like your beach days shook up with evening drinks, Cancun could be a hot contender.
Sizzling, scintillating, surprising Cuba might not jump out as an obvious beach destination (those sultry images of Havana can cloud the mind), but its pillow-soft white sands and calm Caribbean waters never fail to impress.
Close to the gorgeous shores of Cuba is the Dominican Republic. Sensational coastal scenery? Check. Fantastic hotels and golf courses? Check. Cheap all-inclusive beach holidays? Ka-ching! The Caribbean can be yours for less on these sun-kissed shores.
Flights from London | All inclusive
If you fancy a taste of the Caribbean with a distinct British flavour (think cricket in the sunshine and afternoon tea on a colonial plantation), make it Barbados. Elegant and exciting, with plenty of local seasoning and, of course, beautiful beaches, Barbados is a celeb favourite, especially in December and January.
For an all-inclusive beach holiday with a difference, the Indian-Ocean island jewels that make up the Maldives are just the ticket. Many hotels occupy private islands and some rooms stand directly above the aquamarine waters – your early-morning dip has never looked so good.