If the chill in the air and the sound of Now That’s What I Call Christmas is more than you can bear, why not consider heading to the sun this winter season? It is easier than you might think to find a sunny getaway at an affordable price to inject some warmth into your British winter. We’ve rounded up some popular options to get you started:
Located just off the coast, close to the border between the Western Sahara and Morocco, the Canary Islands may be Spanish in name and culture, but their weather is unmistakeably African. With a favourable year-round climate, it is unsurprising that the archipelago receives over 12 million visitors per annum. Gran Canaria and Tenerife may be the most popular, but if you feel like escaping mass tourism and the crowds, Lanzarote may be a better bet for relaxation on wide sandy beaches surrounded by dramatic volcanic scenery. The Spanish love a celebration so you if you visit over Christmas, the New Year or Kings Day in early January you are guaranteed a spectacle not to be forgotten.
Located just a few hundred kilometres north of Tenerife, Madeira enjoys a similar year-round climate to the popular Canary Islands, yet its scenery and culture couldn’t be more different. The sub-tropical landscape is a far cry from the volcanic rock formations that characterise the Canaries. Spend your time exploring the island and its lush greenery, explore the capital city of Funchal, take a dip in the Atlantic waters or simply relax by your hotel pool. Hot sun is not guaranteed in December and January but temperatures are significantly higher than mainland Europe.
Travelling East to Thailand makes for a memorable trip at any time, and particularly so when you know you are leaving the icy chills behind you. Thailand may not be a short-hop destination but it’s certainly worth the travel once you get there. Fly into Bangkok and spend a day or two exploring this delightful Asian city before heading for the breath-taking scenery of the islands to really make the most of your trip. Thailand has an island to suit every taste, from the travellers’ destinations of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Phangan, famous for its Full Moon Parties, to the established tourist destinations of Krabi and Phuket, offering glorious beaches, gourmet food and five-star luxury accommodation.
Barbados is probably the ultimate winter sun destination. The Caribbean island is home to one of the world’s most famous and luxurious hotels, the Sandy Lane Hotel, and is perfect for spotting big-name celebrities letting it all hang out on their annual jaunt to the sun. Barbados is known for its big price tags, but if you stay away from the luxury resorts that line the west coast of the island, there is plenty of affordable accommodation to be found. Spend your time rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, partying with the locals in the all-night bars or exploring the old-style plantations of the lush interior.