Winter holidays to warmer countries

Winter is on its way with snow flurries already affecting parts of the UK. The months heading into 2014 have been forecast as being “exceptionally severe” with above-average snowfall and plunging temperatures expected.

If the very thought of ice makes you shiver in dread, you may want to consider heading off to sunnier climates. A growing number of us opt to head off for some warm sunshine as the temperature here drops, so we’ve pulled together some of the best hot spots for you to consider.

Sun worshippers

30°C – Kenya

Lying on the east coast of Africa is Kenya, cited as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It’s generally dry and sunny but the best period to visit is between December and March, when the sea temperature is consistent at 28°C.

For those keen to spend as much time as possible in the sun, Kenya offers a host of outdoor activities from watersports to tours of the magnificent scenery. With a rich history, you can discover cultures unchanged by the modern world. Kenya offers something for everyone from snow-capped mountains and equatorial forests, safaris and savannahs rich with wildlife, beautiful beaches and coral reef, to searing deserts and cool highland retreats.

Read more here.

28°C – Mexico

Mexico is growing in popularity as a destination for Christmas, so it may be beneficial to book early.

Offering southern jungles, snow-capped volcanoes and cactus-dotted northern deserts, Mexico is surrounded by 10,000km of coast strung with sandy beaches and wildlife-rich lagoons.

In Mexico, you can take it easy by lying on a beach, dining alfresco or strolling the streets of pretty villages. Alternatively, get active and hike forest-covered mountains or take a boat in search of dolphins or whales. Modern Mexico offers top-class museums and galleries, which document its long and fascinating history and endless creative verve. During December, you can even go ice skating at a rink set up by the Government of New Mexico if you are missing the cold and ice!

Discover more here.

25°C – South Africa

Summer in South Africa runs from November to March and the dry, warm climate makes it a perfect Christmas getaway. With its wonderfully diverse cities, South Africa makes a great place to wonder around and December is a peak time for whale watching by boat. Alongside the excellent wildlife spotting opportunities, South Africa boasts beautiful beaches, gourmet food and world-class wines to be sampled and enjoyed.

See the South African tourist website for more information.

21°C – Canary Islands

Just off the west coast of Africa, the charming Canary Islands have to be seen to be believed. Not only do they form one of the most interesting volcanic regions in the world, but they also offer a fantastic array of biodiversity.

Although the winter months, December to March, are cooler than the 30°C you can expect in the summer, it still makes a pleasant and warm alternative to cool Britannia.

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, has some stunning beach resorts, with Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos being two of the most popular. Gran Canaria is also home to some beautiful beaches – in particular Maspalomas, with its white beach and huge sand dunes which provide a spectacular backdrop. Other islands such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Gomera enjoy pleasant winter sun temperatures, and, as the peak season has long since passed, you could pick up some bargain package deals and enjoy a wonderful mix of Spanish, Latin American and African cuisine.

Read more here.

27°C – Dubai

If you fancy travelling further afield, Dubai on the Persian Gulf Coast remains hot and sunny all year round with its dry desert climate, even during the winter months. There are no real distinguishable seasons in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), meaning tourists flock to Dubai throughout the year, especially during the colder months to soak up a bit of winter sun. If you do fancy a trip to Dubai this winter, you’re not alone – forecasts suggest that there will be 67% revenue growth for the UAE tourism sector by 2016.

Beautiful beaches line Dubai’s coastline such as Jumeirah Beach, home to Dubai’s best holiday clubs and hotels. There are also a wide range of watersports on offer and golf courses galore. For spectators, a host of sporting tournaments and competitions take place during the months of December and January. And for shopaholics there are numerous souks stocking spices, gold, perfume and even fish alongside the modern and vast shopping malls.

Find out more here.

And lastly:  

1)      Before travelling overseas, always check that the Travel Advice Unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the World Health Organisation have not advised against travel to your destination.

2)      And if you are considering participating in any sporting/ hazardous activities, check your travel insurance policy wording to see whether you will be covered.