The UK isn’t known for its sunny weather. Except for a few weeks in the summer, if we’re lucky, our climate doesn’t allow us to laze around by a pool or relax on a sandy beach.
So, as we sit looking out of the window on a grey, drizzly day we’ll often dream of jetting off somewhere that will enable us to do just that.
But, you don’t have to jet halfway around the world in search of this. Luckily, there are plenty of destinations, just a short flight away, that will give us the heat that we crave. They’re so close that you can be in the sun quicker than you could drive across the country.
Whether you’re looking for a winter getaway or planning a summer holiday, here are 10 short flights from the UK to somewhere hot:
1. Corfu, Greece
Flight time: 3 hours
Weather: Corfu is blessed with a sun-kissed climate from April through to November, during these peak months holidaymakers can revel in averages of 18°C to 31°C, which is typically in its hottest months of July and August. Between mid-March and May is Corfu’s Spring season and although typically warm, showers can be expected around six days out of each month. However, this is one of the best times to explore the island’s biggest attractions thanks to the cooler temperatures.
Winter begins in December and ends February, usually pleasurable lows of 14°C can be expected. Head here during summer and you’ll benefit from 11 glorious hours of sunshine, do we need to say more?
Why go? As one of the greenest Greek islands and the second largest in the Ionian Sea, this hotspot is a natural paradise waiting to lure in any sun-worshipper. Corfu is made up of 92 beaches, all blessed with jaw-dropping views. And there’s no shortage of old-world relics either, owing to its imposing 13th century Angelokastro Castle and cobbled Medieval town.
Families won’t be disappointed either with its action-packed waterpark, sunset horse riding explorations and rapid watersports. Whereas foodies can revel in the freshest seafood and meat-stuffed gyros dishes in cosy seafront tavernas.
Best time to go: Anytime between May to September you’ll experience the best of Corfu’s climate.
Best hotel: Marbella Corfu Hotel
2. Madeira, Portugal
Flight time: 4 hours
Weather: Madeira’s pleasurable year-round climate makes last minute getaways somewhere hot an absolute breeze. January sees its lowest temperatures of 16°C, which means you’ll still need to pack your shorts. It’s also the ideal climate for tackling the island’s world renowned terrain via 4×4 or toboggan ride (if you’re feeling adventurous).
Throughout the year you can expect a rise in temperature, especially in May through to November at a comfortable 20°C or higher. If you’d like to take advantage of the Atlantic’s waves via paddleboard, in September the sea sits at a soothing 24°C.
Why visit? Alongside being accessible all year round, Madeira is teeming with bucket-list wonders. From its famous cable car in the heart of Funchal to its tasty markets and epic hiking trails, this island certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes to activities.
It’s been awarded the ‘World Leading Island Destination 2020’ for its tropical landscapes, wine history that dates back to the 14th century and vivid botanical gardens.
Best time to go: There isn’t a bad time to visit Madeira thanks to its North African climate and year-round excursions.
Best hotel: VidaMar Resort Madeira
3. Dalaman, Turkey
Flight time: 4 hours
Weather: Another summer sizzling destination just a short jaunt away, Dalaman boasts an impressive 33°C temperature throughout June, July and August. Just imagine stepping your toes into the Mediterranean Sea which will resemble a warm bath of 24°C waters, yes please!
This impressive Turkish gem is just as pleasant between April and May as well as September to October with averages of 25°C – don’t forget your factor 50! Even throughout winter you can celebrate a mild climate of 14°C and although more rain is to be expected, Dalaman is still hotter than the UK.
Why go? With top resorts such as Marmaris and Olu Deniz at your disposal and the epic coastline known as the ‘Blue Lagoon’ all yours for the taking, Dalaman is easily a top choice for summer sun getaways. Whether you fancy a rejuvenating dip in its natural mud baths or a 4×4 safari through its mountainous backdrop, this destination is a real all-rounder.
On one side you’ve got bustling bazaars selling exotic trinkets and spicy street foods, while the other is a day trips distance from bucket-list highlights including Ephesus, which was the second biggest city in the Roman Empire.
Best time to go: Summer is the best time to experience what Dalaman has to offer. Although you may want to beat the crowds with a scorcher stay in between May and June.
Best hotel: Labranda Mares Marmaris
4. Algarve, Portugal
Flight time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Weather: Southern Portugal has long summers and mild winters. It boasts the best climate in the whole of the country and enjoys an average of 3,000 sunshine hours throughout the year.
The resorts in the east tend to be slightly hotter and drier than those in the west. There is rarely rain during the summer months. The temperatures peak at 28°C in July and August. January is the coldest month, but temperatures still average at 15°C although the evenings can be a little chillier.
Why go? The Algarve is renowned for being the sunniest destination in Europe – perfect for those who wish to top up their tan. It’s as famous for its sun-kissed golden beaches as it is its award-winning golf course – so it’s no surprise this has become one of the most popular holiday destinations.
There are more than 150 beaches, 90 of which have been awarded Blue Flag and 35 golf clubs, which helped earn it the title of best golf destination in not only Europe, but the world.
Best time to go: The south of Portugal is the perfect destination to visit all year round. Although, if you’re going to play golf then you might like to visit during the slightly cooler months, either side of July and August. The Algarve is the perfect place to head if you’re in search of some winter sun.
Best hotel: Muthu Clube Praia da Oura
Sun Fact: The highest temperature ever recorded in Portugal was 47°C in August 2003.
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Flight time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Weather: It’s hardly surprising that July and August are the hottest months in Dubrovnik at a toasty 25°C. Better yet, these summer months enjoy 13 hours of sunshine leaving you more time to explore the city’s most famed landmarks. The best month for deep sea explorations is August, with the Adriatic boasting waters of 25°C.
Don’t be fooled, the months of May, June and September are just as mild with averages sitting between 18°C and 20°C. The wettest month, however, is November and the coldest is January at a chilly 9°C.
Why visit? For the perfect combination of beach and cityscapes, Dubrovnik is a must-visit. It’s one of Europe’s most magnificent walled cities, steeped in history with a UNESCO World Heritage Status to its name. Game of Thrones fans will find this destination all the more alluring, as it was the backdrop for King’s Landing in the famous HBO series.
Beyond its Medieval relics, it’s home to five national parks and some chic beach resorts. But if you really want to capture true Dubrovnik, a ride on its famed cable car is essential for camera-worthy views.
Best time to go: If you’re an avid explorer, between May and June would be the best time to walk its many ruins without the worry of it being too hot. Although sun-seekers may find July and August more beneficially for sunbathing stints.
Best hotel: Hotel More
6. Mellieha, Malta
Flight time: 3 hours
Weather: This country benefits from around 12 hours of sunshine a day during the summer months. It’s very hot and dry. The winters are mild and can occasionally become cold. Temperatures reach highs of 28°C in June and rise to 31°C in August.
January is the coldest month, but it rarely dips below 13°C. Rain isn’t common but is possible from October to March. A warm wind can blow in from the Sahara desert which will raise the temperature.
Why go? Malta is an affordable holiday destination with sun all year round. There is colourful architecture and spectacular scenery to discover underneath the scorching sun. As well as beautiful beaches and a rich history, the island is becoming known as a party destination, especially since Annie Mac started her Lost & Found Festival here in 2015.
Best time to go: Summer is the best time to visit but Malta is also the perfect destination for a winter break.
Best hotel: db Seabank Resort & Spa
7. Costa del Sol, Spain
Flight time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Weather: Costa del Sol boasts a Mediterranean climate. Even if you visit during the winter, you’ll be swapping your wooly hat, scarf and gloves for a lightweight jacket because temperatures remain in double figures and there is sunshine throughout the year. If you’re visiting in summer, you’ll enjoy 11 hours of sunshine and the driest season when rain is incredibly unlikely.
Temperatures start from 22°C in June and rise to 26°C in August, although this can be as high as 29°C. August is the hottest month of the year but even in January, which is the coldest, temperatures don’t dip below 12°C.
Why go? Costa del Sol literally translates to Coast of the Sun – making it the ideal destination for those who wish to feel the heat on their back. To make the most of the glorious weather, this part of Spain’s southern coast benefits from more than 185 miles of coastline. You’ll fly into Malaga but you have plenty of resorts to choose from including the luxurious resort of Marbella.
Best time to go: June to August, when temperatures are at their hottest and the resorts are lively and bustling.
Best hotel: Marconfort Griego Hotel
Sun Fact: The highest temperature ever recorded in the Costa del Sol was in July 1978 when it soared to 44.2°C.
8. Marrakech, Morocco
Flight time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Weather: Morocco’s location in northern Africa means that although it doesn’t take too long to reach, it benefits from a tropical climate. It’s hot, sunny and dry all year round with scorching hot summers and warm winters.
During spring, temperatures are around 25°C and this only dips to 21°C during winter. Marrakech is inland, so it’s hotter and drier than resorts by the coast – its climate is described as semi-arid. There is very little rainfall throughout the year, if there is any, this is likely to be in November.
During July and August rain is incredibly unlikely. July is the hottest with temperatures reaching 29°C, while in January, which is the coldest, it doesn’t tend to be below 13°C. Temperatures tend to peak at 35°C in Morocco but have been known to reach as high as 43°C.
Why go? Marrakech is one of Morocco’s most popular cities. There is plenty to explore and you don’t have to worry about bad weather getting in your way. Old sits alongside modern in a city that is steeped with history and culture.
Explore the lively souks and markets, browse the colourful goods and pick yourself up a souvenir or two. Then visit the Medina, the centre of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can explore the mosque and palace.
Best time to go: Spring, autumn or winter, when it’s hot without being too unbearable and the evenings are slightly cooler.
Best hotel: Labranda Aqua Fun Club
9. Majorca, Balearic Islands
Flight time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Weather: This island enjoys hot summers and mild winters. The weather peaks from June to September – it’s unlikely there will be rain during this time and temperatures reach highs of 30°C. The humidity is low and there is a breeze from the sea, which makes intense heat much more bearable. The coldest month is January when temperatures average around 15°C.
Why go? The largest Balearic Island offers holidaymakers the best of both worlds, all against the backdrop of the glistening ocean and underneath the heat of the sun. From the rich history of the capital, Palma, to the clubs that line the golden sandy beaches in Magaluf, there is something for everyone.
Best time to go: June to September, when it’s hot, sunny and you can experience the best nightlife.
Best hotel: Alua Hawaii Mallorca & Suites
10. Ibiza, Balearic Islands
Flight time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Weather: This Balearic Island has a Mediterranean climate with high temperatures and sun all year round. As expected, June to September enjoys the hottest and driest weather with highs of 29°C in the day and a low rainfall.
Temperatures don’t dip below 10°C all year, even in October it can still be as high as 23°C. Rain is possible in the first couple of months of the year and then the weather starts to improve again from March.
Why go? Ibiza is famed for being a party island. It’s home to some of the biggest and best nightclubs in the world. However, there is a far more tranquil side which you can discover if you head to the north. This more peaceful part of Ibiza is synonymous with well-being and known for its bohemian vibe. Whether you want to party from dusk until dawn or stretch out on a yoga retreat, the sun will be shining down on you.
Best time to go: Late May to early October, during the party season when it’s sunny and especially hot.
Best hotel: Rosamar Aparthotel
All you need to do now is book your flight and you’ll be in the sun before you know it.