Whether you’re short on annual leave or just need a few days away from the daily grind, with a bank holiday weekend coming up now is the best time to grab your suitcase and jump on a plane! To help you on your way, we’ve rounded up our favourite hotspots for a three or four-night escape. Not only that, all of them can be reached in under four hours, so you could be sunning yourself much sooner than expected. How fast can you pack?!
Flight time: Around two and a half hours
With so many islands under its belt, Croatia is often considered a place to go and spend the majority of your summer break however it’s surprisingly a brilliant place to head for a short trip too. Along with the fact that it’s only a two and a half hour hop from UK turf, the cities in Croatia are reasonably small so you can tick off their highlights in just a few days.
By basing yourself in one of its larger cities like Split, Pula or Dubrovnik, you’ve got the must-see sights, old town walls and finest Croatian cuisine at your fingertips. Plus, you can go from city to coastline in a matter of minutes thanks to their enviable position on the Adriatic Sea. Whether that be kicking-back on the beach or taking a spontaneous day-trip to one of the neighbouring islands, the options yours.
If you’re not too busy finding those Game of Thrones filming spots in Dubrovnik or sipping cocktails along Split’s famous Riva promenade, how about a weekend of walking in the wilderness in Rijeka? From the remarkable Risnjak National Park to the greenest island in Croatia — Rab, you can well and truly escape the hustle and bustle with a mini break in the Adriatic’s wild side.
Check out our Last Minute breaks to Croatia here.
Flight time: Around Two and a half hours
Being so close to the UK, Italy should be up there on every Brits bucket list if it isn’t already. The tricky part for most is deciding which area of the long-legged boot to head to when you’ve only got a few days to play with. Rome is often the first place that springs to mind as one of the world’s quintessential city break locations. But that’s not the only spot where you can indulge in pizza, pasta and plenty of Aperol Spritzes.
Consider Sorrento in the south of Italy and spend your mini-break working your way through their impressive line-up of harbour side restaurants. Pizza fans, you’re in expert hands – the stone-baked, wood-fired dough actually originates from these parts so you’re guaranteed pizza-perfection. And after indulging in the mouth-watering local delicacies, there’s plenty of opportunities to walk it off (or make room for more!). Its maze-like streets are ideal for wandering with plenty of tucked-away antique and craft shops to have a nosey in too.
If you’d rather spend a few days with nature, try Tuscany. Although the main pride and joy here is the capital city of Florence, there’s plenty more beyond its ancient buildings. We’re talking breath-taking landscapes made up of sunflower fields, captivating castles and rolling hills of vineyards. Speaking of which, the Chianti vineyards are open for business all Summer. It would be rude not to stay and sample all of its delicious wines, right?
Check out our Last Minute breaks to Italy here.
Flight time: Around four hours
Morocco probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind when planning a weekend escape. But that could soon change when you realise just how easily accessible this African hotspot is and everything it has to offer. Whether it’s a city or beach break that you’re seeking, this exotic land does a brilliant job at both and it can be reached in just four hours from the UK!
Starting with the bustling city, Marrakech. It’s jam-packed with top-rated hammams, fascinating bazaars and some skillful street food stalls. You could be tucking into some of North Africa’s traditional tagines one minute and testing out your haggling skills for a new handbag the next. It’s safe to say, the madness of Marrakech has plenty to keep you occupied and depending how busy you like your cities, three days will be more than enough time to spend here.
For those that would prefer the complete opposite with a break away from the city commotion, there’s the beach alternative, Agadir. Its sandy sweep steals most of the limelight, which can only be expected since it’s an impressive nine kilometres long with a Blue Flag status. Speaking of sand, there’s also the option to head out for the day and wander the desert, nomad-style.
Check out our Last Minute breaks to Morocco here.
Flight time: Around two hours
Barcelona, Madrid, Marbella – these famous cities tend to be the obvious options for a long weekend in Spain, but have you ever considered a mini-break in the sun-kissed Balearics instead? Ibiza is a relatively popular short break destination already, but we’re talking about the other two of the trio that can often be overlooked when it comes to three or four night getaways.
After a prompt two-hour flight from the UK, you can touch down on the ‘King of the Balearics’ otherwise known as Majorca for a few days full of beaches, shopping and some of the tastiest Tapas in Spain. Its cosmopolitan capital, Palma is an ideal starting point when looking for a cheap holiday to Spain. Spend your time soaking up sights including its striking cathedral, shopping in designer boutiques, and embarking on a Tapas-trail – how’s that for a bank holiday weekend?!
Alternatively, you’ve got the take-it-easy island Menorca where you can slow down the pace. Short breaks here are centered around the sands — whether that’s sunbathing, swimming or savouring ice-creams on the seafront. Although, you’re certainly not limited to the beach. In fact, Menorca has a remarkable rural landscape where you can spend your days exploring rocky ravines, admiring old stone walls and stumbling across prehistoric monuments. All in all, for a weekend of sand, sea and striking scenery, this is the place.
Check out our Last Minute breaks to Spain here.
Flight time: Around two and a half hours
Golfers caught on a while back just how good Portugal is for a weekend break with its generous supply of sun-kissed greens providing the perfect place to tee-off. The Algarve in particular has some of the most sought after courses in Europe. But, Portugal short breaks aren’t just limited to those practicing their putts.
If it’s not for a golfing break, the Algarve is often thought of as a week-long beach destination however it’s equally as wonderful as a place to getaway for solely the weekend. In a short, two and a half hour flight from the UK you could be soaking up some of the warmest weather in Europe with a glass of wine in hand – after all wine is a forte in this part of the world. And if Nando’s is your hangover go-to like it is ours, you’ll be in your element as the finest Portuguese piri-piri chicken can be found on just about every corner.
If you’re more into your scenery than sands, head to Madeira for a weekend full of Insta-worthy snaps. With a nickname like the ‘Floating Garden’ you know you’re in for some fantastic floral scenes. And its mountainous backdrop makes it all the more picturesque. Three days is more than enough time to fit in a visit to Funchal’s botanical gardens and a hike along the Levada Trails. You might even be able to squeeze in a toast at the Madeira wine institute!
Check out our Last Minute breaks to Portugal here.
When there’s only a couple of days off to play with, the thought of a holiday can appear to be slightly out of reach, but that’s where we come in. We’ve got lots of fantastic three or four-night package holidays where everything is taken care of for you. So let’s find out, how much can you save on a weekend escape with Holiday Hypermarket?