We’ve all been there; the clocks go back and after that extra hour of sleep, it’s nice to think back to a summer well spent. Soon you realise the season of long, dark nights and next to no sunshine has arrived. It’s time to take the matter by the scruff of the neck and find yourself some sunshine. The search for sun in the winter months isn’t actually as hard as you may expect and there are some places that are surprisingly close to home that you can venture to. Below I have listed my top five winter sun destinations that you can visit on a budget.
1. Canary Islands
- Average October temperature: 23°C
- Time difference: 0 hours
- Flight time: 4 hours
- Details: With 12 isles to choose from you won’t be short of choice. From the arid landscape of Fuerteventura with perfect waves for surfers to Lanzarote’s volcanic rocks and quieter beaches, there really is something for everyone. Any young sun worshippers should seek out Tenerife’s Los Gigantes, the party town of the Canary Islands. Each island offers something unique and interesting. Winter sun is a dead cert, and enjoying New Year’s Eve here in the traditional Spanish way is a delight. For each of the twelve tolls of the bell, a grape is eaten to bring prosperity in the coming year.
- Average October Temperature: 21°CTime difference: 0 hours
- Flight time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Details: This bustling metropolis is full of winding alleyways and vibrant souqs (open-air markets) where spices, teas and just about anything else can be bought. A strong ability to haggle will help you no end as you can expect prices to be hiked at the sight of your digital camera and guidebook. While it seems a million miles from the UK this city is still quite western, a relic of French colonialism means that our neighbour’s language is the official tongue here. A grounding in it will help you no end. For a beginner’s guide to French vocabulary, check out our blog post here.
- Average October Temperature: 27°C
- Time difference: +2 hours
- Flight time: 5 hours 15 mins
- Details: Unlike the rest of Egypt this tourist safe haven requires no Visa for entry. The glorious sprawling beaches are a sight to behold even when it’s snowing back at home. If lounging on the beach becomes all too much to handle, you can always take a trip into Ras Mohamed National Park, and explore the beautiful coral reefs and untapped natural environment.
- Average October temperature: 25°C
- Time difference: +2 hours
- Flight time: 4 hours 30 mins
- Details: A tiny island that is well versed in political upheaval. This shouldn’t concern you nowadays as a sense of calm has descended on this split island. Turkish and Greek islanders cohabit the island in an uncomfortable yet stable truce. The island is rather anglo-centric with a great number of ex-pats settling here in later life, not to forget the contingent of 3,500-odd British troops stationed on the island. Old school clubbers will enjoy the bright lights of Ayia Napa while those in search of a more sedate time need only turn to one of the many beaches.
- Average October temperature: 27°C
- Time difference: +8 hours
- Flight time: 16 hours 15 mins (with one stop-off)
- Details: While this is the furthest flung holiday destination on our list, it remains reasonably well priced. The flights themselves may set you back a fair amount, yet a recent Post Office traveller survey found that of all long haul destinations this was routinely rated the best value for money. This is the most picturesque of Indonesia’s islands, surrounded on all sides with quiet and beautiful beaches. The longer flight journey can be seen as a drawback but if you really want to escape UK winter, what better way than to travel to the other side of the planet?
These five destinations will guarantee an escape from the oncoming cloudy weather, one last chance to get some sun. No amount of planning can ensure that the sun will always shine, but it can make your trip as seamless as possible. Book your car hire in advance through easyCar and you can sail through the airport straight to the sun-drenched good times that await.