Where to catch those rays? Check our top five places for winter sun!
It's the time of the year when summer feels very far away, and vitamin D reserves are decidedly empty. Luckily there are some great spots out there to get your dose of winter sun, warm days, and laid-back holiday vibes. Take your pick and pack your bag.
Canary Islands are a classic – but a classic going through a bit of a renaissance. Over the past few years, the islands have been tempting a younger crowd as well and their coolness factor has been growing. This has brought with it an influx of new restaurants, surf spots and trendy shops.
The climate on the islands is known to be mild all year round and there is even a good chance of the sea temperatures being high enough for a swim. There is, however, lots of other things too to get involved besides beach life.
Gran Canaria is great for hiking, horse-back riding and windsurfing. On Fuerteventura, it is all about water sports as well as sailing and dolphin watching. Lanzarote, on the other hand, is a good choice for all nature lovers with its epic volcanic scenery including the Timanfaya national park.
Malaga has an average of 320 days of sun each year and it is also one of the warmest spots in Europe, making it a reliable choice for your winter holiday. With temperatures often around 20–25 degrees Celsius, even beach days are an option.
If you have the bad luck of catching the occasional cloudy or cool day, don't worry. Malaga has good shopping, several museums to visit and a plethora of fantastic restaurants. Check out some fresh ideas on how to spend your days here.
Malaga in the winter is also a great choice if you want to do some road tripping. You could head out to Gibraltar to marvel at the amazing views, all the way to Africa, visit the famous monkeys or try the cable car. If you are the sporty type, go to Tarifa instead. It is one of the breeziest spots in Europe and the capital of wind surfing.
Portugal is not one of the warmest places to catch your winter sun, but the climate is pleasantly mild and cloudy days are few. You could opt for a classic city break in Lisbon and enjoy the quieter period and lower prices. If you want something a bit different, however, head outside of the bigger city.
An hour’s drive from Lisbon, you will find Óbidos, a truly picturesque medieval town. Despite its small size, it is packed with cute cobblestone streets, artisanal shops and memorable places to eat in. There is even a medieval castle.
If you are staying in Porto, a trip to Douro Valley is a must. Tour the vineyards, try out local delicacies and take in the scenery of the Douro River. You could rent a car but if you really want to get a full experience, we recommend taking the train The Linha de Douro. More tips on where to go in Portugal can be found here.
Around mid-February, the rainy season is fizzling out and the best time to travel to Phuket starts. The best time to travel to Phuket is during the winter months, from November to February, when the weather tends to be lovely and dry, with low humidity and about ten hours of sunshine every day. You can't escape beach life in these conditions!
If you are willing to head out a bit from your hotel there are some great beaches with a chilled-out vibe to explore. The somewhat isolated Banana Beach is one of the area's absolute gems with amazingly clear water. If swimming is what you are after you will be pushed to find a better spot. See also our other Phuket tips.
After the sun has set you should try out the fantastic night markets dotted across the city. They offer anything and everything from street food treats to clothes. If this feels a bit too hectic, take your pick of one of the rooftop bars in Phuket and enjoy the sunset in style.
Miami, United States
With the warmest winter temperatures on mainland United States, Miami is now the place to be. While some of the locals might think the weather is not quite hot enough for swimming and sunbathing, most tourists will find the conditions just perfect.
Along beach life Miami is amazing for food – especially Latin and Caribbean food, from fancy seafood dishes to the casual Cuban sandwich. If you want to try something fresh, check out this list of brand-new eateries in the city.
The city is also known for its fantastic offering of culture, arts and fashion. Whether you are a modern design enthusiast or want to grab yourself one of the latest TikTok trends, Miami will have you covered. See some of our favourites here.