Top 5 long haul holidays to take this winter
Autumn is here, which means at least 6 months of dreary weather for UK residents so, if you can’t think of anything worse than waiting it out until next summer, then embarking on a long haul holiday to take you well away from the dreariness may be the exact thing you need.
Not only an excuse to escape the pretty pitiful weather that is always promised but a reason to explore some far flung destinations and grab yourself some lifelong memories, this could be the trip of a lifetime for you, or even an annual escape that you’ll find yourself eagerly returning to next winter.
Now is not the time to pack away your summer clothes; instead plan the perfect long haul holiday for yourself and whoever is coming with you, just don’t forget to ensure you have enough time left on your passport, the correct documents, any vaccinations required and pack well to avoid the extra baggage cost to ensure your trip runs smoothly.
Don’t let the winter blues kick in, take some inspiration from our favourite five picks below and go and grab yourself some winter sun, a little adventure and all the luxury you could wish for.
Mexico is generally warm and dry from November to April, making it the perfect destination for a little winter sun. From jungles to deserts and mountains to beaches, this country has a lot to offer any type of traveller. Relax, snorkel and dive on the Riviera Maya; immerse yourself in history at the Mayan archaeological sites in Coba and Tulum, while a visit to Chichen Itza is a must or soak up the sun and party away in Cancun.
As well as spotting Aztec ruins in Mexico City, you’ll also be immersed in modern life with upscale shops, gourmet restaurants and luxurious hotels. Check out the following hotels to help you narrow down the type of Mexican trip you desire – Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, The Ritz-Carlton Cancun, Banyan Tree Mayakoba or the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City are some of our top picks.
Religious temples, relaxing retreats, iconic rice paddies and beautiful beaches are some of the images that spring to mind when thinking of this volcanic island in Indonesia. Popular resort towns are Nusa Dua and Sanur, while the beachside city of Kuta has a party atmosphere as well as being a popular surfing and shopping spot.
Seminyak in the south is a beach resort offering a selection of luxury hotels (Alila, Hotel Indigo, Double Six), villas and spas, high-end shopping, restaurants and bars. With highs of 29 and lows of 23 degrees, November to March certainly offers agreeable weather in which to visit Bali, though expect a little rain during these months to freshen up the atmosphere.
Head to New Zealand for a scenery like no other. Comprised of two main islands (North and South), this country in the south west Pacific is certainly worth accumulating those air miles. Summer sits around mid December to February, thus offering the ideal time to explore the popular vineyards of Marlborough, sail on the waters of Auckland, immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Maori people or get active among the varying landscapes this setting has to offer.
Trek, bungee jump and ski around the Cook Strait on the South island, bask in the beauty of Milford Sound – the remote and picturesque fjord, visit natural hot springs and geysers in Rotorua and, for those Lord of The Rings fans, the more you explore the more you will feel like you’ve landed in Middle Earth. There are a selection of stunning places to reside in including Matakauri Lodge, Cape Kidnappers, Huka Lodge and Otahuna Lodge.
Most visitors arrive during the summer months of November to March, and it’s easy to see why. The southernmost country in Africa holds an array of ecosystems for those looking to surf on the coast (Durban), spot major wildlife inland (Kruger National Park), or hike notable spots (Table Mountain). From wine tasting to trekking, golfing to spotting the Big Five, this diverse country can offer quite the selection of tours and trips that will stay with you for life. If you want to reside in style then try Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa; Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg or Lukimbi Safari Lodge.
With warm temperatures year round, the ‘rainy season’ from November to March is ideal for those hoping to catch some of the world’s best surf as well as a spot of whale watching. Expect rugged landscapes, volcanos (dormant and active), stunning waterfalls and colourful sandy beaches among the diverse set of islands.
The Four Seasons Resort on Lanai offers a secluded, ocean-front retreat with lagoon style pools, luxury treatments at Hawanawana Spa and Japanese cuisine at the cliff-side Nobu Lanai. Otherwise head to Maui for a stay at the five-star Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, where guests can snorkel with manta rays, dine on local cuisine, play on one of the championship golf courses or lounge on a beach at the 54-acre resort.