The top 20 bargain getaways

Fancy a holiday before the half-term crowd hits the airport? Ian McCurrach rounds up some last-minute bargains, from a city break in Reykjavik to whale-watching in the Azores


1 . Med cruise

Find your sea legs on a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Costa Concordia.Sailing out of Barcelona and back, ports of call include Palma, Tunis, Valletta in Malta, Palermo, Civitavecchia and Savona.

The deal: Costa Cruises (020-7940 4499; costacruises.co.uk) offers a seven-night fully inclusive Mediterranean Magic break from £984 per person, based on two sharing a two-bed inside cabin, including return flights from Heathrow or Gatwick to Barcelona and transfers. Departs 13, 20 May and offers a saving of £240 per person.

2 . Malta

Enjoy the countryside of Malta before the heat of summer hits. Your base is the four-star Gillieru Harbour Hotel on the water's edge in St Paul's Bay, a family-owned hotel with swimming pool and roof terrace.

The deal: Chevron Air Holidays (0844 412 4440; chevron.co.uk) offers a seven-night half-board break at the Gillieru Harbour Hotel from £185 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Gatwick and car hire. Valid for departures 9 to 24 May and offers a saving of £95 per person.

3 . Germany

Self-skipper a five-star Europa motorboat and discover the waterways and lakes that connect Hamburg and Berlin.

The deal: Cardinal Boating Holidays (0845 450 5229; cardinalboating.com) offers a seven-night self-catering river-cruising break from £378 per person, based on six sharing, including return flights from Stansted to Berlin. Valid for departures 9 to 24 May and offers a saving of £96 per person.

4 . Tuscany

Hole up in Tuscany at Il Bagnese, a rural villa which sleeps six and is close to the village of Montagnano. The villa has a well-equipped kitchen, pool table and large garden with a pool.

The deal: James Villa Holidays (0870 085 0722; jamesvillas.co.uk) offers a seven-night break from £244 per person, based on six sharing, including flights from Gatwick to Pisa and two hire cars. Departs 16 May, saving £111 per person.

5 . Corsica

The Villa Castagni is a traditional two-bedroom villa with a large private pool, just a 10-minute drive from Porto Vecchio and the sandy beach at Pinarellu. Set in peaceful surroundings the property offers easy access to walking in the mountains.

The deal: Voyages Ilena (020-7924 4440; voyages ilena.co.uk) offers a seven-night break at Villa Castagni for £499 per person, based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick to Figari and car hire. Departs 13 May and offers a saving of £258 per person.

6 . Helsinki

Stay at the Seurahuone Hotel, a four-star 19th-century Art Nouveau property within walking distance of the top sights including the Old Market Hall and Market Square.

The deal: Expedia (0871 226 0808; expedia.co.uk) offers a four-night b&b break from £288 per person, based on two sharing, including flights from Heathrow. Departs 17 May and offers a saving of £140 per person.

7 . Azores

Stay on Sao Miguel, the largest of the islands at the three-star Avenida Hotel in the main town and port of Ponta Delgada.

The deal: Sunvil Discovery (020-8758 4722; sunvil.co. uk) offers a three-night b&b break from £337 per person, based on two sharing. The package includes a whale and dolphin-watching trip, flights from Gatwick and transfers. Departs throughout May and offers a saving of £166 per person.

8 . Mallorca

The five-star Son Net hotel is a converted finca with a wellness centre and one of the island's top restaurants.

The deal: Original Travel (020-7978 7333; originaltravel.co.uk) offers a seven-night b&b break with an upgrade to a superior room from £1,105 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Heathrow to Palma and car hire. Valid for departures from 6-31 May and offers a saving of £457 per person.

9 . Ravello

Stay at La Villette apartments near the centre of Ravello above the Amalfi coast. Each apartment has a private patio or balcony and there is a shared pool.

The deal: Citalia (0870 909 7554; citalia.com) offers a seven-night self-catering break from £299 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Bristol, Gatwick, East Midlands, Glasgow or Manchester. Departs 18 May and offers a saving of £300 per person.

10 . Greece

Enjoy water sports at The Retreat Neilson Beach Club on the Ionian coast, near the port of Sivota.

The deal: Neilson (0870 909 9099; neilson.com) offers a seven-night break from £399 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Gatwick, transfers, half-board accommodation, four evening meals and all activities. Departs 20 May and offers a saving of £320 per person.

11 . Cyprus

Enjoy complimentary half-board at Le Meridien Limassol Spa & Resort.

The deal: Harlequin (0845 450 6433; harlequinholidays.com) offers a seven-night half-board break from £795 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Gatwick to Paphos and transfers. Valid for departures throughout May and June, saving £245 per person.

12 . Sicily

Shape up for summer at the Club Med Village of Kamarina, situated on the south east coast of Sicily.

The deal: Club Med (0845 367 6767; clubmed.co.uk) offers a seven-night fully inclusive break from £449 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Gatwick, transfers, all meals with wine, insurance and all activities. Departs 13 May and offers a saving of £321 per person.

13 . Turkey

Yediburunlar Lighthouse is a six-bedroom eco retreat situated on top of the mountains overlooking the Mediterranean, on one of the dramatic sections of the Lycian Way.

The deal: Exclusive Escapes (020-8605 3500; exclusiveescapes.co.uk) offers a seven-night half-board break from £450 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Heathrow or Manchester, transfers, three days' guided trekking and a one-day gulet cruise. Departs 12, 19 May and offers a saving of £250 per person.

14 . Corsica

Villa Macapola is a large five-bedroom property on the south-east coast near the beaches of Santa Manza and Ballistra. Bonifacio is only a short distance away.

The deal: Coastline (0844 557 1020; coastline.co.uk) offers a seven-night self-catering break at Villa Macapola from £439 per person, based on 10 people sharing, including return flights from Gatwick, car hire, twice weekly maid service with change of linen, bath and beach towels, daily bread, croissants, newspaper delivery and concierge service. Departs 13 May and offers a saving of £120 per person.

15 . Crete

The Eden Apartments in Aghia Marina are set on the north-west coast of Crete on a 4km stretch of fine sandy beach. The traditional resort offers a good selection of bars and tavernas and there are plenty of water sports on offer along with sightseeing trips to Heraklion, the Palace of Knossos and the Samaria Gorge.

The deal: The Travel Club of Upminster (01708 225000; travelclubofupminster.co.uk) offers a 14-night self-catering break at the Eden Apartments from £421 person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Gatwick and other regional airports and transfers. Valid for departures in May, offering a saving of £117 per person.

16 . Lake Garda

Take a rest cure on the shores of Lake Garda at either the three-star Royal or Suite Hotel. Garda offers plenty of Italian charm, beautiful scenery and a mix of history, culture and art. Wander through Garda's cobbled streets, take a boat trip on the lake and enjoy warm spring sun.

The deal: Inghams Travel (020-8780 4433; inghams.co.uk) offers a seven-night half-board break at the Royal or Suite Hotel from £334 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Gatwick and transfers. Departs 12, 16 May and offers savings of £128 per person.

17 . Istanbul

Sample the eastern promise of Istanbul at the three-star Golden Crown Hotel, which is within walking distance of all the must-see sights.

The deal: Metak Holidays (020-8290 9292; metak holidays.co.uk) offers a three-night b&b break from £279 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Stansted and transfers. Valid for departures 9 to 24 May and offers a saving of £60 per person.

18 . Sardinia

Escape to the prestigious Forte Village in Sardinia and take along a child under 12 for free.

The deal: ITC Classics (01244 355527; itcclassics. co.uk) offers a seven-night half-board break at the five-star Hotel Castello from £3,995, based on two adults and one child sharing, including return flights from Gatwick and transfers. Offer valid throughout May and June, offering a total saving of £600.

19. The best Luxury golf: Green heaven in Marbella

Seasons in Style (01244 202000; seasonsinstyle.co.uk) offers a seven-night room-only break at Marbella's exclusive Hotel Villa Padierna from £1,005 per person based on two sharing a Classic room, including return flights from Heathrow and transfers. Guests also receive one complimentary green fee or one complimentary massage per stay and a room upgrade (subject to availability). Valid for departures until July, saving £480 per person.

The best Midnight sun: Icelandic wonders

Make the most of up to 20 hours of daylight to explore the vibrant city of Reykjavik and the natural wonders of Iceland. The deal: Icelandair Holidays (0870 787 4020; icelandair.co.uk) offers a three-night b&b break at the three-star Park Inn or Hotel Loftleidir from £295 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from Manchester. Departs 11, 18 May and offers a saving of £124 per person.

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
I'm not worried about United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker