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15 best places for winter sun

If you’re like us, you’re probably wishing you could live through summer all year round and feel those glorious rays of sunshine on your face from January ‘til December. While we can’t change the UK weather (no superpowers on this end), we can recommend some of our favorite winter sun holiday destinations to help you forget about the cold and keep those summer vibes going a little bit longer. Check out our favorites below and let us know which one you’d like to pack your bags for.

1. Thailand

Looking for the ultimate tropical paradise? Thailand takes the crown. White sand beaches, crystal clear waters, perfect weather, what better place to unwind and forget about the cold and snow from back home?

Average winter temperature: 28-33 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do: 

  • Take a locally guided tour of the Grand Palace
  • Visit infamous Death Railway & the Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Swim in the Erawan waterfalls
  • Take a bike ride across Ayutthaya
  • Discover Chiang Mai’s street food scene
  • Take a Thai cooking class

Discover it on our Total Thailand trip.

2. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not only one of the best winter sun destinations in the world, but also one of the coolest spots for scuba diving. The coral reefs are not just pretty to look at. They also serve as a protective barrier, making this place ideal for beginning divers. 

Average winter temperature: 26-27 C 

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Go white water rafting
  • Take a waterfall hike in La Fortuna
  • Eat with the locals
  • Go surfing
  • Learn about Costa Rican coffee on a Don Juan Coffee tour
  • Go ziplining in Monteverde’s Selvatura Park

Discover it on our Viva Costa Rica trip.

3. Canary Islands

An impromptu trip to the Canary Islands is perfect during winter months. Aside from the great temperatures and the amazing white-sand beaches, they’re also a literal paradise for sports lovers, with plenty of options to choose from, such as cycling, paragliding, scuba diving and more.

Average winter temperature: 20 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Explore Teide National Park, Tenerife
  • Relax on the beaches of Gran Canaria
  • Go dolphin and whale watching in Tenerife
  • Visit Santa Cruz de la Palma

4. Sicily

Sicily with less crowds and discounted rates? Sign me up! OK, so it won’t be as warm as Thailand, but the temperatures should still be mild enough for sightseeing and even lazing by the beach.

Average winter temperature: 15 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Enjoy the outdoor food markets
  • Check out Mt. Etna
  • Explore the Greek & Roman ruins in the seaside town of Taormina
  • Visit the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, a UNESCO listed site

5. Morocco

From the unique sunsets to the colorful souks, scenic mountains and friendly locals, there’s an abundance of reasons to visit Morocco, even during winter.

Average winter temperature: 13-14 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Learn how to surf
  • Practice yoga
  • Discover the vibrant, beautiful souks of Marrakech
  • Visit the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Discover it on our Surf and Yoga Retreat in Morocco trip.

6. Maldives

The Maldives is one of those surreal places where winter is pretty much non-existent and temperatures are great all year round. It’s not just a place for honeymooners, but also an amazing destination for water sport lovers and travellers looking to relax in a serene setting for a few days.

Average winter temperature: 24 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Snorkel with nurse sharks
  • Go on a walking tour of capital Male City
  • Diving is pretty much a must, with the beautiful diversity of the marine life here

7. Valencia

Valencia offers plenty of sunny days in winter time, but less crowds and more affordable prices, which makes it the perfect season to visit this gorgeous Spanish city.

Average winter temperature: 16-17 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Learn how to make paella – everyone can brag about having eaten a traditional paella. Why not go the extra mile and actually learn how to make one from start to finish? A good way to dive more into the local culture, make friends and learn a new skill that you can show off when you go back home.
  • Visiting in December? Discover the magical Christmas markets and try some of their delicious holiday treats, such as Roscón de Reyes.
  • If you’re planning a trip in January, you’re not gonna want to miss out on The Three Kings Parade, held on January 5th, when men dress up as the three wise men and hand out sweets and gifts to the children.

Discover it on our Best of Spain Winter trip.

8. Dubai

Average winter temperature: 24-26 C. Dubai is warm all year round, but with quite distinct summer and winter seasons. The best time to visit is from December – March, when there are fewer tourists around, but the temperatures are still warm enough to enjoy the crown jewel of the UAE.

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Discover Dubai’s spice souk and awaken your senses through the intoxicating smells of saffron, rose hips, dried limes and more.
  • Visit Al Fahidi historical neighborhood 
  • Check out Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building
  • Go shopping at the largest mall in the world (Dubai Mall). With over 1,200 shops, this place draws in more visitors than NYC and LA combined.

9. Hawaii

Aloha! Looking to experience the ultimate tropical life? Hawaii should definitely be on your winter sun radar. We should warn you, though, that December to New Year tends to be extremely busy, with tourists flocking here from all over the world for the winter holidays. For a less crowded experience, we recommend mid-Jan to March.

Average winter temperature: 27-28 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Relax on the Waikiki beach
  • Go snorkeling
  • Go on a whale watching tour
  • Enjoy the stunning Hawaiian sunset

Discover it on our Waikiki Explorer trip.

10. Los Angeles

Endless sunshine, vibrant nightlife, famous people at every corner – seriously, what’s not to love about LA? Get a taste of this buzzing Hollywood city with a 3-day winter trip, and you’ll score the best prices on accommodation and flights.

Average winter temperature: 20-21 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Go on a sightseeing tour (Sunset Boulevard, Paramount Pictures Studio, Rodeo Drive)
  • Catch some waves at Venice Beach
  • Visit the Griffith Observatory

Discover it on our LA Explorer trip.

11. Brazil

In Brazil, the summer months are from December to February, which makes it the perfect time to discover this beautiful country in all its glory.

Average winter temperature: 27 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Visit the Iguazu Falls
  • Snorkel with sea turtles
  • Experience Rio de Janeiro’s famous carnival (scheduled for 2022, between February 25th – March 5th)

Discover it on our Argentina & Brazil Highlights trip.

12. Cape Town

This cosmopolitan city is one of the best winter sun getaways you could add to your bucket list. It’s got an abundance of natural attractions and historical landmarks, it’s one of the best wine regions in the world and it’s great for all budgets, the South African Rand being one of the best value currencies in the world.

Average winter temperature: 29 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Try some local cuisine at the food market
  • Get a city tour
  • Take a cable ride up Table Mountain
  • Go on a Marine Safari cruise
  • Visit a wine farm

Discover it on our Cape to Delta Safari trip.

13. Egypt

Like many destinations on this list, Egypt is wonderful to visit all year round, but it’s especially worth visiting during the winter, as you’ll experience more mild temperatures and enjoy some beach time at more affordable prices than usual.

Average winter temperature: 22 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Take a locally guided tour of the Egyptian Museum and the Pyramids of Giza
  • Drift down the Nile on a traditional felucca sailing boat
  • Visit the Avenue of the Sphinxes
  • Go on a guided tour through the Valley of the Kings

Discover it on our Egypt & The Nile trip.

14. Sri Lanka

Average winter temperature: 25-28 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Take a locally guided tour of the Temple of the Tooth
  • Go on a tuk-tuk street food tour
  • Spot wildlife on a morning safari in Udawalawe National Park
  • Go on a city tour of Colombo

Discover it on our Pure Sri Lanka trip.

15. Caribbean

With plenty of sunshine all year round, the Caribbean islands are a perfect option for UK travellers looking to escape the gloomy winter months and come back with spectacular memories. Sipping cocktails on the beach, ziplining through jungles, snorkeling and exploring ancient ruins – sky’s the limit when it comes to the Caribbeans.

Average winter temperature: 25 C

Travel update: Stay up to date with the latest travel announcements – link here

Things to do:

  • Relax on the white sand beach
  • Hike the Pacaya Volcano in Antigua
  • Go on a locally guided tour of Tikal National Park
  • Go swimming with whale sharks in Cancun
  • Go jungle ziplining in Tikal National Park

Discover it on our Caribbean Encounter trip.

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