Whether you have a long weekend, fortnight or even more time to play with, you can easily book a sunshine stay in the winter. And if nothing short of lavish will do, we have some idyllic hotels on offer in superb surroundings.
We’ve picked out five of our favourite winter sun destinations that best showcase our remarkable luxury holidays.
The astonishing Algarve retains a good deal of its warmth in the winter, making it nice and sun-kissed for keen beachgoers. But if lazing on soft golden sands isn’t for you, how about making the most of the rays another way? You don’t have to be Rory McIlroy to appreciate the championship golf courses around Vilamoura. They’re immaculately kept and many provide stunning vistas of the Atlantic. If you don’t want to play, simply relax in the clubhouse. You’ll also have quaint towns such as Loulé to explore, pottery shops to browse and sumptuous seafood restaurants in the capital, Faro.
Spain is one of the most sought-after sunshine destinations in Europe and that still counts during the winter. With Marbella’s glam Golden Mile, the upmarket side to Benidorm (yes, you read that correctly) and dreamy Caldes de Malavella hosting many of our five-star hotels, you’ll be well placed to experience the finer things. Meanwhile, the Costa del Sol is the home of top-drawer golf in Spain, Girona is an urban playground for pro cyclists and the Costa Blanca’s white-sand beaches are things of beauty. All of this can be enjoyed in the great winter climate. When it comes to dining, put El Celler de Can Roca and Nobu to the top of your list.
The majesty of Madeira is still on display in winter. As the weather can often reach the high teens, the environment’s geared up for avid hikers, leisurely walkers, laid-back pedallers and keen golfers. With the fabulous capital of Funchal boasting botanical gardens, lidos and black-sand beaches, you don’t have to be restricted to pottering around the old town or hitting the museums. Save time to enjoy a cable car journey, then sample poncho, a sugary local tipple, after a meal of net-fresh scabbardfish or tapas-style dishes.
All four of the Canary Islands we fly to promise wonderful winter holidays. Each one also boasts beautiful beaches, divine dining and chic shopping. Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Costa Adeje in Tenerife are known for their five-star complexes, but you’ll be in your element in Fuerteventura’s Corralejo and Lanzarote’s Costa Teguise too. Past volcanic scenery, smatterings of whitewashed buildings and heavenly harbourfronts, you’ll find routes for cyclists and walkers. Sounds super? You haven’t even seen the seafood spreads and paella pans yet…
Last but certainly not least, Cyprus is a striking suntrap of historical sites, Mediterranean culture and time-honoured towns. Go east and linger in Limassol to enjoy bike tours, lunches in the marina and the local shops. The Larnaca area has plenty to offer, with the swoon-worthy Nissi Bay being one of the most charming shores. Meanwhile, you can turn back the clock with tours of well-preserved Roman mosaics, the eerie Tombs of the Kings and the mystical Aphrodite’s Rock in Paphos. Head up through the Akamas Peninsula for untouched towns that serve exquisite platters at mealtimes. Think stuffed vine leaves, fried aubergines, grilled halloumi, meatballs known as keftedes, moussaka with mince and more.
With so many exceptional European destinations primed for luxury stays, you don’t have to travel far for winter sun in paradise.
Posted: 31st Oct 2019.