Instead, I looked towards the Mediterranean. Admittedly, the weather is riskier, but when the sun comes out it can still be very hot and much milder than in the UK. I found good bets for hotels in the Algarve and on the Spanish coasts – especially in southern Andalucia, as well as Sicily and the Greek mainland (the islands turned out to be too expensive).
And I’ve also included a good selection of villa holidays – particularly in Italy and France, including Corsica. Flights here are more affordable and villa prices generally seem good value. Taking the family on a city break is also a good option for this semester. The advantage here is that you can enjoy a shorter stay and avoid flying at peak times. And city tours are much less dependent on good weather.
Please note that in order to reduce costs, in some cases I have listed public holidays where you must book your flights and accommodation separately. If you do this you won’t have as many legal rights as if you were booking through a tour operator, but if you are paying by credit card your money will be well protected.
Hotels by the sea
Have fun in Greece
Flights to the more popular Greek islands are prohibitively expensive, but you can still find good value on the mainland where resorts offer on-site family activities and reasonably priced restaurants.
How to do: Tui (0203 451 2688; tui.co.uk) offers stays at the four-star Parga Beach Resort in the town of Parga on the mainland’s northwest coast, in olive groves near Valtos beach, with four swimming pools, a local watersports school, playground, games room, gym and spa. From £454, B&B, based on a premium twin room with balcony or terrace, departing Gatwick for Lefkas on 23rd October.