Winter is a wonderful time to travel. There are fewer crowds to contend with, often, cheaper prices, and some stunning frozen scenery. But what if you want to feel the sun on your skin rather than the snow? Take a look at these idyllic escapes: perfect for a spot of winter warmth.
The Sunshine State is a summer hotspot, and its beauty doesn’t wane during winter. Even throughout December, January and February, Florida can reach average highs of 25°C and average lows of 15°C in Miami, just two hours from sunny Sandpiper Bay. Whether you love playing tennis, are dying to see Disneyland or want to truly relax on the beach, Florida can make your Christmas wishes come true.
Brazil has something for every sun worshipper: rainforests full of wildlife in Bahia, and an endlessly energetic atmosphere in Rio de Janeiro. You can spend your winter getting to know the locals and relaxing on the beach, all between sampling authentic Mexican delicacies. If you’re craving adventure, you can even head off to visit a cocoa farm or marvel at the mighty Amazon rainforest.
It is little surprise why so many travellers head to Mexico during the colder months – winter here is sublime. In Cancun, for example, visitors can expect balmy temperatures of around 23°C; perfect for taking in the country’s rich culture and natural beauty. Why not explore an ancient temple, lose yourself in a swirling mass of migrating butterflies in Michoacán, or snorkel in one of the Yucatán Peninsula’s emerald-tinged cenotes?
The Dominican Republic
If you’re longing for a serious hit of vitamin D, your ideal winter retreat is the Dominican Republic. Having cooled down a little after summer, the climate here is optimum: reaching 25°C on average, in Punta Cana. A country of great variety, you won’t be short of ways to fill your sunny days. The Dominican Republic is a scuba diving hotspot, while the inland landscape is ripe for exploration. Don’t leave without a locally-produced souvenir: amber.
If you’re a seasoned winter-phobe, head to the tropics. Mauritius is gorgeously sunny and blissfully warm all year long, making it the perfect place to catch some rays whenever the weather back home gets gloomy. Recline on the beach as the soft ssssssh of the waves lulls you into a state of complete relaxation. Relish the taste of authentic fish vindaye. And dive beneath the sea to try and spot a graceful turtle, or even a pod of dolphins!
Phuket is an ever-popular winter escape. Beautiful and cultural, sun-seeking travellers are no stranger to its sandy shores. If you’d like to warm up somewhere a little quieter, however, there are always Thailand’s islands. Feel the spray from the mighty waterfalls of Koh Chang, let your stress melt away in the spas of Koh Samui and experience tranquil local life in Koh Lanta.
Blissful beaches and peaceful islands await you in the Maldives. As the humidity drops with the coming of winter, prices rise, but don’t let that put you off. With temperatures averaging 27°C, and the island lifestyle being a completely non-stereotypical way of life, you’ll find it hard to return home. As well as sampling mile upon mile of paradisiacal beach, why not take to the water on a sailboat or surfboard? Or don your scuba gear for the chance to see a gentle giant up close? Whale sharks and manta rays both call the Maldives home.
Despite being hot all year round, Bali isn’t as popular during the winter months as you’d think. As a result, it’s much cheaper to visit. The reason is the weather: this Indonesian island is prone to rain in winter, but even then, it comes in short, tropical bursts. Home to stunning scenery and the chance to rediscover your Zen at a yoga retreat or spa, putting up with a few temperate showers is a small price to pay.
If you’re craving some much needed sun, sea and relaxation this winter, head to one of these toasty destinations and lose yourself in paradise.