7 best destinations for winter sun

Updated: Jan 29

Given everything that’s gone on this year, it’s looking likely that the winter sun holiday is about to become more popular than ever.

Although the world is slowly opening up its borders again, not everyone is comfortable to hop on a plane just yet. While things settle down, more of us are ditching the usual summer holiday in favour of some winter sun instead.

So, where exactly is best to go for that much needed week or two in the sun come the cold, dark winter months?

Blissful beaches in Barbados

Ah, Barbados – do beaches get any more picturesque than those on this faraway island?

The best time to visit is during the dry season, which starts in January. During these months, you’ll be treated to a glorious average of 28°C and a sea that is just as warm.

While the incredible white sandy beaches that are lined with palm trees is, of course, everyone’s dream, Barbados is a foodie haven too.

With unrivalled seafood dishes and Bajan infused cuisine from the West Indies, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean – there is simply no competition when it comes to dining out in Barbados.

Outside of the typical holiday activities of lying around and eating everything in sight, Barbados has some unbelievable experiences to offer. From swimming with turtles, botanical gardens and plenty of forests to trek, there is certainly plenty of adventure to be had on this island.

Laid-back life in Lanzarote

Not too far away from home, Lanzarote is a great choice for those looking for a short flight and familiar European culture. With temperatures usually averaging at just under 20℃, you’ll be sure to catch some of those much-needed rays. While it might not be the hottest of holidays, this is the perfect temperature for exploring the local area and having lunch and dinners alfresco.

Probably the cheapest option too, Lanzarote is a fantastic spot for those wanting some sunshine without breaking the bank. There’s plenty to do on this island including water and animal parks as well as lovely sandy beaches and that ever-welcoming azure sea.

Chilling in Cape Verde

If you’re willing to travel just a couple of hours further than Lanzarote, you’ll find yourself on one of the dazzling islands of Cape Verde.

No matter the time of year Cape Verde rarely sees temperatures lower than 20°C and is on average around 25°C in the winter months.

With long stretches of soft sandy beaches, Cape Verde is an ideal spot for some relaxation time. However, if you’re a little more active on your holidays, you won’t be disappointed.

With its volcanic landscape, there are plenty of hiking opportunities for those who seek adventure. Similarly, make sure to get out and visit the expansive salt flats where you’ll be able to join on a horse-riding experience like no other.

If you’d rather stick to the shoreline, Cape Verde is famed for its kite surfing which you can give a go at the aptly named Kite Beach. With beginner and intermediate lessons on offer from locals, you can rest assured you’re in safe hands. If you’re less of a thrill-seeker, make sure to get out to Boa Vista – one of the world’s most important turtle breeding grounds for sea turtles. It’s a protected area so it’s imperative that sightseers are respectful and just observe these incredible animals and not to touch them.

Talk about a holiday jam-packed with fun!

Beautiful adventures in Bali

If you’re hoping to get as far away from home as possible, why not get yourself to Bali?

Bali has an unmistakably gorgeous landscape thanks to its rocky cliffs and turquoise waters. Plus, with highs of 30°C, it’s safe to say you won’t be short on perfect weather either.

The north side of the island is more popular with tourists and this is where you’ll find plenty of things to do. From exploring ancient temples to diving into the waters and discovering coral reefs, you’ll never be short of an adventure in Bali.

Marvellous nightlife in Mexico

If you’re looking for some winter sun in the day but warm temperatures throughout the night too, Mexico is just the place for you. The resort of Cancun is renowned for its lively atmosphere and busy city life.

Surrounded by stunning sandy beaches and dazzling ocean’s, you’ll be sure to get your fill of kicking back and relaxing during the day. By night, however, there are what seems like unlimited bars and restaurants open late into the night. While this might be a little different this year, given social distancing, there are sure to be safety measures in place that allow you to make the most of it.

Don’t be fooled, this isn’t just a party paradise. There are plenty of museums and day trips to the astonishing Mayan temples – this is an absolute must for any trip to Mexico. There are amazing snorkelling opportunities too with open ocean and national parks to discover.

Fantastical experiences in Florida

Hoping for some movie magic?

Florida is the ultimate film fanatic’s dream. With both Disney Land and the Universal Resort coupled with glorious sunshine, Florida has it all.

With temperatures rarely dropping below a comfortable 20°C, it’s shorts and t-shirt weather – well, maybe to us Brits anyway. This is also a great temperature in terms of bugs, which during Florida’s peak summer month are biting you left, right and centre.

While it might not be stonkingly hot, this is the perfect temperature for getting out and actually enjoying the parks. No one wants to stand in a three-hour queue for Splash Mountain in the blistering heat surrounded by screaming children.

Magical markets in Morocco

For those who are wanting a more cultural experience, Morocco is just the place.

Between the hustle and bustle of the markets, the iconic orange sands of the Sahara Desert and the distant snow-capped mountains, it’s safe to say that Morocco is anything but breath-taking.

The food in Morocco is also just as exciting with colourful couscous and hearty Tajine's to dig into. Make sure to stop in a few cafes with a mint tea for a spot of people watching – that’s what the locals do!

With temperatures during the day coming in at about 20°C, this is the best time to visit Morocco if you aren’t a fan of heat and humidity.

Are you planning a winter sun escape this year - or are you giving it a miss until things are a little safer?