Last minute holidays to Greece you will never forget
Flight times to Greece are under four hours, so ideal for families and those who don’t want to spend too much precious holiday time on a plane.
One of the best times to visit is May when temperatures hover at around 25°C, but if you like it hot, July and August sizzle at 30°C and rising.
The islands all have their own distinct personalities with Crete the largest and arguably the most popular. Good beaches, mountain landscapes and historic treasures vie for attention and there’s also a vibrant nightlife in some resorts for those who want it. A trip to Rethymnon, with its old walled town, imposing fortress and pretty harbour is a must.
Zante has a more laid-back vibe with some of the most photographed beaches in Greece and a choice of modern resorts. Go inland to discover traditional villages and mountain ranges. Highly recommended is a trip to Kalamaki Beach, a dedicated turtle conservation area where endangered loggerhead turtles visit to lay their eggs. Hiking and horse-riding are other popular passtimes.
Historic Corfu is another favourite with its impressive capital city, Corfu Town – a labyrinth of cobbled streets and shops watched over by an impressive Venetian Fortress. Or, those in search of relaxation may wish to consider peaceful Lefkas, one of the quietest islands offering pretty beaches and an array of sailing and water-based pursuits. Lefkas Town, with its narrow streets, quaint shuttered houses and pavement cafes, is worthy of a daytrip.
For natural beauty and ideal scuba diving conditions Kefalonia is hard to beat. There are an array of beaches to choose from, including the one made famous as the setting for the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Lixouri, the second largest town on the island, has a shady main square, archaeological museum and an impressive monastery to check out.
The best time of year to book your last minute holiday to Greece
To ensure the best last minute deal to Greece it’s advisable to book no sooner than eight weeks in advance. However, if you’re the spontaneous type it’s possible to book right up until the day before departure.
Temperature-wise Greece is hottest from June until August but those happy to sightsee or do active pursuits in milder weather could also visit before and after peak season. Expect warm temperatures in months such as May and September.
Other last minute holiday destinations
Greece is not the only last minute option, there are plenty more destinations to consider. Take a look a Spain and its sun-drenched Costas, or maybe Cyprus will appeal – an island blessed with beautiful beaches and historic sites. Tantalising Turkey is also worth a look, with its modern resorts and colourful culture.
But, if Greece has charmed you, check out our handy travel guide to for some top tips on what you can expect from your holiday. Here are a few last minute hotels to get you started.
Just a few minutes from the beach and 20 minutes' walk from the resort centre, the Grand Hotel is a great last minute option. On site there are three outdoor swimming pools, an indoor swimming pool for cooler months and a waterslide pool the children will just love. A buffet and two a la carte restaurants cater for different tastes and there's no need to go far from your sunlounger with three pool bars and a snack bar. Activities include tennis, football and aerobics plus there's also a gym for those who like to keep trim while away.
The Caretta Beach Aparthotel is 10 minutes' walk from the beach but there's a handy hotel shuttle bus available to save your legs. If you'd rather sunbathe sand-free however there are five outdoor pools to enjoy on-site as well as a family friendly waterpark with water slides and lazy river. There's a main and Italian a la carte restaurant, the latter requires reservations and is open once a week, as well as three bars and three snack bars. Activities include football, water polo, darts and table tennis and the kids' club entertains three to seven year olds.
Conveniently situated right across from the beach, the Sidari Water Park Hotel is packed with facilities. There are three inviting swimming pools, one of which has six water slides, plus there's a handy pool bar, while the kids' pool and playground will keep the little ones happy.. After meals at the on-site restaurant you'll also be able to enjoy entertainment such as quiz nights, bingo, karaoke and Greek nights.
With a large inviting pool surrounded by loungers and umbrellas, stylish rooms and a prime location the Albatross Hotel has a lot going for it. Zavia Beach is five minutes' by foot from the hotel, with a mini-market and bakery even closer. Free Wi-Fi is available in rooms and public areas and there's also a separate pool for children. Start your day right at the breakfast room and later on swing by the pool bar serving snacks and drinks.
The Kefalonia Palace Hotel is just a stone's throw from Xi Beach making it ideal last minute beach holiday material. The large pool and poolside bar provide ample opportunity for relaxation, while sporty types can enjoy a game of tennis or water polo. The buffet restaurant serves a selection of dishes with vegetarian options available on request. Children can enjoy the paddling pool and playground. Set in a quiet area, you can catch the local bus to Lixouri centre in high season, six kilometres away.