Are you yearning for a little sun but can’t get away this Summer? Why not plan a Winter Break. Here are some of our suggestions:
SHORT HAUL WINTER SUN
To follow the sun in winter, you will need to go further than the traditional European hotspots and head towards the Canary Islands or North Africa and you should expect flight times of at least 4 hours. There is plenty of choice with direct flights from Dublin.
There are actually seven Canary Islands but only direct flights from Dublin to four of them – Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Lanzarote. The islands all offer traditional package holiday resorts with great beaches and opportunities for watersports. When you scratch beneath the surface, you find that the islands are also very diverse and each island has its own unique personality and culture to discover and enjoy if you move outside the main resorts. The Canary Islands have something to offer the beach lover and sun worshipper but also the outdoor activity lover, environment enthusiast and those who love cities or culture. It is a matter of picking the right island for your tastes.
Tenerife is the largest and most populated of the Canary Islands and as well as having fabulous beaches, it has cosmopolitan cities, historic centres, bustling towns, small villages, rural farmlands and huge expanses of National Park. Plenty to choose from for those seeking sporty, active holiday.
Fuerteventura has miles of stunning beaches and is an island where you can escape from the crowds and relax in one of the many secluded coves to be discovered. It is known as the windy island and very popular with kite and wind surfers.
Lanzarote is dominated by its volcano, lava fields and black sand beaches. The barren landscape is beautifully offset by pretty white washed low rise buildings. As well as traditional sun breaks, the island attracts those seeking an eco-friendly holidays as Lanzarote is part of a UNESCO initiative promoting living and working in harmony with nature, by balancing conservation with sustainable use. The island also has a lot for the sports enthusiast as the constant breeze is great for surfing and the relatively flat, quiet roads are ideal for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Gran Canaria is best known for its parties, nightlife and wonderful beaches. It has wonderful golf courses and a visit to Las Palmas will thrill the shopping enthusiast. If you like to explore outside the tourist resorts, this island has ancient villages and beautiful countryside to explore.
Morocco is possibly best known for its historic cities, however it also has a huge range of wonderful beach destinations. The combination of sun, cities, history, culture, magnificent food and stunning landscapes will delight. There is something here for every traveller and it is especially suited to those who want sun but don’t like to lie around all day. There are an abundance of places to visit and explore. With direct flights from Dublin to the cities of Agadir and Marrakech, Morocco is waiting to be discovered.
MID HAUL WINTER SUN
For those who are prepared to travel a little further to catch the sun, taking a 7-8 hour direct flight from Dublin will bring you to the UAE and Qatar. Averaging 30 degrees in November, this could be your perfect winter break.
Families love Dubai where they can enjoy jet-skiing, snow skiing, desert safari, scuba diving and hot air ballooning, in one day if they wish AND there are fantastic theme parks !!! Dubai It is equally great for those that love a city break with amazing architecture everywhere. The man made islands and huge skyscrapers are world famous but the UAE also has magnificent mosques, museums and plenty to enthral the culture or history enthusiast. Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer opulence in abundance with luxury accommodation, great food, amazing shopping and beautiful beaches. For those seeing outdoor adventure, the desert and jagged peaks of the Hajar Mountains offer lots of opportunities to get one with nature and a desert safari in Liwa will not fail to captivate. It is very possible to take in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the one trip!
Doha, the capital city of Qatar is oozing style and a great destination for some winter sun. With a booming economy, the city is constantly evolving but yet manages to marry the traditional with the new. You will find modern shopping malls and stunning skyscrapers alongside cultural icons and traditional souqs. Doha is a shoppers paradise and the foodies will not be disappointed either as the food scene is buzzing with influences from all around the globe. For the adrenaline junkie, a trip to the inland Sea of Khor Al Adaid is just one hour’s drive from Doha and there are no roads to access this little known natural wonder. You must endure/enjoy dune bashing with 45 degree vertical drops over the sandbanks but it will be worth the trip!!
LONG HAUL WINTER SUN
Travelling long haul can be quiet challenging but it brings you to some of the most intriguing and beautiful places in the world. There are too many options for me to list all here, however, firstly you will need to select a continent and work from there. Our travel experts would be happy to help you plan the perfect itinerary.
Africa / South Africa – is a perfect destination in our winter time. As a vast continent, it is not possible to generalise on flight times which will differ greatly, however expect an 8 hour flight to north of the continent and approximately 15 hours to Cape town in South Africa. Also be aware there are not always direct flights available. FYI – generally the best time to safari is between May and October. A big reason to select Africa / South Africa for your long haul winter sun is that unlike many other long haul destinations, the time zone difference in Africa can be as little as one hour and this greatly reduces jet lag. Also the strength of the EURO makes South Africa in particular a very affordable destination at the moment.
Asia / Australia / New Zealand – If you are considering a trip to Asia or the southern hemisphere, the best time to go is from our Autumn to Spring. When travelling East you will have many exotic destinations to choose from including Vietnam, Laoi, Thailand, Indonesia, Bali, Malaysia etc. To truly explore these destinations can take time however there are many small group tours available which will help you pack a large amount of sightseeing and experiences into a condensed trip.
Going further Australia and New Zealand are wonderful destinations to explore if time allows. Our travel experts have amassed a vast first-hand knowledge of Asia and Australasia and would be happy to help you plan your perfect itinerary.
USA – Whatever the month, there is a part of the USA where the weather is warm and the sand soft. From East coast Florida or the Caribbean to further afield Texas, Hawaii, California, there is a USA sun destination waiting for you. Talk to our USA experts to put together your perfect winter sun itinerary.
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