Winter Sun Short Breaks

Warm up your winter with a wee dose of sun


Russ Sanchez

Russ Sanchez
HomeAway travel expert


SunnyChristmas, devoted as it is to preparing for/dealing with/recovering from family, often seems to beg the necessity of a second, post-holiday holiday. (Or, you know, maybe that's just me – but I rather suspect it's not.) Luckily, fitting in a shorter, sun-soaked auxiliary break isn't too tough with a little pre-planning. A well chosen winter sun short break can rival even the summer holidays for pure relaxation potential (especially considering the sometimes hefty savings you can take advantage of by travelling outside peak season – and what's more enjoyable than getting a good deal?).

The ideal short winter break location is: nearby, sunny, and bustling enough to give you the option of both outdoor and indoor activities. And while few destinations in the Northern hemisphere are going to be able to guarantee non-stop sun during what is, after all, still winter; nonetheless, a Mediterranean winter is a far cry from a British one. The holiday locations below all offer a significant amount of daily light, and at least temperate climes – a great way to sneak a little warmth into your winter.

 

Top destinations for sunny short breaks in winter


   

Winter sun holidays in Morocco Winter sun holidays in Morocco

A trip to Morocco wouldn't be complete, especially for first timers, without a visit to Marrakech – the 'Red City', named for the roseate tint of its iconic walls – and its fabled Jemaa el-Fna square. Jemaa el-Fna may be the world's liveliest, most eclectic, and literally and figuratively spiciest bazaar; be sure to put on your haggling pants before you go! Alternately, if you fancy an overnight eco-friendly desert experience while there – think sumptous tents, compost toilets, camel rides, and mountainous sand dunes glittering as far as the eye can see – check out Ecological Camp Adounia, outside Marrakech. And for the beach lovers? The warm, honey-gold shores of Agadir, renowned in many places for their excellent surfing.

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Winter sun holidays in the Canary Islands Winter sun holidays in the Canary Islands

A four-hour flight away, the Canary Islands offer warm weather year round, and numerous holiday activities. The Parque Natural de Corralejo, for example, offers excellent wind surfing opportunities. On the south coast of Gran Canaria, the Centro de Talasoterapia is Europe's largest thalassotherapy (sea-water therapy) spa; a day's use of the facilities starts at 60. Another European superlative? The GREGOR telescope on Tenerife. As it turns out, the Canary Islands have some of the clearest, best-for-star-gazingest skies around. After a day lazing at the beach, why not a night lazing with heavenly bodies?

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Winter sun holidays in Spain Winter sun holidays in Spain

Spain doesn't instantly make you think “holiday” for no reason. Temperatures in the 20s are common in Southern Spain even in winter, and beaches are considerably less crowded than in summer. Holiday rental prices are also at their off-peak lows. Granada, although not exactly a tropical paradise in winter, is sunnier than not, and contains some of Spain's most beautiful and iconic architecture – like the UNESCO-designated “castle city,” the Alhambra. Ronda, a shining white city set on a cliff amid olive and citrus orchards, practically begs to be photographed, and makes a delightful stop-off between Cordoba and Seville.  

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Winter sun holidays in Cyprus Winter sun holidays in Cyprus

With some of the warmest temperatures in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is a good bet for winter sun. There are five to six hours of sunshine a day even then – and beachworthy weather, although not strictly guaranteed, is hardly uncommon. And there's plenty to do: Nicosia has bright, crisp, traditionally Cypriot architecture in its older areas, and sleek modern high rises downtown, and there are museums, theatres, and other cultural pursuits to your heart's content. There are also Cyprus' famed beaches to comb, and lush and winding trails tat snake throughout the island's interior.

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Winter sun holidays in Turkey Winter sun holidays in Turkey

Southern Turkey is temperate even in winter, and is a great place to escape British cold weather gloom without having to deal with the crowds. The old centre of Antalya is famous for its quaint cobblestone streets, tea shops and Ottoman-era architecture. And although winter is the rainiest time of year here, even December – the rainiest month on average – only sees about a week and a half of rainy days. Anatolia also offers some very unique holiday activities – fancy a bit of spelunking? There are innumerable caves throughout the country, and in the southeast especially. And don't miss Pammukale's iconic hot springs! The world heritage site's pale blue waters have been renowned as a natural health spa since Roman times.

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Winter short break accommodation in Tenerife

Luxury two bedroom villa with jacuzzi on the Costa Adeje Golf course Tenerife

This luxury two bedroom villa with jacuzzi is equipped with a kitchen (ceramic hob, oven, fridge, microwave, cutlery, kitchen utensils, crockery and glasses) and living room, television and a selection of satellite channels, air-conditioning, the ...

Private villa with its own swimming pool located in Callao Salvaje in Tenerife.

Private villa with private swimming pool located in Callao Salvaje in Tenerife. The villa is fully-equipped and contains modern furnishings. There are several terraces and a private swimming pool where you can enjoy the sun and the views. The vill...

Apartment with communal swimming pool in the village of San Miguel (Tenerife)

WELCOME! Between the mountain and the sea, the ideal place to relax and unwind. This Bio - House is located in a wonderful place, FINCA VISTA BONITA is a tranquil location in the village of San Miguel De Abona, with views of the sea and t...

Apartment with beautiful sea views just 100 meters from the beach of Tenerife

Nice apartment in the east of Tenerife, with beautiful sea views, located on the seafront and not on the side of the village Poris. In the background you can see the characteristic Poris lighthouse. The village where the lighthouse is located, has...

The typical Canary Cottage IEGT above Santa Barbara in a very quiet for those seeking relaxation

This country house is located above Santa Barbara, a small village in the municipality of Puerto de la Cruz gehörticod to about 640 meters. The house has two terraces with magnificent views of the valley, the forests and the Atlantic Ocean. Severa...

Beautiful villa with private pool and garden, located on the sea side in the north of Tenerife.

Beautiful villa with private pool and garden, located on the sea side in San Juan de la Rambla on Tenerife. The villa was built in 2006 and is located in the El Rosario area, a protected and tranquil rural region with beautiful views on the sea an...

Canarian house from the 19th century, with pool and situated in the heart of the Orotava Valley on Tenerife

Canarian house with pool. The house dates from the late nineteenth century and was restored with great care and affection. The property is located in the heart of the Orotava Valley on Tenerife, with large windows that open to the Teide and the se...

Rural holiday home in the Sierra de Cazorla.

This rustic holiday home with private swimming pool is located in the nature park Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las villas. The cottage is approximately two centuries old. It was completely renovated a few years ago and equipped with all modern comf...

Rural holiday home in the Sierra de Cazorla.

Wonderful rural property with private pool in the Sierra de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, in Jaen province. This small rural complex includes two fully independent houses which enjoy use of a bar-restaurant. The property in question belongs to t...

Rural holiday home in the Sierra de Cazorla.

Wonderful rural property with private pool in the Sierra de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, in Jaen province. This small rural complex includes two fully independent houses which enjoy use of a bar-restaurant. The property in question belongs to t...

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