It feels like it’s barely started, but it won’t be long until summer’s over. We all know that summer always flies by. With so many plans, activities and summer holidays, time quickly gets booked up, and before you can say ice cream, the temperatures start cooling, and you have to say goodbye to summer for another year. Or do you? Winter sun holidays are the perfect way to enjoy a slice of summer just when you need it most.
But what should you be looking for in the best winter breaks to the sun? Where are the very best winter sun destinations? And when is the best time to book yourself winter beach holidays?
We’ve been chasing the sun for years, so we know a thing or two about the best places for winter sun holidays. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Dreamy winter sun destinations in Europe
The excellent news is that you really don’t have to go that far to find winter sun. There are plenty of spots in Europe where you can shed the winter coat and feel the sun on your skin in the middle of winter. Here are a few suggestions.
1.Winter holidays in the Canary Islands
Okay, so this isn’t strictly Europe in a physical sense, but it’s part of Spain, so we reckon it counts.
The Canary Islands are probably the most famous winter sun destination there is for British travellers. And with good reason. They’re only about 4.5 hours flight from the UK, off the coast of Africa, but the weather is balmy all year round.
With seven unique islands to discover, you could take winter sun holidays in the Canary Islands every single year and never get bored.
2. Madeira: one of the best destinations for winter sun in Europe
Again, this isn’t technically on the continent of Europe, but it’s part of Portugal, and it’s a similar distance away as the Canary Islands.
The main draw of the island of Madeira is the incredible hiking in the lush mountains, but there are also some lovely beaches, and the capital, Funchal, is charming. The perfect place to while away a week enjoy warmer temperatures.
3. Malta: one of the best places for winter sun in Europe with a dash of culture
Stroll the streets of fascinating, historic Valletta or enjoy the beautiful countryside, with temperatures rarely dipping below the mid-teens. Rent a car and pootle your way between fishing villages, completely switching off from your hectic everyday life.
The best places to visit for winter sun: further afield
Feeling like Europe isn’t quite far away enough? There are plenty of places you can head for winter sun holidays just that little bit further afield.
1. Get the best winter sun in Cape Verde
Just an hour and a half further south from the Canary Islands (meaning it’s slightly warmer) you’ll find the Cape Verde archipelago.
Expect stunning mountains, white sand beaches, great nightlife, and temperatures in the low twenties.
2. Looking for more unusual winter sun destinations? Try Morocco
Morocco isn’t any further away in distance than some of the European destinations we’ve mentioned, but it feels like a world away.
Make the most of cheap winter flights and immerse yourself in a totally different culture. Explore the beaches of the west coast, famous for their waves, or enjoy a sun-soaked city break in Marrakesh or Fez.
3. Exotic places to go for winter sun: Mexico
If you’re looking for something slightly further afield, then winter is the perfect time to visit the mind-blowing country of Mexico. The nights only get cold in the highlands of Mexico, with the coasts staying balmy all year round.
Visit the surprising Mexico City and its Aztec ruins, the beaches of Oaxaca, or the Caribbean coast. Flights are cheaper at this time of year, and the low prices in Mexico itself mean that this could be a big adventure on the cheap.
4. Luxury winter holidays in Dubai
Turning our sights to the east, anyone in search of sunshine with a side of luxury should head to Dubai for their winter sun holidays.
Stay in luxury hotels, eat in sensational upscale restaurants, shop to your heart’s content, and even adventure out into the desert on a dune safari.
Booking the perfect winter sun holidays
In our humble opinion, the best time to book winter sun breaks is right now. Doing it before the end of the summer means that you’ll always have something to look forward to and might not get those classic end-of-summer blues.
For us, then, February or March are the best months to book your winter sun holidays. February is generally the hardest month of the winter and it sometimes seems like it’s never going to end, so a break in the middle is the perfect antidote.
March, on the other hand, is generally a little warmer in a lot of the top European winter sun destinations, and so if you can wait that long, you might reap the rewards, whilst the winter is still dragging on back home.