Do you have fond memories of travelling on family holidays in the 80s? Classic package holidays in Majorca, Portugal and Malta have in recent years become more popular than ever with Brits.
Our favourite retro resorts have had a new lease of life with attractions, nightlife, restaurants and more. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to see where you should be heading right now…
The rustic archipelago in the central Mediterranean was popular in the 80s, despite the occasional power cut and uncomfortable bus journeys. People loved the beaches, guaranteed sunshine and affordable prices. Since then, Malta has seen new building developments, hotel resorts and entertainment across all of its islands. Malta is best known for its array of international music and cultural festivals these days, drawing a young and artistic crowd. Valletta was named European Capital of Culture for 2018 – just another example of how much Malta has changed over the years.
Vast golden beaches, volcanic landscapes and Timanfaya National Park drew crowds to Lanzarote in the 80s. It was one of the mainstream beach holiday destinations. Puerto del Carmen was the most popular resort, followed by Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca. In recent years, Lanzarote’s beach scene has continued to attract crowds, especially windsurfers as the breezy conditions are perfect. With plenty of bars, restaurants, water and theme parks, there’s something here for everyone.
Majorca was the go-to destination for Brits in the 70s and 80s. It was affordable, hot and nightlife was the main attraction in Magaluf and Palma Nova. These days, a new wave of modern hotel resorts, stylish bars, Michelin-starred restaurants, nightclubs and cultural attractions have given this beach holiday favourite a new appeal. Palma, Majorca’s capital, is thriving with fashionable boutiques and some of Majorca’s main galleries, museums and landmarks. Families still flock to resorts like Cala D’Or and Santa Ponsa, well-loved for their beaches and local food.
In the 80s, the coastal resorts and islands in Greece were popular with both families and younger travellers. Athens also become popular a destination to visit by rail. Greece still offers a mixed bag for holidaymakers, from iconic nightlife in Zante to the small quiet community in Paxos. An island that has seen a huge spike in popularity is Santorini thanks to its whitewashed buildings, panoramic vistas and boutique hotels.
The Algarve was another beach holiday favourite during this decade. Resorts like Portimão had large building developments, and Vilamoura was purposely built into a premium golf resort. The Algarve’s beautiful rugged coastline and Blue Flag beaches has continued to drive families and sports lovers here year after year. Now a popular location for music and food festivals, a younger crowd are heading here during the summer. Albufeira, the largest and most popular resort, has a busy nightlife strip in the new town.
India’s west coast party destination attracted a Bohemian crowd thanks to the rise in trance music and Full Moon beach parties. These days, Goa is ever popular for its coastline, rich culture and natural beauty. It blends exotic flavours of India with its Portuguese colonial roots. Yoga and meditation are a staple part of the culture, so if you’re looking for a wellness retreat Goa should be at the top of your list.
Thailand in the 80s was largely about beach days, plenty of fun and local nightlife. Full Moon parties started out on Ko Pha-ngan and grew into what is now one of the biggest monthly celebrations across Thailand and beyond. Today, Thailand is popular with everyone from solo travellers to backpackers to couples. Whether you visit the bustling capital of Bangkok for it’s skyscrapers and floating markets, or Koh Samui for the palm-fringed beaches and majestic temples, it’s still one of the most captivating places in the world.