Top 10 Winter Sun Destinations

Top Picks

When the weather turns dark and gloomy, the thought of escaping the cold and mundane weather for a week or so really does sound appealing. Although some of us love the winter cold and the festivity that comes with it, others are constantly chasing the sun – so why don’t we join them? We’ve selected our top ten winter sun destinations to help you get inspired this winter, and to help you discover your perfect sunny getaway! Picture this... no more winter coats, no scarfs, no more soggy umbrellas; instead you’ll be relaxing under the glimmering sun, breathing in that rejuvenating fresh sea breeze, indulging in the exotic aromas that surround you and the feel of that soft white sand beneath your feet – now that sounds more like it!

Now for the million dollar question: Where is the best place to spend Christmas on the beach?

The Maldives, South Asia

When to go: December - April

Average winter temperature: 30°C

As this enchanting destination is so close to the equator, typical seasons don’t really exist here – therefore, there never really is a bad time to go to the Maldives. But, if you’re looking to chase the winter sun, UK winter season is definitely the quintessential time of summer in the Maldives! Imagine pristine golden sands, clear-blue waters and unbelievable beaches — absolute heaven. Formed of over 1200 individual private islands, escape the every-day mundane worries (and of course, the weather) and explore the breathtaking hidden world of under-water treasures, swim alongside the rainbow-coloured marine life through awe-inspiring coral reefs, indulge in the completely remote, castaway-fantasy islands and … need we say more?

Be sure to stay at the calm bliss of the Diamonds Thudufushi Beach and Water Villas. Hovering majestically over the saphire-coloured waters, this enchanting getaway is a stay that you can truly personalise and craft into your ideal Maldivian adventure! Whether it’s tantalising your tastebuds with some delicious European and Asian ingredients at their over-water aqua restaurant, experiencing an array of water activities or just completely reconnecting with nature, the endless views of the sea’s translucent blue will leave you dreaming about it forever.

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, North America

When to go: November - March

Average winter temperature: 26°C

Formed of a magical mixture of ancient and modern cultures, dazzling Mayan ruins and beautiful stretches of tropical coastlines, Mexico’s enchanting Yucatan Peninsula is the one of the best winter sun holidays. Nestled in the southeastern part of Mexico, separating the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, the colourful underwater scenery truly is like no other — offering some of the best diving and snorkelling sites in the world!

Whether it’s snorkelling with sea turtles just south from Playa de Carmen, exploring the colonial history through awe-inspiring architecture in the Merida “The White City”, swimming next to the 30-feet long whale sharks in the Isla Holbox or indulging in the heaven-on-earth experience of the Bacalar Lagoon, be sure to spend these dark months in famed Tulum — one of Mexico’s more eco-friendly escapes and the best place to unwind.

Relax on the beach all day, lose yourself under the Mexican sun and discover your perfect stay at the sophisticated Jashita Tulum. A place where tropical tranquility is only just the beginning, this spellbinding retreat is located just 10km north of Tulum and offers the best of both worlds with the surrounding jungle right on a private beach. Wake up with morning yoga overlooking the crystalline Caribbean sea, taste some delicious, freshly grilled lobster and indulge amid the lush bougainvilleas. If anywhere can provide you with complete rejuvenation this winter, it’s Jashita Tulum.

Oman, Middle East

When to go: October - April

Average winter temperature: 26°C

Dazzling with year-round sunshine, Oman is your perfect Middle Eastern escape with dramatic open desert spaces, hidden coves, golden beaches and magical towns. For those looking for a less-glitzy, laid-back alternative to Dubai, indulge in the fragrant valleys of rose and sandalwood that flows through the air, explore the grand mosques and bustling souks, and feel completely enchanted by this otherworldly terrain.

Nestled perfectly on a golden sweep of sand between the magnificent Al Hajar Mountains and the glimmering Gulf of Oman, Muscat, has a history dating back to antiquity, and is an absolute must-go during these winter seasons. There is a minimalistic haven that was designed to be as calming and gentle as the waves lapping against the gulf, waiting for your arrival – the timeless oasis of The Chedi Muscat. From the lantern-lined reception to the expansive ocean views from the modern water gardens, feel completely rejuvenated at this gorgeous retreat and treat yourself to an uplifting Himalayan crystal body polish at the spa. The infinite desserts, jaw-dropping mountain ranges and secluded beaches in Oman will keep you from wanting to return back to the gloomy weather of British winter!

Sri Lanka, Asia

When to go: January - April

Average winter temperature: 27°C

A spellbinding mixture of cultures, languages and ethnicities, Sri Lanka is one of the best places to visit during our winter season, and has now turned into a bucket-list holiday destination for all to tick off. Avoiding the monsoon season from May to September, the uniqueness of Sri Lanka has its visitors captivated by its enchanting golden beaches, timeless ruins, rainforests and of course, its wildlife. With never ending gems constantly appearing in this unique country in South Asia, regardless of the weather, Sri Lanka is worth the visit all year round if you’re up for the challenge. If you’re looking for a true breath of fresh air, this is the perfect place to catch a spot of christmas sun.

Nestled within the living World Heritage site of Galle, an immersive natural paradise awaits your arrival. The family-orientated boutique of Why House sits beautifully on the south coast of Sri Lanka and places you right in the heart of acres of tropical plants and fauna. If a retreat that's completely off the beaten track is what you’re searching for, you’ve hit the jackpot at Why House! Surrounded by tranquil gardens and rice paddy fields, enjoy the very best of this tropical paradise. Formed of 10 individually decorated suites with private gardens or terraces, indulge in some morning yoga in the shala, dive into the nature-inspired swimming pool and be spoilt for choice with the peaceful magic that surrounds you.

Australia, Oceania

When to go: December - February

Average winter temperature: 26°C

Leave your winter wear at home and spend this Christmas surfing the waves down under. If there has to be one thing about the magical Australia, it’s their incredible weather! Famed for its large and populous urban locations, great expanses of unspoiled natural environments, enchanting golden beaches and home to a plethora of wildlife like nowhere else, discover the wonders of Australia this winter. Whether you’re hanging out with the penguins on Phillip Island, learning how to surf at the famous Bondi beach, watching a magnificent show at the Sydney Opera House or snorkelling through the breathtaking colours and underwater sea creatures in the Great Barrier Reef, be sure to take your camera and capture the awe-inspiring red colour palettes of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There isn’t just one thing that attracts travellers to Australia, it’s absolutely everything. This glorious country has to be one of the best places to visit during the UK's winter seasons, and has many magical gems hidden in every corner. What better way to spend Christmas on the beach anyway?

Kenya, East Africa

When to go: November - March

Average winter temperature: 26°C

From silhouetted savannah sunsets and immense herds of wildlife, to concrete jungles and magnificent cultures, spend this winter in East Africa and be enchanted by the magical country of Kenya. Although when you think Kenya, you imagine majestic animals roaming free as they please, snow-capped equatorial mountains, magical grasslands and locals living in fascinating traditional communities, this fascinating country truly is a place that makes this world a more colourful place.

If you’re planning on spending your winter break here, be prepared to witness some of the most spectacular views to ever exist; from the famous lions, elephants, buffalos, elephants and rhinos, to the world's largest tropical freshwater lake, Kenya is a fascinating world with mysteries beyond your imagination.

Nestled in the leafy suburb of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, stay at the delightful Tribe – a colourful hotel perfectly exemplifying East African culture. Formed of spaciously charming rooms and suites, indulge in over 900 hand-sculpted artefacts from all over Africa that grace the hotel walls, tantalise your tastebuds with some delicious flavours at the Jiko restaurant and soak up that gorgeous Kenyan sun whilst you take a dip in the pool. What a perfect way to spend your winter holidays, right?

Costa Rica, Central America

When to go: December - March

Average winter temperature: 32°C

Unlike almost all the other countries in the world, Costa Rica is made up of many different climate zones, which comes to the UK’s advantage during the winter seasons. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, this is your ideal destination if you’re all for the “go big or go home” motto, as it’s pretty impossible to find another destination like Costa Rica. With sensational national parks, magnificent mountain ranges, glorious beaches, animal sanctuaries and more, this tropical oasis is truly otherworldly. Step into this rainforested, Central American country and feel like you’ve just entered an entirely new planet. Known for its bio-geographical diversity, it has been described by the National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on Earth” – and it certainly is. Whether it’s visiting the turtles on Tortuga Island, hiking through the enchanting Arenal Volcano, swimming in the magical cascade of La Fortuna Waterfall, indulging in the Tabacon Hot Springs in the middle of the rainforest or spending a couple of days in the indigenous communities, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities. Once you step foot into Costa Rica, you’ll never want to return to the concrete jungle you came from!

Prepare yourself for complete solitude at the enchanting Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas. Formed of 21 admirable villas perched on the pristine Guanacaste peninsula, top off your magical holiday by checking into this breathtaking stay. From an impressive infinity pool with indulgent panoramic views, to rain showers and contemporary minimalism, this luxury adults-only boutique is one of the most spine-tingling stays around. Watch the sunrise as you rejuvenate with some morning yoga, indulge in some delicious sea-and-farm-to-table ingredients at the cliffside restaurant, and get in touch with your eco side with its lush surroundings. If there’s one way to spend your winter-sun holiday in Costa Rica, it’s at Casa Chameleon.

Brazil, South America

When to go: October - February

Average winter temperature: 31°C

A multicultural destination filled with everything from exquisite beaches and gorgeous rainforests, to fascinating cities and of course, home to the most colourful carnival in the world; escape the cold weather and travel to the magical Brazil. Although it’s the largest country in South America and the fifth largest worldwide, Brazil is the definition of a winter-sun getaway, appealing to all tastes. Due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere, Brazil's seasons are the complete opposite to ours — making their winter our summer, and vise versa. Whether you decide to wander through the sprawling cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, discover its exotic islands and monumental rivers, or of course, explore the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest, you are spoilt for choice in Brazil.

Nestled within the peaceful historic town of Paraty, top off your indulgent winter-sun getaway by checking into the vibrant Casa Turquesa Maison D ́Hôtes. Formed of just 9 individually decorated suites, this restored 18th-century townhouse provides every guest with the most personalised and intimate stay. From unique, turquoise colour schemes and intricate details that fill the hotel, to a complete welcoming atmosphere, relax in the decadent garden courtyard after a long day of exploring, and indulge in the exotic plants and a hydromassage pool that surrounds you.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

When to go: November - March

Average winter temperature: 26°C

If you’re looking for year-round sunshine and a sense of complete luxury, Dubai is your obvious choice. Filled with exquisite beaches, amazing shopping, incredible hospitality and ultramodern architecture, pack your bags and hop on the next flight to this glamorous playground. This escape is perfect for both families and friends or coupled sun-seekers. It is known to be one of the best places to shop in the world, so plan your visit right and be sure to attend the out-of-this-world Dubai Shopping Festival that runs from Boxing Day until February 2020! If shopping isn’t your thing, you are spoilt for choice with the array of activities on offer during the winter season in this magnificent city. Whether it’s indulging in the traditional stalls in Old Souk, indulging in some deliciously authentic Arabic specialities or soaking up that Arabian sun by the pool or on the beach, discover your perfect winter-sun destination here.

Nestled within the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre district, be sure to top off this perfect escape at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel DIFC. Designed with a gorgeous boutique vibe, indulge in the popping works of art that are scattered throughout, swanky furnishings and complete extravagance that this hotel has to offer.

Cape Town, South Africa

When to go: November - March

Average winter temperature: 27°C

For your perfect beach holiday, Cape Town is best during the UK's winter season as their temperatures peak around that time. Although it is the most popular time of year to visit due to its hot temperatures, this is a great winter-sun destination if you don’t mind being surrounded by a few tourists. With temperatures peaking around December to February, escape your everyday worries and drive along the magnificent coastlines with rewarding panoramic views in South Africa’s capital. From breathtaking white-sand beaches and stunning scenery, to world-class wines and delicious delicacies, Cape Town’s climate is the reverse of ours, just like Australia, so what perfect time to visit than now?

Perfectly located under the famous Chapman’s Peak, stay in the enchanting WATERLINE – an ideal haven of effortless comfort. This intimate private villa takes pride of place on the dunes overlooking Noordhoek beach with panoramic views of the sea and mountains, and is just a short drive from the city centre! For those looking for a more relaxed escape, WATERLINE’s proximity to fantastic hiking or horse riding couldn't be more ideal!

recommended HIP Hotels

Explore Tribe Nairobi
Explore The Chedi Muscat Muscat
Explore Casa Turquesa Maison d'hôtes Paraty
Explore Four Seasons Hotel DIFC Dubai
Explore Why House Galle
Explore Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas Guanacaste
Explore Jashita Tulum Tulum
Explore WATERLINE Cape Town
Explore Diamonds Thudufushi Maldives South Ari Atoll