Best 8 Winter Sun Destinations

The clocks go back in a couple of weeks, and as the nights draw in and the air gets cooler, it’s no wonder people’s minds turn to top winter sun destinations; the thought of hot sun on your skin, of a dip in a warm, crystal clear ocean, and a cold beer as the sun sets on another day in paradise.

Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we’ve put together a list of some of the very best winter sun destinations for what’s left of 2021 and looking ahead to 2022, so that you can enjoy that sense of true escapism from the damp, dark, chilly weather of the UK.

1.     Morocco

caravan of camels and tourists in the sahara morocco

If there’s one place on earth that you can guarantee will be safe from the rain, you would think it would be the largest desert on earth. We offer a number of tours that take you to camp in the otherworldly Sahara desert and get you under the skin of authentic Moroccan culture, cuisine, and local life.

Throw in an average temperature in most of the country of 19 degrees in January, cloudless skies over the desert and camel treks through 22 degrees, and you can easily forget about de-icing the car or dodging the grit lorry back home.

2.     Cambodia

beach in cambodia

Not only is Cambodia’s climate more pleasant than the UK’s in December and January, but it is also probably one of the nicest times of year to visit the country, which makes it the absolutely ideal winter sun destination. With little to none of the infamous afternoon rainstorms, clear blue skies and an average temperature of around 26 degrees, it’s the perfect weather or exploring, relaxing, and anything in between.

Whether you choose to soak up the winter sun on a white sand beach on a tropical island, or exploring the country’s cuisine, culture and local side on an all-encompassing tuk-tuk tour, Cambodia is a top winter sun destination.

3.     Mauritius

boat and sunset in mauritius

When searching for winter sun, why not head somewhere where it isn’t winter? South of the equator and adrift in the Indian Ocean, the emerald jewel of Mauritius guarantees blazing sunshine and temperatures ranging from 25-30 degrees virtually the entire time so that it won’t be the boiler controls you reach for, but the air con.

Get off the beaten track in Mauritius and get to know the local side to this tropical paradise as you explore markets, meet residents, and figure out what makes the island tick. And of course, enjoy plenty of time basking in the warmth you know is somewhat lacking back home.

4.     Namibia

sand dunes and desert in namibia

Another southern hemisphere location, the climate in Namibia may not be as pleasant as Mauritius, but you certainly can’t deny that a trip here would see you get a serious dose of winter sun. With temperatures touching a scorching 29 degrees in December, it’s a far cry from your cold-fingered commute on a frosty Christmas morning.

And with incredible itineraries spanning mountainous sand dunes, petrified forests, and many more otherworldly landscapes, a Not In The Guidebooks exploration can get you further off the beaten track than ever before this winter.

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5.     Thailand

Koh Lanta view from beach

One of the most popular winter sun destinations on earth, and it’s little wonder why. Perfect temperatures, clear blue skies, jaw-droppingly perfect beaches and bath temperature seas create a destination that more than delivers on its promise of winter sun, combined with stunning cuisine and plenty of offbeat experiences to discover to get off the beaten track.

On an itinerary with Not In The Guidebooks, we’ll show you the local, authentic side to Thailand that most tourists miss when they flock straight to the beach, so that you can come home having not just seen Thailand, but having experiences it like a local.

6.     Costa Rica

waterfall in costa rica

It doesn’t get much more tropical than the steaming jungles of Costa Rica, and with the bonus of dry season lasting from mid-December to April (just about the last months you want to be in the UK), Costa Rica is one of our top winter sun destinations for a reason.

Whether you spend your time glamping on a tropical island, chatting to local fishermen, visiting eco-farms out in the sticks or climbing through the stunning cloud forest, there’s always a palm-fringed beach, golden sand, a Pacific sunset and a cold beer waiting at the end of your Costa Rican adventure – the perfect tonic for those winter blues.

7.     Cuba

man on a horse in vinales cuba

Another country with its best visiting months landing in our winter, you’ll come across dry season and beautiful, mid-twenties temperatures, the perfect climate for exploring this unique, beguiling Caribbean island.

Discover a culture that’s genuinely unique in today’s world, explore the peeling grandeur of Havana, the beautiful countryside, the mountains and forests of the interior, get to know this unique culture like a local, and of course relax on one of Cuba’s many stunning, white sand beaches – this is the Caribbean after all.

8.     Vietnam

beach on phu quoc vietnam

Our final winter sun destination for 2022 is Vietnam, where, like our other South-East Asian recommendations, you’d be landing at just about the most pleasant, and dry, time of year. This allows you to make the most of one of the most compelling travel destinations on earth – there’s a reason so many travellers find themselves thinking constantly of returning to Vietnam.

Whether it’s motorcycling through the rugged mountains of the north, exploring beautiful markets, or getting to know one of the world’s most incredible cuisines like a local, winter is a wonderful time to visit Vietnam, especially if you soak up a bit of winter sun on a tropical island just to really get that sense of escapism only a winter sun holiday can bring.

Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we offer a wide variety of unique, local experiences and itineraries designed to get you truly under the skin of a destination, so that you are exposed to the authentic, local side of a country. We find that it’s these types of travel experiences people remember for a lifetime, when you properly get to know and love a place like a local, and with our winter sun experiences you can expect just that – a chance not to just see a place, but experience it.

If you enjoyed these ideas for winter sun holidays, why not take a look at our alternative beach holidays or at our inspiration for unique summer holiday destinations for 2023?

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