TOP 25 WINTER SUN GETAWAYS
If you fancy escaping the cold take a look at our top 25 winter sun getaways and you could be boarding the plane as early as the morning and sipping a cocktail at the side of the pool by the afternoon. Make ours a pina colada!
CALETA DE FUSTE, FUERTEVENTURA
The horseshoe-shaped bay with its soft white sand and clear blue waters is what keeps happy holidaymakers coming back again and again to this bustling resort. What’s more, Fuerteventura has a unique ‘eternal spring’ climate, with little variation between the summer and winter, means it’s a great place for a cheeky winter holiday. You can choose between long, lazy days sunbathing, getting active with a round of golf, hitting a water park or even spending a day at the zoo.
Mild Malta is a brilliant winter getaway destination and tiny Valetta, its capital city, packs in some great sights. The peninsula is straddled by two natural harbours, including the popular Grand Harbour. Walk down to St Elmo Breakwater for wonderful views of southern Valetta. Take a ferry to the picturesque Three Cities or dine in restaurants that are former 16th century mansions.
CALA D'OR, MAJORCA
Cala D’Or serves up a satisfying slice of fun in the sun for the whole family. Nestled in Majorca’s southeast coast, this smart resort is brimming with Blue Flag beaches, charming towns and alfresco waterfront restaurants, not to mention an abundance of activities to keep you entertained from morning until night. Grab your bucket and spade and spend the day on one of 5 fantastic coves, complete with soft shelving sands and shallow waters. Stop by the swanky marina once the sun sets and pull up a chair in one of the terrace bars or check out the nightlife in the pedestrianised centre, perfect for kids too. Take a look at our last minute holidays in Majorca and you’ll be touching down in this Balearic beauty before you know it!
PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
If you’re dreaming of palm-fringed beaches, idyllic islands and world-class watersports, this Coconut Coast in the Caribbean is sure to tick all your tropical boxes! Sitting on the eastern edge of the Dominican Republic is the lively resort of Punta Cana, complete with over 50 miles of coast, a twin set of tropical islands and plenty of historical cities. If you can drag yourself away from the beach, revel in the azure waters on a catamaran cruise, go on a 4x4 safari or explore the islands spectacular underground caves.
The Cape Verde archipelago is made up of 10 idyllic islands floating in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of West Africa. This tropical island certainly comes with a twist, with world-class beaches, lunar-like landscapes and a mixture of African, Brazilian and Portuguese influences - it has to be seen, to be believed. Set sail on an island cruise, go on a desert safari or enjoy a day trip to the island of Sal, where candy-coloured houses, cobbled towns, shops and alfresco cafes await.
Located on the quieter south side of Fuerteventura, Jandia is a mecca for nature lovers, windsurfers, walkers and anyone who just wants to get away from the crowds as well as the cold. The sea here is shallow and the sand is white and powdery on the postcard-perfect beach. Jandia National Park backs the resort and is a great place to walk and discover deserted dunes, volcanic ridges and wildlife. The old town of Morro Jable, with its shops and restaurants, is next door.
Combining a bustling old town and harbour boasting shops, restaurants and bars a-plenty, with a great choice of sandy beaches (some of which can be almost deserted in winter!), Corralejo is an ideal place to chill out in the sun by day and dine and drink by night. The resort is especially popular with watersports enthusiasts who flock to the 10km long Blue Flag Beach. By night, the aptly named Music Square is where the party’s at.
PLAYA DE LAS AMERICAS, TENERIFE
Tenerife’smost famous resort may be a bit quieter when summer’s over, but this is a place that stays hot and knows how to keep the party going all year round, with temperatures regularly topping 20 degrees Celsius in winter . With six sandy beaches to choose from, all framed by bars, restaurants and plenty of opportunities to shop, eat, drink and dance to your heart’s content, Playa De Las Americas is an ideal place to beat the winter blues.
COSTA ADEJE, TENERIFE
Costa Adeje is a stylish alternative to its party mad neighbour Playa De Las Americas. Both its beaches have Blue Flag status, but Playa de Fanabe has typically black volcanic sands, while Playa Del Duque’s golden good looks have been imported from the Saharan desert. If you like both your shops and hotels to be described by the word, ‘boutique’, Costa Adeje is a brilliant choice for an upmarket winter break. It’s also home to the Thai-themed water park Siam Park.
PUERTO RICO, GRAN CANARIA
Puerto Rico boasts the best sunshine record in the Canaries and is popular with dedicated followers of fashion and families, as well as sun worshippers, thanks to its great choice of shops and child-friendly activities. The two main shopping centres combine retail therapy with a great choice of bars and restaurants for post-shopping entertainment and relaxation. The Lago Taurito waterpark on the outskirts is a must-visit for a family day out - and don’t miss the chance to play mini-golf after a day of bucket and spade fun on the golden sands.
LLORET DE MAR, SPAIN
Due to its location on the Costa Brava, Lloret de Mar may not stay sizzling hot for as long as southern Spain, but blue skies and mild weather are still common in winter, and rainfall tails off sharply after hitting its annual peak in October. Even if the weather’s not quite warm enough for sunbathing, Lloret de Mar’s choice of five beaches provide endless opportunities for lovely sunny walks. And the Old Town is a great place for a night out at any time of year, but in the winter you can enjoy a more chilled out vibe.
Benidorm is still brilliant when the bulk of the high summer crowds have packed up and gone home. The three beaches are less busy and a walk on the promenade at Levante beach can be far more pleasant when it’s quieter and the air feels less sticky. The winter season attracts older holidaymakers than the summer party people, but Benidorm is still a resort with plenty of after dark options. It’s also a great time of year to enjoy exploring the historic Old Town that often gets overlooked.
Bugibba isn’t quite as bustling in the winter months but it’s still a great place for a break. Still looking shiny and fresh from its recent makeover, Bugibba now has a fantastic new waterpark on its pretty promenade. Located next to Qawra on the St Paul’s Bay stretch of coast, the resort has a great manmade beach and a good eating and drinking scene on Il Baja, the town square. For something different, check out the resort’s trademark lidos with their pools and ladders down to the sea.
COSTA TEGUISE, LANZAROTE
With temperatures in Lanzarote hardly ever dipping below 20 degrees Celsius and rain rarely putting a dampener on things, Costa Teguise is a perfect place to beat the winter blues on one of its five sandy, family friendly beaches that offer plenty of activities for young and old alike. There’s a waterpark, a promenade with a great choice of shops and restaurants, and a selection of hotels to suits all. As well as being a favourite with families, Spanish royalty are fans of this resort!
PUERTO DEL CARMEN, LANZAROTE
Volcanic mountains, blue seas and palm-lined sandy beaches are the order of the day in this large resort that stays busy and balmy all year round. It’s still possible to spend the day under a parasol, even in winter, but Lanzarote's liveliest resort has plenty of other options for entertainment including the Wild West-themed Rancho Texas animal park. The busy promenade is party central at night and the old town gives a charming flavour of the resort’s fishing village roots.
PRAIA DA ROCHA, PORTUGAL
Get your bearings in Portugal’s Praia da Rocha by climbing the historic medieval fortress of Santa Caterina and checking out the view. On one side you’ll see the vast main beach, which has buckets full of sand space in the winter months, and on the other you can take in the pretty harbour of neighbouring Portimao. By night, there’s a great choice of bars and restaurants for your seafront night out.
Tourist paradise Vilamoura is best known for its two magnificent sandy beaches and the glitzy marina where stylish restaurants and glamourous super yachts are ten a penny. The cosmopolitan, upmarket feel makes Vilamoura perfect for some sunny days and lively nights away in the middle of winter. And it’s not all modern wealth in Vilamoura – this Portuguese Algarve resort boasts Roman ruins that are well worth a visit.
Being destroyed by an earthquake and completely rebuilt in the 1960s did nothing to put the tourists off Agadir. The reason? Its long, sandy Blue Flag beach that stretches along over 9km of beautiful Atlantic coastline. What’s more, with its blissfully warm winter conditions, this is a beach that can be enjoyed all year round. And although the buildings of Agadir are modern, the souks and mosques echo Morocco’s past beautifully.
In Marrakech, it’s all about getting pleasantly lost as you wander the narrow alleyways and barter for your souvenirs in the souks, and this is a much more comfortable experience when the fierce summer sun has mellowed out. Don’t miss Jemaa el-Fnaa, Africa’s largest square, with its snake charmers and food stalls, and the pretty blue buildings of the Majorelle Gardens for a lush, green, calm oasis in the midst of this amazing, colourful city.
If long blonde beaches lapped by turquoise waters and free-flowing rum punch sound like the perfect escape, the Platinum Coast is calling. Lap up the luxury with an all inclusive beachfront hotel and indulge in sun-soaked days on the sand, superb alfresco dining and snorkel and scuba diving stints in the crystal clear seas of Barbados. Add a little excitement to you’re lazy days with a jeep safari excursion and explore the lush forests and sugarcane fields that surround this idyllic island.
If you’re looking for a luxurious beach retreat with tropical temperatures, St Lucia is sure to satisfy. This unique resort boasts everything you would expect from the Caribbean, plus oh so much more. Champagne-coloured sands, soaring volcanic peaks, lush rainforests, cand-coloured villages and modern marina’s are just a few of the delights worth discovering on this treasure island, so you’re couples holidays are sure to be brimming with adventure!
The beautiful hotel-lined beaches are the main draw for pale Brits looking to shine a little sun on their lives this winter in Hurghada. But there’s more to Hurghada than just sunbathing and partying, although these are in plentiful supply! The old town, El Dahar, is a living, breathing example of historic Egypt, while the modern marina is a wonderful place to dine on the waterfront as you marvel at all the expensive yachts.
Powder-white sands and crystal clear waters have turned Cancun into a world-class tropical holiday destination. What was once a quaint fishing town on the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is now a glitzy Hotel Zone boasting an endless stretch of beach, brilliant boutiques and cocktail bars and restaurants. Once you’ve reveled in the Caribbean waters and sugar-white sands, hunt down some history at the incredible Mayan Ruins – one of Mexico’s best preserved coastal sites in Tulum.
Dubai serves up an effortless mix of Middle Eastern charm and contemporary vibes, with glittering skyscrapers, super-sized malls and a sweeping stretch of sand to match. This record-breaking destination is great if you’re looking for a glam getaway, but there’s plenty more beyond the bobbing yachts, high-end boutiques and sky-high cocktail bars. If you’re up for an adventure, embark on an exhilarating desert safari over the Saharan dunes or go off piste and hit the slopes (not the sandy kind) at Ski Dubai! Before you leave, be sure to barter for bling in the traditional souks and bazaars. Take a look at our all inclusive holidays in Dubai and discover all that this UAE gem has to offer.
SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT
Egypt’s most popular Red Sea resort is the perfect winter escape, with temperatures staying hot, hot, hot and rain being a rarity, even in the middle of winter. Sharm el Sheikh Holidays is home to 60km of white powdery sands and sparkling aquamarine water, but tourists tend to stick to the little slice of paradise right outside their hotel, meaning holidays are hassle free. And even if you think scuba diving isn’t for you, you have to at least try snorkelling here.
With all these not-so-faraway places providing a warm welcome to cold-weary Brits all year round, there’s no reason to suffer until spring. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to book that short haul winter holiday!