I'm writing this post from the UK where I have returned after spending 6 weeks in Portugal and Madeira. Madeira was a great destination to get some winter sun with warm sunny days and just a crisp feel at night. As the dark nights draw in in the UK, it's making me dream of warm sunny destinations. The cold is great but it's that period after Christmas has come and gone that you know that you only have a dark, wet January to look forward to. So, now is usually a good time to be making plans to escape the winter (travel restrictions permitting).
I’ve already written a post on the best places to go in Europe in the winter, but if you're looking for somewhere further afield and need some help choosing where to go next winter, I hope this list for Best Places For Winter Sun, will inspire you with some ideas.
1. The Canary Islands
Types of Girl about the Globe – Hiking GatG, Nature GatG, Party GatG, Surfing GatG
The Canary Islands are famed as winter sun destinations. In December, the temperature rarely drops between 20 degrees, meaning you're pretty much guaranteed good weather. There are several islands to choose from depending on what you're looking for: from Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, Gran Canaria, La Palma, to El Hierro. Each one with their own unique island feel. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches, too. Be aware though that the islands are also renowned for being typically windy, so make sure you pack a wrap around or a cardigan for those breezy evenings.
- Read more: Things To Do in Tenerife
- Read more: Solo Travel in La Palma
- Read more: Things To Do in Gran Canaria
Types of Girl about the Globe – Theme Park GatG
If you've always wanted to go to Florida, it is one of the best winter sun destinations as the winter months are a good time to go. The temperature rarely falls below 20 degrees, and there are plenty of activities to keep to keep your inner child entertained. The Disney theme parks and Universal World Studios are obvious destination choices, and each park takes on a new light during the Christmas period. You could spend time on a beach, see the Florida Keys, go shopping or just eat fresh seafood. It's not just about the parks.
Types of Girl about the Globe – Arty & Museum GatG, Beach GatG, Historical GatG, Party GatG, Yoga GatG
If it's somewhere more exotic that you fancy, the Caribbean side of Mexico is an ideal choice for winter holiday destinations. Set on the edge of the Caribbean sea, the beaches are stunning and the cocktails are flowing. There's also plenty of sightseeing to do, too; the Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza and Uzmal are steeped in rich history and culture, or you can swim in the crystal clear waters of a cenote, party in Cancun or see the beach ruins on Tulum, all with a tequila.
Types of Girl about the Globe – Beach GatG, Music GatG
For some Caribbean sun, the winters in December are dry and warm, with temperatures usually ranging between 24 and 26. Jamaica is one of the more well-known islands and a popular choice for holidaymakers looking for all-inclusive resorts where you don't even need to leave the resort for some complete relaxation. But if all that sunbathing gets too much, you can leave your resort and head to Ocho Rios, for Jamaica's most famous natural attraction, Dunn's River Falls.
Types of Girl about the Globe – Ancient Civilisation GatG, Beach GatG, Diving GatG, History GatG, Market GatG, Museum GatG
If you like history with your winter sun, head over to Egypt. Egypt is hot all year round and even in the coldest winter months, temperatures rarely drop below the high 20s. There's plenty to do, too, with the pyramids and many other famous historical sites practically everywhere that you go in Egypt. Take a felucca cruise down the River Nile, see Tutankhamun's tomb, snorkel in the Red Sea, haggle in the markets and spend a winter amongst the pharaohs.
Types of Girl about the Globe – Adventure GatG, Beach GatG, Shopping GatG
Dubai is a shopping solos’ paradise. From the man-made island to a seven-star hotel, Dubai has plenty to keep you entertained for a winter break. For a glimpse of Dubai as it was in the past, visiting the Dubai Museum will take you back to old Dubai before the skyscraper mecca it is today. Make sure to not also miss some of the most iconic theme parks and water parks, such as Dubai Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark, Wild Wadi Waterpark and Ski Dubai. And flex that credit card, ready for some serious shopping in its amazing malls.
Types of Girl about the Globe – Beach GatG, Cultural GatG, History GatG, Yoga GatG
India offers a unique experience that will awaken all of your senses. India is so vast that you'll need to choose which region you would like to travel to. If you've never been there before, the country's main attraction is the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Agra. Just make sure you get here early to avoid the crowds. Or you could stay in an ashram in Rishikesh, the home of yoga to really unwind and listen to the sound of the River Ganges as you meditate, go trekking in the Himalayas or head to Goa, the perfect spot for beach lovers. The list is endless.
8. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka may not be an obvious choice but this Asian country with tigers and elephants is ideal for the wildlife lover. See the elephants in their natural habitat, spot whales on a whale watching trip, lose yourself in solitude in Kandy and visit the Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic, or climb Sigiriya Rock for an amazing view of the surrounding landscape of this beautiful Buddhist country.
If you're happy to travel afar, few places beat Australia at this time of year. As well as being warm (temperatures in Melbourne typically stay around 24 degrees in the winter months), there's plenty to see and do, making Australia an ideal destination choice. Don't just look at Sydney and Melbourne, as Perth is also a good option if you've already been to Oz. Or you could head to Cairns to experience diving in the Great Barrier Reef. A winter ‘down under' will definitely be an outdoors adventure.
Okay, so the point of a winter holiday is usually to avoid the cold, but in some cases, going somewhere colder where there is plenty of sun and they know how to do winter can make you really appreciate the season. Travelling somewhere like Norway where the mountains are awash with snow gives you the chance to try something totally new and try your hand at winter sports. You can go skiing, snowboarding or even husky sledging and can spend your holiday in a gorgeous log cabin feeling cosy in front of a fire.
Is your favourite winter destination on this list?