While it can be fun to spend months looking forward to and planning a holiday, there are some pretty amazing benefits to booking a last-minute break too.

Booking late means you can get some great deals and save a serious amount of money – plus, it’s an exciting way to travel.

If you’re in need of some inspiration, here are 12 of the best last-minute holiday destinations. And you can browse thousands of holiday deals from our travel partners on the travel section of our website.

1. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

It wasn’t too long ago that Croatia was considered one of Europe’s hidden gems. But, more recently, the country’s cerulean waters, pretty beaches, and historic towns have attracted millions of visitors each year.

Croatia’s rapid rise in popularity has led to rocketing prices, and these days visiting can be expensive. But, if you book last minute, things tend to be much cheaper.

As the most popular holiday destination in Croatia, Dubrovnik is one of the best places to head for a last-minute break, and there are usually plenty of deals to be found. Located between a rugged mountain and the warm Adriatic Sea, it’s not difficult to see why this gorgeous city draws so many visitors. No matter when you visit, its beauty will likely take your breath away.

History buffs will love wandering through the walled town and learning about the city’s past, and if you’re into architecture, the grand palazzi and ornate churches won’t fail to impress. The elegant limestone streets are home to excellent restaurants, lively bars, and interesting shops. Plus, the beaches are beautiful, and there are plenty of islands to explore nearby too.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 23C | Jul: 27C | Aug: 27C | Sep: 22C | Oct: 17C | Nov: 14C

2. Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Spain might seem an obvious choice for a last-minute break. After all, it’s long been the number one holiday destination for Brits, with over 17 million of us travelling there in 2023. But, while stylish cities like Barcelona and the beaches of the Costa del Sol are always popular, many of the best last-minute deals can be found in Seville.

If you’ve never been to Seville, now’s the time to go. As the capital of the autonomous region of Andalucia in Southern Spain, Seville enjoys a balmy climate year round – and if you’re dreaming of a sun-kissed city break that’s only a short flight away, it’s a top choice. Packed with history and bursting with culture, this is a city that’ll lure you in.

The historic heart of Seville is a joy to explore and you can admire Gothic cathedrals, Mudéjar palaces, and baroque churches as you lose yourself amongst medieval streets.

Seville is also one of the best places in Spain to catch an authentic flamenco show – and if you’re into good food, there are more than 3,000 tapas restaurants serving the best small plates in Spain.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 33C | Jul: 36C | Aug: 36C | Sep: 32C | Oct: 27C | Nov: 20C

3. Parga, Greece

Parga, Greece

Greece is another popular destination with British tourists, and it’s easy to see why. With thousands of islands scattered between the Aegean and Ionian seas, Greece boasts deep blue waters, gorgeous weather, delicious food, lively resort towns, and a fascinating history.

But, if you’re looking for a last-minute holiday, it may be better to skip the islands which can be overly crowded throughout the year. For a really great deal, don’t follow the tourists – follow the locals, and head to the picture-perfect beach town of Parga. Located on the mainland of northern Greece, Parga is one of the most popular holiday spots for Greeks themselves.

This is a town that’s stunning from any perspective. Colourful boats bob in the turquoise harbour, crumbling churches and cosy meze restaurants line the narrow streets, and whitewashed houses perch precipitously on the hillside. With dozens of islets dotting the pristine bay, Parga is perfect for anyone dreaming of a laid-back beach break.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 24C | Jul: 27C | Aug: 27C | Sep: 24C | Oct: 19C | Nov: 15C

4. Formentera, Balearic Islands

Formentera, Balearic Islands

While the Spanish mainland is always popular with British holidaymakers, its sunny islands are also a hit – especially the Balearic Islands.

As the largest of these islands, Mallorca draws the most visitors, and while Ibiza is popular with partygoers, Menorca is more of a family favourite. You can get great last-minute holiday deals to these islands, but if you want to go somewhere where peace and quiet are guaranteed, why not visit Formentera?

This relaxed island is perfect for a lazy beach break – and not just because it’s home to some of Europe’s best beaches. Boasting powdery white sand and shimmering azure waters, Formentera’s beaches rival the Caribbean.

Although, it isn’t just the beauty of the beaches that make this island so perfect for a chilled holiday – it’s also the sense of tranquillity. Beachfront buildings are banned, so the stretches of sand are unspoiled, and tourism as a whole is environmentally and ethically focused.

In the evenings, you can enjoy lantern-lit dinners in sleepy harbour towns or head to late-night street cafes for something more lively.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 23C | Jul: 26C | Aug: 26C | Sep: 23C | Oct: 20C | Nov: 15C

5. Sousse, Tunisia

Sousse, Tunisia

Tunisia has been a popular last-minute holiday destination with Brits for years – and while tourism took a hit in 2015 and in the following years, it’s skyrocketed recently, with over 6 million visitors arriving in 2022. So, if you’re looking for a laidback beach break but have a tight budget, it’s a great choice.

The best destination is arguably Sousse, Tunisia’s third-biggest city, which dates back 3,000 years. A holiday here offers you the perfect blend of culture and relaxation. In the morning, you can wander around the UNESCO-protected Aghlabid-era medina – which is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures – and in the afternoon you can unwind on the 10-kilometre Boujaafar Beach.

Sousse is a place where old meets new, and where historic fortresses sit alongside modern luxury hotels. If you’re interested in history, the Sousse Archaeological Museum is a must-visit. And, if you like adventure, there’ll be plenty to keep you busy. At Port El Kantaoui, you can parasail, windsurf, and tear across the water on a jet ski – or just relax in one of the many beach bars.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 26C | Jul: 29C | Aug: 29C | Sep: 26C | Oct: 23C | Nov: 18C

6. Varna, Bulgaria

Varna, Bulgaria

It might not be as popular a holiday destination as its neighbour Greece, but Bulgaria is fast becoming known for its beautiful beaches, historical attractions, and cosmopolitan cities.

Tipped to become as popular as Croatia, it won’t be long before prices rocket as millions more tourists discover this fascinating country – so if you’re thinking about going to Bulgaria, now’s the time.

It’s also a great destination for a last-minute trip; particularly if you’re looking for a beach-and-city holiday that won’t break the bank. While the capital Sofia is packed with culture and history, it’s the port city and seaside resort of Varna that’s ideal for a last-minute break. Backing onto the Black Sea, the diverse coastline of the Varna region is home to countless beach resorts and pretty towns.

You can easily spend a few days in the city admiring the 6,000-year-old ‘Gold of Varna’ jewellery, relaxing in the Roman baths, and enjoying drinks on the bar-lined waterfront. Afterwards, you can kick back on one of the region’s many beaches. There’s a beach for every taste – from secluded coves to bustling resorts and sandy capes to rocky shores.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 26C | Jul: 29C | Aug: 29C | Sep: 24C | Oct: 19C | Nov: 13C

From £676pp - 5* Kouros Palace Hotel, Kos

With magnificent views of the Aegean Sea, sit back and relax at the Kouros Palace Hotel in Kos this summer.

With bed and breakfast included, and last minute availability for July 2024, an unforgettable holiday experience awaits.

Price and availability accurate as of 6:00pm 19th July 2024.

Book now with Exoticca

7. Puglia, Italy

Puglia, Italy

Known for its spectacular landscapes, captivating culture, compelling history, and mouthwatering food, it’s no surprise that Italy remains a well-trodden European holiday destination

For the best last-minute deals, it’s best to avoid popular places like Tuscany, Rome, or Venice – and instead, head to Puglia. Due to its remote location (right in the heel of the Italian boot), it’s one of the country’s most underrated and least touristy destinations. But if you’re looking for a trip that blends beautiful beaches, fascinating history, and delicious cuisine, you’re in the right place.

Fans of architecture and culture will be spoilt for choice. Puglia’s capital, Bari, is known for its old town, harbour, and historic buildings. Though it’s Puglia’s natural surroundings that are the most special part of a trip here. Home to some of the country’s best beaches, there are many coastal towns that are perfect for sun, sea, and sand – and plenty of food.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 23C | Jul: 27C | Aug: 27C | Sep: 23C | Oct: 19C | Nov: 15C

8. Cancún, Mexico

Cancún, Mexico

If you’re looking to go a little further afield, you might want to think about going to Cancún. As Mexico’s most popular coastal destination, Cancún’s charm is no secret; its breathtaking white sand beaches, aquamarine waters, warm weather, and Maya culture are famous around the world.

Unfortunately, this is reflected in its prices, which can be very high – especially at certain times of the year. That’s why it’s one of the best destinations for a last-minute holiday. Booking with late notice can save you huge amounts of money, and with a wealth of excellent hotels and resorts around (many of which are all-inclusive) you’re sure to find a deal to suit you.

It’s no exaggeration to say that there’s something for all tastes here. Beach lovers can relax on miles of powdery sand and swim in warm Caribbean waters, while history buffs can soak up Maya culture and visit archaeological sites and museums.

As for foodies, you can feast upon local delights like tacos and bean-filled tortillas, and outdoor enthusiasts can hike, kayak, dive, and snorkel to their heart’s content.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 27C | Jul: 27C | Aug: 28C | Sep: 28C | Oct: 27C | Nov: 25C

Get a great deal on your next holiday

Looking to book your next getaway? Here’s a selection of the best travel deals on Rest Less today.

From £676pp – 5* Hotel in Kos* >

Greece | 7 Nights | Bed and Breakfast | Book with Travel Republic

From £359pp – Montenegro Holidays* >

Flights and Accommodation Included | Book with TUI

From £899pp £1,389 – Dreamy road trip through the Balkans* >

Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia | 10 Days | Flights and Accommodation Included | Book with Exoticca

Prices and availability accurate as of 6:00pm 12th July 2024.

Or see all travel deals

9. Antalya, Turkey

Antalya, Turkey

Turkey has long been popular for a last-minute holiday, and for good reason. The weather remains warm into November, allowing visitors to extend their summers well into the autumn months. And, with flight times averaging around four hours from the UK, you don’t have to sit through a long flight to enjoy these balmy temperatures.

There’s also the fact that Turkey is a place like no other: a land where east meets west, and where cultures collide.

Plus, money goes a long way here – a fact that sounds even better when you browse the bazaars and realise how many souvenirs you’ll want to bring home! While Istanbul is a great choice for a city break, it’s Antalya that tends to have better last-minute deals.

Situated right on the Gulf of Antalya, this is the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, so it’s perfect if you’re dreaming about a blissful beach holiday. The Mediterranean coastline is dotted with pristine beaches, yacht-packed marinas, and stylish towns.

There’s also lots of history here – from the old-city district of Kaleiçi to beautifully preserved Ottoman houses and the historical sites of Side.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 25C | Jul: 30C | Aug: 29C | Sep: 26C | Oct: 22C | Nov: 16C

10. Alghero, Sardinia

Alghero, Sardinia

Sardinia might be part of Italy, but it feels like its own country – a place that’s worlds apart from anywhere else in Europe.

While Sardinia isn’t extraordinarily expensive, as an island it’s always going to be more expensive than the mainland. However, if you go last minute, prices are cheaper.

Costa Smeralda may be the most famous part of Sardinia and is sometimes seen as a playground for the rich and famous. Although beautiful, it isn’t authentic and usually isn’t the best destination for a last-minute break. Instead, head to the small city of Alghero on the northwest coast. Circled by ancient walls, this historic town allows you to discover the real Sardinia.

The Gothic architecture of this town is stunning, and you can spend days strolling around admiring it while sampling Sardinia’s unique cuisine. But, of course, Sardinia is also known for its beaches, and there’s a huge amount of variety here. You can relax on white sand, snorkel along the Coral Coast, discover secret coves, and explore the famous sea caves and grottos.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 23C | Jul: 25C | Aug: 25C | Sep: 22C | Oct: 19C | Nov: 15C

11. Porto Santo, Portugal

Porto Santo, Portugal

Portugal is one of those countries that has it all: captivating history, pristine beaches, historic cities, and excellent food. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular travel destination. But, for a last-minute break, you might want to think about avoiding the more obvious places (like Lisbon, the Algarve, or Madeira), and instead head somewhere more under the radar.

The tiny island of Porto Santo is located 40 kilometres north of Madeira, and if you’re looking to enjoy some peace and quiet, it’s hard to think of a better place.

What Porto Santo lacks in size it makes up for in beauty and tranquillity. While it’s fast becoming popular with tourists (hence the number of last-minute deals on offer) it remains delightfully undeveloped.

Baleira is the island’s only town, and it’s a lovely place to explore. Cute pavement cafes, whitewashed houses, and pretty squares line the cobbled streets – and the local cuisine is delicious. The long stretch of sandy beach here has virtually no development and you can enjoy a wonderful sense of serenity as you swim and sunbathe far from the crowds.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 24C | Jul: 26C | Aug: 27C | Sep: 27C | Oct: 25C | Nov: 23C

12. Snowdonia, Wales

Snowdonia, Wales

For something a little less exotic (though no less lovely), why not think about a last-minute staycation? Not only will this remove the hassle and expense of flying, but it also means you can really leave things to the last minute.

Snowdonia boasts Wales’ most dramatically beautiful scenery, and if its beauty wasn’t enough to tempt you, its convenience might: most of us just need to hop in the car to get there.

While Snowdonia can get busy during the summer holidays and accommodation can be costly, booking a last-minute break can help save some money. And whether you want to stay in a cosy cottage, a friendly B&B, or a luxurious hotel, there’s enough variety to find your perfect place.

Home to lush green valleys, rugged peaks, churning waterfalls, and sparkling lakes, Snowdonia is made for hiking – and if you fancy a challenge, you can even trek to the top of Mount Snowdon itself. Though you can also have a great time taking it easy and potter around charming villages, visit museums, and enjoy delicious food and drinks in the many cosy pubs.

To find out more, you may want to read our article; 9 things to see and do in Snowdonia.

Approximate average temperatures

Jun: 27C | Jul: 28C | Aug: 28C | Sep: 27C | Oct: 24C | Nov: 20C

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Final thoughts…

The beauty of a last-minute holiday isn’t only the unexpected thrill, but the fact that it allows you to visit places that might otherwise have been out of your price range.

So, whether it’s being able to stay in a hotel that’s much fancier than normal or finally affording that trip to Mexico, a last-minute holiday might be a smart way to save money and make your travel dreams a reality.

For more travel and holiday inspiration, head over to the travel section of our website. Here, you’ll find everything from long-haul travel experiences to information on solo travel.

Are you thinking about a last-minute holiday? Or do you have any of your own favourite last-minute destinations to share with our readers? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.