12 of the most stunning winter sun locations in the world

 

Following one of the wettest summers on record, Britons are in much need of some rest and recuperation in a dry, warm and sunny climate. But where can you go for almost guaranteed winter sunshine? What are the best beaches to eat your Christmas dinner on? Where are the perfect spots of winter paradise?

Don’t fret, we’ve thrown together a list of the most beautiful destinations for all you winter sun seekers:

Gold Coast, Australia

Made up of the mainland, the interesting island of Tasmania, and a number of smaller islands, Australia is one of the world’s largest countries by area. If you can cope with the long haul to the other side of the world, the land down under is a must visit destination at any time of year – it’s especially appealing for winter sun seekers, though be careful during December and January when the Aussies have their summer and temperatures can be too hot for some! With so much on offer such as beaches, wildlife and national parks and the juxtaposition between wilderness and vibrant cities, Australia has a very wide appeal.

Cape Verde, Atlantic Ocean

Located in the central Atlantic and famed for its stunning sandy beaches, Cape Verde is becoming an increasingly popular winter sun destination. It boasts largely untouched and natural beaches across an archipelago of paradise islands, and average temperatures are generally higher than the nearby Canaries Islands. The island of Boa Vista is a particularly popular winter sun getaway, famed for its fantastic sandy beaches and eclectic fusion of West African and European music.

Cuba, Caribbean

The Caribbean is an excellent choice for all winter sun travellers, and Cuba is one of the most popular destinations due to its combination of stunning beaches, modern facilities set in a retro 50s backdrop, and colourful history. Havana, the capital of Cuba is a must visit as is the Havana Club rum factory. Outside of historic Havana, other places of significant interest are Mantanzas city and the beautiful Varadero beach.

Dubai, UAE

A relative newcomer to holiday guides, this city/beach resort boasts an impressive winter sun climate – in fact winter is the best time to visit Dubai; summer is extremely hot, with temperatures soaring into the high 40′s – Dubai or Brighton in December, you decide! Dubai has it all to offer; shopping in out-of-this-world shopping complexes, exploring ancient fortresses and experiencing the full scale of the surrounding desert. That said, if you’re feeling a little lazy you could just lay out by the glitzy swimming pool of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Your choice!

Egypt and The Red Sea

The all-year-round sunshine and fascinating history of the famous Red Sea Riviera makes Egypt one of the most popular winter sun destinations for British holiday-makers. Explore the stunning coral reefs up close while snorkelling in the warm sea – The Red Sea is home to some of the most beautiful marine life on the planet.

Florida, USA

A real favourite with winter sun seekers, Florida is sunny and warm for most of the British winter. Boasting some of the United States’ best beaches of fine white sand, Florida is ideal for those looking for luxury and relaxation. Many holiday-makers choose to hire villas, though there is a huge selection of mid-to-high-end hotel accommodation to suit any budget. A perfect location for families too, and if you are bringing the kids along, be sure to make a stop in Orlando – easily the entertainment capital of the world, with two of the world’s most famous theme parks: Disney World and Universal Studios.

The Canary Islands

Reachable on only short flights available from most UK airports, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are all as popular as ever for quick winter sun. Although rarely scorching hot, the islands in the Canaries are almost always warm and even in the depth of winter they are generally sunny. With warm sunshine, large sweeping sandy beaches and good sea temperatures, Fuerteventura is the ideal destination for beach dwellers and water-sport fans. For groups of young people, Playa del Ingles in Gran Canaria offers a lively and buzzing resort of late night bars, a picture perfect beach and a range of mid-high-end hotels to choose from. For the more laid-back, the stunning sand dunes of Maspalomas are a sight to behold.

Goa, India

For a winter sun location you won’t typically find in the travel agent’s brochures (and if you can stomach a 12-hour flight!), Goa is one of the most compelling destinations for a winter break. Offering delicious food served in exotic settings and boasting stunning sunsets, Goa is well worth the trip. Explore the colourful spice markets and enjoy the friendly hospitality of the locals before kicking back on the beautiful beaches. Whether you choose to go to North, Central or South Goa, the climate will almost always be very hot, so it is worth checking monthly temperatures before deciding exactly where and when in winter you want to go!

Malaysia

There is nowhere quite like Malaysia, an enigmatic combination of high-tech cities, lush rainforests and undeveloped, natural beaches. The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is one of the most intriguing cities in the world, offering an eclectic mix of old and new; from colonial buildings from the past, to some of the most modern architecture of anywhere in the world. For those seeking pure relaxation and privacy, an array of small islands off the west coast peninsula offers tranquil beach holidays. Langkawi and Pangkor are both highly recommended.

Mexico

If you don’t fancy the Caribbean this winter, but still want a similar climate and the same stunning beach resorts, Mexico could be the destination you are looking for. With a high standard of service and accommodation, Mexico is an intriguing and enticing winter sun option. Whale watch from the beaches of Todos Santos and enjoy quality Mexican cuisine in this small town on the Pacific coast. Cabo San Lucas in the Gulf of California is a particular highlight.

Sri Lanka

One of the more affordable Indian Ocean winter sun destinations, Sri Lanka offers some simply stunning must see sights. Sample fresh tea in the hill country’s tea plantations while watching elephants roam across the island’s nature reserves. At the end of a day sightseeing, relax on the fine sandy beach at Induruwa.

Thailand

Another long flight, but if you have the time, Thailand offers incredible value for winter sun seekers. With its unparalleled mix of beauty, culture, cuisine and spirituality, Thailand is one of the favoured winter sun destinations. There are many resorts along the coast of Andaman offering high quality accommodation and great service and throughout the whole of the British winter the sun is almost guaranteed to shine. Those looking for colourful culture and liveliness, head for Phuket or other popular resorts such as, Khao Lak or Phi Phi. The more adventurous will want to head north to Chiang Mai, where it is possible to view the border territories of Thailand, Burma and Laos.

Simon Goddard is IT Director at Just The Flight.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Justine says:

    This list is so spot on. My husband and I love escaping the extreme cold come winter and since we can- why not?! We’ve been to about half of these (fell in LOVE with Thailand!) but if we want to stay local- Florida is by far the best and most affordable choice. California is a great option too in February and March. We spent last Christmas in Palm Bay with some family and we had a great time shopping and of course eating!

  2. Justin says:

    Surprised not to see South Africa in this list, particularly with its attractive time zone locality to Europe?

  3. Paul Johnson says:

    Good point, Justin… I am heading out to Cape Town for a short trip later this month, so keep an eye on the blog… :)

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