With the first major bank holiday of the year fast approaching – the long Easter weekend – now is the time to make your escape from the winter chill to sunnier climes. What’s more, with a bit of forward planning, you can easily stretch the five UK-wide bank holidays in 2016 into a substantial getaway, meaning you can enjoy that sun for even longer. Start planning your holiday now, and whet your appetite with our top destination picks and offers, including both short haul and long haul options from Morocco to Malaysia.
Easter: Turn 8 days off into 16
Thanks to the four-day window at Easter, you can grab more than a fortnight away, and you can escape the peak crowds while still enjoying balmy weather. Exotic Morocco isn’t far away from the UK: take your family on our intoxicating Mad about Morocco holiday, where you can explore the souks of Marrakech and head into the beautiful Atlas Mountains.
Further afield, how about a self-drive safari adventure in Namibia? As well as incredible wildlife, such as the springboks in Etosha National Park (above), see spectacular scenery from rugged mountains to rolling sand dunes.
Early May: Turn 4 days off into 9
In spring, take advantage of May Day and turn a working week into a long holiday of relaxing or exploring – or both! For a perfect spot for a luxury honeymoon, we recommend sun-kissed Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, where the landscapes are dreamy and the villages impossibly pretty - and the temperatures will still be in the balmy mid-20s.
If you fancy a slice of the USA, head to colourful Miami and the Florida Keys on our luxury self-drive holiday, taking you from Art Deco gems to aquamarine seas teeming with marine life.
Late May: Turn 4 days off into 9
The spring bank holiday is your last chance to get away before summer, so make the most of it. How about a breathtaking Aegean holiday in beautiful Greece, taking in its idyllic islands, delicious food and wine, and spectacular sunsets?
Or consider Malaysia (above), which offers everything from cosmopolitan cities and colourful wildlife to historic treasures, postcard perfect beaches and the kind of hotels you’ll never want to leave… get a taster of all this on our luxury Malaysia holiday.
August: Turn 4 days off into 9
With winter looming on the horizon, escape in August for some summer sun in Cyprus, a perfect spot for the whole family, with children-friendly resorts and stunning Mediterranean beaches - enjoy it all on our tailor-made family holidays.
We also recommend Sri Lanka, for its rich history and culture, lush green scenery and beautiful beaches. Take it in its highlights on this colourful luxury holiday.
Christmas and New Year: Turn 3 days off into 10
Thanks to its fortuitous dates, the festive period is a holiday gift in 2016 – with Christmas falling on a Sunday, the following Tuesday is a public holiday in lieu, and 2nd January is also a holiday, giving you plenty of opportunities for a winter escape. Embrace the romantic winter landscapes of Iceland, the land of fire and ice, which is full of incredible natural wonders from geysers to black sand beaches – and the spectacular Northern Lights (above) should be on everyone’s wishlist. Experience it for yourself on our luxury short break in Iceland.
If you want to get further away, we also love Costa Rica, for its tropical landscapes and exotic wildlife. Instead of tucking into Christmas lunch and chocolate selection boxes (or to work it all off), go on a Christmas wellness, yoga and spa holiday and come back refreshed and revitalised for 2017.