We’re edging into springtime but summer still feels too far away as does the sun itself. If you’d like to top up your Vitamin D levels and can’t hold out for the summer holiday period or afford to fork out for a trip to a far-flung, exotic location, help is at hand. Here are five of the most sunshine-soaked destinations that are just 3 hours flight time from the UK and all boast temperatures that break 20 degrees during the spring season. Best of all, they’re all budget airline friendly, so all you need to do is grab a few friends, book cheap flights, source some self-catering accommodation and jet away from the cold and rain!

1) The Algarve

The southernmost tip of mainland Portugal is pleasantly warm at this time of year and you’ll find plenty of activities on offer should you want to spend time outdoors soaking up the sun. Check out the area’s award-winning golf courses, cruise mysterious caves or take in some history and culture looking around ruins and castles. If relaxing is your number one priority, book yourself a trip to one of the region’s spas, they’re gaining a reputation as some of the best in Europe.

Flight time: 2 hours 50 mins from London and around 3 hrs from other UK airports.

Temperature: A healthy 19-23 degrees average between now and May.

Best for: Beaches. The Algarve has miles and miles of stunning coastline and many of the beaches boast blue flag credentials.

2) Majorca

The biggest of the Balearics is a safe bet for spring sunshine and a top destination for cheap flight providers such as Jet2 and Ryanair. Book a group of you or your family into one of the many gorgeous villas and spend the money you save on suitable activities such as sipping local liqueurs herbes and palo, hitting up the shops in capital Palma or splashing around at the beaches or local water parks.

Flight time: From 2 hrs 25 mins in London, rising to just under 3 hrs elsewhere, depending on location and provider.

Temperature: Expect highs of 15-20 degrees during spring.

Best for: Nightlife. Majorca’s south west coast has clubs and bars to rival Ibiza.

3) Malta

Plan leisurely strolls along the promenades, eat fresh seafood at restaurants on the waterfront and discover your new favourite drink during visits to the seafront bars. Malta is a very diverse destination loved by young and old alike and with culture and clubbing found in equal measures, it’s up to you to choose your ideal spot and set the pace.

Flight time: From 3 hours 5 minutes rising to 4 hours from Scotland.

Temperature: Temperatures will max out around a pleasant 14 degrees in March but can reach as high as 20 degrees by May, which is still out of peak season.

Best for: History lovers. You can track Maltese culture back to ancient times through visits to World Heritage sites such as the temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim on the island’s south coast.

4) Tunisia

It’s sometimes hard to accept Tunisia is as close as it is to Britain, so different is it in culture and appearance. Tunisia feels like a very exotic location and its one that can be done very affordably too. Mosey through medinas, take a trip into the Sahara Desert or spend your time swimming and sunbathing or travelling by camel.

Flight time: From 2 hrs 45 mins in London, adding an hour if flying from Scotland.

Temperature: Expect a pleasant 14 to 19 degrees centigrade between the months of March and May.

Best for: Those who want to explore beyond Europe but want to avoid long haul flights.

5) Costa Blanca

If the traditional package holiday is not for you, don’t worry – there’s far more to the area than bed and breakfast in Benidorm. Orange groves, architecture and aquariums are just some of the highlights of old school favourite Costa Blanca. Head into the hills to find quiet villages and centuries old castles.

Flight time: Generally 2-3 hours.

Temperature: Average temperatures of between 15 and 20 degrees centigrade will welcome you between March and May.

Best for: Water lovers. Water parks, water falls (Algar Waterfalls) and long stretches of sandy beaches – Costa Blanca makes it easy for you to make a splash.

And there you have it – whether your holiday priorities are shopping or sunbathing there’s a sunny spring break destination for you that’s closer than you think. At each and every one of these five holiday spots you can expect weather hotter than the averages of the UK, which tend to hover around the low teens until summer returns.

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