The ultimate travel challenge: Look no further for a last-minute family holiday

Every week we invite competing companies to provide their best deal for a specific holiday – and today we're running a travel challenge special edition. We've asked seven holiday companies to give us their top three late-availability family summer holidays for travel between now and the start of September.

Late deals sometimes turn out to be a bit of a swizz – when you call to book, you find out there's no space left. So we asked the companies to assure us they have plenty of availability on the dates, and at the prices, shown.

Prices quoted are the totals for a family of two adults and two children.

Virgin Holidays

£2,689 Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Includes Virgin Atlantic flights from Heathrow to Dubai departing 17-31 August, plus transfers and 10 nights' B&B.

"This hotel is exclusive to Virgin Holidays customers in the UK, and is a great family pick, with guaranteed sunshine, a Virgin Holidays concierge lounge (info and Playstations galore), the option to upgrade to all-inclusive accommodation and free shuttle buses to Dubai City," says Gill Standeven at Virgin Holidays (0844 557 3859; virginholidays.co.uk ).

£2,249: Indian Ocean Beach Resort, Mombasa, Kenya

Includes Virgin Atlantic flights from Heathrow departing 19-31 August and onward Kenya Airways connections, plus transfers and seven nights' half board accommodation.

"This is a beautiful local hotel; all rooms have a personal valet, there is a free scuba lesson for all guests and the hotel is near all the local historical hotspots," says Nikki Mortimer at Virgin Holidays (0844 557 3859; virginholidays.co.uk ).

£4,920: Marigot Bay, St Lucia (Virgin Holidays + Hip Hotels)

Includes Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick on 8, 10, 13 or 15 August, plus transfers and a week in a suite with breakfast.

"This super-chic hotel – set in 30 acres – is in a fab position in one of the most beautiful marinas in the Caribbean," says Jacqueline Smith at Virgin Holidays + HIP Hotels (0844 573 2455; vhiphotels.co.uk ).

Monarch Holidays (0871 423 8642; monarch.co.uk )

£1,516: Apartments Club Princesa Playa, Cala'*Bosch, Menorca

Includes Monarch flights from Gatwick on 24 August and a week's self-catering at the four-diamond-plus rated apartments.

"With great facilities – including a kids' club – to keep the whole family entertained, sociable daytime flights and apartments just 400m from the sandy cove beach, this makes the perfect sunshine escape for the whole family," says Hugh Morgan at Monarch Holidays.

£2,432: Sunshine Corfu Hotel & Spa, Nissaki, Corfu

Includes Monarch flights from Gatwick on 23 August and a week's all-inclusive accommodation at the four-diamond rated hotel.

"With its fantastic all-inclusive offering including a host of activities and entertainment for adults and children, this holiday offers great value for money for families looking to lock in their costs prior to travel," says Hugh Morgan.

£1,452: Apartments Parque Santiago III & IV, Playa de las Americas, Tenerife

Includes Monarch flights from Gatwick on 23 August and a week's self-catering accommodation at the three-diamond-plus rated apartments.

"Perfectly located on the ocean front, with direct access to the sea," according to Hugh Morgan. "With a sandy beach; four swimming pools including a separate children's pool and Siam Park [Tenerife's newest water park] close at hand, the kids will be kept thoroughly entertained."

Hoseasons (0844 847 1100; hoseasons.co.uk )

£649: Seascape Cottages, Carmarthenshire

Includes a week's rental of Villa Apartment 4, sleeping four guests, on a hillside above the Pendine Sands, starting 31 July.

"Seascape Cottages guarantees the ideal family seaside holiday," says Geoff Cowley at Hoseasons. "For those seeking to simply get away and unwind amid the chaos of the summer holidays, this an ideal location for exploring the beaches and countryside of West Wales".

£689: The Bay, Plymouth, North Yorkshire Moors

Includes a week's rental of an apartment sleeping four at The Bay, starting 7 August.

"This Hoseasons Park has almost 600 metres of frontage onto a safe and sandy beach. The park also offers easy access for visiting the North Yorkshire Moors and the city of York, as well as the traditional seaside resort of Scarborough," says Geoff Cowley.

£599: Chesil, Dorset

Includes a week's rental of a Chesil Redcliff 6 caravan, sleeping up to six guests, starting 24 July.

"Chesil is a family park with a warm atmosphere offering a children's play area, an indoor swimming pool, and evening entertainment," says Geoff Cowley. "The surrounding area provides a wealth of things to see and do too; the Georgian seaside resort of Weymouth is just three miles away, boasting a sandy beach and safe bathing waters, as well as the Old Harbour."

Tui

£2,428: Louis Corcyra Beach, Gouvia, Corfu, Greece (Thomson)

Includes flights from Manchester on 26 July, transfers and a week all-inclusive at the four-star hotel.

"For guaranteed summer sunshine, Greece is a sure bet," says Katrina Barry at Thomson. "This hotel is great for lazy days spent around the lagoon-style pool. Plus the on-site Thomson Kids' Club will keep children of all ages entertained." (0871 231 3235; thomson.co.uk )

£1,728: Zante Maris, Tsilivi, Zante, Greece (First Choice)

Includes flights from Bristol on 24 August, transfers and a week's half-board accommodation at the four-star hotel.

"In a perfect beachfront setting and with close proximity to all the tavernas and restaurants that Tsilivi has to offer, this is great for families looking for some last-minute summer sun," says Katrina Barry. (0871 200 4455; firstchoice.co.uk )

£3,536: Sensatori Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico (Thomson)

Includes Thomson Airways flights departing Bristol on 14 August, transfers and a week's "gourmet all-inclusive" accommodation at the five-star resort.

"This stunning luxurious getaway offers fantastic value for money in a chic setting on Mexico's Riviera Maya coastline," says Rob Ansell at Thomson. "There are plenty of family rooms available still, and with state-of-the-art children's facilities plus a world-class spa, children and parents will be happy." (0871 231 3235; thomson.co.uk )

Thomas Cook

£2,596: Ramada Gateway Hotel, Orlando, Florida (Netflights)

Includes US Airways flights from Heathrow via Charlotte for departures up to 21 August and seven nights' room only accommodation at the three-star hotel. Manchester and Glasgow departures available at a £30 per person supplement.

"This hotel is convenient for all of Orlando's tourist attractions and is known for its service, providing a warm welcome to a family looking to make the most of all the attractions," says Trish Hughes at Thomas Cook (0844 493 4944; netflights.com ).

£1,947: Mirage Park Resort, Goynuk, Turkey (Airtours)

Includes one free child place, flights departing Manchester on 10 August, transfers and seven nights' all-inclusive accommodation at the four-star resort.

Trish Hughes says: "This modern beachfront hotel is ideal for those who want to relax in beautiful surroundings and explore the village of Göynük, steeped in Turkish history. (0844 871 6636; airtours.co.uk )

£2,561: Atlantica Gardens Apartments, Limassol, Cyprus (Thomas Cook)

Includes flights departing Gatwick on 10 August, transfers and all-inclusive accommodation at the three-star resort.

"Limassol is a lively, cosmopolitan all-year-round resort with long stretches of beach backed by local tavernas and restaurants. This popular complex is a particularly good choice for a fun-filled family holiday with its fantastic swimming pool complex," says Trish Hughes. (0844 412 5970; thomascook.com )

Kuoni (01306 747 008; kuoni.co.uk )

£4,852: Almond Smugglers Cove, St Lucia

Includes Virgin Atlantic flights departing Gatwick on 17 August, transfers and seven nights' all-inclusive accommodation at the four-star resort.

"There are some great savings to be had this summer offering exceptional good value especially on an all-inclusive basis", says Tamara Diethelm at Kuoni.

£3,846: Kurumba Resort, Maldives

Includes Monarch Airlines flights departing Gatwick on 15 August, transfers and seven nights' B&B accommodation at the five-star resort.

Tamara Diethelm says: "There is great value for money at this fabulous Robinson Crusoe island this August."

£3,558: Kani Lanka Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka

Includes Sri Lankan Airlines flights departing Heathrow on 26 August, transfers and eight nights' half-board at the four-star resort.

"This is a fabulous, great-value family experience lazing on an exotic beach, visiting traditional villages or watching elephants play in the river", says Tamara Diethelm.

Mark Warner (08717 033 880; markwarner.co.uk )

£2,333: Ocean Club, Algarve, Portugal

Includes Viking Airlines flights from Gatwick, with departures on any Saturday in August, plus transfers, a week's half-board accommodation and tennis.

The resort runs alongside a long stretch of beach, there's a five-court tennis centre on site with a professional coaching programme, plus two swimming pools. Child care is available at the Ocean Club. "It is a superb location for those looking for a little more independence," says Lizzie Edwards at Mark Warner.

£2,634: Abu Soma, Hurghada, Egypt

Includes Viking Airlines flights from Gatwick on 19 or 26 August, transfers, a week's half-board accommodation, plus sailing, windsurfing, tennis and aerobics/ fitness programme at the five-star hotel. The consistent cross-shore breezes and flat water make for world class watersports conditions.

"The market-leading childcare here is designed for both parents and children to make the most of their holiday," says Keri Doble at Mark Warner.

£4,746: Sea Garden, near Bodrum, Turkey

Includes Viking Airlines flights from Gatwick with departures on 15 and 22 August, plus transfers, a week's all-inclusive accommodation, sailing, windsurfing, tennis and aerobics/ fitness programme.

"The hotel overlooks a spacious crescent-shaped beach and a beautiful terraced garden. Mark Warner nannies, waterfront staff and tennis coaches will ensure a first-class holiday at a great-value price," says Keri Doble.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice