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. 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.
2. 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
3. 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.
4. 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
5. Bodrum, Turkey
Flight time: 4 hours
Weather: This part of Turkey enjoys long, hot summers and short winters. Temperatures can reach 30°C although the low humidity ensures the heat doesn’t feel as intense. July and August are the hottest months, temperatures can reach a scorching 34°C. This dips to highs of 21°C in autumn and spring. Rain is possible in winter, especially during December and January.
Why go? Bodrum is situated in the south west of Turkey just a short distance from Kos. It’s possible to get a boat across to this Greek island, so you can visit two countries in one trip. Back on the Bodrum Peninsula, you’ll find long stretches of unspoilt sandy beaches and lively nightlife. This is the perfect place to make the most of the sea, especially with plenty of watersports on offer.
Best time to go: Summer is peak season and enjoys the best weather, although if you want to avoid the hottest temperatures spring and autumn are pleasant. You may want to avoid winter as it can be rainy.
Best hotel: Asteria Bodrum Resort
6. 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
7. Menorca, Balearic Islands
Flight time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Weather: Like Majorca, Menorca has a Mediterranean climate and enjoys hot summers and mild winters. However, its position to the north of the Balearics means it’s marginally cooler and rainier. It’s also known as the ‘Windy Island’ as it can be breezy.
The warmest and sunniest months are from June to September when temperatures reach 29°C. There is a chance of rain during winter, when temperatures fall to 11°C in January and February.
Why go? Menorca is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which ensures remains, an island of beauty and is both more peaceful and serene than its neighbours. This Balearic Island is also relatively small, so you can easily explore everything it has to offer, safe in the knowledge the weather won’t hold you back.
The perfect conditions can also be enjoyed along 134 miles of coastline – more than Majorca and Ibiza have combined. The best way to explore it is via the ancient coastal path, which circles the entire island.
Best time to go: Visit Menorca during the summer, when you can make the most of the extensive coastline and admire the scenery in the best light.
Best hotel: Cala Galdana Hotel & Villas d’Aljandar
Sun Fact: In July 1983, just under 40°C was recorded, the highest temperature ever seen on the island. In comparison, the coldest temperature ever recorded was in February 2012 when it snowed twice and was only 0.9°C, the lowest for 40 years.
8. 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
9. Nice, France
Flight time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Weather: Nice has a mild Mediterranean climate and benefits from plenty of sunshine throughout the year. Summers are warm and winters are cool. The pleasant weather is due to the hills that protect the city from the north, although there is a breeze that comes in from the sea and can make particularly hot days cooler.
The temperatures reach 28°C in August. Even in winter, the average temperature is 12°C during the coldest months of January and February. There is a chance of rain, but this tends to arrive in short bursts.
Why go? The French Riviera is known for its wonderful weather. Visit Nice and you can walk along the seven-mile Promenade des Anglais, which takes you around the Bay of Angels – or Baie des Anges. It’s lined with bars and restaurants where you can enjoy cuisine al fresco against a picturesque backdrop.
Then, as well as relaxing on the beaches you can take advantage of the glorious weather by heading up Castle Hill or Mont Boron to take in the panoramic views.
Best time to go: July and August are the perfect time to visit, when the weather is at its warmest.
Best hotel: Kyriad Nice Centre Gare
10. Sardinia, Italy
Flight time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Weather: Sardinia enjoys a Mediterranean temperature which consists of long, hot summers and short winters. This island has 300 days of sunshine a year. The hottest month is August which boasts an average temperature of 25°C and highs of 30°C.
This lowers to around 10°C in January, which is the coldest month of the year. You may want to avoid visiting in October, this is when there is most likely to be rain. It’s known as the windy island, which will explain why it can sometimes feel cooler.
Why go? This large Italian island has beaches that are idyllic enough to rival those in far-flung exotic destinations and boasts more than 1,200 miles of coastline. Sardinia is the epitome of paradise, the sand is soft and white, while the water clear and various beautiful shades of blue. There is no doubt that the beaches are irresistible but it’s pretty stunning inland too, with mountainous terrain covered in a blanket of lush green forest.
Best time to go: Anytime during what is known as the ‘six month summer,’ from May to October.
Best hotel: Blu Hotel Morisco
All you need to do now is book your flight and you’ll be in the sun before you know it.