The nights are getting darker earlier, and the weather is dropping by a good few degrees. It’s time to prepare your winter wardrobe and embrace the cold. Or is it? Because there’s always the option of getting away for a spot of winter sun, and we’ve put together the best holidays to enjoy the heat while everyone else adds another clothing layer.
Gran Canaria 🇪🇸
One of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations, Gran Canaria experiences 20c temperatures all year round and is a great choice for some winter sun. Plus, it’s only a four-hour flight from the UK, so you can go from zero temperatures to splashing on sunscreen in no time at all. Relax on the beaches, visit the waterparks and dine at the local Spanish restaurants while the rest of us turn our house lights on at 4pm.
The Maldives 🇲🇻
If you’re looking to really glam it up, head to the Maldives and experience a luxurious holiday in the heat. There’s never a bad time to visit, but it’s made all the more satisfying knowing you’ve left freezing temperatures behind to laze on a soft, sandy beach under the sun. From castaway-fantasy sandy islets to one immaculate resort after the other, everything about the Maldives is five stars, from the weather to the locals.
Part of India, Goa is a Portuguese island with beaches as far as the eye can see. A visit here offers a slice of relaxed paradise on India’s western coast, tourists who have had enough of the chilly nights getting plenty of winter sun. Discover palm-fringed beaches, stunning rice fields and a rich landscape full of natural beauty. It’s easy to see why Goa gets more than seven million visitors every year.
A favourite with holidaymakers from the United States, Mexico is full of sun-drenched things to do. Winter is actually the coldest time in Mexico, but the weather hardly dips below 30c, making it a toasty alternative to New York, where the temperature can easily reach minus zero in the winter. Enjoy the tropical resorts of Cancun, explore Mayan ruins, live it up in one of the cities and embrace the lively restaurants, nightclubs and bars. Whether you’re a party monster or culture vulture, Mexico will have something for you to the backdrop of the blazing sun.
A tiny island waiting to be discovered, Cyprus offers warm temperatures in the winter and long stretches of sandy beaches. There’s a mix of old and new here, with rustic harbours, local restaurants and scenic sites like the archaeological park Nea Paphos, the Church of Saint Lazarus and Coral Bay with its rocky headlands and sea caves.
Cape Verde 🇨🇻
Embrace luxury at Cape Verde, a group of islands floating off the west coast of Africa. Wander miles of sandy beaches at Sal and Boa Vista, two of the most popular spots on the islands, before immersing yourself in the seaside lifestyle with a spot of surfing, whale watching and watersports. Then, when you’re done with the beaches, try one of the many cobbled towns lined with traditional restaurants serving up some scrumptious delights.
The mythical setting for Shakespear’s Tempest, the mid-Atlantic archipelago of Bermuda is a place full of luxury. From the pink beaches and houses to its quintessential Caribbean vibes, you can escape the cold weather and enjoy a summer sizzler with a trip to Bermuda. The beaches along the South Shore are particularly impressive, with Horseshoe Bay the most popular with its golden sands where time feels like it stands still.
If you’re a US citizen, then you don’t even need to leave the country to take in some winter sun. Florida has an excellent climate during the colder months of the year, with beach resorts offering a chance to enjoy some rays. And if you’re looking for a party atmosphere to go with the heat, you need look no further than Miami, where the fun never stops.
Morocco is a relatively short flight from many European countries, including the UK, despite its location in North Africa. Flight times are a little under four hours, and it often has temperatures of 20-plus degrees during the daytime. Wander the vibrant markets at Marrakech before spending some time in Jemaa el-Fna square, where you’ll find snake charmers, belly dancers and stalls with a gem or two. It’s certainly not your typical winter holiday and is a place unlike anywhere else you’ve been within Europe.
Best holidays for winter sun
There’s no need to feel the chill this winter if you’re not ready to say goodbye to the sun. With the destinations on our list, you can pack the short-sleeves, sunglasses and sunscreen and enjoy a winter holiday in the blazing heat while discovering some of the finest destinations in the world.