We don’t yet know whether we’ll have the all-clear to travel widely in October half term but if we do, here are the destinations which make for the perfect mid-haul break.
Whilst many of the following are simply too hot to visit during the UK summer, come autumn you’ll find them at their souq-exploring, river-cruising, temple-wandering or animal-spotting best. Many are also ideal at Easter if it looks like October half term isn’t a goer.
So, here’s our selection of October half term holidays. Whilst Tanzania takes a little longer to get to, most are a mere hop, skip and a few hours flight from UK shores. We’ll see you at Departures!
Best October Half Term Holiday Destinations
1 – Oman
A recent newcomer on the short-haul half term holiday hotlist, Oman is quite rightly gaining traction with adventurous families. The beaches are fabulous with temperatures at their most comfortable during October or Easter. The mountains are wonderful for hiking…. did you know that Oman has its own Grand Canyon, Jebel Shams? And the desert is absolutely brilliant fun to explore, careering down the dunes, or camping under the stars. All this and turtles, too? WE KNOW!!
For more ideas, take a look at our Top Ten Things to do with Kids in Oman and Mike Unwin’s photoblog of his family trip. Alternatively, check out our sample 7-day Oman short break itinerary or 12-day Highlights of Oman adventure to discover what else awaits your family.
2 – Egypt
Just four and a half hours separate you and your family from centuries of history, ancient sites, Pyramids and temples. The magnificent ruins and pharaoh’s tombs ranged along the picturesque Nile Valley will bring the ancient world to life in a way that textbooks simply can’t. But there’s more to Egypt than Egyptian mummies and ancient tombs.
A particular highlight is sailing down the Nile on a traditional felucca, tacking back and forth between Aswan and Luxor. Along the way, you will stop overnight and sleep under the stars. Another favourite is to ride donkeys up to the Valley of the Kings, a fun and traditional way to soak up the atmosphere. Take a look at our action-packed Highlights of Egypt, 9-day itinerary, the perfect length for an October half-term holiday. And also check out our Egypt with kids blog for more activities and photos.
3 – Jordan
It just takes a glance at the weekend travel supplements to know that Jordan has been having a moment over the past couple of years. As lifetime lovers of this desert kingdom, with its rich history and dramatic landscapes, we’re thrilled Jordan is once again getting the attention it deserves.
Go on an October half term holiday and you’ll experience the country at its best, cooling down from the soaring July and August temperatures but still blue-sky sunny to make a change from grey skies at home.
You’ll be awed by Petra, a city carved from rock and inspired by the Roman ruins at Jerash. You’ll be invigorated as you drive by 4WD through Wadi Rum and refreshed after a float in the Dead Sea. We don’t want to spoil all the highlights here, see them for yourself on our 9-day Highlights of Jordan adventure or our 11-day Active Jordan if you have teens. You might also find our Top things to do with Kids in Jordan blog helpful.
4 – Morocco
Morocco, how much do we love thee? Let us count the ways! First up, the short blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flight, just over three and a half hours. This makes Morocco not just do-able as an October half term holiday but perfectly possible for a long weekend, too.
Then there’s the ‘other-world-ness’. Morocco is immediately atmospheric, mystical and magical. Immerse yourselves as you walk around the souqs of Marrakech, ride camels through the sand dunes at sunset, or listen to the call to prayer from the minarets and mosques.
Each Moroccan city has its own charm; we absolutely love the pirate hangout of Essaouria and the labyrinthine streets of Fes and Marrakech. These can be easily combined with a night in a luxury desert camp and a hike through Berber villages in the Atlas mountains. Find out what else you and your family could be doing in Morocco this October half term and see Morocco with kids for our top ten family-friendly things to do.
5 – Tanzania
Whilst Tanzania is warm year-round, it’s during the dry summer and autumn months that animal viewing is at its best. This makes October half term a fabulous time to visit, even with a considerably longer flight time than our other contenders.
Enjoy the splendour of the Serengeti and be awed by the drama of the Ngorongoro Crater. Both of these host a truly amazing amount of wildlife as well as the Big 5. You will soon find that animal spotting in a 4WD jeep will bring out the competitive streak in every family member! Tanzania is about much more than safari, though, as our Top ten things to do with kids in Tanzania demonstrates.
And, less than 15 miles off-shore, the tropical ‘spice’ island of Zanzibar, with its paradise, palm-fringed beaches make it the perfect place to relax either pre or post-safari.
More about October Half Term holidays
Do give us a ring to discuss your October half-term holiday, so we can provide more information about keeping you and your family safe whilst enjoying the trip of a lifetime.
Call us on 01728 722717 or get in touch from our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.
Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel