Considering a break this Christmas? From the Caribbean to Dubai it’s time to reveal the best places for winter sun around the world.
When it comes to winter getaways, there’s one thing I often look for… sunshine! Growing up in Britain has meant that my experience of winter tends to be cold and wet. Trips around Europe at this time of year tend to be cosy affairs, with log fires and mulled wine, while wearing the biggest coat I can find!
If money were no object, I’d swap a trip to the snowy mountains for a week on an exotic beach. Perhaps a trip to the Caribbean, Asia or somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere? If you also tend to chase the sunshine, there are some lovely places to travel to across the chillier months of the year.
Here’s a quick overview of the best places for winter sun this year.
Where To Go For Winter Sun
Temperatures in the Caribbean are pretty consistent all year round, but the winter is by far the best time to visit. Average winter temperatures are in the mid to late 20s, rainfall is low, and it’s out of hurricane season.
I’ve loved my trips to Antigua, St Kitts and Barbados over the years, always visiting the islands in the autumn and winter months. This is a part of the world rich in beauty, with great hospitality, friendly people and a great culture.
One of the best ways to explore this beautiful part of the world? On board a luxury yacht. Don’t worry about learning to sail though! You can rent a crewed yacht in the Caribbean and enjoy the islands from your own floating home. If, like me, you’ve watched Below Deck, no doubt you’ve been dreaming of a trip like this!
2. South Africa
South Africa is a country that has been on my dream destination list for a long time now. From the country’s amazing wildlife (big five, penguins, whales and more) to the wine regions, beautiful scenery and the food, it’s one of the best places for winter sun.
By venturing to the southern hemisphere between December and February you’ll swap winter for summer. In South Africa you can expect temperatures around 27 degrees between December and February.
Cape Town looks totally mind-blowing with Table Mountain for a backdrop and ferocious waves lapping at the shores. I’d love to head off on a road trip around the country, visiting Cape Town and touring the Garden Route, before spotting some wildlife on safari too!
One of my favourite countries in the world, Mexico is a great place to visit in the winter months. High season runs across the Christmas holidays as people escape for a sunshine-filled break. Popular winter sun destinations at this time of year include Cancun, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen.
For something a little different, I’d recommend spending some of your trip exploring Isla Holbox. This small island northwest of Cancun is pure paradise!
Stay in a beachfront hotel, enjoy tasty tacos, enjoy the colourful murals dotted around the main town and relax looking at the white sand and turquoise sea. It’s one of my favourite places in the world and I’d return in a heartbeat.
Another of the best places for winter sun, Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean, and benefits from lovely warm temperatures.
Mauritius is a stunning place for a winter holiday. With gorgeous white sand and bright turquoise waters, the beaches are made for relaxation. There are plenty of luxurious hotels, ideal for couples or honeymooners planning a Christmas getaway. Plus, the island is known for its interesting cuisine, which is an eclectic melting pot of Indian and Chinese cultures.
Personally, I loved the dramatic landscapes of Mauritius. There’s more to this island nation than its exotic beaches. You can go hiking through rugged forests, spot wildlife in the wild, explore epic waterfalls and even see the island’s natural phenomenon – the Seven Coloured Earth.
5. Canary Islands
If you’re looking for a warm holiday destination, but don’t fancy leaving Europe, the Canary Islands are a great option. Located off the northwest coast of Africa, this collection of volcanic islands includes Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. The islands boast warm temperatures all year round, with highs in the mid-twenties in the winter months.
Hikers will love exploring the volcanic landscapes, adventure lovers can enjoy a range of water sports, while beach lovers can relax on the volcanic black sand beaches. Each island has its own unique charm, so it’s worth researching which is right for the style of holiday you fancy.
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in winter in the USA, Florida is one of the most popular choices. With warm temperatures throughout the winter months, it’s a great destination for a mix of sunshine and relaxation.
Miami will always be popular (and rightfully so – I thought it was great fun!) but if I was returning I’d recommend checking out St Pete Beach, St Petersburg and Clearwater. These spots on the Gulf Coast are known for incredible beaches, wildlife (dolphins in particular) and offering lots of activities for all ages. St Petersburg is a colourful city known for its mural scene. It also boasts one of the best food scenes in the whole of Florida, so you’ll never go hungry!
With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, it’s an ideal year-round destination too, so you don’t have to wait until the winter if you don’t want to.
7. Sri Lanka
With temperatures in the late 20s and early 30s, Sri Lanka is another of the best places for winter sun.
See elephants and leopards in the wild, climb rock-top fortress Sigiriya (one of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and visit temples and monument’s in Sri Lanka’s culturally rich cities.
There are so many reasons I’d love to visit Sri Lanka on a winter sun holiday, but I’ll admit one of the biggest draws is the food scene! I’ve visited a few Sri Lankan restaurants in London and the food was absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to sample it for real!
Dubai is known for its scorching desert heat, particularly during the summer months when temperatures can easily surpass 40 degrees.
However, the winter months are a great time for sun seekers to visit Dubai. Temperatures drop to the mid-twenties making it a lot more comfortable. It’s now one of the best places for winter sun in the world. It’s the perfect place for those who can’t choose between beach holidays and city breaks, as it ticks both boxes!
There are lots of great holiday deals for the winter months, and with the flight from London under 7 hours, it’s one of the closest places with guaranteed warm weather all year round.
One of the best places for winter sun in Europe is Cyprus. Highs in winter tend to reach around 20 degrees, so it’s not as toasty as some of the more exotic destinations on this list, but it’s a lot closer to Britain.
While Cyprus is known for its beaches and winter sun holidays, I really enjoyed exploring the country’s traditional side. There are plenty of old towns filled with ancient stone buildings. Many have been converted into B&Bs run by locals. I’ll always remember the incredible hospitality I received. Everywhere I visited I felt like I was welcomed into the family with open arms!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about the best places for winter sun. Where would you choose?
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