When the weather turns cold at home, the prospect of relaxing on a beach in the warm winter sun for a week or two is enough to make any of us rush for the computer to look for a winter sun vacation offer.
But, without breaking the bank, where can you go for guaranteed winter sun? We show you our top 10 winter sun warmers, whether you go on a package holiday or book your own flights and accommodations.
1. The Canary Islands
Spain’s Canary Islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and La Palma are popular year-round due to regular flights from all over the UK. They really come into their own in the winter. Great weather and a diverse choice of lodging options make for a stress-free vacation that won’t drain your bank account. Tenerife is for party animals, Fuerteventura is for athletes, and La Palma is for those who want to get away from it all.
2. The Middle East
From the Red Sea for beaches and snorkelling to Cairo for pyramids and museums, and Luxor or Aswan on the Nile for relaxing by your hotel pool and touring ancient temples. Egypt is a fantastic budget holiday destination, accessible in less than five hours from the UK and boasting year-round sunshine. On the Mediterranean coast of Marsa Matruh, new resorts are springing up. Alternatively, travel into Dubai and stay in one of the many high-end hotels along the Arabian Sea. For great quality at low rates, Abu Dhabi and Oman are on the rise.
Morocco is fairly accessible from the UK, with low-cost flights to places like Agadir and Marrakech. The beach resorts are well supplied by modern hotel chains, and you can visit markets and the breathtaking landscape of the Atlas Mountains all within walking distance of your sun lounger.
4. South Africa
A visit to South Africa may be a 12-hour flight from the UK, but there is no such thing as jet lag. A week in Africa’s southernmost country will almost likely provide you with sunny days and mild temps. Visit Cape Town for a diverse choice of beaches and hotels, as well as wine tasting, delicious dining, and the chance to see penguins at nearby Boulders. Alternatively, travel east to Durban for beaches, animals, and the Drakensburg Mountains.
5. The Maldives
The Maldives are an archipelago of islands and coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Direct flights from the UK will whisk you away to a tropical paradise where the only thing keeping you awake is deciding what to drink next. The Maldives is a fantastic place for snorkelling and diving vacations, with year-round warmth and luxurious hotels on the beach.
A section of India that will always be Portuguese and rich in history. The various beaches of this laid-back paradise on India’s western coast have become popular with sun-seekers from all over the world. Beaches with palm trees lead to hilltop getaways and communities. The action takes place at the hotels in the region, with many of them providing a full range of activities and entertainment for visitors. Compare prices before you fly to India, whether you’re looking for a terrific package offer or a cheap flight.
In Australia, it is summertime when it is winter in the UK. With scorching temperatures around the country, Down Under will undoubtedly provide plenty of winter sun. There is something for everyone in Australia, from Perth to Cairns, Darwin to Melbourne. Those seeking more conventional holiday fun flock to the Gold Coast’s beaches. Further north, you can stay on one of the many beaches and islands that line the Great Barrier Reef, which is ideal for snorkelling and diving.
8. The Caribbean
With so many alternatives, you could go on a Caribbean vacation every year without ever returning to the same location! Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago, Martinique, Aruba, and the Bahamas are just a few examples.
The Caribbean never disappoints with its warm waters and numerous sandy beaches. There are great hotel standards, and you can join a boat to view even more islands in one trip. Consider Costa Rica, a relative newcomer in the tour operator armoury, for something a little different. Whether you want to see incredible wildlife, relax on the beach, or go on a jungle hike, you will be able to have an unforgettable vacation with assured winter sun.
Florida has a pleasant winter temperature, and the Gulf of Mexico beach resorts provide a great opportunity to get away from it all on a winter vacation in the sun. St Petersburg, Clearwater, Naples, Marco Island, and Captiva Island all have beautiful beaches and a variety of accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to villas and flats along the warm coast. You might perhaps stay in the Miami region or drive down to the Florida Keys.
Thailand has long been a popular destination for British tourists, with palm-lined beaches, delicious food, and warm weather during the winter months.
There are several resorts to select from, including those on the island of Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Pattaya. The west coast is renowned for snorkelling, especially in the Phi Phi Islands, and you may stay in everything from luxury hotels to budget accommodations.