Top 5 Winter Sun Destinations

I love Autumn and Winter, I put it down to being a November baby and a big kid at Christmas but as soon as the festivities are over it's really easy to start feeling the winter blues. The weather is miserable and there's not much to look forward to, it can be hard to get motivated and feel up beat. For my 21st birthday we went to Egypt for a week and came back just in time for Christmas Eve and it was brilliant way to unwind and give my skin some much needed Vitamin D. This year we kept our New Years celebrations low key and headed off for a city break in Belfast at the start of January. Although there was no sunshine it was definitely a good way to spend my annual leave, I went back to work feeling energised and back into routine rather than lethargic after a week spent on the sofa eating chocolates and Christmas left overs. We went to Turkey in the Summer and would go back in a heartbeat for some sunshine and relaxation but you can't guarantee that in the Winter months. I've put together my Top 5 Winter Sun Destinations with a little help from Holiday Gems.

Cape Verde has been on my bucket list of places to go for years. This collection of tiny islands off the coast of Africa has sunshine nearly every single day, what is there not to love about that? In January or February the temperature is around 21°C so there's still the chance to get a tan whilst exploring the glamorous beaches and hopping between the ten islands. Cape Verde has a "no stress" motto which is perfect after the chaos of December and before heading back to work in the New Year.

Tenerife is a perfect winter sun destination and it's only a 4 hour(ish) flight compared to around 6hours for Cape Verde. It's the largest of the Canary Islands and probably the most popular with it's perfect year round temperatures. There's so many hotels to choose from in Tenerife you really can have your slice of paradise. There's plenty to do whether you're travelling as a family, a couple or solo. Highlights include the Loro Parque -animal park and aquarium, Mount Teide - the world's 3rd larger volcano and Siam Park - one of the best water parks in the world, among so much more.

One of the most popular places with people at my work, Madeira is a Portuguese Island with warm weather, natural beauty and great restaurants. The flight is only around 4 hours, so similar to Tenerife, with warm temperatures and a Mediterranean climate. Maderia isn't a sandy beach destination, instead you've got the chance to explore mountain trails, hidden coves and pebbly beaches. Dophin and Whale spotting is another popular activity making this a lovely winter holiday for families.  

Hailed as one of the warmest places in Europe in winter Gran Canaria would be a beautiful destination for a winter break. The white sandy beaches look absolutely stunning and if lying back and sunbathing isn't for you there's so many water sports on offer - scuba diving, windsurfing, fishing and swimming with dolphins. January and February also seeing the International Music Festival come to Gran Canaria bringing with it 600 musicians from all over the world.
Malta is the closest to home so if you're not too keen on flying then Malta might be the winter sun destination for you as it's only 3 and a half hours away. It's located between Italy and the North African Coast and is another island with idyllic, year round sunshine. There's stunning beaches, quaint harbours and cobbled streets to explore. Malta is also the perfect destination for history lovers who want to stroll through villages oozing with culture and 7000 year history.

Where would be your ultimate winter sun destination? Does the length of a flight affect your choice of location?

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