Warm up the winter months (and top up on that all important vitamin D in the process) with our guide to the best winter sun destinations.
From Lanzarote to The Maldives, we’ve rounded up the hottest spots for a winter escape.
Too often packaged as, well, as a package holiday, Lanzarote has far more to offer than you might expect – particularly when it comes to winter sun getaways. Head further north (or inland) to enjoy the best of the island. Choose from a flurry of boutique hotels and be smitten with tasteful architecture constructed by local architect César Manrique – a visit to the rainbow-hued Timanfaya National Park is another worthwhile excursion (in between sun lounger rotations and pre-dinner cocktails, ofc).
A destination which checks two key travel boxes – luxury and pure escapism – The Maldives is a shoo-in of a swish wintertime escape. With 1,200 islands to choose from, there’s no want for choice. Honeymooners and loved-up couples dominate here, but the islands are family friendly too. Whether you spend your days scuba diving and yoga-ing or lazing on sun-soaked decks, sunshine is constantly on offer, allowing you to spend your days precisely as you please. A tan-topping break that won’t disappoint.
When much of mainland Europe feels the chill, teeny tiny Madeira remains perfectly pleasant. Boasting a famously warm climate, the island’s weather means eating stellar seafood outdoors in December/January is a real possibility. Madeira’s thrilling volcanic geography provides an added draw for adventure types – embark on a memorable hike early in the morning, and, if you plan it right, your end point could be a beguiling black-sand beach before lunch.
Head to the Sunshine State for endless rays. Touchdown in Miami – our favourite hotels rest in Mid and North Beach, so we recommend you book along this stretch – and once you’ve settled in, it’s time to head to the beach. Enjoy an array of water-based activities led by bronzed surfer types, and when you feel the need for a change of scene head to the Everglades or the Florida Keys on a mini road trip. Alternatively, a night of partying in South Beach is an equally compelling scene change, which will provide ample excitement.
A trusted fly-and-flop winter sun option, Dubai is a no brainer this time of year, particularly for those keen to check into a luxury hotel and just chill for a bit. Rotate between sunbathing and snacking poolside, then head for a spot of shopping at the world’s biggest mall. Post-shopping, choose whether to nap, spa, or dip into something cultural – there’s always a plethora of cool spots to check out.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.