With this year’s great British summer well and truly over and the leaves beginning to change, we’ve rounded up the best and cheapest short-haul European getaways (where only cabin luggage is required) to catch some last-chance rays, before it really is hats and scarves at the ready across the continent.
Photo credit sunrise-travel.eu
Malta experiences a sort of ‘second spring’ in autumn following the country’s hot and dusty summer months, making it the perfect place to gently warm your bones. The island is steeped in history and at just over 120 square miles, it’s easy to get around and see the sights. The smaller islands of Comino and Gozo boast crystal clear waters and famed diving spots. If you manage to exhaust the Maltese excursions on your trip, Sicily is just an hour away by ferry, leaving from Valletta and arriving at eitherCatania or Pozzallo. Direct return flights with Ryanair and Easyjet are just £50-£100.
For a more luxurious sojourn, slip away to the sparkling jewel in the crown of the Côte d'Azur. Despite being hailed as the playground of the rich and famous, you can escape both the British weather and the crowds for a week mid-October for under £40 return to Nice with Ryanair. And further bargains can be snapped up at the Grande Braderie de Saint Tropez at the end of the month, where boutiques reduce their wares in a four-day street sale.
Photo credit Blog Poplidays
Although an archipelago floating off the north-west coast of Africa sounds far-flung, the journey to this cluster of islands is actually only a little over five hours, just two hours beyond the well-trodden beaches of the Canaries – and you can fly there for under £200 return this autumn with TUI, Thomas Cook, or TAP Air Portugal. With a mixture of African, Brazilian and Portuguese influences, the cuisine on offer is a delectable melting pot and with temperatures sitting at a steady 27° it’s the perfect antidote to the nip in the air.
Fill the shorter days of autumn – which arrives late in Sardinia – by kicking back on empty beaches and soaking up clement coastal breezes for under £100 return with Ryanair. And if sand-based relaxation isn’t your thing, head inland to Barbagia where at this time of year, the streets turn to markets hosting workshops by local craft-makers and residents open their homes up to visitors to dine. Or, you can meander through the hills on a guide-led walk in this lush mountainous area.
Temperatures in Morocco are still pushing into the high 20s in October but fly in November to Marrakech with Ryanair and both the temperatures and prices drop to a comfortable mid-20s/under £80 return – which might be a welcome relief being inland from cooling sea breezes. And as the nights draw in back home, the Djemaa el-Fna market comes into full swing. Here you can try your hand at haggling for spices, slippers, silverware, rugs, tagines and other trinkets, but be prepared for encounters with snake charmers! You might want to opt for a hard-shell case to protect your hard-bartered bargains on the return journey.
Photo credit thingsplan.com
Our recommended short-haul luggage:
Meets regulations for Ryanair, Thomas Cook, TUI, and TAP Air Portugal.
This 2 wheel extra wide cabin case meets many airline cabin size regulations including British Airways, Easyjet, Jet2, Iberia, Thai Airways and Finnair
See ourpacking tips blog post to make the most out of your cabin-sized space.
All prices correct at time of publishing and are subject to change.