As the last days of summer pass, it can be hard to get used to the idea of resuming the daily grind, travelling through the cold and the wet British autumn. So why not give yourself something to look forward to? Many cruise operators are now popularising their winter cruise lines – designed to give chilly Brits a second chance at soaking up the sun. Here’s a guide to the best destinations for winter sun on offer.
If you’d rather stay within Europe for a quick getaway, the Canary Islands is your best bet. Situated just off the coast of Spain, you can expect pleasant warmth here, with an average temperature of 28oC from September. There are many island hopping opportunities, allowing you to get the best of each spot. To make the most of that sun, spend a day at Gran Canaria’s city beach Playa de la Canteras.
Summer is obviously peak tourist season for the Mediterranean, and so a winter visit allows you to enjoy the attractions without huge queues. The weather is also warm but more temperate than the summer, with an average of 18oC and low humidity – so you won’t be sweating all over the temples of Athens. Relax on the beaches or take stock of all the amazing classical history on offer – including the ruins of Ancient Pompeii.
Sun is in the very spirit of the Caribbean all the year around. To see these Islands at their best, it is well worth timing your visit to coincide with one of the many fantastic festivals, a celebration of light, life, music, and dancing. Pirates’ Week takes place over November in the Cayman Islands and includes a boat race; or the St. Lucia Jazz Festival at the end of December in Nassau, celebrating traditional African drumming.
If you are looking forward to a longer holiday, take a cruise around Oceania. Their summer starts in November, and while the days are long and hot you can see all it has to offer. Christchurch is a beautiful city full of excellent restaurants and bursting with contemporary art; or head to Auckland to find out about the country’s indigenous Māori heritage. For film and fantasy lovers, no visit is complete without a day in Hobbiton, the set for Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings movies.