October half term holidays 2021

October is a great time to go away as many families are happy to give the scorching heat and crowds of summer a miss, while still enjoying the warm and pleasant conditions both close to home and further away.

Best European October half term holidays

  1. Costa Blanca, Spain
  2. Malta
  3. Antalya, Turkey
  4. Tenerife, Canary Islands
  5. Rhodes, Greece
  6. Cyprus

1. Costa Blanca, Spain

  • Flight time from London: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Daily high: 23°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7
  • Sea temperature: 22°C

The Costa Blanca is one of Spain's most enduringly popular holiday destinations. From the golden swathe of sand at Benidorm and the many sights of Alicante to attractions such Aqualandia with its fast-paced flumes, and the rollercoasters of Terra Mitica, there's plenty to keep families busy.

Weatherwise, the Costa Blanca, which comprises over 120 miles of Mediterranean coastline in southeastern Spain, is warm and sunny at this time.

You can look forward to long days and, following the hot summer months, the sea remains warm enough for water sports and swimming. It may be worth taking an extra layer for evenings, as the temperature can dip after dusk.

Find Costa Blanca holidays

  • Jet2holidays - Costa Blanca
  • TUI - Costa Blanca
  • On the Beach - Costa Blanca

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2. Malta

  • Flight time from London: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Daily high: 24°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7
  • Sea temperature: 24°C

Malta mixes attractions old and new under a sunny sky in October. Whether you're swayed by the historic sights of UNESCO-stamped Valletta, fancy dipping into the gorgeous Blue Lagoon or testing out the various raised and man-made beaches that adorn this rocky Mediterranean island, you won't be disappointed.

Sitting just over three hours' flight time from the UK, Malta offers families some warming autumnal sunshine and sea temperatures pleasant enough for water sports.

As with other Med based destinations, however, it's best to take a layer or two for evenings, and you may want to consider a hotel with a heated pool for young'uns.

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3. Antalya, Turkey

  • Flight time from London: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Daily high: 26°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 25°C

The Turquoise Coast is where you're likely to find the highest temperatures in Europe at this time of year. Nudging towards the high twenties, days are more than warm with lots of sunshine on offer as well.

Antalya is also really well equipped to deal with families thanks to the diversity of hotels, attractions and activities to choose from. There's a seemingly endless selection of theme and amusement parks, not to mention museums, monuments and ruins (don't miss the amphitheatres at Termessos and Patara.

For a thrilling family day out, consider a Jeep safari, kayaking, diving, or mountain biking in the region's pine forests.

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4. Tenerife, Canary Islands

  • Flight time from London: 4.5 hours
  • Daily high: 24°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7
  • Sea temperature: 22°C

The Canary Islands tend to be the undisputed year-round favourite with holidaymakers, and for good reason.

In Tenerife, a long time love of Brits, it's warm with plenty of sunshine in October with only a slim chance of rain, although the sea can be a bit chilly. Cloud can build but it's generally warmer than some of the other island.

As well as enjoying the many beautiful beaches and Teide National Park, you'll find the family favourite Siam Park for a fun day out.

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5. Rhodes, Greece

  • Flight time from London: 4 hours
  • Daily high: 24°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 24°C

In true eastern Mediterranean style, Rhodes benefits from high temperatures for longer than destinations further west. Daytimes are delightfully warm with lots of sunshine, and the calm sea is still warm enough to enjoy.

What's more, there are sights aplenty for old and young on this beloved island. As well as whiling away time in the famed medieval Old Town, activities such as boat trips, water sports and cycling are also available.

Other family attractions include the Rhodes Toy Museum, the fun-filled Water Park, and the Rhodes Fun Park.

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6. Cyprus

  • Flight time from London: 5 hours
  • Daily high: 25°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 24°C

Sitting as it does in the eastern Med, Cyprus enjoys truly summery conditions for longer than many other Mediterranean destinations further west.

The sea, which has been warming up nicely since May, remains pleasant for swimming and water sports, and daily highs with clear skies ensure you really feel like you've escaped for some late summer/pre-winter sun.

Cyprus is very well equipped to deal with families looking to make the most of the half term holiday as well, be it at kids' clubs, water parks, on the beaches, or simply eating out and taking in the sights of the various resorts around the island's coast.

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Best October half term city breaks

  1. Lisbon, Portugal
  2. Marrakech, Morocco
  3. Miami, USA
  4. Las Vegas, USA
  5. Seville, Spain
  6. Dubai, UAE

1. Lisbon, Portugal

  • Flight time from London: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Daily high: 23°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7
  • Sea temperature: 18°C

Portgual's laid-back capital city makes for an excellent urban escape in October. Days are warm without being hot and there's a lot of sunshine to go around.

Lisbon is also full of things to see and do, aside from sampling tasty pasteis de nata and hiking up and down its hillsides. Ride the rickety trams, visit the Lisbon Oceanarium and sort a wildlife fix at Lisbon Zoo.

Then, of course, there are the beaches and many museums to try as well: listen to warrior tales at the Moorish São Jorge Castle or captivate creative minds at the Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology.

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2. Marrakech, Morocco

  • Flight time from London: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Daily high: 27°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8

For a holiday that's sure to turn little minds towards travel, you can't beat the vibey city of Marrakech. It's a welcome assault on every sense, and sure to be remembered for its warren-like souk, colourful knick-knacks and warm, welcoming people.

What's more, the weather in October is exceptional: gone are the hot and sweaty days of summer, leaving behind high-but-not-unbearable temperatures with lots of sunshine.

Families can indulge in a range of activities such as an exciting day trip to the Atlas Mountains or seaside Essaouira, while the expansive Oasiria Water Park packs in a wealth of slides and swimming pools.

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3. Miami, USA

  • Flight time from London: 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Daily high: 29°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 28°C

Miami ticks a lot of boxes for families during the half term: it's far enough away to be warm and sunny but doesn't require a seriously long haul flight. It's full of things to do and see, from its glorious beach and water sports to museums and parks that were made with families in mind.

Look out for alligators and iguanas on an airboat tour through Sawgrass Recreation Park, visit the arty murals at the Wynwood Walls , while nearby FunDimension, with its retro arcade games and dodgems, is a sure fire way to expel any residual energy and excitement.

Days are warm and sunny but not too hot, which is ideal for those travelling with small children at this time of year.

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4. Las Vegas, USA

  • Flight time from London: 10 hours 45 minutes
  • Daily high: 28°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10

This city-cum-theme-park in the desert has no shortage of things to do, see and try for all ages. It's full of amusements, attractions and doable-day trips that make it such a riveting metropolis to visit.

It's a riotous scene of colour and frenzy that will keep everyone entertained. Adventureland Theme Park, Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay and Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. give you a flavour of the sorts of places you can look forward to entertaining curious minds.

The best bit? Days are deliciously hot and dry with a whole lotta sunshine - this really is one for sun-seeking heat lovers. The variety of hotels also means you can easily find a family friendly place to stay with a kids' pool and shaded play areas.

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5. Seville, Spain

  • Flight time from London: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Daily high: 26°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7

Scenic Seville isn't a tough sell at this time of year: it's easy to get to, the weather is warm and delightfully sunny, the food is incredible (we're talking manchego by the truckload), and there's so much to see and do for all the family.

Spend a day at Isla Magica water park, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Old Town, walk on high at the Metropol Parasol, or play hide and seek among the various fountains and elaborate hedge maze at the gardens of the Real Alcazar - just remember to book your tickets online in advance to avoid the queues.

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6. Dubai, UAE

  • Flight time: 8 hours
  • Daily high: 36°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10
  • Sea temperature: 31°C

October is the first manageable month after summer to visit Dubai once the intense heat has eased, something which is especially important for families with young children.

Days are still long and hot with perhaps a little high cloud, and the sea is very warm indeed. It's a great time to take on water sports and visit the likes of Wild Wadi Water Park, Aquaventure Waterpark or Ski Dubai for a surreal escape from the sun.

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Best long haul October half term holidays

  1. Egypt
  2. Tunisia
  3. Dominican Republic
  4. Oman
  5. Cape Verde
  6. Orlando, USA

1. Egypt

  • Flight time from London: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Daily high: 30°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10
  • Sea temperature: 26°C

Egypt's Red Sea coast is one of the closest truly hot and sunny destinations you can hope to visit in October. The weather is really something special with an impressive number of sunshine hours also.

On top of that, the region is peppered with family-friendly resorts and activities. You'll find kids' pools and clubs, plus beaches that slope gently into calm, warm water.

Highlights from staying in the likes of Marsa Alam or Hurghada include desert safaris, snorkelling, and water parks such as Aqua Coraya and Makadi Bay Water World respectively.

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2. Tunisia

  • Flight time from London: 3 hours
  • Daily high: 26°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7
  • Sea temperature: 24°C

Easy to get to? Check. Great weather? Yep. Lots of sunshine? You can count on it. Warm water for swimming? Yes, Sir. As you can see, resorts such as historic Sousse on Tunisia's Mediterranean coast are crowd pleasers when it comes to visiting in October.

Although not technically a long haul destination, Tunisia is one of the closest places outside of Europe where you can hope to enjoy a beach break. While the summer months are exceedingly hot, autumn welcomes slightly fresher conditions, just right for a family break in the sun. What's more, Sousse is packed with interesting places to visit either in the town, nearby or via an immersive day trip.

The old medina, Great Mosque, archaeological museum and Roman amphitheatre at El Jemare must-sees for those with an interest in the area's history, but for a fun day out, it's hard to beat AquaSplash Thalassa Sousse, Magic Eye Sousse or Aquapalace.

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3. Dominican Republic

  • Flight time from London: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Daily high: 31°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 29°C

For a taste of the exotic, the Caribbean is calling. Many of the region's islands make for wonderful holiday destinations in October with conditions similar to those found in the Dominican Republic.

The warm sea water is a real draw with highly tempting temperatures and lots of lovely sunshine. Daytimes are hot, typically over the 30°C and evenings remain balmy.

We've chosen to focus on Dom Rep as it caters to holidaying families really well. From resorts with kids' pools, clubs and menus to activities - we're talking zip lining, white water rafting, safaris, and water parks, not to mention the platinum beaches - this slice of the Caribbean does family holidays in style.

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4. Oman

  • Flight time from London: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Daily high: 34°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10
  • Sea temperature: 29°C

Who needs theme parks when you can visit Oman? The country is full of beautiful natural attractions, and if it's hot and sunny weather you're looking for then this is the place to be.

Whether you're dolphin watching, walking through the mangrove lagoon, visiting desert forts or tackling water sports, you're sure to treasure your time in this part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Pencil in a stop at Muscat's Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and pack a picnic for a late afternoon stop at the green Qurum National Park complete with playground.

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5. Cape Verde

  • Flight time from London: 6 hours
  • Daily high: 28°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7
  • Sea temperature: 26°C

Sitting 900 miles south of the Canaries and 400 miles west of Africa is the archipelago of Cape Verde, and October is one of the best times to visit.

Temperatures are very warm but pleasant, rarely falling below 22°C at night. The sea is also an inviting temperature, although thanks to the prevailing wind, it's not that calm.

Stick to the west side of popular islands such as Boa Vista or Sal, where it's likely to be more sheltered during the October half term holiday.

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6. Orlando, USA

  • Flight time from London: 9 hours
  • Daily high: 27°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7

Orlando attracts many families keen to experience the thrills of theme park life. October is a fine time to go, with warm weather and just the odd passing shower.

As Orlando lies inland, you'll need to secure a hotel with a heated pool for swimmers. There's a small chance of a tropical storm affecting Orlando during the October half term holiday but the risk is really very small.

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More half term destination ideas?

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