The icy air hits you as you step out of the office into the darkness of 5pm, wouldn’t it be great to warm up a little and get away for a spot of winter sun?

Whether you are using up the last of your holiday time before the end of the year, or just want to escape the cold weather, a winter sun holiday can be just the tonic to feel revitalised and beat those winter blues.

Booking last minute can also help you secure a great deal, so why not get away for a refreshing last minute escape? You could be slipping on your suit one day, and climbing into your swimsuit the next! To help you select the right last minute holiday, here’s a quick look at some of the most idyllic winter sun destinations and the ideal times to visit.

Some countries may sound perfect on the surface but the weather and distance will play a huge part in your choice of holiday, and the month when you choose to travel may dictate your destination a little too. So, we have looked at short, medium and long haul options, as well as average temperatures for each.

Something a little closer to home


With a short flight time of around 3 and a 1/2 hours, Malta is just a hop away. It’s such a popular choice with those looking to escape the chill as it enjoys mild temperatures year round. It’s always warmer than the UK!

Valletta, capital city of Malta - Last minute winter holidays - Mercury Holidays

Valletta, Malta’s capital, was voted European City of Culture in 2018 and it’s beautiful streets are bursting with restaurants, bars, shops and historical highlights. All in all, it’s an awesome choice for an out of season city break or a last minute winter getaway.



Costa del Sol

With some of the most enviable weather in Europe, the Costa del Sol is one of the favoured holiday destinations for many. The Costa del Sol – or ‘Sun Coast’ – offers around 300 days of sunshine per year and stretches from Gibraltar to Malaga.

Costa cel Sol - Mercury Holidays


With miles of golden beaches on which to relax, as well as incredible towns, cities and villages to explore, it’s no surprise that the Costa del Sol is so popular with tourists.

Medium Haul – somewhere in between

The medium haul destinations require a little more time in an aeroplane but all that extra time does buy you more sunshine.


At around a four hour flight time, Lanzarote, one of the Canary islands off the coast of West Africa, has it all  high temperatures, low rainfall and sunshine throughout the year.

Lanzarote Holidays   - Last minute winter breaks  - Mercury Holidays


You’ll also find an excellent choice of hotels there offering an All-Inclusive option, which means you can get everything covered as part of the package. No surprises!


Gran Canaria & Fuerteventura

If you don’t mind another 20 minutes on the plane you could find yourself in Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura, where the temperatures start to rise quite dramatically.  April to November, is hot and dry. 

Fuerteventura  Holidays  - Last minute winter holidays - Mercury Holidays

Temperatures climb dramatically until August where it peaks at 29°C, only dropping to 24°C in November. Both islands are renowned for their sublime beaches and vibrant nightlife, perfect for those looking to relax and let their hair down!


Far away, tropical escapes

Generally speaking, the further you fly the better the weather! If you’re looking to do something more than just bake on the beach all week long, consider a last minute long haul holiday any time of year.


As a desert city Dubai doesn’t have a monsoon season and sunshine is always on the cards. At the lower end of the long haul flight times, at just under seven hours, there are a lot of attractions for visiting Dubai in the winter.

Dubai City - Last minute winter holidays  - Mercury Holidays

There’s the shopping, the sightseeing, the waterparks, the list of things to see and do in Dubai never ends! The temperature never drops below 20°C for the duration of winter and this is considered peak season to visit Dubai as the summer sun there can be truly stifling.



It may seem like one of those “once in a lifetime” type destinations that should involve weeks and weeks of preparation, but the Maldives is actually a great place for last minute winter sun.

Maldives Holidays  - Mercury Holidays

The flight time is 10 hours, but the deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees are well worth the wait. This is perhaps one of the most idyllic places in the world to watch a sunset, to feel totally at ease, and to take time to relax and unwind.



Sri Lanka

Packed full of cultural highlights, ancient temples, intriguing ruins and fabulous beaches – plus, not to mention the mouth-watering cuisine, Sri Lanka is a tropical island paradise offering excellent value for money last minute.

Sri Lanka Holidays  - Last minute winter holidays - Mercury HolidaysHere the monsoon season ends in November, with December through March offering average temperatures of 27°. Don’t let this put you off, it’s important to understand that the showers are mostly short and sharp, a quick downpour followed by blue skies and sunshine for most of the day. If anything, it’s quite refreshing!



With a flight time of twelve hours, Mauritius has the longest travel period on our list but every minute on the plane is totally worth it. Enjoy tropical beaches and fascinating wildlife on this tiny island paradise. With average temperatures from 31°C; it’s great to visit year round as seasonal differences in temperature are at a minimum.

Mauritius Holidays  - Last minute winter breaks - Mercury Holidays

Once considered a secret heaven dotted with top end luxury hotels, Mauritius has grown to become a very popular and accessible holiday destination. Today you’ll still find a selection of exclusive top class resorts and just as many reasonably priced, small family owned bungalows, apartments and villas, perfect for a blissful last minute escape.



Treat yourself to a last minute winter holiday!

Choose from a hand-picked selection of hotels all at unbelievable prices.