Don’t put up with grey skies, jet out to warmer climes instead. So just where’s hot in during the winter months? From exotic beaches to isolated islands here are some of the coolest hot destinations to get a winter tan which is guaranteed to turn your pale friends green with envy…
Although normally associated with backpacking, Cambodia with its tropical climate, complex history and the opportunity for a little adventure makes a cool alternative to all the usual winter sun destinations. Both Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam are seeing an increase in coastal tourism, probably due to their combination of exotic unspoilt scenery and beautifully rich culture. There are a number beach hotels offering a relaxing retreat for the sunbathing brigade but for something a little different try a beach safari in Ream National Park. It comes complete with your own luxury tent, team of staff and guided walks through the protected flora and fauna.
Caribbean in style but with more than a dash of Britishness, Bermuda is famous for its dodgy triangles, pink beaches and even pinker houses. It’s also famous for its all year round sunshine which is why it makes such a great winter tan destination. The scenery is pretty spectacular too with natural beauty in abundance spread over 181 islands in total. Expect colonial buildings, uniquely beautiful beaches and immaculate gardens. Horseshoe bay is one of the country’s most famous beauty spots but head for Warwick Long Bay if you want to escape the crowds.
La Gomera is part of the ever popular cluster of the Canary islands but while the tourist masses head to Tenerife and Lanzarote this more isolated island is often overlooked. Tourism has had much less of an impact here, leaving the prehistoric rocky landscapes, dense forests and traditional towns to those who are really in the know. Located just off the coast of Africa this is an ideal place to hike along deep canyons in pleasantly warm temperatures or relax on the sandy beach, far away from the rest of Europe’s typically grey skies.
A subtropical haven, Kerala is India’s calm and beautiful green gem, and is rightly a very popular holiday destination in the winter months. Explore the sprawling city of Kochi (or Cochin) and head to Fort Kochi (the old town) where the signs of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rule are still evident. Most visitors head to Kerala’s backwaters; a network of rivers and canals where you can hire a boat and drift aimlessly. Stay on board a houseboat for a two night cruise, or make your way to the beaches of Kovalam for a spot of sunbathing and relaxing in the warm winter sun.
With average winter temperatures hovering around 20C, South Africa makes a great destination for those wanting to escape their colder climate. For holidaymakers from the UK, there’s the added bonus of no jet lag, as the time zones are the same. From safaris to shark diving, adventure lovers will feel at home, while those wanting to relax can head to the Western Cape’s Camps Bay for gorgeous sandy beaches. Clifton Beach is the place to be seen – a swanky resort only minutes from Cape Town – where the rich and beautiful people hang out, indulging in a picnic on the sand at sunset.