10 Inexpensive Destinations to Escape the Cold
As the temperatures start to plummet, it’s time to think about booking a getaway where you can indulge in a week of sunshine in the middle of winter. The most obvious destinations may seem an expensive long haul flight away, but there are plenty of more cost effective options for escaping the cold this winter.
For guaranteed winter sun at a low cost, take a short flight to the Canary Islands. The coldest average temperature is a mild 17 degrees in January, and the mercury often rises above 20 degrees in the lead up to Christmas. It might not be tropical climates, but it will definitely be warm enough for swimming in the pool, and you’ll only need a light jacket for the evenings.
Winters in Cyprus can be much more pleasant that the stifling hot summers, with temperatures averaging at 20 degrees. Head to Paphos if you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins or Limasol for secluded beaches, and feast on fresh seafood in every location. The towns are much quieter, allowing you to visit the sights and eat in restaurants without experiencing crowds of tourists.
This beautiful chain of islands just off the coast of Africa is surprisingly only a six hour flight from the UK. If your idea of a winter sunshine getaway is to relax on idyllic beaches or scuba dive in crystal clear waters, Cape Verde mirrors the island paradises of the Caribbean but is much closer to home. Influenced by African and Portuguese heritages and not yet flooded with tourists, this is the perfect destination for those seeking somewhere a little bit different.
With incredibly affordable flights from the UK, Morocco is becoming an incredibly popular destination for winter sun. Stay in Marrakesh and explore the souks, explore the beautiful art deco buildings of Casablanca, or relax on the beach in Oualidia. Ensure that you take a trip out into the desert where you can sleep under the stars, ride camels and even play a round of desert golf.
See also: Morocco, Tips For The Solo Woman Traveller
If you’re looking for miles of white sand beaches close to home, Gran Canaria is the perfect destination. There’s plenty to do if you’re seeking more strenuous activities than sunbathing, such as explore volcanic mountains, jet skiing, camel trekking or exploring the buildings, shops and restaurants in one of the traditional towns. Did you know one of the best places to star gaze is the Canary Islands?
Head to the Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheik for scorching sunshine all year round, or travel to Cairo to experience the city whilst all of the locals are at home for the winter. The winter months are a peak travel period for Egypt, as tourists flock in to avoid the freezing cold weather back home and indulge in temperatures that can reach above 20 degrees.
Temperatures rarely fall below 15 degrees in Malta, making it the perfect retreat for those who seek a winter break close to home. The cobbled streets of the capital, Valletta are much more relaxed than in the frantic summer months, and there are still ample opportunities for dining and drinking outside in the midday sun. Opt for a hotel or villa with a heated pool and swim underneath the winter sun.
Whether you choose to relax in the Algarve or soak up the culture in Lisbon or Porto, Portugal boasts mild winters that may not send you home with a tan, but boast temperatures that rarely drop below 15 degrees. A welcome respite from the snow, it will still be warm enough to enjoy wandering around the streets admiring the architecture, or relaxing on a terrace with a glass of Port.
As with the majority of the other destinations mentioned above, Croatia can be more pleasant to visit in the winter months, without the hordes of tourists and scorching temperatures. Visit Dubrovnik in December to experience the Christmas Fair and open-air New Year’s Eve party, or wait until February to celebrate the Dubrovnik carnival where costumed locals parade the streets. Temperatures won’t be as hot as during the summer, but will still be warm enough to take a dip in the sea.
With the average temperature over Christmas reaching around 18 degrees, Madeira is the ideal destination for a short haul holiday in the sun. Explore the capital, Funchal to discover colonial buildings, the winding streets of the old town, and the bustling seafood restaurants at the harbour, and walk along the volcanic sand beaches in Ribeira Brava. During December expect festivities including fireworks displays, Christmas lights and the winter festival.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.