YEAR-ROUND SUN HOLIDAYS TO TOP UP YOUR TAN
It only takes that one Antarctic-worthy day to push you over the edge once the winter months arrive, and you’ll be browsing last minute flights like there’s no tomorrow. Well, what do you think winter sun holidays are for? Once the excitement of exotic weather and palm-lined beaches sinks in (especially while everyone at home is pulling on their puffer jackets), get searching for the beach destination responsible for your soon-to-be winter glow. We’ve done our homework, so here are a few of our favourite destinations where you'll be guaranteed a tan-tastic time.
With plentiful sun shining throughout the year, impeccable beaches and, of course, top class hospitality and service, it’s easy to see why Dubai appeals as a perfect winter sun destination. November, December and January are the best months for exploring this jewel in the Middle East, when the weather is balmy but not overbearing – with guaranteed tan-factor.
The diversity of things to do in Dubai is enough to overwhelm visitors, from its concentration of golden beaches to it’s city-sized shopping malls, landscaped parks, desert camps, traditional sporting events, humble fishing villages, spectacular souks and bazaars and out-of-this-world hotels – where infinity pools, waiter service and panoramic views are part and parcel.
Whether you want a romantic week away or you’re treating the family to an action-packed holiday, this golden Gulf is certainly worth the flight - check out our jam-packed itinerary for the best things to see and do in this UAE gem.
The temperature in the Canary Island’s is balmy throughout the year, making it a perfect touch for both summer and winter sun. September, October, and November, are possibly the best times to visit the Canary Islands when the weather is slightly cooler and peak summer and winter crowds have dispersed (December – February / March – May). The resorts of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura are incredibly diverse (with everything from lunar lanscapes to black-sand beaches and lush forests), offering guests an entirely different type of holiday depending on which destination they choose.
But what sets the Canary Islands apart from other year-round locations? If you’re a lover of the outdoors, this part of the world boasts fantastic beaches with great diving and surfing facilities, not to mention a medley of hiking and biking trails to explore too – and what better way to catch a tan than by discovering all that the island has to offer.
Spice up your Christmas holidays in Morocco’s gorgeous winter sun and discover the rich cultural heritage this exotic country has to offer. The skies in Morocco are gloriously deep blue, giving you prime opportunity for that perfect tan, although the daytime temperature during the winter months (November to February) is mild, it can get surprisingly cold in the evenings, so you need to pack a warm jacket or cardigan.
From the wave-and-wind battered west coast beaches defended by the Atlantic Ocean, to small serene coves along the Mediterranean in Morocco’s Spanish influences further north, the country’s balmy-for-most-of-the-year beaches beckon outdoor and beach lovers alike – particularly those equipped with a surfboard. Some of the best beaches in Morocco to spend your day basking in the winter sun include Al Hoceima and Sidi Kaouki. Equally, you can’t come all this way and not experience the spectacular cities – Morroco is far from mainstream, with large squares boasting chaotic markets that are scented with spices and occupied by belly dancers and enchanting snake charmers. Jemaa el-Fna in Marrakech is the most famous square to visit.
Taking a long haul flight to Mexico is totally worth it for the everlasting white, sandy beaches and remarkable UNESCO-listed Mayan Ruins. If you want to touch up on your vitamin D and escape the tourist crowds at the same time, then January is the best time to jet off to this exotic isle. Surrounded by the glinting Caribbean Sea, Mexico is a stunning place for spotting green sea turtles and dolphins. Hit the Tulum Beach, (crowned as the best beach in Mexico), where you can find 5-star hotels, shops and bars just a stones throw away from the sea.
Pay a visit to the nearby Playa del Carmen beaches too, for a lively atmosphere thanks to the bountiful beach clubs and lip-smacking seafront food. If culture’s your bag, combine the sand with the sites at the Riviera Maya where ancient cities such as Coba, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam are nestled between the resort’s sands – offering unbelievable centuries-old structures and cenotes to uncover.
Foodies, fear not - we've got you covered too with our quintessential guide to Mexico's mouthwatering cuisine.
Cuba has been the first-choice for many Europeans for a perfect winter escape-thanks to the far-reaching beaches on the beautiful north coast - such as popular tourist resort Varadero - which can be easily reached from the bustling centre of Havana. The best time to visit Cuba is during the winter season, from January to April, when you can bask comfortably in the heat, while avoiding the rainy season. As the temperatures in this exotic isle reach around 28°C in winter, you don’t have to worry about packing a cardi’, either.
Once you’ve admired the paradise beaches, catch the isle’s incredible culture in the all-consuming capital – best known for its distinctive in thumb-thick cigars, local rum, colourful Cadillac’s lining the cobbled pavements in streets fringed by Ernest Hemingway’s regular haunts.
Holidays to India, especially during the winter, are top-of-the-list for many travellers looking to boost their bronze-factor. Head to the broad sandy beaches of exotic Goa, including Baga Beach, Colva Beach, Morjim Beach and Candolim Beach, for action-packed days on the sand followed by bustling food markets and unforgettable neon nights spent in the town. Many Europeans travel to India during the UK’s chilly winter months for it’s cosy temperatures, which hover around a 27.5°C from November to February.
Never been before? You're in luck, our handy guide of the best things to see and do in Goa will be your new go-to itinerary.
What makes Thailand one of the most visited places in the world is the famous beaches of Phuket, complete with sugar-white sands, conventional temples, verdant landscapes, cultural places and eclectic nightlife. To address the most obvious concern, yes, it does rain -but, it doesn’t rain all the time.
The rainy season varies from region to region, so depending on where you’re heading you’ll want to check the weather forecast beforehand. In Phuket, for example, the monsoon season starts from mid-May and continues until October. One of the best times to visit Thailand tends to be around the winter months, covering November to February when the weather is cooler and dry – the best way to explore the island. Some of the best places to visit in Thailand include Pileh Bay, Thong Nai Pan Noi and Ko Kham.