It’s not too late for a blast of sun: Airlines, hotels and travel agents are promising great deals for departures at the end of September and early October… here are some of the best
- Breaks to Greece, Croatia and Portugal are on sale with Dial- a-Flight
- Sovereign has negotiated deep discounts on hotels across Lanzarote
- Virgin Holidays has plenty of last-minute deals to the Caribbean
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Last-minute holidays.
Late summer sun can be found at rock-bottom prices – as long as you can go at short notice.
Airlines, hotels and travel agents are promising great deals for departures at the end of September and in early October, and here are some of the best.
Shine on: See Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik
Breaks to Greece, Croatia and Portugal are on sale with Dial- a-Flight. In Greece, the firm offers free evening meals and 20 per cent discounts on stays at the chic Eagles Palace hotel on the coast near Thessaloniki. The hotel sits among olive groves and has a spa, pool and private beach. A week in October costs from £559pp, including flights (dialaflight.com).
Dial-a-Flight’s Croatian gems include the Valamar President hotel near the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik, where five-night stays get 15 per cent discounts and start at £455pp, including flights.
Head to Portugal’s Algarve for a five-night stay at the elegant Anantara Vilamoura hotel from £519pp, flights included. Palm trees line the pool and guests can toast their trip at the alfresco champagne bar or tee off on the Arnold Palmer golf course.
Thomas Cook’s best deals focus on Malta, although it has low prices and plenty of availability in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Croatia. It’s also a good option if you want to fly from a regional airport. Fly to Malta from Leeds Bradford in late September for a week’s B&B by the sea at the family-owned Qawra Palace Hotel from just £293pp.
Alternatively, for £620pp you can fly from Liverpool for a week’s room-only at the five-star Intercontinental Hotel, which has a rooftop infinity pool, beach club and spa (thomascook.com).
The Canary Islands are favourites for autumn and winter breaks, and Sovereign has negotiated deep discounts on hotels across Lanzarote in particular.
Thomas Cook’s best deals focus on Malta – a good option if you want to fly from a regional airport
A top choice is Volcan Lanzarote, where clusters of the hotel’s low-rise white buildings resemble an island village. Expect welcome cocktails, a series of five pools and a busy marina full of super-yachts to explore nearby.
Seven-night holidays in late September cost from £699pp, including flights (sovereign.com).
Ready to fly further afield? Virgin Holidays has plenty of last-minute deals to the Caribbean.
All-inclusive holidays in Antigua head the pack. Get direct flights and seven nights in a sea-view room at the Hawksbill By Rex Resorts from £877pp. The resort hugs the coast and contains four private bays, so there’s always a quiet, sunny spot to relax in.
Grab a last-minute bargain in the sparkling Caribbean with Virgin Holidays, which flies to Barbados (pictured), Antigua and more
Late deals also abound on Barbados. Virgin has direct flights and seven-night all-inclusive deals at the pink-walled Barbados Beach Club from £970pp.
Relax by the pool or head to the beach where paddle-boats, kayaks, snorkelling equipment and more are free for guests (virginholidays.co.uk).
If you want to do more than lie by a pool on a last-minute break, then tour group Responsible Travel is selling its last few spaces on escorted activity holidays across Europe.
In October, its seven-night Madeira Walking Holiday takes small groups through the treasures of the volcanic island, including the Balcony Walk in its highest hills and the verdant ‘levada’ paths that lead past huge waterfalls and into its deepest valleys. Trips cost from £1,508pp, including flights (responsibletravel.com).