From the end of the second week of October, schools in the United Kingdom begin to go on the annual October half-term holidays. The dates may vary between regions but the October autumn holidays are an opportunity to step out of home for an eight- to ten-day last minute holiday.
We’ve compiled this list of 3 fabulous last minute holiday destinations from the U.K where you can head to this October half-term holidays for some sea, sun, surf, mountains, and great food.
Tenerife, the largest island in the Canaries, offers a perfect escape for a week in October. It is our number one choice because it has so much for the entire family. To begin with, the seas here are the warmest in October. The daytime average high is 25 degrees Celsius and the average low after the sun sets is 19 degrees Celsius.
Top 5 things to do in Tenerife
1.The Beaches of Tenerife – Tenerife has more than 400 km of coastline. Ten of its beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag. Playa Bollullo, Playa del Pozo, and Playa El Puertito are a little off the beaten path and quite uncrowded. El Medano beach offers great windsurfing and kitesurfing.
2.Whale Watching – Watching whales and dolphins off the southwest coast of Tenerife is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is nature tourism at its best. Pilot whales, Sperm whales, Risso dolphins, Fin whales, Mink whales, Killer whales, Blue whales, Fraser’s dolphins, Striped dolphins, and more show up in these waters. A three-hour boat ride is not to be missed.
Opening Hours: The boats depart from Los Gigantes, Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Las Galletas. Each trip lasts for approximately 3 hours.
Tickets: Between €20-€60 per person, varies with the boat type and length of the tour.
3.The Loro Parque – Loro Parque is one of the most popular attractions in all of the Canaries, not just in Tenerife. Head to Puerto de la Cruz for a day spent in the company of parrots, flamingos, penguins, swans, alligators, iguanas, tortoises, different fishes,jaguars, lions, gorillas, and many other animals. Loro Parque ranks as among the best zoos in the world.
Opening Hours: 8:30AM–6:45PM
Tickets: €34 for a child, €58 for an adult.
Address: Av. Loro Parque, s/n, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.
4.The Museum of Science and the Cosmos – It is one of the most important ones of its kind in the world. Astronomy, technology, and science all come together under one roof to educate and inform impressionable young minds as well as curious adults about the laws that govern nature. Simply, a must visit.
Opening Hours: 9AM–8PM
Address: Av. de los Menceyes, 70, 38205 San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
5.Scuba Diving on the Tabaiba Shipwreck – This brings you face-to-face with a friendly octopus, schools of barracuda and mackerel, and colorful marine life. The dive site was created by sinking the tugboat El Penon to create an artificial reef.
Opening Hours: During the day
Tickets: Open Water diving experience required. Earn your PADI at the diving schools in Tenerife.
Address: Teide Divers are located on Calle La Corbeta s/n, Edificio Los Organos, Local 1, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
2. Marrakech Last Minute Holiday
Marrakech, Morroco is at its best in October. The weather is great for hikes up to the mountains. The daily highs and lows are 28 degree Celsius and 15 degree Celsius, respectively. When evenings set in, the bazaars and souks take on an Arabian Nights feel, and in the pleasant October evenings, the smells of soups, grilled meats, and baked breads along with spices create an olfactory experience like none another.
Top 5 Things to do in Marrakech
1.The Museums of Marrakech – There are quite a few. The Tiskiwin Museum holds artefacts from the city’s illustrious trading past. The Heritage Museum is in a Riad. Musee Boucharouite holds a collection of beautiful handcrafted rugs, made by Berber women. Learn about Berber heritage and culture at the Berber museum.
2.The souks of Marrakech – For many, the souks of Marrakesh are the single biggest attraction. These open-air markets are a maze where you can spend a day or days checking out brassware, carpets, earthenware, spices, and the leather goods. Haggling is as much a part of the experience as window shopping.
3.Trek up the High Atlas – For outdoor enthusiasts, a trek up the High Atlas is the crowning experience of their visit to Marrakech. It is a day trip from the city and there are many tour organizers who will also take you to charming places such as Dades Valley, known for its roses, and the Azzaden Valley.
4.Stay in a Riad – A stay in a Riad can be an unforgettable experience. These beautiful, large, and airy homes with courtyards within date back up to two hundred years. You get all the comforts of a plush hotel with the care you’d expect from a family business. Rooms with terraces offer spectacular views of Marrakech.
5.Visit the Saadian Tombs – These are important cultural landmarks of the Red City. The older tombs here date back to the 16th century. Intricate and beautiful architecture is the hallmark of this space. There are numerous gardens too.
In October, Lisbon invites with a high of 23 degree Celsius and a low of 15 degree Celsius. From cozy coffee shops to traditional Fado spots, you have a lot of choice for warm, fuzzy, entertaining, and even contemplative evenings in Lisbon. The history, the food, the buzz, the squares, the shopping…you and your family will love Lisbon.
Top 5 Things to do in Lisbon
1.Take a Ride on Tram 28 – Have you ever taken a ride in a tram? You’ve read about the trams of San Francisco. Lisbon, too, has routes covered by trams. The most iconic is the route of Alfama district covered by Tram 28. It’s a route that will take you through quaint alleys and past palaces and castles.
2.Take a Daytrip to Sintra – Sintra is a popular daytrip destination from Lisbon. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with thick forests, imposing hills, and daunting castles. The National Palace (Palácio Nacional de Sintra), the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros), the Santuario da Peninha, Pena Park (Parque Nacional da Pena), the Cabo da Roca, etc are popular spots worth visiting.
3.Lisbon’s Historic Center – Also known as the The Praça Dom Pedro IV, this is the city’s busiest and oldest square. Today, it bustles with cafes and flowered balconies, but back in the day it served as a spot for public executions, carnivals, and all the fun things that take place in public squares.
4.Visit the Lisbon Oceanarium – The Lisbon Oceanarium is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe. It is located in a man-made lagoon. There are 450 species on display, and more than 15,000 specimen to check out. A visit here might be your only chance of seeing a Sunfish, huge and docile fish that are rarely seen outside their natural habitats.
5.Ride the Funicular – Lisbon rose on seven hills, just like Rome did. It’s a grand old city and when you take in views of the city from a height, you get an idea of its grandeur. The three funiculars – Gloria, Bica and Lavra – are a value-for-money proposition too, and they’ll save you a good deal of walking. It’s an experience…to say the least.