14 BEST Winter Sun Holiday Destinations for 2024 (Long & Short Haul)

Who’s up for some winter sun destination inspiration? Here are the best destinations for winter sun in the world – both for short breaks, and long haul!

winter sun destinations

– Fancy some winter sun in Morocco?

Imagine yourself tanning nicely on the beaches of some far off location under the winter sun, rather than worrying about rising gas and electricity costs at home. It’s much more fun!

I thought I’d take a look at the best winter sun destinations I’ve experienced in the last seven years-ish of intense travel. Let’s see if I can whet your whistle for some epic travel this year, or to get planning for the next. And don’t miss the checklist below for setting out on a trip to make sure you have everything you need too. 

Best Destinations for Winter Sun

Whether you want short breaks for winter sun, or you want some long haul winter sun, I’ve listed the warmest places for winter travel below. All tried and tested as sunny winter holidays!

Short haul winter beach breaks

1. Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain 

One December I went to Mahon in Menorca in December. It was great but I really needed to have booked a car before I went to explore. Unfortunately I arrived late on Friday night and left on Tuesday morning and so none of the places were open to book.

Menorca Museum views

– My balcony in Menorca, in December

I still had a lovely time looking round the Spanish island’s capital, Mahon though, without all the tourists of the summer season. I’d definitely recommend some Menorca winter sun action, but just be more prepared than me!

There are loads of beaches you can go to on the island, and it’s well known for having some of the best winter sun weather in Europe. There’s also some great food on the island – check out the best Asian restaurants in Menorca here.

If you’re a bit of an adventurer, you can explore some of the 151 Balearic Islands on your own. You don’t have to be a millionaire with your own boat, a great alternative is to rent a yacht and enjoy the beauty of this corner of Spain.

Where is hot in January short-haul?

If you’re looking for a winter holiday in the sun in January, I’d say to go to Morocco!

Where’s hot in December short-haul

Menorca, and the south of Spain. Check out those temperatures in Malaga, Seville and Alicante!

2. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain 

In all my years of travel I’ve only actually ever spent one Christmas abroad, and that was in Tenerife, in 2019. My family all went over and rented an apartment in Radazul from 20th to 27th December. Such a great Christmas that year, in fact one of my favourites of all time.

Coastline of Tenerife

Tenerife was a bit windy, especially up Mount Teide which we gave up on visiting when we were half way up and saw the mist. But the cities were nice and warm and I loved looking round the Christmas markets. Treat yourself and prebook a taxi transfer with Solhop, so when you arrive you can get direct to your hotel or apartment, without the faff. Nothing more comforting when you travel than seeing your name on a chauffeur’s board as you come through arrivals!

We managed to still find a traditional English Christmas dinner in the south of the island, but had the peace and quiet of the north. Every day was sunny and I nearly melted in the heat on Christmas Day on our balcony!

There are lots of opportunities for paddleboarding in winter here, too. This is one of the best destinations for winter sun.

Wondering where to go? Why not let the tarot cards decide? Try tarot card reading online for free and get know your next destination!

3. Malta

I went to Malta one December, about ten years ago now. I remember us going in the sea, and drinking cocktails in the sun. It’s one of the top spots for some short haul winter sun according to The Voyageurs Collection. In fact, they’ve given us some recommendations to make the most of the country / island. 

How I've paid for my travels

“If you’re after some early Autumn sunshine on the beach but aren’t wanting to travel too far, Malta could be just the answer. Temperatures remain lovely and warm in Malta throughout September and October, and the end of the school summer holidays sees the flocks of tourists return home, so the island is left in peace to enjoy the Indian summer sun.

While there you could rent a boat for the day and head out to find hidden coves to explore that cannot be reached on foot, so you could spend the day on a completely secluded beach (definitely the best kind of social distancing). The crystal-clear Mediterranean waters means that Malta and its neighbouring island of Gozo (which can easily be reached by ferry) are fantastic for snorkelling and diving. Gozo is one of the top diving destinations in Europe, and the conditions are great for everyone from learners to advanced divers. The Blue Hole is a definite highlight – it is almost like a huge underwater cave so the scenery is incredible, and a brilliant variety of fish and other marine life can be found there. If you’d rather keep your head firmly above the water, kayaking is another great way to admire these azure waters and to see if you can spot any fish from above the surface.

best winter sun destinations

If you’re someone who gets twitchy sitting on a beach for days on end and like to properly explore the destination you’re visiting, Malta’s capital Valletta, was European Cultural Capital in 2018, and this small city really packs a punch when it comes to culture, so you can spend your time away from the beach discovering the fascinating history of this walled city.”

Malta was so beautiful and is definitely one of the best winter sun destinations on the list.

4. Morocco

Ok, this is the first one on the list I haven’t actually been to in winter, but it’s one of the top winter holiday destinations. I visited Morocco in April (twice), when it was obviously scorchio. I didn’t want to miss it off though, as it regularly appears on top winter sun destination lists – thanks to the year-round sun.

winter sun holiday destinations

Head to Marrakesh for some shopping and roof garden mint tea, to Agadir for the beaches and to Fez for the impressive food. If you have time, the Atlas Mountains in between are pretty outstanding. And if you want to visit the ‘Blue City’ – look up ‘Chefchaouen’. 

READ MORE: The Best Places to Visit in Canada in Winter

5. Egypt

I had SUCH a good holiday in Egypt with my mum. Granted it was the end of October, so not quite what I’d consider ‘winter sun’ but you only have to look at the usual temperatures to realise that the experience we had in October, is basically what you’ll have in December and January too.

best winter sun destinations

If you like scuba diving, history and the ancient world, then a winter in Egypt could be the one for you. We stayed in Sharm el Sheikh, on a holiday that I won by getting my business card taken out of a bowl (amazing!). 

Next time I go to Egypt I’d totally do one of those luxury cruises down The Nile though – they look lush. And, don’t forget to pick up some Egyptian souvenirs too. This is one of the top winter sun holiday destinations for Brits, and for good reason.

6. Gambia

Gambia regularly tops the best winter sun destinations, thanks to the fact it’s 29-34 year round, and December is dry season.

I went in December a few years ago and can remember nothing but heat when it comes to the winter weather. You can find out more about what I got up to in the Gambia here.

Gambia visit

7. Jordan

Ok, not been, ever, but Jordan is my DREAM. (Correction – I visited in September 2023!)

I was totally going to go in 2020, and still hope to go by the end of the year, but it all depends on… y’know. THE VIRUS. I really want to join a trip going from north to south by bike, but we shall see.

best winter sun destinations

It’s not quite winter sun in December in Jordan but it’s definitely warmer than in England and it’s known as the perfect time of year for sightseeing, if you want to see the impressive Petra and ancient sites.

I want to float in the Dead Sea, visit Amman and stay out in a tent in Wadi Rum. Is that too much to ask, WORLD?

Visiting in September, it was pretty hot. I’d say November would be perfect for some sunny winter holidays!

Best Places for Winter Sun, Long Haul

So that’s the short haul winter sun covered, how about looking at the best places for winter sun further afield? Here are the best long haul sunny winter destinations to consider.

Long haul winter beach breaks

8. Jeju Island, South Korea

First up, bit of an unusual one – how about Jeju Island in South Korea?

Hamdeok Beach Jeju

I’ve recently published a post on spending winter in Jeju here – I think it’s a great place to enjoy at the end of the year. With amazing beaches, cool cafes and loads of museums, it’s a great place to go when the weather isn’t to be relied on. It’s one of the best winter holiday destinations I’ve experienced.

Over 75% of my trip was sunshine and I was scorching, and the rest… rain. BUT, it did make it all the more atmospheric, and I didn’t mind. Check out my video of Jeju below to see what kind of weather you’ll be facing on Jeju Island in winter. 

Watch my video on my Jeju Island road trip

9. Goa and Mumbai, India

Visit the likes of Goa and Mumbai for some winter sun and you’ll be treated to 21C to 33C temperatures. Scorchio!

Mmm the thought of some fish curry at a Goa beach bar is sounding pretty good to me right now!

Fun things to do in Goa

I’d recommend spending three weeks in India, and following this itinerary I did. I had a great time and I just want the same for you. Despite India being so big, you can still cover a lot of ground in three weeks, and enjoy some ‘unique’ experiences too. 

10. Anywhere, Thailand

Oh the classic. Can’t go talking about winter sun destinations and not mention Thailand. I went between Christmas and New Year once, for like 5 days (crazy!). I went to Phuket, and it was scorching!

winter sun destinations

So weird when you come from the cold of England and step off the plane in a sunny place, ready for that Pad Thai.

Another year I went to Chiang Mai in February and again, hawt. Guaranteed weather in Thailand in winter – that’s why it’s just so popular. I’d recommend spending about two weeks here, minimum, and going island hopping. There’s so much to see that I definitely think I need a third visit sometime soon!

Definitely one of the best destinations for winter sun!

11. Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Oh my love, Vietnam. The first Asian country I went to and it will always have a special place in my heart. So much so, in fact, that after going in that August, I went again in February a few years ago – to cycle the length of it.

cost of phu quoc vietnam

While the north was pretty rainy and the weather stopped me going hiking in Sapa, the south was hot sun. I went over to the island of Phu Quoc and boiled for the week – it was fab. If you’re after some winter sun, I can definitely vouch for Vietnam.


52 Coolest Things to Do in Phu Quoc

Everything You Need to Know About Travelling to Phu Quoc

Detailed Guide to the Prices in Phu Quoc

12. Florida, USA

I’m lucky enough to have been to Florida about five times now – including twice in December and once in January. And I can confirm, it’s hot. The sun is out every day and I can’t actually remember an instance of rain. Scorching sun throughout.

Ibis Resort in Key West

There’s a reason so many Americans go to Florida in winter (known as snowbirds) – it’s because it’s absolutely fantastic in the winter months. Whether you fancy doing a road trip from Miami to Key West, staying in Miami for a food tour, exploring Martin Country or cruising up the Emerald Coast – there are some great holidays to enjoy in Florida.

13. Caye Caulker, Belize

I spent two weeks of December in Belize one year, and although there were a few tropical rain storms, generally, it was gorgeous sun. You only need to look at some of my Belize photos to see how great the weather was for most of the time.

two weeks in belize

I went scuba diving, snorkelling, ate bargain lobster and drank Belikin Beers by the sea for a fortnight – absolute dreams!

14. Barbados, Caribbean 

And then finally for our long haul winter sun destinations – my personal recommendation would be Barbados.

I went in February just before I moved to Southsea – it was the last place I went on my nomadic life. I had a BRILLIANT time, seriously. I wasn’t sure about going by myself, but I always look back on that as one of my favourite trips ever.

Watch my video on how to spend a week in Barbados: contains RUM

I think most of the people I met thought I was mad going to Barbados by myself – such a couples location – but I made friends on the rum boat, road tripped round the island, and loved making my way round the Barbados restaurants.

Watch my video above to see what else I got up to on a week in Barbados

FAQ about winter sun destinations

1. Where are the most popular winter sun holiday destinations?

By the number of tourists annually, Spain and Thailand (83,700,000 and 39,800,000 respectively) from the list above are the countries with the most visitors. Thailand is on everyone’s list when it comes to the most sun in winter – tourists and locals alike can enjoy amazing beaches, coastlines, and accommodation.

Marine reserve in Caye Caulker

2. What are the best places for winter sun in December?

Maldives, Mauritius, Morocco, Cape Verde, Bahamas, Belize, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, São Tomé and Príncipe, Egypt, and Ecuador. Any of these places/countries should be on your list of best winter sun places in December. All of these destinations are sunny and hot in December.

3. Are there any cheap holiday winter sun destinations?

Experiencing winter sun destinations need not be expensive in countries such as Thailand, India, Vietnam, and Egypt. There are a lot of cheap holiday packages you can enjoy in these countries so you better plan where to book next!

How to have the best winter sun holiday

Having the best winter sun holiday involves careful planning. Here’s how to make the most of your sunny winter getaway:

  1. Choose the right destination: Research and select a destination that offers the climate and activities you desire during the winter months. Whether it’s a tropical beach, a desert oasis, or a sunny city, it’s up to you!
  2. Book early: Secure your flights and accommodations well in advance to access better deals and availability. Look for all-inclusive packages for added convenience.
  3. Pack smart: Pack lightweight clothing, swimsuits, sunscreen, and essentials for sunny days. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes for exploring.
  4. Plan activities: Prioritise activities that allow you to embrace the sun, like swimming, snorkelling, hiking, or simply lounging on the beach. Consider water sports, sightseeing, or cultural experiences based on your destination.
  5. Stay hydrated: In warm climates in these winter sun holiday destinations, it’s crucial to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  6. Health and Safety: Stay informed about local health guidelines and safety measures, and follow them properly.
  7. Disconnect: Consider limiting screen time and embracing the digital detox opportunity. Engage in outdoor activities, read, or simply relax without the distractions of daily life.
  8. Indulge in local cuisine: Savour the local flavours and cuisine of your destination. Explore street food, visit local markets, and dine in authentic restaurants for a memorable culinary experience.
  9. Be adventurous: Step out of your comfort zone and try new activities or explore less touristy areas for a more authentic experience.
  10. Relax and unwind: Above all, remember that your winter sun holiday is a chance to unwind. Take it slow, embrace the sunshine, and return home refreshed and reenergized.

Best winter sun destinations

Winter is a great time to go on holiday – especially if you choose one of these best destinations for winter sun. If you’re looking for holiday sun in January you should check out the great festivals in January too, see if you can time them together! Although, that winter sun might come in the form of a ski slope.

If you’re looking for sun holidays in winter, this list is a great place to start. Holidays in the winter sun make them all the more special, although all the more difficult to go back to normal life after, too!


  1. What a great article! We’re currently dreaming of going for a winter holiday with sun again – we’ve been
    last year and we love, love love it! Here’s to a year with loads of travel plans and new experiences!

    – Veronika

  2. Tenerife isn’t belong to Balearic Island and Menorca isn’t belong to Canary Islands. I guess you swop by mistake.



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