Are you planning a winter sun holiday this year?
Whether you’re looking for an indulgent way to spend the Christmas holidays, or just want to grab a week of warm weather in February half-term, there are a wide range of winter sun destinations for UK families to choose from. While some of these countries are more suited to couples seeking a peaceful romantic getaway, many are bursting with entertaining activities and fantastic accommodation perfect for children of all ages.
To help you narrow down your search, here are some of the best winter sun destinations for families based in the UK.
Positioned off the coast of north-west Africa, it’s not surprising that this Spanish archipelago has one of the most temperate climates in the world. Even in winter it rarely dips below 16°C.
There are eight islands in total, all boasting dramatic volcanic scenery, a wealth of wildlife, and striking black-and-white sand beaches.
Each part of the Canary Islands has its own unique character. Visitors keen to explore more than one island during their holiday could take a cruise from Southampton which stops at all of the main ports, rather than travelling there and back by plane. Older children will love hiking through the central landscape and looking out for exotic wildlife, while kids of all ages will enjoy the coastline with sunny beach days, water parks, and snorkelling adventures.
Although not as warm as the Canary Islands in the winter months, Portugal temperatures are mild between November and February and it’s largely sunny year-round. You might not want to sit on the beach in this weather, but it makes for very pleasant walks and is still a welcome break from the gloomy rain that characterises British winters.
Head to the Algarve to sail around the coves and caves of the striking coastline and to spot dolphins on an excursion further out to sea. While in this region you can also take advantage of the many establishments dedicated to entertaining children such as Krazy World – half zoo, half adventure-activity centre – and golf courses suitable for older kids.
Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is also well-worth visiting, and children will be blown away by the incredible history. The Christmas markets are bound to be a big hit with all the family too.
If your children are old enough to deal with long distance travel, a holiday to Sri Lanka definitely has wow factor.
This island sits just below India and is incredibly diverse for its size, with beaches, national parks, ancient historical sites, and beautiful tea hills, all within easy reach of each other.
A two-week full-island tour with a private car and driver involves minimal travel but gives you the chance to see elephants and leopards on safari, explore ruined palaces and temples by bike, hike through the tea plantations, and relax on the beach in 30°C sunshine. Whatever your family are passionate about, Sri Lanka promises to be an unforgettable winter getaway for everyone.
Last but certainly not least is the idyllic Maldives. If you’re in need of some serious TLC, this is the winter sun destination for you.
Spend days unwinding by the pool and evenings taking sunset strolls along the pristine sand, relaxed in the knowledge that the kids are happy swimming and indulging in a range of thrilling water-sports such as jet-skiing, surfing, and snorkelling.
It can be difficult to find the right Maldives destination for you as there are so many options and each island is suited to a different type of traveller, for example honeymooners. It’s worth seeking specialist advice to ensure that you choose a family-friendly resort which offers the accommodation, food, and activities you need.
Have you visited any of these winter sun destinations? What’s at the top of your travel list this year?