Where to find winter sun around the world: Six of the best
People across the globe have spent the last three months complaining that it’s “too hot”. And to be fair, with 30°C heat pretty much every day for 12 weeks straight in countries that are used to maybe 25, at a push, it was fairly hot. Of course, now that autumn has arrived what are we all doing? Complaining that we want the heat back – honestly, there’s no winning.
To be fair, the winter months are often gloomy and miserable, so it’s pretty natural to crave the sunshine once more– but you don’t have to sit around wishing for the summer to come back. Instead, head on a winter sun holiday to find the sun for yourself.
The Holiday Place are experts in package holidays all over the world that are just perfect for a winter sun holiday. So as the dark nights loom in front of us, the travel experts have rounded up a selection of some of the best destinations around the globe for a winter sun break.
Thailand is a fabulous choice at any time of the year, but it’s particularly wonderful in the winter for so many reasons. Whether the day is sunny or rainy, Thailand offers festivals, an exotic atmosphere, and cultural trips to temples and palaces – including the highly recommended Grand Palace in Bangkok, and the temples of Chiang Mo.
There’s literally something for everyone in Thailand, as the weather varies across the island. For a cooler, sight-seeing holiday, the northern and central areas have temperatures as low as 20°C. The islands of the Andaman Coast, however, can see temperatures reach up to 28°C during the European winter, perfect for those sun worshippers.
The best spot to truly soak up the sun, is Phuket; once the backpacker’s capital, it’s now a popular tourist destination, and legend has it that the sunsets are breath-taking. Why not see for yourself?
Where to stay:
The uniquely designed Crest Resort and Pool Villas located on the west coast of Phuket is effectively your own luxury holiday home nestled among the tropical forest – the ultimate remote destination. The resort is eco-designed, includes honeymoon hideaways, adventure for families, and a prima spa and holistic wellness village.
You can find it in the Patong Peninsula Mountain Range, situated in Phuket’s oldest and unspoilt reserve rainforest – think sea views, natural environment, and greenery that stretches for miles.
Prices from £909pp including 7 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, and return flights, including airport transfers, from London Gatwick.
When it comes to the Maldives there are hundreds of different islands to choose from, and each one runs day trips to the capital – Malé – just in case you somehow get bored of the idyllic, remote locale of the islands.
The Maldives is perfectly designed for a mix of exploration and relaxation. Given the size of most of the islands, you can walk around many of them in just half an hour, as you explore the mini forests, eat fresh coconuts from the trees, and snorkel in the crystal clear warm waters.
If you’re lucky, you can even paddle with baby sharks that come right up to the shore. Or, alternatively you can simply lie back on the beach, sunbathe, read a book, take a nap, and soak in the incredible views of the Indian ocean.
Where to stay:
The Royal Island hotel, on Baa Atoll island is surrounded by an incredibly clear blue lagoon teeming with marine life that can even be admired without the need for any snorkelling. It’s set in a tropical paradise surrounded by palm and banyan trees, as well as blindingly white sandy beaches.
There’s a poolside deck at the restaurant, as well as a spa offering a range of treatments to calm the senses, relax the body, and invigorate the spirit.
Prices from £1369pp including 7 nights’ half-board accommodation and return flights, including airport transfers, from London Heathrow.
Head to Cuba if you want to be bombarded with culture and indulge in a truly original experience. If you know anything about Cuba, you’ll know about its fairly turbulent history, but the recent improvements in its relationship with the US have brought the country back to its tourism roots – and we are so much the better for it.
As part of the Caribbean with heavy Spanish influences, it truly is a unique experience that includes rum – a lot of rum – a communist historical education, colonial buildings, vintage cars, and salsa music.
Take a trip to Havana if you fancy a rum museum, romantic Hispanic architecture, and a nightlife to envy the strip in Ibiza (only way classier, with a lot more salsa dancing), or head to Playas del Este if you’d rather soak up the sun.
Varadero is perfect for families with children, or get away from it all on a romantic trip to the tiny island of Cayo Santa Maria, one of Cuba’s uninhabited locations.
Where to stay:
The Melia Peninsula Varadero hotel boasts five-star service right next to the Punta Hicacos National Park, ready to welcome you with its stunning natural surroundings. There’s supervised children and baby clubs so the adults can get away to enjoy some free time, as well as a wide range of sporting activities on both land and sea.
It’s perfect for families, and the restaurants offer anything from light snacks to international a la carte menus. There’s also a host of evening entertainment options.
Prices from £1099pp including 7 nights’ all-inclusive accommodation and return flights, including airport transfers, from London Heathrow.
If you’re romantic and nostalgic at heart, then the Seychelles is the ultimate winter destination for you. While you wouldn’t necessarily associate the modern day with the “Lost World” that gripped the culture of the 1700s, that is truly what you experience in the Seychelles.
Like the Maldives, there is over a hundred islands in the Indian Ocean that you can choose from, whether you prefer relaxing on the unspoilt beaches, or hiking through the jungles.
Where to stay:
The small, boutique Dhevatara Beach Hotel is set on Praslin, the second largest island in the Seychelles, and surrounded by incredible forests and the Indian Ocean. There’s a nature friendly swimming pool, a pond, pristine beach, and restaurants that cater for Mediterranean, Asian, and Creole cuisine.
Complimentary facilities include canoes, snorkelling equipment, board games, and bicycles. With only ten rooms, it is the perfect, idyllic getaway.
Prices from £1689pp including 7 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation and return flights, including airport transfers, from London Heathrow.
Oman is often (wrongly) overshadowed by its very famous neighbour: Dubai. And when you take a look, it’s cruelly unfair. Oman has the same mid-twenties warmth that Europeans miss during the winter, but offers an entirely different cultural atmosphere than Dubai.
The country has beaches and a rich heritage and culture, plus it has the added advantage of being largely untouched by tourism, so you get the authentic local Oman experience.
The capital city of Muscat is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in the world – the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – as well as the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace, and numerous museums.
There are also stunning coastlines, a desert, the old capital that includes the 17th century fort constructed by Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya’ribi, and stunning wildlife that you won’t see anywhere else.
Where to stay:
The Chedi Muscat hotel is set in an idyllic location between the al Hajar Mountains, and the Gulf of Oman. It includes traditional Arabian décor combined with contemporary design that perfectly complements the private white sand beach and swimming pools.
There’s a pool specifically for adults, as well as a child friendly one, and the hotel boasts the largest spa in Muscat. The restaurants cater for Arabic, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine, so there’s something for everyone.
Prices from £1659pp including 7 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation and return flights, including airport transfers, from London Heathrow.
The Caribbean is the staple of British holidays: it’s not too long of a plane journey, the climate is pretty much always nice, and there’s a lot of rum. But Antigua, for some reason, is often slept on while people tend to frequent Tobago, Barbados, and St. Lucia instead.
Not to say these aren’t just as good holiday destinations, but it does mean that Antigua has become almost a haven, with a lot of uninterrupted beaches and even an uninhabited island to visit for the day.
The safe beaches and shallow waters mean that this is a perfect destination for families, while the remote, peaceful, adult-only resorts mean couples can enjoy a romantic break just as much.
According to local legends, there’s 365 beaches – so you could go for a year, and never visit the same beach twice. There’s culture, water sports, history, beaches, and adventure – what more could you want?
Where to stay:
The Sugar Ridge is remotely located on a natural hillside top, giving you breath-taking views of the island, and bordered by sugar cane fields that allow for the truly authentic Caribbean experience. Thanks to its location, you can even see as far as the neighbouring island of Redonda, Nevis, and St. Kitts on a clear day.
Accommodation is set in groups of four with private views and separate entrances, making it perfect for exclusion. Head to the spa to get away from it all, or enjoy a season-specific restaurant complete with panoramic views.
The two exceptional dining venues blend together Caribbean recipes with those from around the world to create a truly unique experience. There’s even babysitting and child care services, for when you just need a few hours to yourself.
Prices from £1099pp including 7 nights’ room only accommodation, and return flights, including airport transfers, from London Gatwick.