As temperatures begin to drop and summer starts to feel like a distant memory, we are forgetting what it feels like to have the warmth of the sun on our skin. But before you swap your sandals for slippers and pack away your diving flippers, why not give them one last lease of life with a last-minute escape to the sun? We’ve rounded up some of the best spots to enjoy the sunshine while the UK plunges into the depths of winter.
During the summer months Marrakech can be steamy, busy and, for some – the heat unbearable! Thankfully the months of October and November bring with them comfortable conditions to explore this fascinating city in greater detail. With the sun still shining, a refreshing breeze gently whispers through the city making for more manageable conditions. This means you can wander Jardin Majorelle, explore the secrets of Marrakech Medina and discover the charm of this enchanting city, all while topping up your tan.
Another popular choice for a holiday during the height of summer, temperatures on the Greek island of Crete can often peak in the 40°Cs. This means that the autumnal months offer a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the stunning scenery, sparkling sea and luxurious hotels in milder temperatures, all for a reasonable price. Daybreak brings with it sunbathe-able sunshine, and the opportunity to explore the island without overheating, while nightfall offers peace, quiet and cooler Mediterranean evenings to enjoy delicious seafood and a tranquil atmosphere.
Sitting quietly undiscovered by the masses for some time, but now enjoying the limelight that being home to the European Capital of Culture brings, the nation of Malta offers an excellent winter sun escape. Prehistoric temples overlook Crayola-coloured fishing boats, which gently bob in the bay of Valletta. Temperatures in autumn reach the 20°Cs, allowing you to comfortably explore the ancient architecture and marvellous sights in the sun. But we wouldn’t blame you if you’d prefer to stick to the comfort of a sun lounger.
If you are looking for some heat that’s on par with summer sunshine, Antalya is the place to pick! While temperatures will fall a few degrees below those in the height of summer, you will still be able to top up your tan and enjoy the vivid blues of the Turquoise Coast! You won’t be missing out on any of the summer benefits either – thanks to Antalya’s position in the Med, temperatures aren’t that seasonal, meaning you can enjoy delicious seafood and drawn out evenings in quiet bars, all while avoiding the hordes of summer visitors.
Undoubtedly one of the most glamorous cities in the world, Dubai has got the temperature to match! It is almost always hot in Dubai, thanks to the fact it has been constructed on a desert, which conveniently enjoys a dreamy azure coastline. Infact the months following the height of summer are widely considered the best period to visit Dubai, which enjoys temperatures in the mid-30°Cs throughout our autumn. So you can shop till you drop in the glitzy boutiques or lay out in the sunshine without breaking too much of a sweat!
Cyprus is a glimmering jewel of the Mediterranean, boasting a plethora of fabulous resorts, well known for their sparkling aquamarine waters and deliciously warm climate. Thankfully for us, these things don’t change when it comes to the latter months of the year, making for a traditional Mediterranean getaway – complete with all the Cypriot delicacies – during autumn! Head to Nissi Beach for the beaches that the island is famed for, or discover the ancient relics of beautiful Paphos without the crowds.
7. Canary Islands
Everyone knows that the Canary Islands are a sure thing for a winter sun escape. Enjoying year-round sunshine because of their idyllic position off the coast of Africa, the Canaries each boast their own individual qualities – meaning there is something for everyone in this volcanic archipelago. Tenerife is a popular choice for families, with a great selection of resorts and things to do, while Fuerteventura offers a more untouched alternative with rolling sand dunes and crashing waves, making it a popular island among water sports enthusiasts.
Another one of those destinations that doesn’t falter when summer is officially over in the UK, Hurghada enjoys temperatures in the high 20°Cs and 30°Cs. And with Egypt’s fascinating history combined with Hurghada’s stunning location on the coast of the Red Sea, the resort offers a fabulous winter sun escape. If you are looking to just kick back and relax, Hurghada is the place for you! An array of all inclusive resorts run the length of the coastline, making for excellent sunbathing opportunities – with a cocktail in hand, of course!
9. Cape Verde
A melting pot of African influences and Portuguese traditions, the archipelago of Cape Verde offers an alternative to the Canaries, while boasting a similar – if not more appealing- climate. With flour-soft sands and palatial hotels lining the turquoise shore, you can be certain that you will enjoy a week of bliss here. The islands enjoy almost year-round sunshine, with temperatures rarely falling below the 20°C mark! Not only is the island cluster home to beaches comparable to that of the Caribbean, the nation has volcanic fury to thank for its boiling beginnings.
While Madeira may not be quite as steamy as our other winter sun escapes, temperatures still reach the high teens and there is so much to see and do, we could hardly leave it off the list! Home to Madeira wine (obviously!), the island boasts a rugged landscape and colourful capital – Funchal. Discover blooming botanical gardens overlooking the roofs of Funchal and a dramatic landscape in the form of awe-inspiring mountains and jaw-dropping cliffs, best viewed from the cable cars scaling their way to the charming village of Monte.