We’ve still got a little bit of sweet, sweet summer left, but it’s not too early to start your escape plan for when Old Man Winter rears his ugly mug once again. To help you along, we’ve gathered 4 of the hottest destinations for winter sun in 2019 that you need to know about. Who needs a cannabis retreat when these stunning locales are just begging to be explored? You only live once.
Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, and an excellent place to escape winter’s biting grip. On top of its near-constant sunshine, golden sands and crystal clear blue waters, Tenerife has something for everyone. Expect a lively nightlife scene, beautiful mountains and valleys, loads of opportunities to snorkel and dive, and great food (traditional Catalan, with African, French and Arabic influences. Delicious).
Tenerife is also pretty affordable compared to other popular vacation spots in Spain, so if you’re looking for a hot holiday that ticks all the boxes but won’t burn a hole in your wallet, you’ll want to check this island out.
Warmest fall/winter months: October and November
Must see/do: Visit Los Gigantes; go hiking in the Masca Valley
If you like luxury and money isn’t an object, The Maldives, in the middle of the Indian Ocean in the form of 26 ring-shaped atolls, is as close to perfect as you’ll get. Immaculate turquoise waters and soft white sand greet you everywhere you look, with breathtaking sunsets painted in purple, pink and orange hues (cue Frank Ocean’s ‘Pink Matter’).
When it’s 3pm on a Wednesday in the office and you’re dreaming of where you’d rather be, The Maldives is probably the paradise you’re imagining. While there are plenty of villas and hideaways that offer you complete seclusion and privacy making it a popular destination among honeymooners, The Maldives are far from boring.
You’ll find world-class diving and sea life, water sports, and surfing aplenty. There’s always a beach party happening at night with friendly locals. The seafood is some of the freshest you’ll taste, with many dishes inspired by neighbours India and Sri Lanka. The Maldives are a feast for the senses, and if you’re fortunate enough to get there, you’re going to find it very difficult to get on the flight home.
Warmest fall/winter months: December, January, February
Must see/do: Water sports, dolphin spotting, Balinese massage
Goa is India’s smallest state and has surged in popularity amongst people who want to experience Indian culture but are daunted by the idea of massive crowds and zero personal space, that often comes with visiting more densely-populated areas of the country. Goa is rich in culture, history, and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, and you’ll never run out of things to do and see.
It’s a brilliant blend of nature: green forests and jungles, waterfalls, and a coastline that stretches for miles; and sprawl with vibrant markets, super fun activities and nightlife, and to-die-for south Indian cuisine. Goa has also become a go-to destination for those doing spiritual work, as it’s chock-full of Hindu temples, meditation retreats, and Reiki healing centres. India is, of course, the birthplace of yoga – so what better place to get in touch with spirit than at the source?
Warmest fall/winter months: November to February
Must see/do: Visit the market in Anjuna; take a Goan cooking class
Lampedusa is a commune in the Sicilian province Agrigento, at the southernmost point of the country, just 70 miles from Tunisia. It’s known for its picture-perfect beaches (12 of them), namely the Spiaggia dei Conigli (Island of Rabbits), voted best beach in the world by Trip Advisor.
Despite its charming name, you won’t find any rabbits on the island, however you might catch a glimpse of some sea turtles, weather and tide permitting. With a transparent seafloor decorated with flora and fauna, the beaches in Lampedusa are a favourite amongst snorkelers and scuba divers, but also beach bums who love to spend hours lazing in the Mediterranean sun.
The commune is also full of beachfront accommodation, restaurants and places to have an aperitivo, and the island comes alive at night with bonfires, cookouts, and music. In the words of Belinda Carlisle, (in Lampedusa) heaven is a place on Earth.
Warmest fall/winter months: September & October
Must see/do: Take a boat ride off Lampedusa and feast your eyes on the awe-inspiring beaches, coves and harbours that the island has to offer; visit the Lampedusa Turtle Rescue Centre.