SUN SEEKERS: CHASE THE SUN THIS WINTER
Many holidaymakers favour escaping the cold in the UK to seek sun elsewhere in the winter months. Whilst the days are dark and temperatures low in our part of the world, the southern and eastern hemispheres are embracing their summer time, making destinations like Thailand a perfect choice for your fix of winter sun. If you don’t fancy travelling that far, there are still plenty of short-haul locations awaiting your arrival, like Cyprus and Lanzarote where you’ll still get a desirable dose of Vitamin D.
10 destinations to consider for you next winter sun holiday…
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
Thailand’s second largest island, Koh Samui, is best visited between December and March when temperatures are less oppressive and you’ll experience eight hours of enjoyable sunshine every day. With highs of 28 degrees, the breath-taking island boasts ivory sands, piercing blue skies and a renowned nightlife scene too. Visit Chaweng Beach to experience the real Koh Samui, or head to Lamai Beach for a more relaxed atmosphere as you soak up the sun.
LANZAROTE, CANARY ISLANDS
Just a 4-5 hour flight away from the UK, Lanzarote still has highs of 20 degrees even in the winter months meaning you don’t have to travel too far to experience a pleasant temperature with plenty of sunshine. The volcanic island has a lunar landscape that creates some of the most beautiful sunsets around. With over 90 beaches to choose from, Lanzarote has it all with great food, history and culture, plus world famous water sports to entice the more adventurous holidaymaker.
If you’re looking to escape to somewhere warm but not necessarily a beach holiday, Marrakech is a culture haven just on the edge of the Sahara. With mild temperatures from December to March, it makes wandering the city much more bearable than in the humidity of high season. From indulgent spas and unique shopping to incredible street food (learn how to make an authentic Moroccon tagine) and impressive architecture, Marrakech is just a short flight from the UK and sure to be a trip to remember.
Cancun has over 15 miles of picturesque white sands and it’s a favourite for sun seekers with its inviting tropical climate. Spectacular scenery is set all over and there’s plenty here for history buffs too with ancient Mayan sites waiting to be explored. Temperatures can soar to the late twenties in the winter months, so from sun-filled days at the beach relaxing and taking part in Mexico’s many water sports, to evenings spent listening to live music and tasting the traditional dishes of the country, a winter holiday here is a wonderful choice.
Wondering where to stay during your visit? Check-in to the gorgeous 5* Moon Palace Resort & Spa for a blend of luxury pools and lively activities.
A tempting year-round climate makes Dubai a suitably stylish getaway no matter when you choose to visit; however the winter months are perhaps more bearable than the intense heat of the summer. Featuring a contrast of blissful beaches against striking skyscrapers, Dubai is a jewel in the UAE crown. With highs of 26 degrees in December, you’ll find endless opportunities to catch a tan, in-between experiencing the island’s buzzing nightlife and tempting shopping malls.
Don't have long? Don't worry - browse our definitive guide on how to spend 48 hours in Dubai for itinerary inspo.
Due to its Mediterranean location, Cyprus offers some of the best winter weather in Europe – perfect if you don’t fancy a long plane journey. The island blends Turkish and Greek culture and exploring the compact island is easy. If you’re visiting from November to March, make sure you stop by Larnaca Salt Lake to see the island’s resident flock of flamingos roosting. From family-friendly resorts and sheltered beaches to medieval castles and dense forests, there’s something for everybody to enjoy in Cyprus.
A favourite with families thanks to popular attractions like Disneyland and Universal Studios, Florida holidays are full of sunshine and entertainment alike. With over 1,350 miles of impressive coastline, the sunshine state has plenty to discover from Orlando to Miami. Although milder in the winter months, temperatures are still pleasant making visiting in low season a more affordable option for families wanting to escape the UK.
An idyllic paradise offering some of the best hotels in the Caribbean, Barbados is a long-haul holiday sure to impress. From December to March temperatures remain in the mid-twenties so you can sit back and indulge in all the rest and relaxation you desire, under a canopy of blue skies and bright sunshine. There’s a variety of things to do too if you want to mix it up a little; go kayaking, visit the caves, soak up some true Bajan culture in Bridgetown, or simply sit back and sip on a glass of authentic Caribbean rum. Winning the popular destination award time and time again, there's no wonder everyone's visiting this Caribbean gem.
Just west of Africa lays Cape Verde, a relatively undiscovered holiday destination and a gorgeous choice from December to March with highs of 26 degrees on the island. Showcasing stunning natural beauty – think chalky white beaches and tropical blue waters set against a backdrop of majestic mountains, Cape Verde truly does feel like paradise. Beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike will adore all the island has to offer and with a peaceful atmosphere, it’s a great choice for couples in particular.
If you’re not adverse to the long flight, Australia is sure to offer some of the best weather in the world from December to February as the country experiences its own summer. Sydney in particular stands out with tourist hotspots like the Sydney Opera House and Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach just waiting for travellers to explore. Mix up lazy beach days with evenings spent wandering around the impressive city and be sure to spend a day experiencing the wildlife too by visiting a nature park.