As travel corridors open and the British weather gets wetter, colder and darker, there’s no better time for travellers to set sights on winter sun. Holidaymakers eager for a dose of vitamin D need look no further as we’ve selected the best destinations from around the world that deliver on sunshine; from Morocco, Japan, The Islands of Tahiti, and even across the Pond.
A short hop to winter sun adventures in Morocco
As Ryanair resumes flights to Marrakech and Agadir from London Stansted and Manchester airports, a splash of winter sun is close at hand. Home to the vast Sahara Desert and the soaring Atlas Mountains, Morocco is perfectly perched on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts to provide a diverse range of landscapes. As well as trekking and hiking, Morocco offers a host of other adventure activities; from overnight camping in the desert, surfing and yoga retreats, cycling, rafting and kayaking, to kite surfing. Travellers can soak up the souks of Marrakech and enjoy a city break or those in search of an off the beaten path adventure can head further south of Agadir and into the desert town of Dakhla. In addition to Ryanair, Morocco is also currently served by Royal Air Maroc which operates from London Heathrow to Casablanca three times weekly, and Air Arabia which departs from London Gatwick to Tangier twice weekly.
Feel the warmth of the Gulf in Florida’s Paradise Coast
With temperatures averaging 20C during the winter, Florida’s Paradise Coast is an ideal destination for those looking to feel the warmth of the sun, sand between their toes and fresh coastal air. A natural and cultural gem tucked away in Southwest Florida, far from the crowds of Orlando and Miami, the aptly named destination spans Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades. It offers visitors over 30 miles of wide, pristine beaches looking out onto the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and adventures in natural wilderness and nature. Naples and Marco Island provide a perfect blend of city attractions and natural retreats, with award-winning beaches, cultural attractions, boutique shopping, fine dining, spa and golf courses whilst the Everglades is a real portal to adventure. The best way to explore the UNESCO certified marshland is via a guided kayak tour through the mangroves where visitors will encounter wildlife amongst nature and often paddle alongside dolphins, manatees and birds.
Winter waves in Tahiti, The Islands of Tahiti
Experience a tropical island adventure in the South Pacific this winter and travel to the sun-kissed Islands of Tahiti. Home to the best waves, Tahiti is a surfer’s paradise due to its position facing the full uninterrupted force of the South Pacific. There are two surf seasons – winter, April to September and summer, October to March. Teahupoo Beach, situated on the southwest of The island of Tahiti, is the go-to for surfers seeking some winter waves this season. With the Tahiti Pro surfing event taking place at the end of August heading to Teahupoo during the winter months is the perfect way to beat the beach crowds and solely enjoy the waves. Teahupoo has extensive surfing locations with seven spots, within five miles of each other, where surfers go to catch the waves all breaking in different swells and winds.
Escape the cold and travel to subtropical Okinawa, Japan
Okinawa is a sub-tropical island range which rarely drops below 20C year round, making it the perfect destination to visit for winter sun. Okinawa offers gorgeous coral reefs, hosting 200 species of coral, crystal clear seas, white sand beaches and stunning natural scenery. Its waters are home to an abundance of marine wildlife including tropical fish, sea turtles, humpback whales, manta rays and sharks. The winter months are the perfect time to enjoy the spectacle of humpback whale migrations, as well as diving and snorkeling. Stay in the newly opened luxury 4* Hoshino Resort RISONARE Kohamajima for a slice of beachside glamour.
Enjoy Japan in the Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu
Kagoshima is located in the South West of Japan on the island of Kyushu, boasting sub-tropical climates and warm weather during the winter months. Kagoshima is overlooked by the stunning active volcano, Mt Sakurajima, which is situated just 4km away from Kagoshima City. The volcano provides thermal activity meaning the islands of Kyushu are well known across Japan for their natural hot springs and Onsen culture. Kagoshima is the 2nd largest hot spring prefecture in Japan with Ibusuki, Myoken and Miyanojo Onsens all worth a visit. Visitors can find beaches in all seven of the prefectures, as well have a coastal region. Many will have local food stalls and shops lining the beach offering frehly-caught seafood and locally produced goods.