BusinessClass Finest Selection

Ten of the Best Winter Sun Destinations

4. Jan 2022
by Dawn Jorgensen

It is a New Year and the Northern Hemisphere is gripped by cold and ice - so the thought of a week or two somewhere warm and sunny is especially appealing.

Whether its lazing on a beach - topping up on that all important Vitamin D, scuba diving, safari, sports, or just doing nothing – as long as the sun is shining and its warm, who cares! Consistent sunshine and clement days are on offer in destinations such as Dubai and Cancun, on Indian Ocean islands and in the Caribbean – as well as across the dusty game-rich plains of Africa.

The guide to ten of the best places to warm up over the winter months: 

Shirley Heights - Antigua


Antigua and Barbuda is an independent Commonwealth country comprising its two namesake islands and several smaller ones. As one of the Caribbean’s premier destinations positioned where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it is known for reef-lined beaches and rainforests. Sun worshippers and beachgoers flock to its warm clear aquamarine waters and coral reefs ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. Home to some of the most romantic resorts in the world, the country is famous for its 365 spectacular beaches – one for each day of the year. Antigua’s shoreline is hugged by 150 kilometres of superb Caribbean coastline.

A beach at Jumby Bay 

Its English Harbour is a yachting hub and the site of historic Nelson's Dockyard. In the capital, St. John's, the national museum displays indigenous and historic artefacts. Her sister island - Barbuda - is surrounded by protective reefs and features a large lagoon and Frigate Bird sanctuary. The islands are renowned for their friendly and welcoming people, and most satisfying and dreamily sunny climate.

Read the full expert review and find the best rates for The Jumby Bay


It was writer Mark Twain who said ‘Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius’. This sun-drenched tropical island in the Indian Ocean makes it easy to understand the sentiment. Once a hideout for pirates, Mauritius is a haven of sun-drenched white sandy beaches. An island that beckons discovery it has Indian temples, grand historic homesteads, tea plantations, botanical gardens, unique flora and fauna, lush golf courses, water sports, mountain trekking and kitesurfing – as well as the opportunity to learn the traditional hip-wiggling sega dance. Long celebrated for its beautiful landscapes and coastline, this multicultural melange of a nation offers biodiversity and exceptional cuisine.

The turqoise waters of Mauritius

Find hotels and resorts in the tourism hub around Grand Baie, on the renowned east coast where the high-end luxury resorts are set, or on the family-friendly west coast with its flat inviting beaches. The wilder beautiful south with its cliff tops walks to suit the adventurer. Port Louis, the island's historic capital, is known for its pulsating nightlife, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the world's oldest horseracing tracks. There are protected national parks and the interior soars into dramatic mountain ranges and verdant natural forests.

Read the guide to The Best Luxury Hotels In Mauritius

Water villas in Maldives


An idyllic paradise, the Maldives are home to some of the finest beaches and dive sites in the world. A chain of 1192 small coral islands and sandbanks, of which some 200 are inhabited, grouped in clusters or atolls. Home to numerous ecosystems including 187 species of coral reef and thousands of colourful fish, sea turtles, whales and dolphins and with fish visible around you as you swim, it’s like stepping into an untouched world. Private villas sit suspended over striking blue waters, bleached white beaches invite the sunseeker and spectacular sunsets dipping into the horizon to mark the end of each perfect day. The scenic beauty of the Maldives is something to behold.

Sea and sand

Unwind at one of the island spas, laze in a hammock at your over-water villa, and all visitors should certainly spend a day exploring the Maldivian capital of Malé. The accommodations in this region are spectacular, ranging from underwater hotels to overwater private bungalows. If you dream of seeing yourself lazing in hammocks in your over-water villa, while your butler brings you a martini by boat, then the Maldives is the destination for you. The only difficult decision may be choosing which island suits you best.

Read the guide to The Best Luxury Hotels In The Maldives

A hidden beach in Seychelles


A group of islands off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles are a renowned destination for travellers seeking out the exclusive and the unique – as well as all year sunshine. The archipelago consists of 115 islands, half of which are uninhabited, and a quarter of which are private resort islands. Most intimate enough to be home to just one resort hotel, meaning you could have the whole island to yourself in castaway fantasy style. A wildness adds to the appeal and it's not hard to happen upon a beach where you can leave the first pair of prints in the powder-white sand. With curious wildlife often comparable to that of the Galápagos found among the virgin forest and coral reefs, the archetypal Indian Ocean paradise has palm-fringed beaches lining the dreamy-turquoise sea.

Heaven on Earth

Stay at North Island, the super-natural, ultra-private island, or on Frégate Island, where a glamorous desert-island experience is completed by private yachts and secluded beaches. In a nation that takes environmentalism seriously, a visit to Seychelles has the added feel-good element that every property is doing its part in protecting the fauna and flora for which it is renowned.

Read the guide to The Best Luxury Hotels In The Seychelles

"Oh, Mexico - I guess I'll have to go"

Cancun, Mexico

A popular Mexican city on the Yucatán Peninsula, Cancún borders the Caribbean Sea. An ever-popular destination with hidden beaches it comprises two primary districts, the more traditional downtown or El Centro, and Zona Hotelera – a long, coastal strip with high-rise hotels, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. Located between the Riviera Maya resorts of Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is one of the most charming and peaceful spots in the region to base yourself. The snorkelling is legendary, with the reef just off-shore part of the Great Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world. Playa Delfines is more relaxed and less crowded with a laid-back feel and authentic food vendors.

Cancun - fun in the sun

Playa Forum is the most iconic in all of Riviera Maya, delivering everything you could want for. Even more, it is located right in the heart of the hotel zone, where exciting nightlife and great restaurants are just a few steps away. Couples might prefer Isla Blanca, a more secluded stretch of sand away from the maddening crowds. With abundant natural beauty, ancient Mayan culture, water activities and adventure, international cuisine, sophisticated spa facilities and handcraft markets – either way, indulge!

View more images and find the best rates for The Rosewood Mayakoba

Wine tasting in South Africa is a must

South Africa

At the tip of the African continent, South Africa is a uniquely multifaceted country rich in culture, history and natural beauty. An ultimate summer offering that combines relaxed laid-back living with exceptional experiences. Spend time on safari at a private game reserve in search of the renowned Big Five and the abundance of wildlife that thrive here. In Johannesburg seek out the historic quarters and warehouses that have been being transformed into restaurants, distilleries and bars, making South Africa's biggest city a sought-after place to live and play. Its township of Soweto, once home to former President, Nelson Mandela, is a vibrant cultural hub that respects its social and political roots while offering cool hangouts and adventure activities.

The King of the Jungle

In the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, the sultry city of Durban draws visitors to its warm water beaches, and to its exciting suburbs where excellent Indian-influenced eateries and local bars draw you in. The self-proclaimed sweetheart of South Africa, Cape Town is regularly voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Visit famous sites such a Robben Island and find your way to the top of the iconic Table Mountain, venture into the Cape Winelands to sample the excellent SA wines. The V&A Waterfront and its glitzy Silo District anchor the Table Bay shoreline, while the beaches of Camps Bay, Hout Bay and Bloubergstrand draw the sunseekers and surfers.
Read the guide to The Best Luxury Hotels In Cape Town

Winter sun in Cyprus


Cyprus lies in the eastern Mediterranean to the south of Turkey and southeast of mainland Greece. Its rocky coast has sun-soaked stretches of sand and there's a beach for everyone, be it wild and windswept to family-friendly and appropriately crowded. Beyond the coastline discover an island of compelling culture and landscapes, steeped in myth and riddled with ancient riches. History buffs are spoiled for choice when it comes to sites and museums to explore. Neolithic dwellings, Bronze Age and Phoenician tombs, Roman mosaics, mountaintop castles and Byzantine churches lay scattered through the countryside. With the crossing of the border between Turkish and Greek Cyprus increasingly easy, explore the intrinsically different traditional family life, food cultures and folk customs on both sides. Everywhere encounter the island’s naturally warm Cypriot hospitality.

Cyprus - not just a beach destination

The best things to do in Cyprus almost always involve being active outdoors. Every conceivable water sport is on offer, from scuba diving to skimming the surface on a kite- or windsurf board. And if you tire of all that, head into the interior, where meadows and valleys of densely planted vineyards sweep up pine-clad mountains that offer excellent hiking and biking. For many, the highlight of a trip to Cyprus is indulging in its cuisine, which benefits from Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern influences.

Read the full expert review and find the best rates for The Anassa

The Taj Mahal in Agra


India gets your pulse racing as you explore its incredible tourist attractions. An extravagantly beautiful land, its endless surprises and delights will leave you spellbound. Fast-paced and intensely exciting, the sensory onslaught and multitude of attractions will appease any avid traveller. Delhi, India’s capital territory, is a massive metropolitan area and where the imposing Mughal-era Red Fort stands, a symbol of India, and the sprawling Jama Masjid mosque can be visited. Founded on seven islands, Mumbai came into being in the mid-eighteenth century to establish what is now the most populated city in India. The country’s financial and commercial capital and home to a unique blend of art, theatre and culture as well as India’s glamorous Bollywood industry. For laidback beach living head to Goa, part of India which is forever Portuguese and packed with history. The beaches in this relaxed paradise on the country’s western coast are geared to sun-loving tourists with palm-fringed beaches leading to hillside retreats and villages.

India is resplendent in colour all year round

Find the Himalayas, the highest mountain ranges in the northern part of India, where hiking trails will bring you closer to the gods. India offers the best in Spa and Ayurveda therapies designed to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga, a mecca for spiritual wellness.Don’t miss a dive into the culinary delights, either by taking to the many restaurants and street stalls or on a guided tour that will introduce you to the excellent food hangouts and the city’s tastiest dishes.
Read the guide to The Best Luxury Hotels In Agra/New Delhi 

Dubai - a city like no other


Once a small fishing village in the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is today one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Constantly reinventing itself to provide everything a global citizen could want for, the glittering United Arab Emirates city plays home to futuristic architecture that contrasts boldly with the bleached desert sands of the surrounds. In addition to the imposing high-rises, including the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s coastline and turquoise waters are adorned by impressive man-made islands. Visit Jumeirah and be surrounded by bougainvillaea-laden villas, a thriving cafe scene and exclusive marinas by the sea.

Culture is very much present in Dubai

Dine at fashionable cafes, or visit one of Dubai’s cultural landmarks, such as the notable Jumeirah Mosque. Wander through the Bastakiya Quarter for traditional Arabian influences. The maze of narrow lanes is lined with low-lying buildings showcasing arabesque windows, screens and wind towers once typical here. With innumerable entertainment and dining options, those wishing to shop can visit the world’s biggest shopping mall, or explore Dubai’s varied artistic and cultural highlights. Attractions range from the Dubai Opera, the Global Village and Dubai Fountain, activities from water sports to skydiving, 4x4 safaris and themed parks.

Read the guide to The Best Luxury Hotels In Dubai 

Sunshine aplenty in the Canaries

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of north western Africa, are rugged volcanic isles known for their black and white sand beaches. Known as the sunshine centre of Europe, the islands offer mild temperatures and a sublime mix of island tradition and contemporary luxury with natural beauty in abundance, pine-forested mountains, wide valleys running down to the sea, rugged cliffs and coastlines. An ideal retreat for lovers of the outdoors. Tenerife, the largest island, is dominated by the active volcano Mount Teide, which boasts a world-renowned astronomical observatory and is part of Teide National Park. Five of its seven islands have been declared a Biosphere Reserve, and the archipelago has four national parks.

Beach .. or adventure - you chose ... 

Its beaches are its most outstanding attractions and are perfect for relaxing in the sun or enjoying water sports such as windsurfing and scuba diving. In the interior you'll find amazing landscapes which are ideal for hiking, cycle touring, rock climbing and even caving. Some of the most spectacular include the volcanic scenery of Lanzarote, the beaches of Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria with their dunes, or the green forests of La Palma and La Gomera.

Read the full expert review and find the best rates for The Bahia Del Duque, Tenerife searches hundreds of travel sites simultaneously to help you find the best premium flight offers. also compares all the major hotel suppliers to give you the very best prices in the finest hotels. 

More from

City Guide to Vancouver

Vancouver - Snowy Mountains to Sandy Beaches

The modern seaport city of Vancouver, nestled among the spectacular scenery of snowy mountains and sandy beaches, offers endless... Finest Selection

The Best Dive Sites in Maldives

The Maldives is renowned for its stunning beaches, azure – calm seas, wonderful – temperate climate, stunning hotels, and incredible flora...

Special Offers

Business Class from Europe to Cancún and Punta Cana from €999 / £1,115

TAP Air Portugal is offering special Business Class fares to Caribbean destinations Cancún, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from...