If you’re set on a hot holiday, but can’t face being cooped up on a plane for too long, we’ve got the answer…
Forget rocky car ferries and mammoth motorway journeys across the continent, and take a look at some of the shortest flights in our repertoire. You’ll be booked, boarded and beside the hotel bar in a flash on these holidays, which are all less than three-and-a-half hours from home soil.
Majorca – 2 hours 25 minutes
As far as island holidays go, Majorca’s one of the big boys. Popular with clubbers, couples and families alike, it’s managed to crack the Jack-of-all-trades mantle without falling into master-of-none territory. Magaluf and Palma Nova cover the party side of things, while the capital, Palma, is home to cobbles, culture, and a seriously impressive cathedral.
Head to the quieter corners, like Alcudia and Sa Coma, and you’ll find whopping beaches with Blue Flag ticks to their name. To cap it all, the whole island’s just a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it plane journey from old Blighty. If you still need convincing, the flight’s only 10 minutes longer than the Strictly Come Dancing final, so it’ll literally whizz by.
Morocco – 3 hours
You’ll probably have sat through dreary meetings that are longer than the flight to Morocco, which proves how easy it is to reach its beach-brushed shores. In Agadir, luxury properties like the ClubHotel Riu Tikida Dunas sort you out with long stretches of sand and fine-dining restaurants. The modern city centre’s polka-dotted with traditional bazaars and colourful souks, and you’re arm’s-length from an ancient walled city.
Skip across to Marrakech, and the history’s ramped up a notch. It might not have a beach scene to boast about, but the every-colour street stalls of Jemaa el-Fna and the red-tinted traditional buildings are certainly a worthy fall-back. The gardens on the outskirts are made for arty Instagram posts, too, and feature swanky hotels like the ClubHotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie.
Costa del Sol – 2 hours 40 minutes
This tried-and-tested neck of Spain has been a holiday favourite for longer than we can remember – and it’s an absolute breeze to get to. Hundreds of thousands of Brits have upped sticks and settled on the sunshine coast, drawn in by its high temperatures and close proximity to home. Put it this way – you wouldn’t even get through three hour-long Netflix episodes in the time it takes to get here.
Malta – 3 hours 15 minutes
You’ll find Malta bobbing in the southern reaches of the Mediterranean Sea, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Sicily’s coastline. It’s hard to put your finger on the island’s main selling point, as it’s got a load of envy-inducing strings to its bow. There’s a family twist to Bugibba, which boasts an action-packed waterfront, while the laid-back shores of Qawra are a short hop away. Further north, the beach at Mellieha Bay is tailor-made for lapping up a bit of sun, and it looks like it belongs on a postcard.
What’s more, the flight probably takes less time than you’d spend building a fiddly bit of flatpack furniture. We reckon it’ll lead to fewer arguments, as well.
Sorrento – 2 hours 50 minutes
Whack on The Lord of the Rings, and you won’t even reach the end of the film in the time it takes to fly to Sorrento. And if you’re wondering which one of the trilogy we mean, take your pick – this flight’s shorter than all three. Once you’re there, it’s an Italian charm offensive.
Backed by Mount Vesuvius and the frozen-in-time ruins of Pompeii, this wedge of Neapolitan coastline is traditional from top-to-bottom. Rustic villas and family-run hotels are punched into the pretty green hillsides, and there’s a no-nonsense Mediterranean approach to the food. If you’re after a bit of hotel inspiration, take a peek at the Hotel Parco Del Sole.