Banish those winter blues with a healthy dose of vitamin D and give your long suffering extremities a break! Months of plummeting temperatures, bitter winds and big winter coats are enough to send anyone a little crazy, so why not treat yourself to a sunny pick me up? From the blissful beaches of Lanzarote to the powder-white sands in the Caribbean, there's plenty of places to roll out your towel, bask under blue skies and enjoy some winter sun in 2020.
It almost feels too good to be true – while friends and family back home are piling on the layers, you'll be strolling around in t-shirts and shorts! A holiday seems even more heavenly when you're swapping chilly mornings for balmy evenings, and jetting off for a spot of winter sun is the best way to catch those coveted rays.
Steal yourself a few extra weeks of summer and escape to one of our handpicked villas! Whether you choose to laze away the day in your heated pool or craft an action-packed itinerary, tan lines and good times are only a flight away. Toasty temperatures rarely fall below 20°C across our winter sun destinations, so you can enjoy the novelty of firing up the barbecue in November or heading to the beach for New Year's!
From the end of the year right the way through to April, these dreamy destinations will have you wondering why you didn't jet off sooner…
Trade winter chills for thrills and spills and jet off to fun-filled Florida! Clue's in the name when it comes to the showstopping Sunshine State, where year-round warmth is matched by non-stop sparkle. Temperatures average at 20°C, so whether you're sunning yourself on the gorgeous Gulf Coast or hurtling around heart-racing rollercoasters in Orlando, Florida's dry season has got you covered.
Set little imaginations free and relive your own childhood nostalgia at Walt Disney World Resort. Home to a very famous mouse, Main Street's iconic Cinderella Castle and four fantasy-filled theme parks are a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for the whole family. Bursting with endless enchantment, flocks of your favourite characters, animated parades and firework extravaganzas, the only hint of winter will be in the form of seasonally decorated walkways.
Beyond the bright lights of Orlando, buzz and beloved attractions turn to powder-white sands and spellbinding sunsets. Low-key leisure resorts and beach-focused havens sit side by side on Florida's Gulf Coast, where the pace slows to a stop and holidays are all about rest and relaxation. After all, isn't that what winter sun is really all about? Crystal-clear waters and gently lapping waves are perfect for little paddlers, while bigger kids can take to the seas on speed boats and jet-skis. Lovers Key State Park is awash with wildlife and makes for a wonderful day trip. Jump in a kayak to explore the network of canals and secret lagoons – a favourite hideout spot for camera shy manatees!
No winter holiday wish list would be complete without the Caribbean! Turn up the heat and join the jet-setting elite with a trip to these tropical shores, where temperatures touch 30°C and sea waters feel like a warm bath. Days melt from one to the next on these bucket list beauties, so you're sure to return with a jealousy-inducing glow wherever you go.
Exotic elegance awaits in Barbados, an island that needs little introduction. Revered for its beaches as much as its rum-induced relaxation and legendary surf – the only winter blues you'll find here are the glittering azure waters. A favourite among foodies, tuck into traditional Bajan recipes and slow-cooked specialities. Friday's Fish Fry is a weekly event held in the town of Oistins and pairs every type of seafood imaginable with the sounds of calypso, reggae and soca music. If you're looking for an authentic local experience, you just found it!
Winter destinations don't get much dreamier than the rainforest-carpeted island of St. Lucia. Boasting the perfect blend of leisure and pleasure, nature lovers will have a field day wandering the Botanical Gardens, exploring the world's only 'drive in' volcano and hiking the towering peaks known as the Pitons. A winter warmer with the wow factor, paradise is most definitely found…
If beaches are top of your to-do list, then Antigua is the island for you. Bringing new meaning to the phrase 'spoilt for choice', a whopping 365 stretches of sugar-white sands means there's a bay for every day of the year here! Swaying palms and rolling waves are the soundtrack to this winter escape, so settle in for a week or two of flip flops and swimwear. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the towel you'll find there's plenty of historical treasures and hiking trails to enjoy too. Not to mention the chance to zip wire through treetops and discover the wild rainforest canopy for yourself…
Another all-rounder, the Dominican Republic knows a thing or two about pleasing the masses. Overflowing with captivating coastal spots, hidden waterfalls, soaring mountains, national parks, mangrove lagoons, colonial treasures and first-class golf courses – there's never a dull moment! Day-trip devotees can enjoy every kind of excursion, from horseback beach rides to whale-watching boat tours. The tricky part is squeezing it all in…
Winter sun doesn't get more fun than jammin' in Jamaica. You can tick off all the usual Caribbean quirks (think palm-fringed beaches and luscious rainforests), but this unforgettable island most definitely has more than a few hidden gems to uncover. Go from sunset swooning, cocktail sipping and Bob Marley beats to wild adventures deep in the heart of the jaw-dropping Blue Mountains. Natural beauty is where Jamaica comes into its own, so be sure to experience the rushing waters and breathtaking beauty at Dunn's River Falls and Park… Whether you're hiking through natural wonders or sitting beachside, there's a feel-good vibe pulsating through the country's core that just can't be ignored!
A winter sun staple and king in the year-round holiday stakes, Lanzarote's yuletide temperatures can creep all the way up to 24°C without even breaking a sweat – although you might be! Teeming with natural wonders, artistic creations and blissful beaches to boot, it's the perfect spot to forget all about the gloomy goings-on back in the UK. The few short rain showers that scatter the island bring the landscape to life, transforming the volcanic scenes with fresh blooms of wild flowers and dazzling greens. Nature lovers are spoilt with some of the best weather conditions for outdoor exploits, while beach bums will find the answer to their sand, sea and sun prayers. With almost 100 shores to explore, you can take your pick of sweeping, golden bays, hidden coves and family-centred resorts.
As if all that wasn't enough, the iconic Carnival dominates the Canary Island's calendar from January to March. Lanzarote's streets burst with colourful parades, crazy costumes and plenty of entertainment for an unforgettable fun-filled fiesta! Whether your bout of winter sun is kick-starting 2020 or bringing it to a close, there's no bad time to visit this holiday haven.
Another Canary classic, the spectacular, subtropical island of Tenerife has no shortage of sunshine either! Accessorised in Blue Flag beaches and breathtaking bays, your winter sun holiday will undoubtedly feature paradisiacal places to catch both rays and waves. From family-friendly, man-made resorts with all the bells and whistles, to Mother Nature's own masterpieces at Los Gigantes, there's plenty of playas to match your mood. And with temperatures of 21°C and counting, this year-round suntrap is a winter warmer that's hard to resist…
The idyllic island's biggest draw (after the beaches) is the towering tourist treasure of Mount Teide. If you want to take Tenerife in, there's no better place than the top of the 3,718m volcano. Not only the tallest peak of the Canary archipelago, it holds the title as Spain's highest mountain too! Make your way to the summit courtesy of the convenient cable car and feast your eyes on mind-melting views and awe-inspiring panoramas. Just be sure to pack your camera for this one!
Natural wonders are something of a speciality for Tenerife, from hiking trails to 4X4 jeep safaris and other adrenaline-junkie outdoor adventures, there's a whole host of ways to experience the spellbinding scenery. You'll be swapping curling up by the fire to feeling the sun's golden glow before you know it.
Welcome to a world of Cypriot delights! Holidaymakers love affair with Aphrodite's birthplace is a tale as old as time, and once you've laid eyes on the Mediterranean marvel you'll most likely be head over heels too. Catering for everyone, no stone has been left unturned when it comes to keeping the troops entertained. From scenic mountain passes to ancient sites and sun-baked beaches, Cyprus is a crowd-pleasing all-rounder with more than a few tricks up its sleeves. Locals are as warm as the weather and part of the island's unique charm, where you'll discover a culture that values family above all else.
Blissful beach days are always a winter sun winner. The warm, calm waters of the Mediterranean make for perfect paddling conditions. While Blue Flags, golden sands and fantastic facilities make up a full house for families with young children. You can swap the beach for mountains, tourist resorts for traditional towns, or a day at Pafos Zoo for a chartered boat trip out to the Blue Lagoon on the beautiful Akamas Peninsula. History hunters won't want to miss the enchanting Tombs of the Kings, as well as the never-ending list of UNESCO approved sites that are dotted around Paphos' Old Town. The icing on the already impressive cake? Winter sun holidaymakers get the run of the place!
For the inside scoop on sun-seeking across the seasons, take a peek at our 'where's hot' holiday guides…
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