Who wouldn’t rather be sprawled out on the beach rather than stuck at work?
We’ve rounded up six of our favourite beach holiday destinations which you can fly to within three hours, meaning you’ll spend less time in the sky and more time working on your tan. We’ve estimated flight times based on departures from London, so your journey may vary, but these are still some of the best beach destinations close to the UK.
1. Barcelona, Spain
Flight time approx: 1 hour 55 minutes
Combining the best of a city break and beach escape, Barcelona is a brilliant choice if you want to experience the best of both worlds. Soak up the collection of Gaudi architecture scattered throughout the city, including the Gothic Quarter and of course the Sagrada Familia.
Where to stay
The Barcelona Princess Hotel is a modern masterpiece, with state-of-the-art design and facilities which will keep even the most discerning holidaymaker happy. With a swimming pool on the 23rd floor, you can enjoy a few laps whilst admiring the amazing views.
As a Travel Republic Hotel Awards 2017 winner, the Spa Senator Barcelona is the perfect retreat after a day spent exploring the city. Although it’s located outside of town, convenient Metro links mean you’re still able to get out and about easily. The hotel boasts an outdoor swimming pool, spa services and a gym, making it an ideal choice whether you’re travelling with family, as a couple or in a group.
Overlooking the Sant Pau Hospital, the Amrey Sant Pau Barcelona Hotel is perfect for families and couples alike. We recommend booking a room with a terrace, so you can make the most of the beautiful views of Barcelona.
2. Nice, France
Flight time approx: 2 hours
Along the glamorous coast of the Côte d’Azur sits Nice, the largest and one of the most popular cities on the French Riviera. Home of the ‘Bay of Angels’, Nice boasts some of France’s best coastline, with stunning blue waters and a long stretch of soft-pebbled beach. The Prom des Anglais (Walkway of the English) runs parallel to the beach, a promenade that perhaps got its name from the wealthy English tourists who originally started visiting this beautiful area in the late 18th century.
Nice has become more and more popular ever since, as it stays comfortably warm year round and reaches the high twenties in the summer months. Stroll along the seafront, take a tour of the old town or have a taste of the Niçoise cuisine.
Where to stay
With an infinity pool overlooking the sea, the Radisson Blu Hotel Nice is perfect if you prefer the slower pace of life, and just want to spend your holiday in complete relaxation.
This modern boutique-style hotel perfectly encompasses Nice: it’s cool, beautiful and sumptuous. If you’re looking to get away with your four legged friend, you’ll be pleased to know the hotel accepts pets (for a fee)!
The NH Nice hotel is a great base for exploring the French Riviera, not only because of its location but also its enviable facilities. It’s located in the east of the city, a 15 minute walk from the old town and a short tram ride from the sea.
3. Formentera, Spain
Flight time approx: 2 hours 25 mins
Known as Ibiza’s little sister, the idyllic island of Formentera is just a 30 minute ferry from Ibiza airport. It’s home to the stunning Ses Illetes beach, which was voted as Europe’s best beach by TripAdvisor users. The skinny strip of land is flanked by turquoise sea, likened to that of the Caribbean.
Formentera is all about rest and relaxation on peaceful, sandy shores in the Mediterranean heat, as to be frank there is little else to do! That’s no criticism though, as we think this amazing island is the perfect getaway for a beach escape that won’t take too long to get to.
Where to stay
Set on the shores of Migjorn Beach, the Riu La Mola Hotel boasts an unbeatable location and is therefore ideal for beach lovers. The hotel also features a range of facilities perfect for families and couples alike, including a spa, children’s pool and activities such as tennis.
Only a five minute walk from the beach in Es Pujols, the Apartmentos Castavi features an outdoor swimming pool, solarium and modern accommodation. It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for a self-catering holiday, with each kitchenette boasting a hob, microwave and fridge.
Another great choice for a self-catering holiday, the Portu Saler Apartments come equipped with a kitchenette that has everything you need to cook up a storm, not to mention an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the beach.
4. Sardinia, Italy
Flight time approx: 2 hours 30 mins
You can reach Sardinia within three hours from the UK – not long at all! Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, sitting off the west coast of Italy. For a country that doesn’t necessarily come to mind when we think about white sandy beaches, Sardinia will make you think again. With a coastline stretching over a thousand miles long, beaches are plentiful, and they’re gorgeous too.
If it’s five star luxury you’re looking for, the gorgeous coast of Costa Smeralda will have everything you’re after. If three or four stars is more your style, San Teodoro has some great value resorts along a pristine coastline with turquoise blue waters, ready for you to take a dip!
Where to stay
Boasting a prime location on the seafront, this luxurious establishment is situated in the historical Italian city of Alghero. This region lies in the province of Sassari, in northwestern Sardinia, next to the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel is just 10 minutes’ drive from Alghero-Fertilia International Airport and only a 20-minute walk from the nearest sandy beach.
Welcome to your new home away from home. The Villa Margherita Hotel offers a secluded escape, with the kind of facilities you’d expect from a larger hotel, such as a gym, solarium and spa services.
Unmistakable, unique, refined and elegant: Borgo Cala Moresca perfectly reproduces an ancient Sardinian town, with its stone houses and narrow streets that meander through the village. All building materials used are rigorously authentic, from the tiles to the wrought iron window frames, carefully chosen ornaments and the juniper wood lintels, recovered from antique shops and enthusiasts to recreate the atmosphere of an ancient village in Ogliastra.
5. Algarve, Portugal
Flight time approx: 2 hours 45 mins
Did you know one of the most popular beach destinations for UK tourists is less than three hours away? That’s about the same amount of time as a round trip to the cinema, but with a lot more sun, sea and sand.
Albufeira is a popular spot in Portugal’s southern region of the Algarve, with a golden stretch of beach and plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy, plus an old town steeped in Moorish history. Vilamoura is a great choice too, with a charming marina lined with shops and places to eat, not to mention walking distance from some of Portugal’s best beaches.
Where to stay
As another Travel Republic Hotel Awards 2017 winner, you can expect the best from the Crowne Plaza Vilamoura Algarve. The hotel is packed with a range of thoughtful amenities to enhance your stay, including a sports area, spa services and hairdresser.
The Paraiso de Albufeira is well located in the centre of town, and is designed for the perfect family holiday, with the vibrant atmosphere of a typical tourist resort close by.
Set on the Praia da Oura Beach in Albufeira, you can expect gorgeous views from this hotel. The Paraiso de Albufeira has a wide array of facilities and services for all the family, thus providing for a truly memorable vacation for the most discerning of guests.
6. Corfu, Greece
Flight time approx: 3 hours
Corfu is a much loved holiday destination by us Brits. Just off the coast of mainland Greece, the south of the island is graced with some stunning beaches, whilst the north is known for its more mountainous terrain.
Corfu is home to Aqualand, one of Europe’s most popular waterparks – the perfect family day out! Visit the Old Town and take a step back in time as this UNESCO World Heritage Site features some stunning examples of Venetian architecture.
Where to stay
As the second largest resort on the island, you’d be right in thinking the Aquis Sandy Beach Resort boasts a wide variety of facilities, including a mini waterpark, multiple swimming pools, a buffet-style restaurant and an open-air and indoor theatre.
With its own private beach, the Roda Beach Resort and Spa is ideal for sun lovers. The hotel also features four restaurants, a beach bar, children’s pool and spa treatments.
If you’re planning a family holiday to Corfu, look no further than the Alkion Hotel. With its kids centre, karaoke and live entertainment, there’s plenty to keep both adults and children alike entertained.