From balmy beaches to sun-drenched rainforests, there are many places where winter hasn’t quite found its footing. To help you escape the cold and find a sunlit haven, here are our top picks on where to book your next winter sun destination.
1. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is a tropical island marked by volcanic mountains, sparkling beaches, and colorful coral reefs. The island gives a taste of both the luxurious and the quaint: with the world’s finest resorts and spas juxtaposed with tranquil yoga and meditation centers. There are lively moon-lit parties taking place in tucked-away coves and more mainstream events at popular places like the Potato Head Club and La Favela Nightclub. Ubud, the center of Bali, is a focal point of Balinese culture, offering traditional art, dance, and music festivals. You can also find the Monkey Forest Sanctuary here, where hundreds of monkeys make for the perfect daytime companions and photo bombers. Bali is also home to many religious sites: the cliff-side Uluwatu temple, the elephant cave, as well as more than 10,000 other Hindu Temples. Flavor profiles like coconut, ginger, curry, and lemongrass swirl through savory local protein and veggie-based dishes. And of course, there are the pools. Bali is renowned for them: long, luxurious sweeps of blue entrenched in tropical leafery, usually overlooking broad oceans and rainforests.
2. Marrakech, Morocco
The ancient city of Marrakech is home to ornate palaces, sweeping deserts, and bustling bazaars. Balmy temperatures take over the North African wonderland during the winter, inciting people from all over to explore its unique local culture. Haggle your way through its famous medinas, like the Jemaa el Fna Medina, to purchase street jewels, exotic spices, fine crafts, and more. Take a camel ride through the thousands of palm trees at Les Palmeraie, or spend an afternoon sipping sweet Morrocan mint tea at the luxurious La Mamounia, one of the most Instagrammed places in the city. With hardly any stale moments, Marrakech is bursting with culture, diversity, and a broad mix of flavors that promise to inspire all the senses.
3. Sydney, Australia
Sydney offers it all. Stunning natural beauty, world-class dining, and stimulating local events. The harbor-side city is a retreat from the mundane and an entry point into a world of wonder and inspiration. Sydney’s temperate climate is perfect for dipping into its many harborside swimming pools, such as the North Sydney Olympic Pool, which holds an unbeatable view of the Harbour Bridge. Then there’s Bondi beach, Australia’s most iconic beach, which stretches out in white sand and full waves that draw surfers from all over. You can also sample fine wine from 150 local wineries at Hunter Valley, the country’s oldest wine region. There, you can book tours, stay overnight, and seal the experience with a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards.
Mauritius is made up of picturesque beaches and deserted coves, luscious greenery, and tropical flowers. The island hangs just off the coast of Africa and offers plenty to do and see during its warm winters. You can hike your way up the rain-forested Le Morne Brabant, or go snorkeling in Blue Bay to experience the rich underwater life. Take a cycling tour through the picturesque areas such as Chamarel, or eat a fresh sea urchin right out of the Indian ocean at Lux* Le Morne. Mauritius has a rich local culture, with cuisine that blends Creole, European, Indian, and Chinese palates.
5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
With a stream of dense palm trees lining its golden beaches, Punta Cana is famously dubbed the Coconut Coast. The island offers some of the most beautiful beach resorts in the world, including Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, Tortuga Bay, and Sanctuary Cap Cana. Visit Dolphin Discovery to swim with dolphins, or Manati Park to get up close and personal with all kinds of birds and reptiles. Take a boat through sparkling snorkeling reefs and deserted lagoons, or go zip lining through lush tropical mountains. Whatever you choose, Punta Cana will prove a peaceful, beautiful backdrop for your next winter sun escapade.
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Temperatures drop to the mid-twenties making it a lot more comfortable. Cyprus One of the best places for winter sun in Europe is Cyprus.
I have explored Portugal in December, and it was one of the best experiences to enjoy sunny days, fewer crowds and pretty beaches, unlike the other parts of Europe that were chilly! AZORES Among the top European winter sun holidays destination in Portugal is the splendid Azores Islands, an archipelago situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, far away from the mainland. The islands are considered a part of Portugal but thanks to its secluded location, Azores has developed its unique culture, traditions and rugged landscapes most parts of which are less explored.