Picture a winter sun holiday and immediately the azure seas and white sand beaches of Mauritius and the Maldives will spring to mind; quiet, private islands, villas on stilts in the sea, and drinking water from coconuts under an endless sun. These Indian Ocean destinations have a deserved reputation as some of the best places to go for winter sun for good reason. Mauritius and the Maldives are both less than 12 hours away by plane and with only a three or four-hour time difference to the UK, you don’t have to worry too much about jetlag. They’re also the perfect places to learn to dive or water-ski, or just snorkel in crystal clear waters over coral reefs — and with gentle, sloping beaches and options such as glass-bottomed boat trips and increasing facilities for children, the Indian Ocean is becoming ever more popular with families.
Where to go for Winter Sun holidays
When the nights draw in and temperatures drop in the UK, what better time to plan a holiday. But not for next summer, we’re talking about a winter sun holiday, and here is our guide to the best places to go for it.
Autumn and winter months are beautiful in the UK – crisp autumn leaves followed by clear, frosty mornings. Sadly, we also have rain to contend with, and few people look forward to the clocks going back and dark evenings drawing in. Why not break up those months with a winter sun holiday – somewhere exotic where just stepping off a plane and inhaling the scents of a different country, culture and climate will lift the spirits?
The choice of winter sun holiday destinations is fairly endless during the European winter and although it means flying long-haul, there’s bound to be a destination that’s just right for you.
The Caribbean Islands need no introduction as a fabulous winter sun holiday destination. A string of archipelagos large and small, each with their own flavour, identity and languages, the Caribbean is a place to kick back, relax and enjoy the sunshine. One of the shorter flights for a winter sun holiday, of between just nine or ten hours, Club Med has resorts in the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Martinique and Guadeloupe – as well as the Turks and Caicos islands. Some of these are adult-only resorts, others family-friendly destinations, so there’s something for everyone.
Florida is probably one of most visited places in the US by Brits in search of winter sun, but there are so many other places to explore in America – North, Central and South. The huge benefit of Florida is that there is no language barrier – and there’s also familiar food – which makes for a smooth, hassle-free experience. Disney World and Universal Studios are both must-visit destinations for families headed to Florida, and Club Med’s Sandpiper Bay resort in Florida is just a two-hour drive; perfect for an add-on or days’ excursion. Don’t disregard Brazil and Mexico though, both of which have stunning Club Med resorts offering fun and adventure in the subtropics.
If you’ve never visited Asia, the sights and smells of the Orient are unforgettable: from the moment you step off the plane, a winter sun holiday there is a guaranteed feast for the senses. If you enjoy white sand beaches, tasty and exotic food, and cultural explorations to temples and markets, Asia is a great choice.
As winter sun destinations, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia all offer a wealth of different experiences in spades, as well as guaranteed warmth and quiet relaxation. Choose between exploring the jungle beach resort of Club Med Cherating Beach in Malaysia or the private paradise of Bintan Island, Indonesia – or perhaps Phuket in Thailand, the country known as “the land of smiles”. Flight times vary between 11 and 15 hours but once you’re there, the journey is more than worth it.
With a flight time of less than four hours from the UK, and a time difference of just one hour, Morocco is the perfect winter sun destination for those pushed for time, who can squeeze just a week into their pre or post-Christmas schedule. Without jetlag, and with such a short flight time, you can enjoy warm sunshine during the UK winter with ease and still experience a diverse and different culture. Morocco is best visited during the UK winter months, when temperatures range between 20-25°C, rather than around 35-40°C during the summer months.
Want to read more about where to go for your winter sun holiday? Find out more about Club Med’s winter sun destinations here.