Luxury Travel

Seven Winter Sun Destinations

Are you wondering which Winter sun destinations are both affordable and luxurious? Then read on for my definitive list.

I do not actually mind Winter, it’s more the rain and long dark days that I hate. I’m equally happy on a ski resort surrounded by snow or on a sunny beach – although I’m favouring the latter more frequently.

So technically Winter is from mid December to mid March in 2019/2020. In my mind though and based on the central heating being in overdrive I think November to the beginning of April is far more accurate. 

The minimum temperature for sunbathing is 23c and upwards in my opinion (sunbathing at 22c in Greece in early May 2018 was a bit chilly for me). All of the below are family friendly places to visit but due to the distance from the UK and European winters they do require long-haul flights. 

Long haul doesn’t mean expensive – although you will pay more for flights you often save on accommodation and daily costs.

We frequently travel long haul because it is usually more luxurious and affordable than equivalent holidays in Europe – even during the European summer.

So without further ado here are my favourite Winter sun destinations. Do let me know if you go to any of them.



Dubai, UAE

Average January temperature: 25c

I absolutely loved Dubai when we went after the Seychelles and I would really like to discover the other UAE emirates. The main thing I love about Dubai is that you can have whatever holiday you want. Whether it’s relaxing in a 7 star luxury hotel or a thrill seeking adventure the choice is endless and the Middle Eastern food always delicious. Read about my first trip to Dubai and our adventures. We stayed at the JA Beach Hotel which was luxurious and good value.

Winter Sun destination - Dubai Beach, UAE

Bali, Indonesia

Average January temperature: 32c

We went to Bali on our honeymoon and had a great time. Again you can have whatever type of holiday you choose. We chose an active one with lots of hiking, sightseeing and island hopping. Avoiding the over touristy part of Seminyak we opted for picture perfect quiet beaches on the Gili Islands and Lombok. We hopped around during our 4 week trip but one of the favourite places we stayed were Kies Villas on Lombok

Winter sun destination - Lombok Beach Aerial View of trees and boats.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Average January temperature: 27c

Mexico, especially Cancun, has a reputation for being overrun with American teenagers on Spring break. However, 40 minutes south of Cancun the Fairmont Mayakoba at Playa del Carmen is heaven. We went for our first family holiday when Aurelia was four months old and had a truly amazing time. I would suggest this hotel to anyone who wants a luxurious holiday with outstanding food and outstanding service.

Winter sun destinations, sunset at playa del carmen beach, mexico

Franschhoek, South Africa

Average January temperature: 23c

We went to South Africa in Winter 2019 as a family. This was my second trip during a UK winter. I have travelled extensively around the whole of South Africa and have spent about 7 weeks there now. On my most recent trip I fell in love with Franschhoek and the Cape Winelands all over again. Read our travel guide for the Cape Winelands.

We stayed at Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa. Avoid the villas as they are in need of a revamp but the other rooms are clean and modern. 

Franschhoek Wine Valley, South Africa, Winter sun destination

Tangalle, Sri Lanka

Average January temperature: 29c

During our three week tour of Sri Lanka one of the highlights was our stay near Tangalle. We stayed at the 5* Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort which has amazing on-site restaurants and a beautiful private beach that is visited by nesting turtles.

It’s close to both Yala and Udawalawe wildlife reserves if you want to get out and see some nature.

Silhouette Island, Seychelles

Average January temperature: 27c

What’s not to like about the Seychelles? We were going through a frustrating time with doctors appointments and the Seychelles was just what we needed. We stayed at the Hilton Labriz on Silhouette Island and had a fantastic time -well appointed villas, exceptional food and beautiful white sand beaches. You can read about the Seychelles here

The Seychelles are definitely one of my favourite Winter sun destinations.

Winter Sun Destinations, Seychelles, Granite rocks, blue sea and white sand.

Greater Palm Springs, USA

Average January temperature: 23c

Located in California’s Coachella Valley, Palm Springs is bordered by four mountain ranges. You will find palm-filled valleys, hot springs and rock formations in this artsy influenced area. The best way to visit Palm Springs is part of a bigger road trip. A favourite route of mine is San Francisco to Los Angeles via Monterey and Malibu. Alternatively use Palm Springs as a base to visit Joshua Tree. 

There are plenty of mid-century boutiques to stay in. My favourite is the converted motel – Ace Hotel. This 176 room hotel has onsite dining, two pools and a spa. 

Winter Sun Destinations - Palm Springs