As we say hello to those dreaded signs of winter from a sudden change in temperature to nights gradually drawing in, it’s time to plan your winter season getaway. After all, nothing lifts your mood better than a dose of vitamin D.
Head for exotic shores and trade those dark, cold mornings spent hogging the fire for warm sunrises peering over your balcony. Wondering where to go for winter sun? Look no further as we list the top year-round destinations.
Flight time: Around 5 hours and 20 minutes
Why go? Hurghada is a popular winter sun destination. It may be hard to believe, but when temperatures are at their coldest in the UK, this desert landscape promises averages of 20°C. With a wide selection of cheap All Inclusive holidays during off-season, grab 5 star luxury for less or a seasonal bargain with a last minute escape.
Ideally situated on the iconic Red Sea coast, Hurghada continues to charm holidaymakers with its underwater delights with access to some of the world’s best dive sites as well as a varied helping of watersports. When you’re not soaking up those pleasant rays poolside, the resort’s marina is bursting with traditional restaurants and shisha bars.
Weather: The weather is extremely mild between the months of November and February, with daytime temperatures rarely dropping below 20°C – a typical British summer. Despite enjoying less daylight hours, you’ll be happy to know it rarely ever rains in Hurghada.
Best for: This Egyption gem appeals to a wide selection of people for different reasons. Families will love it for its child-focused hotels, beach-goers will adore it for its toasty year-round climate and watersport enthusiasts won’t be able to get enough of its amazing aquatic adventures.
Top tip: It may be a good idea to pack a jacket as temperatures can drop dramatically on a night. However, this isn’t usually lower than 12°C.
Flight time: Around 4 hours
Why go? As the second largest Canary Island, Fuerteventura has mass appeal. Known for its eternal sunshine thanks to its favourable position off the northwest coast of Africa, winter is the perfect time to visit this year-round hotspot. Although quieter at this time of year, everything is open as normal, so you can enjoy the island’s famous coastline without considering those peak season crowds.
It’s also an ideal time to get a taste for the local culture. The pace is much slower in the winter months with locals taking their time to get to know you. Whether you head for big-name resorts like Corralejo or quieter spots like Costa Calma, you’re guaranteed a taste of summer.
Weather: Winter getaways in Fuerteventura are nothing like being back at home. January and February tend to the coolest months of the year, but temperatures rarely drop below 18°C. With an average annual rainfall of 10mm, your chance of showers will increase but not by much!
Best for: Fuerteventura attracts everyone from couples seeking culture to sun worshippers craving warm rays and families after some peace and quiet.
Top tip: Don’t be fooled by the island’s breezy conditions. It will often feel a lot cooler than it is, particularly on the beach, so you need to make sure you’re applying enough sun cream
Flight time: Around 4 hours and 40 minutes
Why go? Remaining a holiday favourite among sun-seeking Brits, Cyprus offers a mix of exotic wildlife, stunning beaches, ancient history and well-known party resorts. So, with one of the mildest winters in Europe and temperatures hovering around the 18°C mark, you’re onto a winner.
If it’s history you’re after, stays in Paphos come highly recommended with a UNESCO World Heritage status to its name. While, the destination’s 64 Blue Flag beaches are bound to keep families happy. What’s more, prices have been known to drop at this time of year, meaning you can bag affordable winter sun in some of Cyprus’ biggest resorts.
Weather: Averaging six hours of sunshine each day and a comfortable Mediterranean climate, winter is a great time to visit Cyprus. Of course there is a higher chance of rain, but with 340 days of sunshine per year, you certainly won’t be cold.
Best for: There’s no getting away from Cyprus’ family appeal, when you’re not taking advantage of its shallow water beaches and child-friendly attractions, it’s a top destination for honeymoons and weddings.
Top tip: Some restaurants will shut during the winter months, so we suggest doing some research beforehand. But don’t worry, there will still be enough places open to ensure you have a great time.
Flight time: Around 4 hours and 30 minutes
Why go? As the largest out of the Canary Islands, Tenerife has a slice of action for all holidaymakers. Whether you’re lured in by volcanic wonders like the gigantic Mount Teide, you’re a fan of wet rides with one of Europe’s best waterparks or you prefer to go beach-hopping with a selection of incredible shores -experience this tourist magnet without the crowds.
Guaranteeing fantastic weather during winter, this diverse landscape begs you to explore. From its rich flavours to its mountain villages and its fascinating wildlife, get to know this island one jigsaw piece at a time. Did we mention it has a legendary nightlife scene? Playa de las Americas pulls in the biggest crowds, while Costa Adeje is a close second.
Tenerife’s world-famous carnival also takes place during winter, which means you may even get to witness one of the island’s biggest street parties if you time your visit right.
Weather: January is the coolest month in Tenerife with temperatures averaging a comfortable 17°C, while December is the rainiest month with just six days of showers in total.
Best for: This European hotspot will keep everyone happy with its diverse range of resorts. There’s well-known party spots for night owls, world-famous attractions designed for families and luxury hotels ideal for couples.
Top tip: If you decide to visit the famous Mount Teide, make sure you wrap up. As Spain’s highest peak, you can expect a covering of snow during the cooler months.
Flight time: Around 3 hours and 45 minutes
Why go? If you’re seeking some winter sun without the lengthy flight time, Morocco’s close to home position means you can enjoy those warm north African temperatures in a matter of hours. With so much to see and do, dive head first into Marrakech’s colourful souks and test out your haggling skills or seek out the laid-back resort of Agadir, where 9 kilometres of sand is anticipating your arrival.
As for the surrounding landscape, you’ve got glowing Sahara sand dunes and snow-capped Atlas Mountains on your doorstep. Morocco is known for low season bargains with some fantastic All Inclusive holidays up for grabs – who knows you might even bag yourself a room upgrade.
Weather: Wondering what the temperatures are like during winter? November through to January is very similar to a summer day back home with temperatures averaging 20°C.The country is mostly dry with 300 days of sunshine per year, however you may see some rain in the coastal areas.
Best for: This exotic paradise is becoming more and more mainstream with everyone from families to couples and culture vultures adding it to their list of places to visit.
Top tip: With temperatures dropping significantly during the night, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of Morocco’s stunning riad settings.
Flight time: Around 4 hours
Why go? Combining subtropical temperatures and unforgettable vistas, Lanzarote is one of Europe’s most-visited destinations. So why wait for summer when you can head here all year round? Known for its winter sunshine, it’s never too cold to sunbathe. What’s more, this is the perfect time to experience the island’s culture with celebrations taking place between September and May.
Hoping to bag yourself a cheap deal? With flights and accommodation not reaching their full capacity, you can often steal a last minute bargain to Lanzarote. When it comes to exploring, we suggest seeking out the island’s lunar landscapes, unique architecture and soft blankets of sand, and we haven’t even got to the evenings yet. As soon as night falls, the island comes alive with a mix of music and a range of entertainment.
Weather: The weather in winter is fantastic with daytime temperatures ranging from 19 to 26°C. You may experience the odd shower, but the sun will be back shining before you know it.
Best for: Lanzarote is an obvious choice for families from its child-friendly hotels in Playa Blanca to Puerto del Carmen’s calm water coastline. Alternatively, active holidaymakers will be in their element with endless hiking possibilities, a great choice of watersports and 4×4 tours.
Top tip: For the best chance of good winter weather, head for the south of the island with stays in resorts like Playa Blanca. This part of the Lanzarote tends to be warmer and drier.
Flight time: Around 4 hours
Why go? Gran Canaria is a great option when it comes to a sun-filled escape. As one of the warmest Canary islands, look forward to comfortable temperatures all year round. Spend your days taking advantage of its delicate golden stretches, before experiencing its wild side with a trip to its many national parks.
From hard-hitting party spots like Playa Del Ingles to stays in the UNESCO-awarded city Las Palmas, Gran Canaria is just as charming during low season as it is during those peak summer months. But whatever you do, don’t miss out on a chance to see a winter sunset over the phenomenal sand dunes of Maspalomas. Remember the sun will set a lot earlier at this time of year.
Weather: Known for its constant warm, dry climate, you can enjoy peak temperatures of 21°C, even during January, which is the island’s coldest month. There is a higher chance of rain, but these are usually short, tropical showers. You’ll also enjoy six hours of daylight – so plenty of time to take in Gran Canaria’s biggest attractions.
Best for: With a number of purpose-built resorts, Gran Canaria is popular among families. While, it’s similarly appreciated for its cultural spots and outdoor adventures.
Top tip: For the best weather, head for the south of Gran Canaria. This is the warmest part of the island as its climate is similar to Tenerife’s – the Canaries hottest spot.
Flight time: Around 10 hours and 10 minutes
Why go? Although a little further afield, Mexico’s exotic sands catch the sun all year round with holidaymakers travelling far and wide to relax along its Caribbean coastline. On top of that, Mexico holidays are known for their long daylight hours, with an average of eight hours in December.
As much as the beaches are the main draw, it’s also celebrated for its Mayan civilisation and is home to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the almighty Chichen Itza. If you’ve come here to party, Cancun’s clubs are open all year round with big-name favourites like the confetti-filled Coco Bongo guaranteeing world-class entertainment.
If that wasn’t enough excitement for one trip, head into the Mexican jungle and explore the country’s natural side as you marvel at flowing waterfalls and fascinating wildlife.
Weather: Mexico is known for its tropical heat with the summer months experiencing high humidity. During the winter months there is little rain with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 29°C, making it a much more comfortable time to travel. In fact, it is often considered one of the best times to visit Mexico.
Best for: As a prime destination for honeymoons and weddings, Mexico is a hotspot for couples with its top-of-the-range hotels and romantic backdrops. However, it’s becoming increasingly popular with families thanks to its child-focused accommodation and age-appropriate excursions.
Top tip: If you want to avoid the rain altogether, travel in February. This is Mexico’s driest month.
Whether you’re looking to warm your toes before Christmas, beat the January blues or bag a half term steal in February – these are the winter sun destinations you need to book.