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When winter’s grip tightens, where can you bask in sunshine? Our guide to the best winter sun destinations reveals locations that offer warm escapes during the cold months.
With a focus on vibrant climates and sunny spots, you’ll learn about hand-picked places that promise relaxation and adventure under the winter sun.
Get ready to explore destinations that shine bright when temperatures elsewhere drop.
Top Winter Sun Destinations to Thaw Out This Season
If year-round sunshine is what you crave, the Canary Islands should be your first port of call. Known for its average winter temperature of 18°C, it’s an ideal refuge from the biting cold.
The Canary Islands offer a unique landscape with black sand beaches and towering volcanic cliffs, making it the perfect winter sun destination. The islands are a paradise for nature lovers with marine parks teeming with diverse marine life. Plus, the flight time from the UK is just four hours, meaning you’ll be basking in the sun in no time.
Though slightly farther afield, Cape Town is unquestionably worth the journey. This coastal city is a jewel in South Africa’s crown, offering a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and landscapes. With winter temperatures averaging 22°C, Cape Town is a perfect escape from the winter chill.
Canary Islands Bliss
The Canary Islands are an Atlantic Ocean treasure. Nestled off the coast of Africa, these Spanish islands offer warm winter temperatures and a host of attractions. From the black sand beaches of Lanzarote to the verdant forests of La Palma, there’s something for every traveller.
Visit the Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote for a glimpse of its dramatic volcanic landscape, or explore the cultural sites of Tenerife, where you can find the contributions of esteemed local architect César Manrique.
Accommodation in the Canary Islands ranges from the stylish boutique Casa de Hilario to the traditional Hacienda San Jorge. You can even stay in a hotel nestled within an old lighthouse. And let’s not forget about the beaches.
The Canary Islands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, from the bustling Las Canteras in Gran Canaria to the tranquil white sands of Playa de las Teresitas in Tenerife.
With direct flights from many European cities, the Canary Islands are the perfect winter sun destination.
Cape Town’s Coastal Charm
Cape Town uniquely and captivatingly marries the modern with the traditional. The city’s architecture is a testament to its rich history, as are its numerous national parks. But it’s not just about the past.
Cape Town is also a city of the future, with a vibrant dining scene and a bustling nightlife that keeps the city alive after the sun sets.
Staying in Cape Town offers a host of unforgettable experiences. The One&Only hotel offers breath-taking views of Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront, as well as luxury amenities such as infinity pools and a kids’ club.
And let’s not forget the only Nobu restaurant in Africa. With its warm winter temperatures and an array of activities, Cape Town is a fantastic choice for a winter sun holiday.
Tropical Splendor in Costa Rica
Costa Rica provides a distinctive tropical escape for winter sun seekers. The country’s rainforests are teeming with wildlife, while its beaches are pristine and perfect for sunbathing.
The average winter temperature is a comfortable 27°C, making Costa Rica a great winter sun destination.
Costa Rica is not just about relaxation. The country offers a wide array of activities, including:
- Ziplining through lush rainforests
- Surfing the legendary waves of Playa Tamarindo
- Exploring the unique wildlife experience in Tortuguero National Park, where you can see sea turtles nesting in their natural habitat.
Island Paradises: Unwind in Idyllic Settings
If you’re looking for pure relaxation, then the Maldives and the Caribbean offer the perfect retreat. These island paradises are renowned for their stunning natural beauty, from the vibrant coral atolls of the Maldives to the palm-fringed beaches of the Caribbean.
The Maldives is the ultimate winter sun paradise. Imagine waking up in an overwater bungalow, stepping outside onto your private deck, and plunging into the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
It’s a reality in the Maldives, where every resort is on its own island. And with the waters surrounding the islands teeming with vibrant marine life, it’s a diver’s dream come true.
Despite its small size, the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, delivers a substantial dose of luxury and relaxation. The country is famous for its luxury resorts, such as SONEVA JANI and Lily Beach Resort And Spa.
These resorts offer extravagant amenities and breath-taking views, making your stay in the Maldives a memorable one.
But the Maldives is not just about luxury. It’s also about adventure. From snorkelling and diving to fishing and sailing, there’s plenty to do in this island paradise.
And with an average winter temperature of 27°C, it’s the perfect place to escape the winter chill.
The Caribbean, comprising the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the nearby coasts, is a region in the Americas. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and vibrant culture.
Whether you’re lounging on the beach in Barbados, exploring the rainforests of St. Lucia, or partying in Jamaica, the Caribbean offers something for everyone.
The Caribbean is also a great destination for water sports. Some popular activities include:
- Scuba diving
And with winter temperatures averaging around 29°C, it’s a great place to escape the winter cold.
Exotic Adventures in Asia
For those looking to escape the winter blues and find a winter sun destination with a twist, why not consider Asia?
Specifically, the countries of Bali and Vietnam. Both winter sun destinations offer stunning coastlines, rich cultures, and a host of activities to keep you busy.
Bali, often referred to as the ‘Island of the Gods,’ is a paradise for surfers, yogis, and anyone in need of some relaxation during their winter break. Its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and lush landscapes make it an ideal winter sun destination.
On the other hand, Vietnam offers an array of exotic adventures, including a seven-day cruise down the Mekong River.
Bali’s Beachfront Beauty
Known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches, and coral reefs, Bali is an island in Indonesia.
From the vibrant nightlife in Kuta to the tranquil yoga retreats in Ubud, Bali offers a range of experiences to suit all tastes.
Stay at the stylish boutique hotels that Bali is known for and enjoy the world-class dining scene. And don’t forget to explore the island’s cultural heritage, with its ancient temples and palaces providing a glimpse into Bali’s rich history.
Vietnam’s Vibrant Coastline
Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country, boasts beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas, and bustling cities. Its coastline offers a stunning backdrop of mountains, forests, and lagoons. And with a tropical climate, it’s a great destination for a winter sun holiday.
Whether you’re exploring the historic sites of Hanoi, cruising through the surreal seascape of Halong Bay, or relaxing on the beaches of Nha Trang, Vietnam offers an adventure for every traveller. And with a range of accommodations from budget hostels to luxury resorts, there’s something to suit every budget.
Cultural Escapades in Historic Cities
If you’re looking for a winter sun destination that offers a rich cultural experience, then Marrakech and Mexico City are perfect choices. Both cities are steeped in history and offer a host of attractions that will keep you entertained.
Marrakech, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic centre and home to mosques, palaces, and gardens. Its medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with maze-like alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery, and jewellery.
On the other hand, Mexico City, the densely populated, high-altitude capital of Mexico, is known for its Templo Mayor, the baroque Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral and the Palacio Nacional, which houses historic murals by Diego Rivera.
Marrakech, dubbed the “Red City” for its red sandstone city walls, is a culturally rich and vibrant destination brimming with history. Some of the top attractions in Marrakech include:
- The bustling souks in the medina
- The tranquil gardens of the Jardin Majorelle
- The stunning architecture of the Bahia Palace
- The vibrant atmosphere of the Djemaa el-Fna square
- The historic Saadian Tombs
- The beautiful Koutoubia Mosque
There’s plenty to explore in this historic city.
Stay in a traditional riad in the heart of the medina, where you’ll be close to the city’s main attractions. And don’t forget to try the local cuisine, with its rich flavours and delicious tagines.
Mexico City Magic
Mexico City, a global cultural and financial hub, is a bustling city steeped in history and rich in culture. From the ancient ruins of the Templo Mayor to the modernist architecture of the University City, there’s plenty to explore in this bustling metropolis.
And let’s not forget about the food. Mexican cuisine is renowned worldwide, and in Mexico City, you’ll find everything from street food stalls selling tacos and tamales to high-end restaurants serving gourmet dishes. It’s a foodie’s paradise.
Seaside Serenity: Best Beaches for Winter Sun
If you’re looking for a winter sun destination that offers pristine beaches and warm temperatures, then Florida and Australia’s Gold Coast are perfect options. Both destinations offer beautiful beaches, a variety of attractions, and warm temperatures year-round.
Florida, known as the “Sunshine State,” is famous for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, and world-class theme parks. Whether you’re relaxing on the beach in Miami or exploring the theme parks in Orlando, there’s something for everyone in Florida.
On the other hand, Australia’s Gold Coast offers stunning beaches, a vibrant nightlife, and a host of outdoor activities, making it a great winter sun destination.
Florida’s Sunlit Shores
Florida, situated in the south-eastern United States, is a favoured winter sun destination due to its warm tropical climate and stunning beaches. From the vibrant city of Miami to the tranquil beaches of the Florida Keys, there’s something for everyone in the Sunshine State.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the state’s natural beauty, or enjoy some family fun at the theme parks, Florida has it all. And with plenty of direct flights from around the world, it’s easy to get to Florida for your winter sun getaway.
Australia’s Gold Coast Glamour
Renowned for its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and range of outdoor activities, Australia’s Gold Coast lies in the country’s eastern region, while the west coast offers a different experience.
Whether you’re surfing on the world-renowned beaches, exploring the hinterland, or enjoying the exciting theme parks, the Gold Coast offers something for everyone.
With its warm temperatures and sunny weather, the Gold Coast is a great guaranteed winter sun destination. And with a range of accommodations from budget hostels to luxury resorts, there’s something to suit every budget.
Adventure Awaits: Active Winter Sun Holidays
If you’re looking to combine your winter sun holiday with some adventure, then South Africa and the Red Sea are perfect choices. Here are some reasons why:
- South Africa offers the thrill of a safari, where you can see incredible wildlife up close and personal.
- The Red Sea is known for its stunning coral reefs, making it a paradise for divers and snorkelers.
- Both destinations offer a unique and exciting winter sun experience.
South Africa is a country of diverse landscapes, including:
- Beautiful beaches and vibrant cities of the Cape
- Stunning wildlife and natural beauty of the national parks
- The city of Cape Town
- Safari in Kruger National Park
- Relaxing on the beaches of the Garden Route
South Africa offers a range of experiences that are sure to thrill and delight.
Safari Sojourn in South Africa
Embarking on a safari in South Africa offers an unrivalled experience. From the thrill of spotting the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) to the serene beauty of the African bush, a safari is an experience you’ll never forget.
South Africa offers a range of safari experiences, from luxury lodges in private game reserves to self-drive safaris in the national parks. Whether you’re a first-time safari-goer or a seasoned veteran, South Africa has something to offer everyone.
Diving Deep in the Red Sea
Situated between Africa and Asia, the Red Sea ranks among the world’s top diving destinations. With its clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning coral reefs, it’s a diver’s paradise.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, the Red Sea offers a range of diving experiences. From shallow reefs teeming with colourful fish to deep wrecks and walls, there’s something for every level of diver. And with its warm waters and good visibility, it’s a great place to learn to dive.
Family Fun in the Sun
If you’re planning a winter sun holiday with the family, then the Canary Islands and Orlando are perfect choices for your winter holidays.
Both destinations offer a range of family-friendly attractions and activities, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.
The Canary Islands, located off the coast of Africa, offer a range of family-friendly activities, from exploring the islands’ natural beauty to enjoying the fun-filled water parks.
With its year-round sunshine and beautiful beaches, it’s a great destination for a family winter sun holiday.
Canary Island Family Delights
With their stunning beaches, warm climate, and a host of activities, the Canary Islands are a hit among families. Whether you’re exploring the islands’ natural beauty, enjoying the fun-filled water parks, or simply relaxing on the beach, there’s something for everyone in the Canary Islands.
With a range of accommodation options, from family-friendly hotels to self-catering apartments, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay. And with regular flights from many European cities, getting to the Canary Islands is easy.
Orlando’s Theme Park Thrills
Orlando, in the U.S. state of Florida, is famed for its globally renowned theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. With a range of attractions and activities, it’s a great destination for a family winter sun holiday.
Whether you’re exploring the magical world of Disney, embarking on thrilling rides at Universal, or discovering the marine life at SeaWorld, there’s something for everyone in Orlando.
And with a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay.
Winter doesn’t have to be a season of cold and gloom. With so many exciting winter sun destinations around the world, you can escape the chill and enjoy a warm and sunny retreat.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday in the Maldives, an exciting safari in South Africa, or a family adventure in Orlando, there’s a perfect winter sun destination waiting for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still got Questions? Check out our FAQ section below to help you plan your perfect winter break.
What are the best winter sun destinations?
The Canary Islands and Cape Town are among the top winter sun destinations. These locations offer year-round sunshine, making them perfect for a winter sun holiday.
What makes the Canary Islands a top winter sun destination?
The Canary Islands are known for their average winter temperature of 18°C, black sand beaches, and marine parks. The islands are just a four-hour flight from the UK, making them a convenient winter escape.
What does Cape Town offer as a winter sun destination?
Cape Town is a vibrant city with an average winter temperature of 22°C. It offers a range of outdoor activities, from exploring the Table Mountain to visiting the penguin-filled Boulders Beach.
What can I expect from a winter sun holiday in Costa Rica? .
Costa Rica offers an average temperature of 27°C in the winter months, diverse wildlife, and beautiful sandy beaches. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking adventure and relaxation under the winter sun.
What accommodations are available in these winter sun destinations?
These sun destinations offer a range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to boutique hotels, catering to different travel preferences.