We’ve hand-picked five top destinations so that you can begin the year in style without having to break the bank. Take a break from the winter doom and gloom and check out these fantastic winter sun destinations.
Morocco – Don your fez for colourful winter break
Cheapest return flights from UK: £41 (Fes), £43 (Rabat), £50 (Marrakech)
For many tourists Morocco can be that little bit too warm in the summer but during January temperatures are incredibly pleasant. The bustling city of Marrakech for instance has an average January high of 19 degrees and not a lot of rainfall either. It’s a charming place with its brightly coloured street stalls, beautifully designed mosques and luscious gardens.
Fes, often considered the cultural capital of Morocco, is steeped in a rich history and features the world’s largest car-free area. Taking a stroll through the Medina of Fez, the oldest part of the city is an enriching experience and it’s easy to see why it has UNESCO World Heritage status.
Malta – Culture, relaxing and winter warmth
Cheapest return flights from UK: £36 (Luqa)
You won’t find much to do in the village of Luqa but Malta’s tiny size means that all its main attractions are all close by. If it’s warm enough, St Peter’s Pool is the perfect swimming spot with its crystal clear water. On land, you simply cannot miss the fortified medieval town of Mdina. There’s some fantastic architecture to explore in the Old Town and this is also true of St John’s Co-Cathedral located towards the east.
Portugal – Choose the pace of life to suit your winter holiday
Cheapest return flights from UK: £30 (Faro), £32 (Porto), £36 (Lisbon)
Portugal has always been a firm favourite among many travellers and getting there couldn’t be any easier with cheap flights setting off from a wide range of airports. For exquisite beaches and wonderful cliff formations, it has to be a flight to Faro situated in the Algarve.
For some more hustle and bustle and to get a better sense of Portuguese culture has to offer, you can’t go wrong with either Porto or Lisbon. Both places are packed with things to do and also have some great options for day excursions.
Cyprus – Beaches and ancient ruins: a winter break to remember
Cheapest return flights from UK: £44 (Paphos) £79 (Larnaca)
Cyprus is well known for its beaches but its ancient ruins also attract many to the island. The site at Paphos is an especially well preserved one and even today it is still under excavation as more and more about the old city is unearthed. Saint Hilarion Castle is another historic site well worthy of a visit and you will not regret the climb to the top as you enjoy an incredible view across the land below.
Canary Islands – Beach holiday in January? Why not!
Cheapest return flights from UK: £32 (Gran Canaria), £39 (Lanzarote), Fuerteventura (£42), Tenerife (£42).
All of the Canary Islands offer something a little bit different and you really cannot go wrong with any of the isles mentioned above. Relaxing on the beach isn’t something many Europeans can manage in January but with an average high of around 20 degrees across the islands, you’ll find that a few hours spent on the sand is more than possible. You won’t get as tanned as you would in the summer but you will have the benefit of avoiding the big crowds which makes the place seem all the more tranquil.