The best places to find winter sun
Once December festivities have come and gone, people look ahead to their next break. Most of us will automatically venture towards a summer vacation, but why not consider a winter holiday? There are many destinations which work really well for this, and we’ve compiled a few of our faves.
The canary islands are a great shout if you want to get away, but don’t fancy travelling too far. Although only about 4 hours away, Tenerife has one of the most stable climates on the planet. This means you can catch rays well into the twenties during winter. Plus, is isn’t just about the beaches here – there are so many surprises to be found on this sun-soaked island. From the lunar-like landscape of Mount Teide, to the mountain village of Masca, take a moment to explore the far corners of this fantastic destination, and you won’t regret it.
A destination with great weather year round, this Southeast Asian island is perfect for a winter retreat. The west coast beaches get the best weather November through to April, so head here for sunbathing, surfing and snorkelling. Many great beaches aren’t far from Columbo, the capital. Here you can take a ride in a trishaw, tuck into some Kothu Rotti and visit the Gangarama Vihara. A road trip down the west coast towards Mirissa will see you visiting cinnamon plantations, witnessing baby turtles hatch and whale watching.
Rio de Janeiro
Sugarloaf Mountain. Christ The Redeemer. Copacabana Beach. There are so many standout landmarks in Rio. The weather is hot year round, so visiting at the start of the year isn’t a problem. Plus, the infamous carnival – the biggest carnival in the world – also takes places around February, so winter is arguably the best time to go. Beating the winter blues isn’t hard in this vibrant and exciting Brazilian metropolis. Conquer your fear of heights tackling the mighty Pedra da Gávea, or for a tamer approach – drive to Mirante Dona Marta and watch the sun go down over the cityscape.
One of the world’s most biodiverse countries, this Central American gem is home to half a million species. Get jungle fever by staying in an eco-lodge, hunt for spider monkeys, bathe in thermal pools, investigate waterfalls and volcanoes, bird watch and white water raft … A world of nature will be at your fingertips. The colonial capital, San José, is not as old as many other Latin American cities, however it is a great starting point for exploring the rest of this compact country. The dry season occurs from November to April, and accommodation tends to get booked up far in advance during this time.
The best time to visit this middle eastern Emirate is during the winter months. Temperatures from June to September soar well above the 30s and sometimes 40s, making most outdoor adventures uncomfortable – if not impossible. During the rest of the year, waters are still warm, the shops are nicely air conditioned and the beach clubs are open. It is also much more possible to wander the outdoors during the day, whilst still comfortable enough outside at night.
Funchal is well known for its New Years Eve celebrations – the streets and skies are lit up like no other city. People travel far and wide to see the new year in, while locals offer homemade wine to guests. However, the months following December are also a great time to visit. You’ll still get enough Portuguese sun as Madeira’s position means it is blessed with a subtropical climate. Pair that with wicker toboggan rides and incredible walks and you’ve got yourself a winter retreat. And don’t forget – visit the Cabo Girao Skywalk and stand above the second highest cliff on the planet.