Ditch the cold this winter season and escape to a sunny sanctuary! We’ve shortlisted the hottest, (yes literally, the hottest) destinations to venture to this year; perfect for topping up your tan and reviving your summer wardrobe. Swap out the snow and rain for sandy beaches and a generous dose of vitamin D. Start planning your second summer and check out our recommended retreats below. Plus, book now to save on your airport parking for a stress-free journey to the airport.
Known for its opulence and extravagance, this cultural melting pot is one of the most popular destinations for Brits escaping the colder months. With temperatures ranging between a comfortable 15 to 30 degrees, December is one of the best times to experience the ultramodern emirate.
Regardless of being in a warm climate, there are still plenty of opportunities to get in the festive mood in Dubai. For sixteen days, The Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market offers visitors live music, traditional and regional cuisine and outdoor bars. You can also take a ride on the North Pole Train, or the picturesque Abra rides, or try your hand at decorating gingerbread houses.
Hailed as the ultimate shopping destination, Dubai offers over 70 malls for visitors to explore. And during December and January, the annual Dubai Shopping Festival is held, which hosts fireworks, film festivals, music shows and of course, shopping events. For any savvy shoppers, most brands will offer big discounts during this period, as well as daily car raffles and other prize draws. There’s no other perfect place to get your last-minute Christmas gifts at the best price!
If you’re looking to get outdoors and top up your tan this winter, then venture to the largest of all the Canary Islands and experience the spectacular scenes that grace Tenerife’s landscape. And with temperatures of around 22 degrees, you’re sure to warm up this winter.
Tenerife is the perfect winter destination for travellers wanting to explore the great outdoors this year. For the best views, head to the summit of Mount Teide by cable car. It will take you 3335m high where you can view the scenic national park that sits below. Or take a trip to see the awe-inspiring cliffs of Los Gigantes, stroll down the neighbouring beach, or take a boat ride out from the nearby marina. And if that’s not enough, the island is packed full of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Experience the world’s best and biggest water resort, Siam Park. Featuring heated pools, white sand beaches and waterfalls, it's the perfect for cooling off and relaxing.
Another fun-filled, five-star and must-see excursion is Loro Parque, voted the world’s best modern zoo. With an extensive collection of exotic wildlife and horticulture, there’s something for everyone.
The coastal capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, is a perfect spot to spend a winter break. With mild temperatures of 15 degrees, it’s a great time of year to explore the buzzing city.
Food is a big part of the city’s identity, and one of the best parts of any holiday! During the Christmas season, many of the city’s bakeries, cafes and confectioneries pull out all the stops and the shop windows are filled with mouth-watering sweet treats; we recommend trying the famous Portuguese custard tarts. But there’s something for everyone in this foodie city. Check out bistro-esque Estrela Da Bica; a Portuguese Brazilian fusion restaurant with a bohemian atmosphere, described as being creative and innovative with its dishes without pretension. Or try something a bit off the beaten path at Cantinho Lusitano; a traditional Portuguese tapas restaurant with an ever-changing menu with a variety of dishes so no two trips are ever the same!
See the sights of the city of Lisbon from a different perspective; Tuk Tuk tours! Book guided tours with your very own custom guide who will take you sightseeing around the capital and give you an in-depth and insightful look into Lisbon’s history.
And if you’re needing to inject a bit of festive cheer, head over to Wonderland Lisboa, the largest yuletide event taking place throughout the entire month of December. With food and gifts for sale, a skating rink and even a Ferris wheel, there’s something for everyone and it’s sure to be one of the highlights of your visit.
Winter has arrived, so it’s time to get your shorts and sunglasses on, top up on your favourite SPF and enjoy the sun! Yes, you read that right… if you’re thinking about going to Alicante this winter season! With comfortable highs of around 18 degrees and only 2 days of rainfall, it’s the perfect climate for spending the holiday season abroad. However, despite the warmer weather, there are still some Christmassy things to do around the Mediterranean coastal city. Visit the record-breaking largest nativity scene in the world, Bethlehem. It features a model of Joseph that stands a whopping 59 feet tall. The impressive scene attracts tourists from far and wide and is sure to be a memorable experience. If you’re looking to experience some more festive fun abroad, head over to Plaza de Toros for some ice rink skating and tobogganing. Or check out the Plaza de San Nicolas where you can browse through the Christmas markets for some last-minute gifting.
Alicante also has some beautiful sights to visit whilst you’re there. Head over to the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. Sat upon the top of Mount Benacantil, the ancient ruin is open for both self, and guided tours around the old keep tower and magnificent reception hall, Patio de Armas, whilst taking in the panoramic views of the picturesque coastline. Whatever way you want to spend the winter season this year, you can be certain that Alicante is the perfect destination to accommodate your needs.
Known for its white sand beaches and mountainous island terrain, Gran Canaria is ideal for those wanting to escape the cold and experience a holiday like no other. The weather from December to January reaches highs of 19 degrees which makes it a perfect time to explore the island and all it has to offer; however, we recommend staying in the south as you’ll experience drier days.
First things first, let’s hit the beach! Although it may not be warm enough to swim for too long, you’d be a fool to miss out on visiting some of the most gorgeous beaches on the island. Playa de Las Canteras is the main urban beach on the island and is considered the most important beach in Spain, with several national and international awards. The 3-kilometre-long beach is known for its blonde sand, clear water and barrier reef that runs through it, as well as food and drink, hotel and leisure offerings, making it a must-see spot! Speaking of beaches, you cannot pass on our next recommendation! Saddle up and take a guided camel ride across the colossal dunes of Maspalomas. Experience this once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list excursion only in the Gran Can and make memories for a lifetime.
The fun with the animals doesn’t stop there! Take a trip to Palmitos park, set in 200,000 square metres of tropical gardens and home to animals from every corner of the world. It also features some beautiful horticulture like the Cactus Garden and the Orchid House!
Turn up the heat this winter season and spend it in Lanzarote! Over December and January, temperatures can reach highs of 21 degrees, so you’re guaranteed a warmer holiday season! Check out some of the things you can do whilst chasing the sun.
Historically, Lanzarote has played host to a vast amount of UK tourism over the holiday season and because of this, many of the hotels and restaurants have, over time, changed their menus to appeal to Brits who are still wanting a traditional Christmas dinner, so if you’re worried about missing out, then worry not! Why not get your Christmas dinner delivered to you poolside? Or take it to the beach and bask in the vitamin D.
Christmas celebrations don’t end on the 26th, so you can carry on the festivities a little while longer. In January, the whole of Spain celebrates the Three Kings Parade and Lanzarote is no exception. Families fill the streets to witness to the Three King’s arrival who, essentially play the same role as Santa over this period as they give out toys and presents to children who have written letters. Drinks are left out for the Kings and food for the camels they ride.
What’s a trip to Lanzarote without visiting some of the beautiful beaches that make the island a top destination over this period? Take a trip to Papagayo Beach which hides between the mountains of Ajaches, or take a stroll on the golden sand bank of Playa Grande, the choices are endless.