11 exciting summer holiday destinations you can visit with TUI

Lucy McGuire

Lucy McGuire

If you're already thinking ahead to your 2018 summer holiday, we don't blame you. And if you're keen to book somewhere a bit different this year, you'll be surprised by the variety of destinations you can travel to with TUI. Whether it's sun and sea, dramatic scenery or bags of culture you're after, you'll find it here. Read on to discover where you can go with TUI over the summer months.

Exciting summer holiday destinations you can visit with TUI © BlueOrange Studio - Fotolia.com
Exciting summer holiday destinations you can visit with TUI © BlueOrange Studio - Fotolia.com

1. Cape Verde

  • Fly direct from: Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester
  • Flight time: 6 hours
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 26-30°C
  • Sunshine hours: 5-8 hours per day

Cape Verde, a sprinkling of islands off the west coast of Africa, ticks all the boxes for a great summer holiday. Ten islands make up the archipelago, comprising African, Brazilian and Portuguese culture. And you'll want to come back every year - the beaches are so white, it verges on the obscene.

The Riu Palace Hotel, Sal, Cape Verde - photo courtesy of TUI
The Riu Palace Hotel, Sal, Cape Verde - photo courtesy of TUI

TUI sells holidays to two key islands: Boa Vista and Sal. The literal translation of Boa Vista means 'beautiful view' and it certainly lives up to its name with beaches that stretch for over 30 miles. Over on Sal, an island known for its salt-trading history, the dramatic sand dunes and striking lunar landscape are a feast for the eyes.

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2. Tunisia

  • Fly direct from: Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Manchester
  • Flight time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 24-32°C
  • Sunshine hours: 9-11 hours per day

Tunisia offers a fantastic sunshine getaway when the temperatures are plummeting in the UK. But did you know it's also a great option for your summer getaway? From maze-like medinas and eclectic North African cuisine to a fascinating Moorish heritage, there's plenty to see and do here.

If you call yourself an adrenaline-junkie, book a safari across the Saharan desert in a 4X4. Or if a slower pace beckons, TUI's hotels in the former fishing town of Hammamet, dubbed the 'Tunisian St Tropez', are perfect for watersports, sandy beaches and soaking up some rays. Just remember that a break to Tunisia in summer will be h-o-t.

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3. Morocco

  • Fly direct from: Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Manchester
  • Flight time: under 4 hours
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 27-36°C
  • Sunshine hours: 9-11 hours per day

Morocco makes for a fantastic summer holiday destination, owing to its beautiful beaches, bazaars, and fascinating Berber culture. You'll find many captivating sides to this country too. Especially if you take a day trip to the picturesque Atlas Mountains where traditional kasbahs and tales of ancient civilisations transport you worlds away from the bustling city.

The Riad Catalina, friendly hotel in Marrakech - photo courtesy of TUI
The Riad Catalina, friendly hotel in Marrakech - photo courtesy of TUI

What's also great about Morocco is it's suitable for all types of travellers. You'll find everything from family friendly resorts in the palm-fringed town of Agadir, to opulent Riad-style hotels in Marrakech where you can relax in endless luxury. As with Tunisia, Morocco bakes in hot weather during summer - something to consider of you're planning a holiday here at this time.

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4. Bulgaria

  • Fly direct from: Belfast International, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle, Stansted
  • Flight time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 19-26°C
  • Sunshine hours: 7-9 hours per day

Bulgaria may not have been on your radar until now but this eastern European country is becoming a sought-after destination, thanks to its excellent value for money, sensational Black Sea coast and of course, world-class Bulgarian wine.

The aptly-named seaside resorts of Sunny Beach and Golden Sands offer beautifully clean, sandy bays (don't forget the buckets and spades). Away from the beach, consider taking a day trip to Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to cobbled streets and Byzantine forts dating back 3,000 years.

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5. Sri Lanka

  • Fly direct from: Gatwick, Heathrow
  • Flight time: 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 29-30°C
  • Sunshine hours: 6 hours per day

If you're keen to take your holiday further afield this summer, consider an exotic getaway to Sri Lanka. Dubbed the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean' this mystical island plays home to emerald tea plantations, ancient monuments and ornate temples.

Elephants in Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka © MilesAstray - Fotolia.com
Elephants in Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka © MilesAstray - Fotolia.com

One of the best things about booking your Sri Lanka trip with TUI is you can opt for a multi centre holiday which lets you combine culture-rich tours to the likes of Sigiriya Rock, with a relaxing few days on the beach. If you're here in September, don't miss the elephant migration, known as The Gathering, in the beautiful Minneriya National Park.

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6. Aruba

  • Fly direct from: Gatwick, Manchester
  • Flight time: 9 hours 35 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 32-33°C
  • Sunshine hours: 8-10 hours per day

A visit to Aruba promises three things: staggering beaches, an interesting Dutch heritage, and fantastic Creole food. If you book Aruba with TUI this summer, you'll also find a great choice of all inclusive resorts. Belonging to the 'ABC' islands (alongside Bonaire and Curaçao), there's a distinct American influence in Aruba, yet traditional Dutch windmills and forts nod to its rich colonial heritage.

View of Palm Beach from the Riu Palace Hotel, Aruba © Ariel Vega Valenzuela - Flickr Creative Commons
View of Palm Beach from the Riu Palace Hotel, Aruba © Ariel Vega Valenzuela - Flickr Creative Commons

Druif Beach, Palm Beach and Eagle Beach are great places to stay for pristine sands and fantastic snorkelling. Alternatively, the capital of Oranjestad, a popular cruise port, is a colourful and energetic place to base yourself, with gingerbread-style architecture, market-lined streets and traditional festivals for you to explore.

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7. Turkey

  • Fly direct from: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Gatwick, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Stansted
  • Flight time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 25-33°C
  • Sunshine hours: 10-14 hours per day

You may not have thought about Turkey for your summer holiday but this sunshine destination blessed with dramatic mountain scenery and spectacular beaches, is back on the agenda for 2018 - and rightly so. With TUI, you can stay in the areas of Izmir, Antalya, Dalaman or Bodrum, and bustling bazaars, scenic boat trips and Ottoman ruins are just some of the highlights here.

Meanwhile, the lively town of Fethiye balances sprawling local markets - where you'll pick up everything from traditional lace to Turkish delight - with all the modern amenities you might need. Hotels range from traditional and homely studios perched on the Dalyan River, to contemporary resorts facing the sparkling Aegean Sea, where you can kick back and enjoy your dose of Vitamin D.

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8. Meganissi, Greece

  • Fly direct from: Gatwick, Manchester
  • Flight time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 24-31°C
  • Sunshine hours: 9-13 hours per day

Meganissi is a pint-sized isle in between Lefkas and mainland Greece, and it has, luckily, escaped mass tourism, which only adds to its authentic and relaxed appeal. Island-hopping between Meganissi and Lefkas' satellite islands is big here while the island's villages (there are just three) promise pretty harbour walks and long al fresco lunches of freshly-caught seafood.

If you love the beach, hire a car and explore some of the island's most secluded coves. Some are so hidden, you can only access them by boat - which means one thing, you'll be spoilt for places to lay your towel.

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9. Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain

  • Fly direct from: all London airports, Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton
  • Flight time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 22-30°C
  • Sunshine hours: 8-11 hours per day

Have you heard of Formentera? This beachy paradise is a lesser-known member of the Balearic Islands, and thanks to its dreamy sunsets, thriving yoga scene, and hippie vibe, it's often referred to as 'Ibiza's little sister'.

Hotel Tahiti, Formentera, Balearics, Spain - photo courtesy of TUI
Hotel Tahiti, Formentera, Balearics, Spain - photo courtesy of TUI

TUI offers a number of hotels in Formentera that range from traditional Mediterranean-style properties to stylish resorts with all the amenities you'll ever need. Most importantly, you can count on being close to the beaches - which, by the way, are so stunning, you'll feel like you've landed in the Caribbean.

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10. Peloponnese, Greece

  • Fly direct from: Birmingham, Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester
  • Flight time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 23-30°C
  • Sunshine hours: 9-12 hours per day

If you've never been to mainland Greece, try the Peloponnese. This charming region, draped in beautiful forested countryside, is known as the 'mythical heart of Greece' and is steeped in fascinating history and Greek legend. If you can bare to leave the stunning beaches, visit the ancient site of Olympia, which hosted the Olympic Games for over 1,000 years.

Elsewhere, discover temples and fortresses dating back to Byzantine and Ottoman civilisations or enjoy a day out at Kyllini's thermal springs. TUI offers everything from romantic couples holidays to family friendly resorts in the Peloponnese, and you'll find the hospitality is some of the best here.

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11. Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal

  • Fly direct from: Birmingham, Gatwick, Manchester
  • Flight time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Maximum daytime temperature: 19-24°C
  • Sunshine hours: 6-8 hours per day

If you want to see a different side to Madeira, consider booking a holiday to Porto Santo. This charming island plays home to a blissful subtropical climate, wild and rugged landscape and pretty bougainvillea-filled villages.

Golden sand beach on Porto Santo Island, Madeira © Federico Neri - Fotolia.com
Golden sand beach on Porto Santo Island, Madeira © Federico Neri - Fotolia.com

TUI offers holidays in two key areas: the first is the town of Vila Baleira which has a fantastic restaurant scene offering Madeiran specialties and interesting maritime museum. The second is Cabeco da Ponta, an area known for its long golden beach, which stretches for over five miles. Some say the sands here have therapeutic qualities; whether you believe it or not, you're heading for some serious R&R.

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Have we inspired you to book your summer getaway with TUI? If you're looking for the latest offers and online sales, check out our TUI deals page - free kids' places and low deposits included. Remember, you can also find out more about the weather in any of TUI's destinations throughout the year, and don't forget to try our TUI weather guide if you can't decide which destination will best suit you in summer 2018.

Lucy McGuire

Lucy McGuire
Article updated on Monday 25th June 2018 in: Beach Season Summer

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