Best sunshine destinations: Winter 2016
Our recent members' survey on Winter Holidays 2016/17, proved without a doubt, that we’re all going to be searching for the sun! 90% of our valued members stated they plan to leave the UK for some of the world’s top holiday hotspots, where the temps are mild, the sun is shining and the beaches are calling.
Seems like we’re all ready to pack our bags, the only thing is, how to decide, with so many stunning choices? Here’s a look at your top picks, based on our survey results.
We completely understand why over 50% of members can’t wait to escape to Spain over winter! With the Canary and Balearic Islands, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol and the Costa Brava (to mention only a few sunny spots) you simply can’t go wrong. The pick of the bunch for year-round warm weather was the Canary Islands - especially Tenerife.
You won’t need to pack your winter woollies and the Atlantic Ocean is warm enough to swim in. Hit the white sand beaches of Tenerife, explore the giant sand dunes of Gran Canaria and discover the incredible volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote. We regularly feature fantastic cruise, hotel and package deals for the Canaries, so keep your eyes peeled for one that suits you!
Swaying palm trees, pristine sand and exotic culture wait in the Caribbean, a destination over 30% of our members can’t wait to jet off to this winter. For gorgeous beaches on a backdrop of towering mountains for hikers, St. Lucia is a popular choice. The U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix offer old plantations, national parks, water sports, shopping and accommodation that ranges from luxurious resorts to camping. The Cayman Islands are for divers, with fantastic visibility and an abundance of marine life, coral and shipwrecks.
If you’re thinking about going to Greece in winter, as over 30% of our members are, you can look forward to cheap accommodation deals and long walks on the sand – minus a throng of tourists. At the top of most wish lists, is romantic Santorini. The white-washed villas tumbling into the sea, dreamy sunsets and awe-inspiring restaurant locations make the Greek island the ideal couple’s holiday destination. During winter, you can visit ancient sites and museums in peace, comfortably hike the path from Fira to Oia and savour local wines at the vineyards. Or, check out Mykonos without the parties of summer, so you can enjoy the local vibe instead.
On average, Florida has one of the mildest winters in the USA and the sun is generally shining. You can hit the beach at the Florida Keys, Palm Beach and Miami. If you don’t want to sweat while waiting in queues at theme parks, this is a great time to take advantage of holiday deals to Orlando, to visit Disney World, LEGOLAND and Universal Studios. The dry season, from December to April, is a popular time to visit the tropical wetlands of Everglades National Park, in order to spot amazing wildlife, including over 40 species of mammals.
When you want to ensure you won’t need an umbrella on your winter sun holiday, Mexico can move to the top of your list. If it’s time to let your hair down and party, head to Cabo San Lucas. Apart from a fun night scene and tequila shots, you’ll discover the incredible rock formation of El Arco, water sports, horseback riding and decadent resorts. Families will enjoy Puerto Vallarta, with snorkelling, jungle adventures, golf courses and child-friendly hotels. To get back to nature on an eco-adventure, explore Tulum with its Mayan ruin, dramatic coastline and cave-diving opportunities.
Let’s face it, it’s always a good time to stay in an over-water bungalow on a tropical island and winter in the Maldives is no exception. Startling aqua water, secluded white-sand beaches and opulent, all-inclusive resorts mean you’ll never want to return to reality. Though it can be notoriously expensive to stay on one of these picture-perfect islands, there are some affordable options, including Fun Island Resort and Makunudu Island.
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