What better way to escape the winter chill than to head to the Sunshine State? Florida is famed for its numerous theme parks around Orlando, however it's got a lot more to offer aside from exciting rides and the magic of Disneyland. From historical attractions in St Augustine to the hot hot hot beaches of Miami, this fun-filled corner of the United States has got something for everyone. Whether you're on a family break, a romantic road trip or on a jolly with a big group of friends, hiring a car is a good idea. It's easy to navigate your way through Florida's network of roads that lead you to all the top attractions, including the lush Everglades or the Florida Keys at the tip of the peninsula.

The warm waters of the Red Sea lap the shores of Egypt and Saudi Arabia as well as touching Israel and Jordan. Teaming with colourful marine life and vibrant corals, such as the reefs of Ras Muhammed National Park, the Red Sea is a scuba diver's dream. And the winter is one of the best times to go, with fewer crowds and winter warmth. The fantastic selection of resorts are well-equipped to help you explore these underwater delights with glass bottom boats and snorkelling facilities. You can get your thrills on the surface of the sea too, with a variety of watersports. You'll find everything from tranquil spots like Taba to popular luxury resorts with all the trimmings, such as Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. Many Red Sea resorts are also conveniently located near historical attractions.

Perched in the sea just off north Africa, the Canary Islands enjoy a splendid sunny climate all year round. Tenerife is the liveliest of this lovely archipelago, with an upbeat nightlife scene to go with its beautiful sandy beaches and rugged natural scenery. Waterparks will keep families happy. There are also some stunning national parks, such as the volcanic Teide National Park. As well as having more space to spread out on the beaches, like Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, you'll be able to take advantage of cheaper prices during the winter months too.

Catch a flight down under in our winter and you'll step off the plane in the midst of the blazing Australian summer season. Head to Melbourne for culture in the form of art galleries, museums and gastronomic treats. Sydney is a great choice if you'd like a mix of city and beach life, with iconic attractions and buzzing Bondi beach. Hire a car and take a coastal drive between the two cities or further up the east coast to Brisbane. Stop off to hike through the waterfalls and eucalyptus forests of the Blue Mountains or go scuba diving along the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Or go inland to Uluru where you can dine under the stars and learn more about Australia's Aboriginal culture.

The ultimate winter sun destination, the islands of the Caribbean are a dream. With heavenly sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and palm trees that sway to reggae and calypso rhythms, you'll have no trouble unwinding and enjoying the laid-back pace. Friendly beach bars and watersports are on hand when you want to up the tempo a little. As are some fantastic tours and attractions across the various islands. Get your adventure fix zip-lining through the tree tops in Antigua, explore Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica or snorkel among the corals and colourful fish in Grenada.

The UAE offers modern opulence mixed in with traditional culture. From beaches to desert sand dunes, elegant shopping malls to bustling spice-scented markets, there's a lot to discover. Winter is a great time to explore when temperatures drop from scorching to a slightly more gentle sizzle. Dubai offers beaches, fine dining and fantastic shopping, particularly during the Shopping Festival at the beginning of the year. Check out the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, where you can cycle along its seaside promenade, passing stunning architecture along the way. Browse the art galleries or join a day trip to experience the desert. Or try Fujairah for something a little different.

Something Different In Winter

If you're willing to go a bit more adventurous in the search for winter sun, why not check out Gambia? This tiny West African country is fast becoming a popular winter beach destination with a combination of equatorial temperatures and gorgeous coastline. More than that, it has a beautifully lush jungle interior with traditional villages and exotic wildlife to discover. Try the Abuko Nature Reserve to see crocodiles and birds or meet some monkeys in Bijilo Forest Park.


If you're seeking some winter sun in South East Asia, Vietnam can make a delightful alternative to Thailand. The Mekong River winds its way through breath-taking countryside, comprised of vast rice fields and jungle. See the stunning limestone islets of the UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay. Or get in the middle of the action in the bustling city of Hanoi.


If you want something truely unique winter is the season for a stay in an ice hotel. Head to the north of Sweden and Norway, or even Romania, for the unique experience of spending a night in a frozen suite. With everything carved out of ice, from the bed to the art that decorates the maze of rooms, it's sure to be a magical experience that you'll never forget.

Are you dreaming of gliding down the slopes this winter? Well, there's a whole selection of ski breaks available to you, with packages to suit all budgets and ability levels. The French, Italian and Austrian Alps remain the big players when it comes to top facilities, fabulous snowfall records and breathtaking surroundings. That's not to mention the famous Alpine apres-ski and nightlife scene. Resorts in Bulgaria and Andorra offer a fun yet cheaper alternative in their beautiful snow-covered mountains. Or if you want to go a little further afield, you could try resorts like Aspen in the USA or Whistler in Canada.

This lovely green patch of the Algarve is a favourite among golfers. With championship courses remaining open all year round, winter is a great time to practice your putting skills while the area is a little quieter in comparison to the summer months. Try the prestigious Old Course or the Oceanico Victoria Golf Club, which both boast delightful surroundings. Explore the beaches along the Portuguese coastline, such as the soft golden sands of Praia da Marina or Praiai da Falesia. This luxurious coastal area also features a chic marina full of yachts, lined with palm trees and boutiques. Stop at an open air cafe or restaurant with a view and soak up the scenery.

Egypt is a popular choice for winter sun, but to take advantage of the country's other offerings try a winter Nile cruise. You'll pass impressive ancient attractions and archaeological sites steeped in history as you glide along from Aswan to Luxor. Explore the Valley of the Kings where you'll find the Temple of Queen Hatchepsut. Or you can seek out the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, which is often referred to as an open-air museum. Pick up some souvenirs at one of the buzzing bazaars or join a camel ride to experience the natural beauty of the desert.

Hungary's beautiful capital city has got all the essentials for a wonderful winter city break. Culture? Check. Delicious food? Check. Nightlife? Check. Split into two halves by the Danube River, there's lots to do and see on both sides. Wander around the snow-dusted streets and you'll pass impressive buildings like the Parliament Building, the Basilica of St Stephen and the historic Chain Bridge. If you're visiting during December, don't miss the picturesque Christmas Markets. Then chase away the winter chill as you warm up in one of the city's famous hot thermal baths, such as Gellert, Szechenyi or Rudas.