The Best Winter Sun getaways to grab some sun!
Now that the harsh chill that came with January 1st seems to have finally made way for spring, we’re back to customising our fab outfits with just a nice coat and a scarf, and thankfully those gloves can be thrown to the back of the wardrobe where they belong! But whilst the weather might be warming just a tad, it’s certainly not hot enough to don your jean shorts and go for a stroll by the canal (as much as we might want to), so maybe it’s time to turn dreams of winter sun into reality? Plus, if you weren’t lucky enough to go away for Valentine’s Day it’s about time to dust off your sunnies and update the Insta with some glorious holiday snaps.
But where to go? While we’d love to party in the Maldives with Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe, not all of us can afford to splash out on such a holiday when we’re barely into 2017 and our idea of budgeting is limiting our Itsu intake to once a week. Although an all expenses paid trip to Cuba is off the cards, we’ve compiled a list of places where a long weekend would not only be achievable but oh so worth it. Better pack sun cream in that make-up bag, it’s time for take-off!
Flight time: 4-7 hours, depending on the Island
We know what you’re thinking: lads on tour, sunburnt tourists and overcrowded beaches. But contrary to popular belief, the Canary Islands are much more than a go-to holiday destination for Brits abroad – they’re also a collection of incredible islands that boast spectacular scenery, wildlife and a summer climate all year round. Plus, the fact that these incredible pockets of sunshine off the coast of Africa are actually part of Spain means we can grab a cheap flight and re-use the leftover Euros from our summer getaway.
Though it’s still low season and the beaches won’t be jam-packed with as many tourists as usual, if you want to veer slightly off the beaten track you can head towards La Palma, one of the more undisturbed islands with scenery so stunning your Instagram will be the envy of the office for months.
Flight time: 3-4 hours
A popular hotspot for British tourists, Marrakech is not one to pass off to the mainstream just yet and, if you love to shop as much as we do, it certainly won’t disappoint. Full of vibrant souks that flood the streets selling spices, delicious food, cotton, clothing and boutique stores, the city is, unsurprisingly, famous for them. If you’re thinking of heading there for your dosage of vitamin D you can certainly leave any previous experience of markets behind: the stalls here will rival every fair you’ve ever been to. Be sure to cram your clutch with all the essentials you’ll need to shop till you drop.
Of course, as much as we love to shop, that’s not all there is to this cultural hub, with plenty of museums, galleries and activities to cram into a long weekend. And, of course, you can’t miss the Sultan’s Palace, where you can wander round and feel like the royal you most definitely are. The beach isn’t really a big part of the lifestyle here but if wandering the city streets isn’t your style either there are plenty of roof terraces and poolside loungers where you can grab some extra rays before heading back home.
Flight time: 4-5 hours
Often passed over for visits to the mainlands (both Turkey and Greece), Cyprus is a beautiful island with a lot of heart and a collection of dazzling beaches, which are perfect for lazing around on. Both sides of the island are more than ready to give you the relaxation experience you crave. The Turkish and Greek parts are beautiful locations awash with Mediterranean gems and if you’re looking to stuff your face with some feta salad this is definitely the right place.
Though it perhaps won’t be as hot as some of its further away competitors, the warmer weather will still allow for some much needed beach time and the only thing you’ll be wrapping around you on this holiday is a sarong (90s style is back, remember). If all of this isn’t enough to float your boat then just remember that Cyprus was voted one of the most affordable places to vacay. This will comes in handy since we’re all a bit lacking in the cash department post-Christmas and you’ll have some leftover cash to splash on a new swimsuit.
Oases of Egypt
Flight time: 5-6 hours
Okay, we know the idea of Egypt doesn’t exactly sound like a short trip, but trust us, the travel time is significantly less than you’d expect. Forget Cairo and leave the Pyramids for a longer adventure this time – the go-to if you want to throw yourself off the road fairly well travelled head for the west of Egypt. It’s home to a fair few oases, which are the perfect spots just far enough away from the cold. Home to salt lakes, ancient temples and hot springs, the dunes of these landscapes are the perfect places to spend a few days lapping up the shimmering heat before that marketing meeting on Tuesday afternoon. If you need somewhere to aim for, the Siwa Oasis, against a backdrop of sand hills and freshwater springs, is a perfect choice. Make sure to pack those spa slippers for the perfect oasis-to-evening transition!
If you do decide to head to these little pockets of paradise it might be worthwhile swapping your flip flops for something a little more durable and remembering to pack as much sun cream as you can into your travel bag, or you might get caught out by the Egyptian heat.