If the prospect of longer nights and shorter days are getting you down I have just the thing. Here you’ll find some of the best places to check out when you’re feeling like you need some sweet sunshine!
Whether it’s going to the beach to soak up some sunshine, or going on a typical skiing holiday with the entire family: which destinations entice you during the winter months? For those of you who still want to plan something, but are not quite sure where to go or what you want to do, I have a few of the most popular winter holiday destinations. I hope that something here takes your fancy and that soon you can start counting down the days until your winter trip!
Find some winter sun and guarantee your dream holiday!
Many Irish people want to flee the cold, dark winter days, as a result, they are drawn to the beach above all other destinations. The main criteria of many wintertime holidaymakers are sun, sea and sand. But where are the most popular beach destinations when it’s cold at home? I’ve searched for a few, which you can check out below.
The Canaries are only a couple of hours flight away and offer pleasant warm temperatures even during the winter months. Depending on the island, you could be enjoying air temperatures of up to 24°C and water temperatures of between 18 – 20°C. Fuerteventura is the most popular island for tourists, particularly surfers, thanks to its long sandy beaches which get approximately 300 days of sun per year. Gran Canaria also experiences warm temperatures of between 18 – 26°C.
Once there, many tourists are drawn to Puerto de Mogan – often referred to as the “Venice of the South” – or to the captivating Maspalomas dunes on the island. Particularly in the southern part of the island, the weather is often warm and dry. After FuerteventuraandGran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife are also very popular holiday destinations. All the islands have beautiful beaches, idyllic natural landscapes and a wide range of activities on offer and each has its own charm. Just decide which suits you best! :)
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only € 351
What are some long-haul destinations with some guaranteed sun?
So while we’re on the topic of sunny destinations during winter, how would you feel about Thailand? Air and water temperatures are both around 27°C on the island of Phuket, and it’s around 25°C in Bangkok. Which would you prefer? On Phuket you’ll find beautiful beaches, that are perfect for relaxing or strolling along. There’s no lack of attractions either! For example, I can recommend an excursion to Phi Phi Island or to the famous James Bond island. In Bangkok, you don’t have the beach, but you’ve got tonnes of exciting and diverse entertainment opportunities – in lovely summer temperatures!
There are numerous temples and palaces, including the impressive King’s Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, as well as many shopping venues and bars, you couldn’t possibly be bored here! But one thing is clear: at both locations you can expect 8 hours of sunshine per day alongside summer temperatures. Just decide which is more appealing to you! Personally, I like both ;) Another popular long-haul destination for a winter holiday in the Dominican Republic, the best time to travel there is between December and May. The temperatures are relatively similar the entire year round, but December – May is the driest period. Water temperatures are very pleasant at between 25 – 27°C, so it’s inviting for those who just want a little paddle, and for water sports enthusiasts too.
If you ask me, it doesn’t matter whether you go to Phuket,Miami or Dubai to soak up a little sun. There are plenty of options if you don’t fancy a long haul trip, then there are sunny places closer to home too. You can also visit several sunny spots during one trip, then maybe a cruise would interest you too!
Beach holidays in winter might seem strange to those of you who just want to enjoy wintertime activities, like skiing, snowboarding, or hiking through snow-capped mountains. Popular ski resorts in Switzerland, Italy and Austria entice many Brits each year. For skiers, Switzerland is the most popular destination, as some of the best slopes are found there, but it also offers a lot of variety for families. It’s very important for parents to find a child-friendly destination during the holidays. Zermatt, Samnaun, Arosa Lenzerheide and St. Moritz are among the most popular ski resorts that attract masses of tourists each year. Ski resorts such as Sölden, Ischgl or Kitzbühel in Austria are also very well-known. In Italy, areas of southern Tyrol draw in the most ski-holiday-makers. Germany also has some beautiful ski resorts, which are definitely worth a visit during the winter too.
Start packing and head over to the gorgeous Swiss Alps which have a world-class reputation amongst advanced skiers!
only € 633
Winter hiking is increasingly popular
As well as all the typical winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, there is another wintertime activity that’s becoming more and more popular. I’m talking about winter hiking! Although many hiking trails become inaccessible due to snowfall, there are several areas which offer very good trails even during the winter months. In Tyrol, for example, there are numerous hiking trails which pass through beautiful snow-covered landscapes, as well as pass by various landmarks such as churches, monasteries and castles. Other popular hikes can be found near to a mountain monastery in Karwendel and in Weinberg in Tirol (both in Austria).
Many people may want a proper, week-long holiday but unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, this is not always possible. For those of you who only have a few days to spare or even just a weekend, I would recommend a short winter city break, particularly to a diverse metropolis such as London, Paris or Amsterdam. London has a particular pull during the winter months, thanks to its “Winter Wonderland” in Hyde Park, which includes a huge ice skating rink, a Christmas circus and the chance to meet Santa!
Paris is also high on the list of the most popular cities to visit during winter. After all, who doesn’t want to visit the city of love, covered in a blanket of snow and beautifully lit up, stroll along the Christmas market stalls lining the Champs Elysées and ice skate at the Hôtel de Ville? These are, in my opinion anyway, some of the best spots to soak up some of the romantic winter Parisian atmospheres.The Dutch capital, Amsterdam, is also a very popular city to visit during the winter. Above all, during the Christmas period, there is the allure of fragrant Glühwein all around. As well as this, ice skating on the frozen canals is a highlight for tourists and locals alike!
If you're an avid cyclist then Amsterdam is perfectly suited to you! Whizz through the colourful streets and savour treasurable memories!
only € 117
An extra tip: If possible, plan your city trip during the run-up to Christmas so that you can also visit a Christmas Market whilst you’re away. Whether it’s a traditional Christmas Market in Germany or one somewhere else in the world, I think that each one has its own charm.
Absolutely extraordinary: Cappadocia in Winter
Those of you who want to experience something particularly special during the winter should prepare yourselves for a little excursion! A very extraordinary highlight is Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, which is located about 285 km away from the Turkish capital Ankara. Many tourists are already familiar with the rough, rugged landscape of Cappadocia. The impressive landscape is particularly known for the hot air balloon trips, which run the entire year round.
However fascinating a hot air balloon trip here may be in the spring, summer, or autumn, in the winter time the truly magical nature of this landscape becomes apparent. Although the temperatures can plummet into double-digit minus degrees, the cold will be quickly forgotten as soon as you catch a glimpse of the breathtaking, snow-covered landscape. Those who claim that Turkey is only a popular tourist destination in the warm summer months have clearly got their wires crossed! Here, both small boutique hotels and larger hotel chains compete for guests during the winter months. I can only recommend a visit here!
No matter where you go, winter travel also has its upsides! Whether it’s a bargain sun holiday, a skiing holiday in South Tyrol or a city trip including a visit to a Christmas Market, I’m more than happy to find the best deal for you! And if you don’t have time for a holiday during the Christmas period, you can always combine a holiday with New Year’s Eve! ;)
If you like what you've seen on this page so far, why not check out our shiny new podcast. Holidayguru's Gurucast is our newest way to inspire and interact with you beautiful people. Here you can learn about new and exciting places, pick up some great tips on how to save on your travels and also listen to interviews with some of the world's most influential personalities. Happy listening! :)