Winter Sun Holidays 2015

Fed up with the lack of sunlight and bitter cold of winter? You’re not alone. Join the millions of us who beat the winter blues and treat yourself to a winter sun holiday. We’ve selected our best Winter Sun Holidays 2015 where you can not only enjoy the warmth on the beach but sandboard down dunes, take a trek in the jungle or catch a huge blue marlin deep sea fishing:

Maldives

Enjoy the sunny side of life in the beautiful island nation of the Maldives. The surprisingly affordable paradise location has been a popular spot for honeymooners, but there is plenty to do for those looking to escape the winter blues. The high visibility warm sea make the Indian Ocean perfect for diving and is home to one of the richest coral reefs areas. The Maldives is a mecca for surfers, however if you have come to relax and unwind, this wonderful country is considered by many to be the premier tropical beach destination in the world. The Maldives has it all, unique turquoise sea, powder white sand and an all-year-round climate often described as “a never ending summer”.

Flight time from UK: 10 hours

Where to stay: Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, Constance Moofushi

Constance Moofushi 1

Mauritius 

The enchanting volcanic island of Mauritius has a reputation for its palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear waters and the epitome of paradise. This tropical island is perfect for deep sea fishing with an array of species including the huge blue and black marlin, yellow tuna, barracuda and many more. For land lovers, enjoy a round of golf at some of the world’s best courses or explore the island on nature walks, quad biking, zip-lining and horse riding. In summer (November to April) the temperature reaches 32°C so pack your bathing suit, plenty of sun cream and discover truly one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Flight time from UK: 13 hours

Where to stay: The Residence Mauritius, Paradise Cove Boutique HotelConstance Le Prince Maurice, Long Beach

Constance Le Prince Maurice 6

Thailand 

With sixteen million foreigners flying to the country each year, Thailand is Asia’s primary travel destination and offers a host of places to visit and things to do. The Land of Smiles has everything from the picturesque mountainous regions in the North, high-rises and neon lights towards Bangkok and tropical islands in the South. There are over 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand to explore, infamous full moon parties on Koh Phangan and some of the most unique and delicious cuisine in the world. The country is known for being particularly easy to travel around, so get a full Thai experience and embark on a South-East Asian adventure.

Flight time from UK: 12 hours

Where to stay: The Surin, Tower Club At Lebua, Casa De La Flora

Thailand

Dubai

Dubai conjures images of seven-star hotels, the world’s tallest tower, manmade islands, underwater hotels and lavish displays of wealth and luxury. Cheap flights have made this unique destination an increasingly popular retreat with activities which couldn’t be farther away from home. Try your hand at sandboarding down enormous sand dunes on a private 4×4 safari, or taking to the skies in a hot air balloon over the desert. If you really want to brighten up your winter, Dubai is famous for very cheap gold, so practice your haggling skills before taking a stroll through the dazzling Gold Souk. Dubai is renowned for scorching temperatures in the summer, reaching highs of 36°C, however the first quarter of the year is hot, but much more comfortable.

Flight time from UK: 7 hours

Where to stay: One & Only The PalmJumeirah Zabeel Saray

One and Only The Palm 5

Morocco 

Morocco holds an immediate and enduring fascination with travelers, with a whole range of activities, from hiking in the Atlas Mountains, exploring the twisting alleys Marrakech or learning to cook the exotic cuisine. For many, a trip to a traditional hammam is a must, a public steam bath to bathe and scrub with authentic concoctions for an eye-opening and relaxing cultural experience. The Djemma el Fna is the heart of Marrakech where in the afternoon snake charmers, jugglers and musicians perform while tourists snack at delicious street food stalls. For a magical night, take a camel ride into the Saharan desert, for an unforgettable night in a Bedouin tent among the dunes and beneath the stars.

Flight time from UK: 4 hours

Where to stay: Riad Joya, Royal Palm Marrakech, Mazagan Beach Resort

Luxury Boutique Moroccan Hotel 9

Brazil 

After the recent success of the FIFA 2014 World Cup, the fifth largest country in the world is attracting a huge amount of tourism to experience the samba vibe. An astonishing 90% of the region is tropical jungle, so take an exciting trek or river cruise through the unbelievable Amazon Rainforest. Visit one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer, overlooking the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro. Discover the exquisite Iguazu Falls which acts as a boundary from Brazil to Argentina, consisting of 275 waterfalls and breathtaking scenery. Winter will seem like a long lost memory when the Brazilian spirit gives you a warm and friendly welcome.

Flight time from UK: 11 hours

Where to stay: Hotel Santa Teresa

Brazil

Malaysia 

Malaysia is a friendly, culturally rich nation dotted with temples that rub shoulders sky scrapers. The 442 metre high Petronas Twin Towers and Menara KL Tower are easily Malaysia’s most recognisable and popular landmark set in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Alternatively, escape the city and explore the Cameron Highlands and Kinabalu National Park with one of the world’s largest collections of flora and fauna. In January and February, head to the chambers of Batu Caves, a series of dramatic limestone caverns, where millions of Hindu devotees perform a parade for the spectacular Thaipusam festival.

Flight time from UK: 13 hours

Where to stay: Tanjong Jara Resort, Pangkor Laut Resort

Malaysia

Barbados

Barbados is synonymous with paradise, but if you’d like to explore more than the world class beaches there is plenty more to enjoy. The botanical wonderland of Flower Forest in located in the heart of Barbados, with a vast array of trees, shrubs and flowering plants and beautiful views over lush jungle. Go underground and discover Harrison’s Cave, a unique phenomenon of nature consisting of ancient stalactites, breathtaking waterfalls and deep emerald pools. Barbados has a rich historical background and features classic sites such as George Washington House where the future president of America lived in his early years. At only 23 kilometres wide, it’s worth exploring every corner of Barbados and discover all the beauty it has to offer.

Flight time from UK: 8 hours

Where to stay: Colony Club by Elegant Hotels

Barbados

Mexico 

Mexico boasts a fantastic variety of beaches to relax on, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, ancient ruins are dotted throughout this country rich in history. Discover the history of the mysterious Mayans at the iconic archaeological site at Chichen Itza, also featuring as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Swimming with dolphins must be on everyone’s bucket list and there’s no better place to do that than on the Caribbean coastline. For an exciting day out, the recently opened to the public Rio Secreto is a unique exploration experience, exploring a natural underground river on a kayak with magnificent views of the stalactites and stalagmites.

Flight time from UK: 11 hours

Where to stay: Papaya Playa Project, CasaSandra Boutique Hotel, Esperanza

CasaSandra Boutique Hotel 1

Chris Hodges

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