HOLIDAYS
List
  • shaun.ringwood@thomson.co.uk'

    Looking for a quick fix of vitamin D? We’ve got you covered with our list of the top short-haul holiday destinations, from Balearic beauties to Italian eye candy with seriously short flight times. That summer holiday? Sorted.

    Majorca – 2 hours 25 minutes

    As far as island holidays go, Majorca’s one of the big names. Popular with 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 great for a city breaks thanks to its shops, stellar restaurant scene and a seriously impressive cathedral.

    Head to the quieter corners, like Alcudia and Sa Coma, and you’ll find whopping sandy 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.

    Check out our holidays to Majorca

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    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. It’s toasty temperatures mean it’s great for winter sun, too.

    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. This place is known for its cheap flights too, so keep your eye out for a bargain.

    Take a look at our holidays to Morocco

    Costa del Sol – 2 hours 40 minutes

    This tried-and-tested neck of Spain has been a favourite for family holidays 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.

    It’s got a little something for everyone, too, from the ever-sunny shores of Estepona to the beaches of Torremolinos – loads of which have a Blue Flag or two to their names.

    Get the lowdown on our holidays to the Costa del Sol

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    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.

    Peek at out holidays to Malta

    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 the 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.

    Browse our holidays to Sorrento

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    For more quick and easy holidays, take a look at our First Choice deals. Looking for more inspo? Check out the best things to do in Dubrovnik and read about our best luxury All Inclusive hotels.

    Make sure you keep up to date with the latest travel tips on our First Choice Inspire homepage.