The average UK winter can last from October until March – that’s around six months of short days, long nights, drizzle and darkness. A winter sun holiday can break this stretch, allowing you to enjoy warmth in a sun-drenched beach while the UK battles with the elements.
If it were possible, winter sun holidays would be available on prescription. The UK’s long, dark winters can take their toll, with people suffering from a shortage of light, vitamin D and spending time outdoors.
Jetting off somewhere warm during the winter months can give you a well deserved rest and reinvigorate you for the year ahead – as well as provide a welcome break from the darkness and bad weather.
One of the surprising benefits of the location of the UK is that you don’t have to travel far if you’re looking for somewhere warm to spend winter. Holiday Gems offers incredible winter sun deals all over the globe, and here we list the top five winter sun holidays in 2020-2021 that are the most popular with our sun worshipping customers!
So where’s hot in winter? Let’s find out!
Flying to the Canary Islands for some much needed sunshine in winter is a great idea. Lanzarote is located just off the coast of West Africa, and benefits from the heat and sunshine enjoyed by the nearby Western Sahara. With its range of hotels, activities and restaurants, this island is the perfect cheap winter sun break for families in search of fun at a price that doesn’t break the bank.
Average temperature in December is 19 degrees Celsius, while the sea temperature is 20 degrees Celsius – perfect for a warm dip. Flight times from the UK are around 4 hours 25 minutes with plenty of flights available from all major airports.
While Gran Canaria is famous for its glorious coastline, its mainland is well worth exploring too. In the wintertime, we recommend treks around the pine forests and volcanoes to find out more about its ‘one continent in miniature’ reputation.
Slightly further south than Lanzarote, Gran Canaria enjoys highs of 22 degrees Celsius in December, however this can sometimes dip to around 15 degrees on rare occasions. Holidaymakers can enjoy an average of six to seven hours of sunshine in the depths of winter, but the sea temperature is a very inviting 21 degrees.
Tenerife has been much loved as a winter sun destination for many years, and it never disappoints. While the coastline provides sun, sand and sangria for the millions of tourists that flock here for year round sunshine, it’s the other side of the island that has hidden treasures including tropical forest walks, colonial towns and dramatic landscapes including Pico del Tiede.
You can reach Tenerife in just over four and a half hours from most major UK airports. Once there, you can enjoy temperatures around 20 degrees, which goes down to 14 degrees in the evening. While the UK has one hour of sunshine in December and January, Tenerife basks in six to seven hours a day – the perfect antidote to winter chills.
The island chain of Cape Verde (sometimes referred to as Cabo Verde), is situated in Senegal around 500km off the coast of Senegal. With its range of isles, Cape Verde offers something different to every type of traveller. From the tropics of Santo Antão, to the beaches of Sal and Maio and the cosmopolitan buzz of São Vicente, it offers you a smorgasbord of experiences.
Unsurprisingly for its location, Cape Verde is glorious in the winter. The average temperature is around 24-25 degrees Celsius in wintertime, with around six to seven hours of sunshine a day. Flight times from the UK to Cape Verde are around six hours.
Orlando makes an amazing winter sun family holiday. The area is in the centre of things – with Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And that’s not forgetting to mention the Kennedy Space Centre, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium and the Wild Florida Gator Park.
And if it’s sun you want, Orlando is the place to go. With average highs of 23 degrees Celsius and seven hours of sunshine a day in December, this a welcome escape for anyone looking to leave the winter blues at home. A non-stop flight from the UK across the Atlantic Ocean can take between nine and ten hours, so will suit anyone looking to take a longer break in the sun.