Big Short Breaks

The Rise of the Three-Day Weekend

The Rise of the Three-Day Weekend

For many of us, five-day workweeks are the norm (and have been for more than 100 years). But thanks to a UK-wide programme that’s just finished piloting a four-day week, it may all be about to change. Of the 70 companies and 3,300 employees that signed up to the scheme, 86% of them have decided it should stay, citing enhanced productivity and a better work/life balance as the main reasons. This is music to the ears of our Big Short Breaks, who revel in pocket adventures. Swap office chairs for scenic seats aboard the Eurostar to San Sebastian, swing by Swedish Lapland for a dose of snow or top up the tan in Marrakech and the surrounding Agafay Desert. With a three-day weekend to play with, the world can quite literally be your oyster (particularly in Dubrovnik…).

  1. Dubrovnik and the Elaphiti Islands
  2. Marrakech
  3. San Sebastian
  4. Swedish Lapland


Dubrovnik and the Elaphiti Islands

Discover the art of Big Short Breaks on a tour of Dubrovnik and the Elpahiti Islands. Eat your way around the UNESCO-listed Old Town, with oyster and mussel bars at every turn, and stop by the city’s War Museum for an insight into the country’s tumultuous history. If an island retreat calls, spend a day kayaking round Kolocep Island, part of the Elaphiti Islands. Paddle around crystal-clear waters and stop for a well-earned beachfront lunch. Croatia is well known for its oyster and silk production too, so you best be sure that time has been carved out to explore local ateliers in Kovavle and oyster farms in Mali Ston. Enjoy fresh oysters in its floating – yes, floating – bar, prepare a traditional bouzzara (Croatian stew) and walk it off on a short stroll round the grand streets of Ston.

La Villa Nomade, Morocco

image by Samantha Faivre



Get to the heart of Morocco on a three-night stay in Marrakech. Start inside its medina walls, where a maze of narrow alleys, open squares and a spellbinding riad await. Stop by Bahia Palace for a masterclass in Moroccan decoration, from gilded ceilings and carved stucco to polychrome zellige tiling, and leave the city feeling catwalk-ready after a visit to Yves Saint Laurent’s effortlessly chic Le Jardin Majorelle. Spend mornings browsing and bartering at souq stalls, afternoons at a traditional hammam and when the city’s colour and commotion becomes a bit too overbearing, head to nearby Agafay for a romantic desert escape. Feast on traditional Moroccan dishes - from zaalouk (a smoky aubergine dish packed with flavour) to slow-cooked lamb tagine - and sip fresh mint tea while gazing out over an ocean of sand dunes.

San Sebastian, Spain


San Sebastian

A long weekend doesn’t have to involve dashing from place to place. Slow it down on a train journey through Basque Country to San Sebastian. Treat your taste buds to a tour of the city’s famous pintxos bars, learn to surf on Zurriola Beach and quench your cultural cravings at the Museo de San Telmo, which charts Basque history from prehistoric times to present day. If you’re worried about packing too much into your three-day weekend, don’t fear. A visit to the beautiful Biosphere Reserve in Urdaibai is the perfect antidote. Stroll along the beautiful Laida Beach, tuck into a tasty seafood lunch and visit the renowned Urdaibai Bird Centre where you will learn about the hundreds of native and migratory bird species in the area.

Cabin in Kiruna, Sweden


Swedish Lapland

Tag an extra day onto your three days to surprise the family with a snowy escape to Swedish Lapland. Cosy up in timber cabins with endless mugs of hot chocolates and keep your eyes peeled for sights of the elusive Northern Lights. Whoosh through snowy forests, across frozen lakes and past chocolate box villages on a thrilling husky sledding ride. If you’re the kind of family that can’t stay still, try your hand at other authentic Scandinavian activities like snowshoeing, ice fishing and cross-country skiing. There will be plenty of time to get to grips with Swedish staples such as Kalix Löjrom (Swedish caviar) and salmon soup and discover the beauty of an arctic fika.

Header image by Viktor Pravdic