A winter holiday could be just what you need to escape the mad rush that is Christmas and New Year. Somewhere relaxing with a great climate sounds perfect; and just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some sun and great temperatures. In fact it’s all the more reason to head abroad and top up your tan.

Here are our top 5 winter holiday picks.

Canary Islands

Situated just off the North African coast you’ll find the beautiful Canary Islands. The perfect destination for sun lovers all year round, you can enjoy the stunning beaches or take a dip in the warm waters, no matter when you visit.

The Canaries are an ideal holiday destination for all types of people, from singles and families to the more active holiday goers. From surfing in Lanzarote, to camel rides in the desert there’s something for everyone. Make sure you visit the four national parks spread across the islands, two of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and two that are World Biosphere Reserves; making for beautiful days out.

Temperature: 18 – 22°C

Average Rainfall: 43 – 55mm per month

Egypt

The mystical land of Egypt is the perfect destination to take you away from the drab British skyline. Filled with pristine beaches, warm transparent waters, a climate to die for and fabulous tanning opportunities; you’ll see why this North African country is popular year round.

With much more to offer than a perfect tan, Egypt has an excellent old meets new feel, with an abundance of fun-filled activities. Spend the day diving below the Red Sea, where you can get up close and personal with tropical fish, amongst the stunning coral that lies beneath the waters. Of course there are the amazing sights of the Pyramids and the other Ancient Egyptian sites, which will transport you back thousands of years, for a truly inspiring time. Why not get a little adventurous and jump in a beach buggy or on a camel, and take part in a desert safari, for an unforgettable experience?

Temperature: 21 – 27°C

Average Rainfall: 5 – 11mm per month

Cape Verde

Lying off the West Coast of Senegal in Africa you’ll find some of the most beautiful and romantic islands known to man; the islands of Cape Verde. Surrounded by natural beauty, these dazzling landscapes are filled with spectacular mountains, white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

Occupy yourself with a little volcano hiking, or take part in wind and kite surfing on Sal, where the excellent combination of wind and waves guarantees a fun-filled day. The tropical climate gives holidaymakers the perfect tanning opportunities, with a number of historical sites offering the perfect day trip. These include the shipwrecked Cabo Santa Maria and the 15th century Cidade Velha, a World Heritage Site with breathtaking architecture. Make sure you take a trip to Mindelo, the cultural capital, where you can dine at traditional restaurants and bask in the local musical styles.

Temperature: 21 – 24°C

Average Rainfall: 3 – 5mm per month

Morocco

A sun soaked holiday paradise, Morocco is the perfect place to sit, relax and take your mind off the stresses back home. You’ll find beauty all around you, in a prism of colours from the white hot Saharan sands and the glistening gold of the souks, to the white snow topped High Atlas Mountains; Morocco offers not only a tan, but a visual feast for the eyes.

Take a hike on Jebel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak for some spectacular views, or head to Essaouira for a little surf action, with the biggest waves around. The city of Casablanca lives up to its namesake, providing the most romantic of days out for couples; another trip full of romance can be had at the Valley of the Roses – simply enjoy the scents as you stroll through the vines. But if you do one thing, make sure you check out the souks in Fez and Marrakech, where you’ll be blown away by the fascinating trinkets on offer; remember to practice your bartering.

Temperature: 17 – 21°C

Average Rainfall: 36 – 44mm per month

Tunisia

Chebika Osais

This North African destination is filled with history, beauty and a traditional culture like no other. Perfect for escaping the winter blues back home, you’ll find an abundance of coastal resorts, giving you the chance to keep busy and venture through the landscape, or sit back and enjoy the views.

Get adventurous and hop on board a camel for a unique way to observe the Tunisian landscape. Or take a trip to Southern Tunisia and check out the mountain oases of Chebika, Tamerza and Mides – providing amazing scenery you won’t believe exists. Be sure to make the most of the history by visiting the underground world of Matmata, as seen in Star Wars, the ancient city of Carthage (a UNSECO World Heritage Site), or checking out the Roman Amphitheatre of El Djem, which once staged gladiator shows.

Temperature: 15 – 21°C

Average Rainfall: 39 – 48mm per month

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