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12 winter sun destinations
 
Balmy beaches, blue skies, and a healthy dose of culture: our round-up of top destinations for beating the winter blues.
One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is a melting pot of diverse cultures and ideologies with a fascinating past. While it attracts visitors year-round, the city is at its most seductive in summer when locals and tourists come out to play. It offers dramatic landscapes,...
Cuba seduces with its elegant Spanish colonial architecture, musical melodies, cocktail culture, stunning beaches and humorous, welcoming locals. The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is fringed by palms and turquoise blue seas appealing to sun-and-sand devotees, while its natural attractions of tobacco plantations, lush sugar-cane fields, mountains, colourful birds,...
Dubai is a one-off; from audacious architecture and shiny mega-malls to busy Dubai Creek and its glittering gold souk, this cosmopolitan Arabian hub is a shrine to excess like no other. By day, it’s all about soaking up the sunshine on squeaky-sand beaches and splashing in the turquoise sea. After...
Luxor was the political and religious capital of Egypt during its golden age (c.1550-1070 BC), at a time when its empire stretched from modern-day Syria to Sudan. The monuments left by its ruling pharaohs, such as Ramses, Hatshepsut and Tutankhamun – from multi-tiered columned temples to spectacular treasure-filled tombs –...
Morocco’s former capital blends buzzing street life with stunning architecture and vibrant Arab culture suffused with a liberal sprinkling of French influence – which adds up to an intoxicating holiday destination. Known as the Red Rose city, thanks to the dusky pink hue of its buildings, Marrakech is best known...
With bone-white beaches, azure seas and sensuous hotels with pretty mountain backdrops, this tropical Indian Ocean island is made for romance. World-class spas, championship golf courses, watersports and diving abound at the many beach hotels, while inland, eco-adventures await, from nature walks in endemic forest to quad-biking through vast sugar...
Lined with powdery white-sand beaches, washed by a turquoise sea and peppered with intimate resorts, Mexico’s Mayan Riviera offers an idyllic beach holiday for all tastes. There are nature-based theme parks for families; couples will relish the myriad boutique hotels sitting on turtle-nesting beaches; and those in search of the...
Beautiful bodies, non-stop sunshine, a turquoise ocean and art deco appeal make South Beach one of America’s boldest and most tropical locales. Add to that a sizzling Cuban-inspired Latin vibe – Miami’s Spanish-speaking population outnumbers English speakers – and one of the US’ best hotel and nightlife scenes, and you’ve...
Egypt’s Red Sea coastline runs from Israel to Sudan, taking in some of the most spectacular diving in the world. With coral reefs below, desert hills above, reliable sunshine and almost no rain – it’s no wonder this region has become one of the world’s top beach destinations. The beaches...
No city has a setting more beautiful than Rio, nor a population more devoted to the enjoyment of life. Locals (cariocas) call Rio simply, Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City), and are too transfixed by its beauty – and their own – to do anything other than enjoy themselves, staying up late...
Lying midway along the Eastern Caribbean island chain, St Lucia is one of the most beautiful – and possibly the most romantic – islands in the Caribbean. The resort hotels clustered in the north offer a classic beach holiday – but look further afield and there is plenty more to...
Turkey’s holiday heartland is a swathe of mountain-backed coastline blessed with spectacular beaches and a giddying range of classical ruins, not to mention world-renowned cuisine. An excellent infrastructure means it’s easy to range widely across this beautiful area, one perfectly suited to outdoor activities ranging from trail walking to canyoning...