Autumn is coming to an end and, as sure as it does every year, winter is quickly incoming. Days are getting shorter, nights colder, and many of us are checking our boilers before the freeze sets in.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! While the UK is plunged into icy darkness, plenty of destinations around the world enjoy some of the best sunshine from December through to February. Swap blankets on the sofa for beach towels by the water. Exchange cups of hot tea for icy drinks with little umbrellas. Treat yourself and your loved ones to memories you’ll always cherish! These are our best 2019/20 winter sun holidays!
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Costa Rica is the dream location for any tourist. It has Caribbean beaches for sun-worshippers, some of the best surf in the world, mountains and wild rivers for adventurers, and animals living so in harmony with humans that the entire country resembles one giant zoo—making it perfect for nature lovers.
December is the beginning of the Dry Season, but temperatures are never uncomfortable; there is a constant breeze throughout the country thanks to the Caribbean trade winds.
Winter might be the busy period in the Dominican Republic but it’s still the best time to visit: June to October is hurricane season. Temperatures average in the mid-twenties, with island winds to keep you cool on one of the many gorgeous, paradise beaches. Hold off until January to guarantee to miss the last of the December rains.
The main attractions to this Caribbean wonderland are its tropical coastline, world-class hotels and resorts, and the tempting beachfront bars. But stray further inland to find adventure among the mountains and jungle. Or head the other way, out to sea, where over 2,000 humpback whales come every winter to breed.
From the first-rate resorts and beaches of the Red Sea Coast to the Valley of the Kings to the bustling city of Cairo with its remarkable backdrop: The Great Pyramids. Few places can offer such a range of attractions beneath reliable warm winter sunshine.
Egyptian winter is actually when the country is at its coldest…but it still averages mid-to-high twenties. If you want warm sunshine, lazy swimming, and to be treated like a pharaoh over your winter sun holidays, then book a stay at a Red Sea Coast resort. However, if you prefer cultural sites, you’ll either need to take internal flights or book a stay closer to the Nile.
The Yucatán Peninsula is Mexico’s easternmost region and divides the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It is the home of Riviera Maya, where you can swim and sail among the second-largest coral reef in the world, and Cancún, famous for its picture-postcard beaches and a huge selection of luxurious hotels and resorts. Water parks, ocean activities, quaint tourist towns, and the best Mexican eateries will tempt you day in, day out, but don’t miss a trip inland to visit the famous Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá.
Winter sun holidays in Mexico are popular for their warm (but not too warm) temperatures, with rainfall almost non-existent. However, Mexico is a big country! Climates vary from place to place, so check regional weather forecasts before booking your trip.
Like the Dominican Republic, the best time to visit St Lucia is in the winter. Temperatures consistently average 27˚C and Dry Season is well underway by January. The island gets slightly more rainfall owing to its jaw-dropping mountainous backdrop. But this only feeds the lush vegetation which hides romantic waterfalls and unforgettable hikes.
Like its neighbours—Barbados, Grenada, Dominican Republic, etc.—St Lucia is home to some of the most attractive beaches and luxurious hotels in the world. However, this smaller island is quieter and more intimate than its more famous Caribbean cousins; so, it receives fewer crowds and is particularly popular with couples, families, and adventure seekers.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and has developed a strong affinity with British culture, making it a home away from home. Spanish is the official language, but almost everyone speaks very good English, especially the staff of the beachfront hotels.
The island is big enough and varied enough to cater for all types of tourist: beach fans and families can enjoy sunning on sandy beaches; couples can wine and dine themselves at the romantic restaurants; adventurers should explore volcanoes and the rich ocean life; and there is colonial architecture for culture lovers. Even partygoers shouldn’t shy away. While winter is the low season, plenty of bars, hotels, and beaches still host events.
The Canary Islands might receive their highest rainfall during the UK winter, but the subtropical climate means weather is warm all year round and sunshine is still prevalent and plentiful. Better yet, it also makes for one of the more affordable winter sun holidays! Fewer tourists visit at this time, meaning hotels, restaurants, bars, and activities are generally cheaper and less busy.
Vietnam is rapidly changing its reputation as a backpacker’s paradise to a holiday destination for all! The delicious street food, cheap prices, and the frequent festivals mean that the country continues to attract young holidaymakers. However, increasing numbers of luxurious hotels, rising eco-tourism, and the huge variety of natural wonders and wildlife make it a dream destination for almost anyone!
The Vietnamese climate is variable and regional. Temperatures are cooler while still being warm without the humidity being too stifling, and winter sun holidays miss monsoon season, whichever part of the country you decide to visit