Some like it hot, others cold. If you fall into the first category, then you can pack your bags and jet off to paradise. While last winter had us nestled at home for the holiday season, this year you have the chance to stock-up on that vitamin D.
A hot destination is the perfect remedy for the winter blues. It’s also a great wellness and happiness boost! So, pack your designer bikini and head to one of these top hot destinations this winter!
Barbados: a jungle escape
Spice up your winter mood in the birthplace of rum – Barbados. Hot sun, flying fish (yes, you read that right), pearl sands, and exciting jungles await you at one of the most stunning Caribbean islands.
This winter, escape the city buzz and tap into the island life. This is your opportunity to explore Caribbean culture and channel your inner jungle diva. And guess what! The sun is shining for nine hours of the day, and the temperature doesn’t drop below 29°C, so sunshine-funshine is definitely guaranteed!
Barbados is very laid-back and you’re sure to get the rest you need. The best thing you can do is go with the flow and let the sun rays guide you.
If you wish to enjoy the shade for a bit, there are lots of hidden gems to explore. Animal Flower Cave is located at the northern tip of Barbados. It offers majestic views and the chance to see humpback whales. Tucked in the jungle is Farley Hill National Park. Here, the remains of an affluent house are overgrown with a tapestry of mahogany trees – the perfect spot for a picnic and monkey-watching.
Mauritius: Garden of Eden
Wherever you turn, you’ll be mesmerised by Earth’s most enchanting creations, all tucked in one land of paradise – Mauritius.
Located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Madagascar, Mauritius has it all: stunning beaches, cascading waterfalls, geographic phenomena, and an array of beach and water sports. With only two seasons, Mauritian winter is like spring in Europe. The temperature ranges between 20°C and 26°C and is a paradise for all nature-lovers, adventurers, and wellness-seekers.
While you’re there, make sure you visit the Seven Coloured Earth – a surreal 3D painted geographic phenomenon of colourful sand dunes. Did you know that Mauritius is home to the SSR Botanic Garden, the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere, dating back to the 18th century? Make sure you pay it a visit to become attuned to the island’s stunning nature.
If you’re brimming with energy, why not try kitesurfing along the sun-kissed beaches of Le Morne, Grand Baie, or Bel Ombre? And if you’re in the mood for relaxation, visit one of the many luxurious spas for a truly tranquil day.
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: a lost paradise
Costa Rica’s summer begins just in time for Europe’s winter blues. What a coincidence! This means only one thing: paradise.
Indeed, Osa Peninsula, located in the South Pacific of Costa Rica, is known as a lost paradise, and for good reason! Home to an array of jungle retreats, turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and rich flora and fauna, Osa Peninsula is an oasis for city dwellers.
National Geographic named the island “the most biologically intense place on earth”. Osa Peninsula accommodates 463 bird species which you can watch at Drake Bay. That also happens to be the ultimate spot for water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, and kayaking. To savour the magical biodiversity of Osa Peninsula, head to Corcovado National Park – one of the most popular ecotourism destinations in the world.
But above all, Osa Peninsula is the ultimate wellness destination where eco-friendly resorts offer a mixture of wildlife, yoga, spirituality, and jungle treats! Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa and Bosque del Cabo are some of the most luxurious resorts in the area, where you’re sure to recharge.
Antigua: a romantic getaway
Head for a winter romance to the paradise of white sand beaches – Antigua. With a range of 365 beaches, both secluded and public, across the Caribbean coast, Antigua is the perfect place to spice up your relationship or celebrate your honeymoon.
Discovered by Columbus in 1493 and colonised by the British in the late 1600s, the island fuses history with a touch of British culture. Apart from basking in the sun on vast beaches, there are plenty of outdoor activities to bring you and your loved one closer together.
Hire a private boat for an exploration of the deep sea, enjoy each other’s presence while fishing around Jolly Harbour in the west or Falmouth in the southeast, and observe the marine life while snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters.
Of course, your holiday on the Caribbean coast wouldn’t be the same without some indulgent rum tasting, especially the popular Cavalier rum. The weather will be on your side all-year-round as it averages at 27°C but can drop to as low as 23°C between December and February. Nevertheless, it’s still ideal for some skinny dipping.
Morocco: the Mecca of shopping culture
Christmas shopping meets vibrant markets enclosed in the ancient walls of Morocco’s cultural cities. Brimming with stalls that offer handcrafted goods, ranging from hand-woven Moroccan carpets to traditional clothing, you will definitely find yourself a relic at whatever price you can haggle.
The labyrinthine medina in Marrakech is like the Mecca of Morocco’s shopping culture. It’s a place where you can be easily swayed by the aroma of indulgent authentic food, bright colours, and eager salesmen. Be aware of the locals roaming around the medina who might offer you to show you around, but it will be for quite a price.
Head to some of the stunning beach towns in Morocco for a warm sea breeze and more shopping. Essaouira transcends the spirit of Jimi Hendrix, who once visited the town in 1969, and an eponymous café in his honour attracts tourists from all over the world.
Located on the western tip of North Africa, Morocco reaches about 16°C – 17°C in harsh winter and about 23°C over Christmas – the perfect weather for camel riding in the exotic desert.
Whether you decide to explore vibrant Morocco or sunbathe on Mauritius’ pearl sand beaches, this winter is the winter for you to explore. So, make the most of it!