Where to go on holiday for the October half term

October is a great time to go on holiday. The summer sun is long gone and those cold winter nights are arriving. Escape the cold weather in favour of some winter sun and use the following destinations as inspiration for your trip. Our ‘where to go on holiday for October half term’ includes plenty of ideas for the 1-week October school holidays and is designed around families. Couples, solo travellers and adults might prefer our less family-orientated October holiday ideas here.

Read on for the best places to visit for the October half term holidays!

1-week beach holidays (short haul)

The following October half term holiday destinations are all located a short flight away from the UK, perfect if you’re travelling with young children and want nice beaches.


October half term holiday ideas - Shows marina in Cyprus

A destination that comes to everyone’s mind when you think of hot holiday destinations in October is the idyllic island of Cyprus. Its South-Med location right next to the Middle-East gives it year-round warm temperatures and October is no exception. Flights are frequent from most UK airports; prices are cheap at this time of the year and it’s well suited for a relaxing beach holiday. Immerse yourself in the Greek culture of the south, playing with the kids on the beach or enjoying the facilities of a luxury hotel; or adventure on a day-trip to the north of the island, which has a contrasting Turkish culture.

Cyprus is a sure-fire bet for sun and an enjoyable half term beach holiday with plenty of things to do and nice restaurants to check out. It’s family friendly and affordable and the flight takes around 4hr 30 mins from the UK. Day-trips include boat adventures, a historic excursion to the Valley of the Kings, quaint Cypriot towns and much more!

Pro-tip: As tempting as it may be to enjoy the swimming pools for your full trip, beaches and nice food, take time out to explore the quaint ancient towns and rugged coastline of the island.

Best area to stay for families: Paphos

Recommended family hotels:


Where to go on holiday for October half term - Shows Valletta city in Malta from the sea

With the exception of December to February, Malta has beautiful weather year-round. It’s a small but action-packed island in the south-Mediterranean and is a welcome breath of fresh air from the cooler temperatures of the rest of Europe in October. The beaches, hotels and tourist facilities are well established on the island, but what really makes it stand out is the vast number of things to do.

Throughout Malta you’ll find historic cities, rich culture, markets and coastal fortresses, but it also has a naturally pretty appearance. Small rocky coves, vast sand beaches and dreamy sunsets are evident on all four corners of the island. A family holiday here has all of the opportunities for beaches and sandcastles that you’d find in any other destination, however its historic background and many sights gives you endless days out with the kids. Think boat trips, turquoise lagoons and even a Popeye themed amusement park!

Pro-tip: Go on a family horse riding trip at sunset with Golden Bay Horse Riding. This fun activity is great for all levels of experience and is a unique way to see the picturesque west coast.

Best area to stay for families: Melliha

Recommended family hotels:


October half term holiday ideas - Shows Lindos town beach in Rhodes

When we first visited Rhodes, we were amazed at how historic the island was and its appeal to all types of tourists. It has touristic corners with plenty of hotels, bars and restaurants, but also has pockets of famous Greek history and a coastline of quaint towns and villages. It’s capital, Rhodes Town, is also a must-see city with something for everyone. Many Mediterranean cruise-liners make it an essential stop on their itinerary.

For the ultimate Rhodes October half-term family holiday, we recommend staying in a coastal resort such as Lindos, where you’ll find white-sand beaches and activity-filled all-inclusive hotels. From this well-located base, you can then explore the coastline by car, stopping off at coves and beaches to build sand castles with the kids and the occasional day-trip to Rhodes Town or a water park. October holiday prices in Rhodes are also very affordable!

Pro-tip: Rent a car. Rhodes is an island waiting to be explored and whilst the bus is an easy way to get around, car hire is cheap and super convenient.

Best area to stay for families: Lindos/Pefkos

Recommended family hotels:

Azores Islands

Shows the mountains of the Azores islands - October half term holiday destinations

Everyone’s heard of the Canary Islands, or even the Balearics, but are your familiar with the Azores? This Portuguese archipelago of exotic islands sits just off the south-west coast of Portugal, north of Madeira and the Canaries. Slightly off-the-beaten-track compared to the other islands we’ve mentioned in our list, the Azores are an exciting place to spend half term, relaxing in the sun and touring the many islands by boat. The difficult thing is choosing an island to visit – there are 9 options!

Sao Miguel is our recommended Azores island. It’s the largest, easiest to get to and has the most activities, making it ideal for a family holiday. As an adventurous holiday destination, you’ll get to kayak and snorkel in the cool but crystal-clear ocean, relax in geothermal springs or go for scenic walks in the mountains. It’s a nice place to relax too. Temperature highs of 23 degrees in October will be welcomed with open arms, being considerably warmer than most of Europe at this time of the year. Due to the active and less touristic nature of the Azores, we recommend it for families with older children or teenagers. For more tips on planning your Azores holiday, check out a great guide here from our friend Bruno at The Geeky Explorer.

Pro-tip: Take extra time planning your adventures and travel options to and from the islands. The rugged terrain and challenging locations take a little time to figure out.

Best place to stay for families: Sao Miguel Island

Recommended hotels:


Shows sandcastles on a beach in Fuerteventura - October half term beach holidays

You guessed it! There’s a Canary Island on our list. How could there not be when the weather is still nice and warm at this time of the year? The Canaries have long been a holiday favourite for Europeans in October due to its warm temperatures, not-so-long flight and affordable prices. It’s the ideal place to jet off to for glorious beach sunbathing and each of the islands have their own distinct personality.

We chose Fuerteventura as our top pick for where to go on holiday for the October half term as it’s a well-suited destination for families. It’s quiet, friendly and has a nice variety of accommodation. However, whilst being quiet, it also has plenty to do and everything about it screams ‘family beach holiday’. Relax on the volcanic sand beaches, go for a family bike ride into the mountains or just chill-out at your resort. It’s clean, welcoming, pretty and affordable – exactly what you need for a week’s October getaway!

Pro-tip: Spend a day or twoventuring away from the tourist centres for something more local. A jeep tour or bike ride into the small mountain towns is a great way to see a different side of Fuertaventura.

Best area to stay for families: Corralejo

Recommended family hotels:

Cape Verde

Shows a pristine beach in Cape Verde - Where to go on holiday for October half term

Sometimes it’s worth flying a little further for guaranteed sunshine and a holiday that’s different to the European classics. Cape Verde is a destination that provides exactly that! It’s a unique mix of Portuguese and African cultures off the west coast of Africa, and you can get there within a 6 hour flight from the UK.

As an archipelago of holiday islands, the toughest choice you’ll make is which island to base yourself; and then all you have to worry about is what to eat for dinner and which activity to try first! For families, we recommend Boa Vista island. It’s surrounded by white-sands and has a variety of luxurious yet affordable family hotels with plenty of activities for the kids and lots of food variety. Cape Verde suits families that want a typical beach holiday with plenty of relaxation, the occasional excursion or activity and guaranteed hot temperatures.

Pro-tip: There are a number of different islands and airports in Cape Verde, with some of them easier to reach than others from specific UK airports. Build your holiday around the most convenient island to travel to.

Best area to stay for families: Boa Vista Island

Recommended family hotels:

Faraway family adventures (long haul)

If you’re willing to travel a little further, the following ‘places to go on holiday during October half term’ are brilliant. All ideas are completely achievable for a 1-week holiday but feel free to visit for longer.

Orlando, USA

Long haul holiday destinations for October half term - Shows Epcot globe in Orlando

An October Half Term holiday ideas list wouldn’t be complete without one of the best family holidays of all – Orlando, Florida! October happens to be one of the best times to visit. Temperatures are still very warm, hurricane season is over and it’s one of the quietest times of the year, so there’ll be less crowds at the theme parks. Usually we’d recommend a 2-week stay in Orlando, but one-week is a perfectly acceptable time to visit for half-term. You’ll just have to prioritise your itinerary as there’s so much to do!

Spend your week in Orlando relaxing by the pool, shopping for bargain brand fashion, eating in the many restaurants with all varieties of cuisine; and of course, checking out the attractions. Disneyworld is the main draw to Orlando, however there are plenty of other theme parks, zoo’s, family shows, animal exhibits and kids play areas. You also have some nice beaches and national parks, just a short drive away. Check out our Orlando holiday planning guide here to help you action-pack your week away with the kids. You’ll make their dreams come true with this idea!

Pro-tip: If you’re only visiting Orlando for a week for half-term, plan an itinerary before you go, with all the things you want to do or see. And don’t overload it! You want to make the most of each attraction you visit. We also recommend booking everything in advance.

Best area to stay for families: Disneyworld or the International Drive area

Recommended family hotels:

Dubai/Abu Dhabi

Show Dubai beach and city skyscrapers - October half term beach holidays

If European October holiday destinations just aren’t doing it for you and you want somewhere much hotter, lavish and exotic, the not-so-far emirate city of Dubai is calling your name! This dessert city has grown into a family holiday retreat, with plenty of well facilitated hotels, water parks, beaches and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. It truly is a destination for everyone if historic culture isn’t high on the agenda.

Spend half term in Dubai enjoying the beaches of a private family-friendly hotel before popping out for the occasional day-trip. Excursions the kids will love include sand dune jeep rides in the dessert, a trip to the tallest building in the world and a boat tour to private paradise islands. You as parents will fall in love too. A hotel with a kid’s club will allow you to enjoy a romantic dining experience with your partner or cocktails by the pool.

Pro-tip: A good hotel choice is everything in Dubai if you’re travelling with a family. Some hotels cater to couples seeking romance whilst others are packed with big swimming pools, activity centres and kids adventure facilities. Choose somewhere that the whole family will like.

Best area to stay for families: Jumeirah Beach

Recommended family hotels:

City breaks in Europe

Want a short holiday during the October half term? The following city breaks aren’t too far and have an appeal to families.


October half term city break ideas - Shows Riad swimming pool

Morocco is a destination with a unique and colourful culture and the bustling heart of Marrakech will enlighten your entire family with a world of flavour, smells, colours and charm. An unusual family city break destination compared to the usual favourites; Marrakech is a remarkably cool place to take your family during the half term. Stay in a luxury hotel or ‘Riad’ for low cost and explore the markets, shops, restaurant and gardens, or try more adventurous such as a camel or hot-air balloon ride.

We recommend Marrakesh as an October city break for families with older kids due to the nature of activities on offer, although there’s something for everyone and you can’t beat swimming pool relaxation in the hot Moroccan sun. Temperatures at this time of the year are a lot more enjoyable than the scorching summer heat and it’s a welcome escape from chilly northern Europe.

Pro-tip: Marrakech Medina centre is busy, chaotic and thrilling, but maybe not the best place to stay for families. Stay in a quiet and well facilitated resort outside of the centre and travel to the Medina for sightseeing.

Best area to stay for families: A resort outside of the Medina centre

Recommended family hotels:


Shows colourful houses by Copenhagen marina - October half term city breaks

If you don’t mind wrapping up to stay warm, Copenhagen is possibly one of the best family city break destinations, not just in October! It has a small, compact city centre that’s ideal for small legs. You won’t be walking for miles to see attractions and there are plenty of things to do for families. Wander through the beautiful Tivoli Gardens, visit the giant LEGO store or hop aboard a boat for the best views of the colourful city buildings.

October temperatures in Copenhagen are mild and great for walking around sightseeing. It’s a picturesque city with lots of nice shops and restaurants and the kids won’t get tired out travelling around. With short duration budget flights from the UK, it’s a fantastic place to visit for a long weekend during the October half-term and you may wish to combine it with a family cruise. Affordable ferries operate from Copenhagen port, travelling onwards to Norway for a brief 2- or 3-day adventure.

Pro-tip: The foodie scene in Copenhagen is amazing. Sample dishes you’ve never even heard of and have fun eating weird and wonderful things with your family. Research restaurants in advance.

Best area to stay for families: City Centre – Marina

Recommended family hotels:


Shows the unique Gaudi architecture in Barcelona

Not only is Barcelona one of our favourite cities for all types of traveller, whether you’re a couple, solo backpacker or on a business trip, it’s quite possibly one of the best cities in Europe for family trips. There’s so much to do and it’s a good mix between beach holiday and sightseeing. October attracts far less tourists than the busier summer months, however temperature are still a very enjoyable 20 degrees+ if you visit near the beginning to the middle of October.

Taste delicious Spanish food, go for a dip by the stunning city beach or embark on an adventure to Mount Tibidabo, where you’ll find vast views of Barcelona and a kid’s amusement park. Hotels and flights are very affordable and family-suitable and there’s no shortage of sights that the whole family will enjoy. One of our favourites is the Cosmo Caixa Science Museum.

Pro-tip: Visiting Barcelona for 3+ days? Take the short train ride to the nearby town of Sitges. It’s a family-friendly beach town with a thrilling charm.

Best area to stay for families: Las Ramblas / Marina

Recommended family hotels:

Your inspiration on where to go on holiday for October half term is complete; all that’s left to do now is consult with your family and book! (Or surprise them ?). If you’re a family on a budget or just looking for some well-deserved winter sun, October half term is the perfect month to do it, being one of the cheapest kid’s holidays of the year to travel.

Find more holiday ideas in our inspiration guides here.


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