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How to grab a last-minute flight bargain this Easter: The 11 European countries you can still visit for under £100 return next week

Britons hoping for a last-minute flight to go on a European holiday this Easter can still catch a great deal if they fly on quieter days, MailOnline can reveal today.

Airlines are selling return adult tickets for under £100 from UK airports to more than ten countries next week including Spain, Germany, France and Denmark.

Flight booking experts said tourists open to less popular destinations are most likely to get better prices, while travelling on less busy days can also help lower the cost.

It comes after MailOnline revealed yesterday that Britons desperate to escape the rain this Easter face eye-watering costs for a flight over the four-day weekend.

Now, this website has analysed prices on comparison website Skyscanner for return flights giving at least three nights in a destination, finding various cheaper options when being flexible with dates – especially when travelling on Easter Sunday.

The best bargain available this morning was Cardiff to Dublin with Ryanair at just £39, returning the following Sunday, April 7. There was a jump to the next cheapest at £80 which was Edinburgh to Brussels with the same airline on the same dates.

Cheapest Easter flights still available from UK  IRELAND – Cardiff to Dublin – £39 (Ryanair), Mar 31 to Apr 7BELGIUM – Edinburgh to Brussels – £80 (Ryanair), Mar 31 to Apr 7FRANCE – East Midlands to Limoges – £83 (Ryanair), Apr 3 to Apr 7CZECHIA – London to Prague: £84 (Wizz Air) – Apr 2 to Apr 5CROATIA – London to Zadar: £86 (Ryanair) – Apr 2 to Apr 5POLAND – Belfast to Gdansk – £89 (Ryanair), Apr 4 to Apr 7ESTONIA – London to Tallinn – £90 (Ryanair), Apr 1 to Apr 7SPAIN – Newcastle to Ibiza – £92 (Jet2), Mar 31 to Apr 4GERMANY – London to Leipzig – £93 (Ryanair), Apr 1 to Apr 7DENMARK – Edinb’ to Copenhagen – £96 (Ryanair), Apr 3 to Apr 7AUSTRIA – London to Salzburg: £98 (Wizz Air) – Apr 1 to Apr 5

Prices checked on Skyscanner on March 27, 2024. Showing return for one adult with same airline for at least three nights between March 31 (Easter Sunday) and April 7 

Other cheap options included East Midlands to Limoges in France for £83 with Ryanair from April 3 to April 7; and London to Prague for £84 with Wizz Air from April 2 to 5.

Routes with Ryanair included London to Zadar in Croatia for £86 from April 2 to 5; Belfast to Gdansk was £89 from April 4 to 7; and London to Tallinn for £90 from April 1 to 7.

Meanwhile Jet2 was offering Newcastle to Ibiza for £92 from March 31 to April 4; and Ryanair tickets for London to Leipzig from April 1 to 7 were £93.

Those hoping to visit Denmark can travel from Edinburgh to Copenhagen for £96 with Ryanair between April 3 and 7, while London to Salzburg is £98 with Wizz Air from April 1 to 5.

Skyscanner’s travel expert Laura Lindsay told MailOnline: ‘Generally speaking, busy seasonal times for travel weigh the balance between supply and demand firmly towards the latter, which means raised prices – especially last minute.

‘That being said, there is still a chance you can bag a bargain if you know how to shop around with those open to less popular destinations most likely to get the best deals. 

‘Flying on less busy days is always smart if you can tag on an extra day of leave or fly back a day later to avoid the rush.

‘For those able to leave from a different airport, comparing prices from UK regional airports is a good idea for popular routes.’

At the other end of the scale, many flights for travel specifically over the four-day Easter weekend are only available to those willing to spend big.

The cheapest return flight to Mallorca for an adult leaving a London airport on Good Friday and returning on Easter Monday is the starkest example, at £939 with easyJet.

MailOnline has also revealed eye-watering costs for a flight over the four-day Easter weekend 

Those wanting to visit the Canary Islands also face high costs – with the cheapest return to Tenerife at £606 with Ryanair, and to Lanzarote at £564 with easyJet.

Sky-high costs of flying away this Easter  Mallorca – £939 (easyJet)Tenerife – £606 (Ryanair)Lanzarote – £564 (easyJet)Paphos – £565 (Jet2)Malta – £520 (British Airways)Venice – £505 (Wizz Air)Lisbon – £440 (easyJet)Madrid – £424 (easyJet)Athens – £401 (Wizz Air)Nice – £370 (easyJet)Rome – £364 (Wizz Air)Barcelona – £332 (Ryanair)

Prices checked on Skyscanner on March 26, 2024. Return direct flight from/to a London airport for one adult with same airline, leaving Good Friday and returning Easter Monday 

Other destinations with no return flights under £500 include Paphos at £565 with Jet2; Malta at £520 with British Airways and Venice at £505 with Wizz Air.

For some locations in Greece such as Corfu, Crete and Rhodes there are no direct return flights left at all for the Easter weekend on Skyscanner.

Other destinations include Lisbon from £440, Madrid from £424 and Nice from £370, all with easyJet; and Athens from £401 and Rome from £364, both with Wizz Air.

The cheapest flights available from and to London for the four-day weekend are Zurich for £176 and Gdansk for £177, with Bratislava next at £200. The cheapest domestically is Edinburgh from £124.

Reacting to the data on expensive flights yesterday, travel expert Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told MailOnline: ‘Low-cost airlines don’t exist anymore. 

‘Higher costs, including wages, fuel and increased supplier fees are forcing airlines to hike fares and pass on those costs to passengers.

‘Easter is one of the most popular times of the year to travel and demand is as high as it’s ever been. With this strong demand, airlines are able to charge more than ever for seats, knowing they will fill them.

‘There is no sign of fares falling either, as forward bookings for the summer period are still very strong. It’s a sure sign that the economy is picking up again.’

🏖️ Off on a European holiday soon?

Similarly to the UK, the weather across Europe is rather unsettled, especially in Iberia where thunderstorms and strong winds are expected at times this week

The eastern Mediterranean will see the driest and warmest weather over #Easter

— Met Office (@metoffice) March 25, 2024

It comes as many European hotspots will endure heavy rain along with Britain in a blow to families looking forward to jetting abroad in the coming days.

The Met Office has warned the weather across Europe will remain unsettled, especially in Spain and Portugal which face thunderstorms and strong winds.

Temperatures in Madrid will only be at 14C (57F) on Saturday – lower than London at 15C (59F) – while France will also face rain with Nice at 19C (66F).

But the outlook is much better for the eastern Mediterranean, particularly Italy and Greece which will enjoy the driest and warmest weather over Easter.

Rome and Palermo will both be hot and sunny this weekend at 25C (77F), while Athens will be slightly behind at 24C (75F) and Budapest at 23C (73F).

Britons have been warned to expect a ‘disappointing’ run-up to Easter in the UK as blustery conditions and heavy rainfall will leave some areas at risk of flooding.

The Met Office tweeted a moving map showing the forecast for Europe this week, and said: ‘Off on a European holiday soon?

‘Similarly to the UK, the weather across Europe is rather unsettled, especially in Iberia where thunderstorms and strong winds are expected at times this week.

GOOD FRIDAY: The Met Office has warned of ‘unsettled’ weather for much of Europe this week

EASTER SATURDAY: Spain and Portugal are likely to see thunderstorms and strong winds

‘The eastern Mediterranean will see the driest and warmest weather over Easter.’

European temperatures for Easter Saturday  Rome – 25CPalermo – 25CAthens – 24CBudapest – 23CBerlin – 20CDubrovnik – 20CPalma – 20CNice – 19CVenice – 18CZurich – 18CGibraltar – 18CParis – 17CBordeaux – 17CAmsterdam – 16CLONDON – 15CMadrid – 14CDublin – 12C

In Britain, Storm Nelson will bring strong winds and heavy rain to parts of the country tonight and into tomorrow as the unsettled weather continues in the run-up to Easter.

Blustery conditions, showers, thunder and hail will hit the UK as the low pressure system sweeps in after being named by the Spanish weather service Aemet.

This morning began wet across the North and West with hill snow in Scotland – and while eastern areas will see some sunshine, rain will later move in from the west.

Temperatures will be low across the UK today, struggling to get above 7C (45F) in Scotland, 9C (48F) in northern England and 12C (54F) in the South and Wales.

Forecasters said up to 2.8in (70mm) of rain could fall in Northern Ireland, which is under a weather warning until 10am today, while northern Scotland faces gales.

It comes as holidaymakers heading to Spain or Portugal in the coming days face a washout Easter with low temperatures – with heavy rain expected in Madrid which will make it to only 14C (57F) this week, Lisbon to 16C (61F) and Faro to 17C (63F).

BBC meteorologist Helen Willetts told Radio 4: ‘The low pressure that’s throwing this rain our way has now been named as Storm Nelson by the Spanish met service.

‘And it will bring some stronger winds our way as well later tonight and tomorrow.’

WEDNESDAY: Blustery conditions, showers, thunder and hail will hit the UK with highs of 12C

STORM NELSON: A map by Spanish weather service Aemet showing the low pressure system

GOOD FRIDAY FORECAST: Showers and breezy conditions for Britain this Friday with 14C highs

Over in Spain, an alert from Aemet said: ‘Storm Nelson, recently named by Aemet, will give rise in the coming days to strong gusts of wind and rain in large areas of the territory in a period of great social relevance such as Holy Week.

The storm has not been named by the UK’s Met Office, which last named Storm Jocelyn on January 22. The next storm in the UK series, which runs until the end of this August, will be Kathleen. 

The UK is facing a typical mix of spring weather in the run-up to Easter – with downpours, strong winds and sunshine all expected over the coming days.

Unsettled conditions will remain for much of this week, with low pressure bringing rain from the West.

The Met Office said rain and hill snow will move north across Scotland and Northern Ireland today, with brighter spells and showers following behind.

Meanwhile in England and Wales, a band of showery rain will move east although there will also be some sunny spells.

Tonight will bring clear spells and scattered heavy showers at first, with much of Scotland becoming dry overnight. 

SPAIN — Huge waves at Puerto De La Cruz in Tenerife yesterday as Storm Nelson hits Spain

But showers will continue in Northern Ireland, and rain will begin to fall again across England and Wales.

Bright spells will follow tomorrow, especially in Scotland – but showery rain will move north across most areas and there could be hail and thunder in the South, where it will also be very windy.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Helen Caughey said: ‘It’s another very unsettled week for much of the UK, with heavy, blustery showers, longer spells of rain and also some strong winds.’

‘In terms of hazards in the current forecast, we’re continuing to keep an eye on some of the expected rainfall totals as they build up through the week, with some places, including Northern Ireland, still quite sensitive to rainfall amounts due to the wet winter many have experienced.

‘We will also need to monitor the winds with the potential for gales to develop around some coastal areas of the north at first, then later for some south and southwestern areas, especially as these may coincide with some high tides.’

The Met Office said it was still confirming the forecast for the Easter weekend, but Good Friday will likely be another day of blustery showers, most frequent in the South and West.

PORTUGAL — Big waves strike the beach of Nazare in Portugal yesterday amid Storm Nelson

Saturday will then see the showers continue in the South and West, but there will be an increasing chance of brighter spells further north and east.

Sunday currently looks to be the best day of the Easter weekend. However, conditions are expected to become more unsettled from the South later that day and into Easter Monday, which is likely to be unsettled for many areas.

Ms Caughey continued: ‘Showers will continue into the weekend, especially for southern and western areas.

‘However, it is likely that we will see something of an improvement for most areas, with showers tending to become less frequent, and a better chance of longer spells of sunshine for eastern and northern areas in particular.

‘It will also become less windy, and temperatures should start to trend upwards, feeling quite warm in any sunshine. 

‘However, more widely unsettled conditions look likely to return into Easter Monday, but there is still some uncertainty in the timing of this deterioration.’

Despite the damp weather, the UK can look forward to more daylight in the evenings after the clocks go forward one hour at 1am on Easter Sunday, March 31.

Meanwhile British families heading to France for their Easter holidays have been warned by Port of Dover officials that extra border security checks could delay their journeys.

France has heightened its processes for those entering the country after the attack at a concert hall attack in Moscow last Friday that killed more than 130 people.

Now, tens of thousands of families travelling to the Kent port for the two-week school holidays have been told the measures ‘may increase border processing times’.

Separately, Britons have been warned to expect Easter travel ‘carmageddon’ over the long weekend with 14million getaway trips set to cause gridlock on the roads.

Road journeys could take twice as long as normal because the bank holiday weekend coincides with the start of a two-week holiday for many schools, the RAC said. 

Be flexible on your departure and arrival airports: Travel expert NICKY KELVIN reveals his top tips for securing a great flight deal

The Easter bank holiday weekend and school holidays are always a popular time for travellers to take advantage of the extended national holiday.

Many British tourists will be utilising the four-day weekend to book a trip abroad to get some respite from the UK and head to sunnier shores. This leads to higher than normal prices.

It is the perfect time to jet off for families but for those who are looking for a last minute trip, you must expect to pay more for popular routes. 

With the Easter weekend fast approaching, these prices will only increase further as demand increases and the cheaper fares sell out.

My recommendation is always to plan ahead to find the best deals. This isn’t always viable but if you’re able to avoid last-minute bookings, you’ll have more choice and be able to shop around for the best prices available.

My top tips for booking flights are:

Always plan ahead and book flights as far in advance to your departure dateUse Google Flights to explore cheap flight options on your available datesIf you’re able to be flexible on the departure and arrival airports you may save a huge amount. Google Flights is a great tool to search multiple cities at the same time.Utilise points and miles which you’ve accumulated and to bring the cost of your trip down

NICKY KELVIN is editor at The Points Guy. For more of his tips, click here

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