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As autumn ends and winter breaks, many are quick to plot their escape. And who can blame them.  When you haven’t seen the sun for months your only course of action is to fly somewhere hot. Shoveling snow from your driveway and scraping ice from your car are far less appealing than hiking in the Australian rainforest, or sunning yourself on a white sand beach.

The good news is that for those looking to trade winter this year for somewhere you can feel the sun on your skin, there are many destinations which offer warm weather all year round. Island destinations like Thailand, the WhitSundays, and the Florida Keys. Or more adventurous destinations like Sri Lanka or Spain’s Canary Islands.Which countries are warm in winter?

So forget about freezing to death on skis and bundling up each morning into 10 different layers of clothes; pack your swimsuit, suntan lotion and a hat; the following destinations are ideal escapes during winter for those searching for the sun. Where to go in winter that’s warm. Winter sun escape

Win your own winter sun escape! are giving away a 5 night break in the Costa del Sol! Visit their competition page for more details – simply publish a blog post about your favourite winter sun destination linking to their infographic.

If you’ve not had a winter sun break before just tell them what destination(s) are on your wish list and leave a link to your post in the comments of the main competition page or send them an email to Competition ends December 18 2015.

You can hover over these (or any image) to quickly pin it!

The WhitSundays Australia

There’s no better way to spend winter than on an island where it’s almost always summer! 74 island wonders which line the beautiful tropical coast of Queensland, the WhitSundays are smack bang in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, and the “stunning natural landscapes of coast and islands are dotted with secluded beaches and friendly towns.”

Laze out on the beautiful beaches to enjoy the clear skies and crystal clear water, go snorkeling to explore the diversity of marine life underneath the surface of the sparkling sea, or cruise through the islands and drop anchor for a scuba dive. Which places have warm winters?

Head on over to the Daintree Rainforest for a rugged and World Heritage listed getaway, or spend the day splashing in the clear shallow waters of world famous Whitehaven Beach. Where can I go in winter that is warm?

Thai Islands

The islands of Thailand are perfect for those with a castaway fantasy. And while there are dozens to choose from with each offering something quite different, Koh Samui is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country for a tropical beach vacation. Warm winter vacations warm winter breaks

Think fine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters which come together with nodding coconut trees to one side, and the beautiful Gulf of Thailand to the other. Those wanting to dance barefoot under the soft light of the full moon can join one of Koh Samui’s wild nightly beach parties too.

More than 1.5 million tourists visit the island each year to enjoy the kind of tropical coastline and beaches you find featured in ads. What better way to spend winter than to “get a massage, have your hair braided, buy barbecued chicken or sarongs, get to know the locals or simply doze off and chill out in a hammock in the sun.” sunny winter vacations sunny winter breaks

Canary Islands

If white sand beaches aren’t your thing perhaps you would prefer gold? With golden beaches and azure skies, the sun on your face and breeze in your hair, Spain’s Canary Islands are the ultimate sand-in-your-toes experience, and the ultimate winter escape. Where is hot in winter

But holidays to the Canary Islands don’t have to be all about the beach. Take Gran Canaria. While tourists are sunbathing, swimming, sailing and snorkelling, the “real” Gran Canaria is just waiting to be discovered. Dubbed a “miniature continent” for the dramatic variation of landscape and terrain, real rewards await those able to tear themselves away from the mass beach-front tourism to explore this incredibly diverse island. Countries where winter is hot

Walk the cobblestone streets and discover narrow alleys filled with museums, tapas bars and restaurants. Explore Vegueta, the city’s historical district, with traditional Spanish buildings dating back 500 years, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990. Or rent a car for a few days and head out into the mountains.  Totally rugged and wild, with spectacular scenery consisting of pine forests, canyons, and endless valleys, there is ample opportunity here for hiking, biking and horse trekking. hot winter vacation

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has it’s coastal gems too, though with eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, this is a fantastic winter destination that’s a bit off the beaten path for those seeking culture and adventure in a warm climate in place of the beach.

Go whale watching, stay in a tea plantation, track leopards in the jungle, or view the unparalleled sight of the annual elephant migration, which takes place in Sri Lanka’s Minneriya National Park. Is Sri Lanka Warm

The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a stunning archipelago of 1,700 islands stretching off southern Florida, and winter temperatures rarely dips below 20 degrees Celsius. Why people go to Florida in Winter

Think beautiful white sand beaches backed by sparkling crystal clear waters; fantastic dive sites and superlative marine life. Florida warm winter

Key Largo is the only living coral reef off the mainland US, and this is one of the most popular destinations in the Keys. Key West is another must, a laid back island city with pastel colored houses and coral reefs, and the most southern point in the United States of America. How warm is Florida winter

Take a seaplane from Key West to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson National Park for something truly unique – Fort Jefferson is a massive coastal fortress which once served as a prison. The Fort is characterized by picturesque blue waters, and the highest quality coral reefs. Travelers can camp out overnight on the white sand beach. Spend winter in Florida


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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: WhitSundays by ilaria. Thai Islands by Gran Canaria by Juan Ramon Rodriguez Sosa. Elephants by Jonybraker. Jaguar by Blue Skyz Studios.


  1. We’re headed to Fiji in March, but I’m not sure I can wait until then for all this sun, sand and salt! I’ve always wanted to go to the Canary Islands … I’ll definitely check them out.

    • You’ll have a fabulous time in Fiji Cherri! I’m closeby in Aus, and Fiji is one of our go-to vacation spots :) Happy travels! Maybe next years winter trip can take in the Canaries!

  2. So many more places to add to this list! Nicaraguaaaaa, Cubaaaa, Mexicoooo… I am not sure about Costa Brava. Ok, it surely is way sunnier than England. But it does get winter, there.

    • Definitely recommend the Canary Islands if the agenda is Spain – & totally agree with Cuba, Mexico and Nicaragua – so many place to go, the tough decision ends up being about deciding where to!!

  3. Canary Islands are perfect winter escape, especially for Europeans! :) They have pleasant climate, it’s warm, but not extra hot, plus many hiking paths, that’s my number 1 ! :)

    • The hiking there is pretty outstanding, agreed!!

  4. I have to second the Canary islands. We just left there and the weather was awesome. We stayed a bit outside one of the main tourist areas and found it to be really beautiful with tons of things to do for active people!

    • Glad you enjoyed your time in the Canary Islands! I would live there if I could :D

      Really is a fabulous escape if you’re looking for a destination which is a bit more active – the landscape makes for some really beautiful hiking :)

  5. As winter breaks, I am often plotting my escape! The Great Barrier Reef is near the top of my list, so I hope the WhitSundays are in my near future. This year I am visiting Koh Samui and loved reading more about it on your list of winter breaks.

    • You can easily combine the WhitSundays with a trip to the Great Barrier Reef – sounds like the perfect winter plan!

      Have a wonderful time in Koh Samui, there are so many different and diverse beaches there, it’s a stunning place and there’s so much to do. I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

      Thanks for reading Nancy :) Happy travels X

  6. No winter break for me as we have sunny days (almost) all year long but Sri Lanka still sounds like a good idea for a year end break. Would love to stay in a tea plantation area and also catch the annual elephant migration. Catching the latter would be a dream come true!

    • Ah, one of the lucky ones who lives with perpetual sunshine!! Sri Lanka is a fabulous choice of destination – I’m telling people to get there before mass tourism hits and everyone realizes what a hidden gem it is!

      If you’re heading over there do try to plan your trip around seeing the elephant migration – one of the most spectacular things to witness in this world.

  7. Great share. I have to ask, are you the blonde in the photo sipping the Coke? I am going to the Keys a few days during the holiday season this year. We live in Vero and it is so close so I want to experience the drive. (been to the keys via cruise ship before). Great information about the Canary Islands. Going to try and do a Trans-Atlantic cruise from Barcelona this fall that goes there. ;)

    • Thanks Melody! I’m not the blonde – sadly I look shocking with blonde hair! I found that photos on a royalty free photo site and thought it suited the summery sun theme perfectly :)

      You’ll love the keys! We lives in Fort Myers for 12 months and I’m so glad we took the opportunity to travel further south. It’s a destination unto it’s own. Highly recommend doing an overnight camp at Fort Jefferson if you can – we loved it.

      Have a wonderful trip to the Canary Islands, we just put up a post about what to do in Barcelona in a day if you’re looking for ideas while there :)

  8. Nice!! I’ve been to Koi Samui once for a Full Moon party and had a blast. The Canary Islands also sounds fantastic. This is a great giveaway thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Nicole – and I bet you have some fab memories from the Full Moon Party in Koh Samui! Love it because there really is something for everyone there, whether you’re looking for a party, or for a simple and relaxing holiday on a secluded beach. It’s got it all!

  9. Love the Thai islands but Philippineshas 7,107 beautiful islands to choose from.

    I’m already researching about the best beaches of Australia because I’m trying to make my way down there by next year! About time.

    • Yes, come visit us in Aus! If you’re hitting up QLD I’ve recently published a post about the best beaches on the Gold Coast. If beaches are what you’re after you won’t go wrong there :)

  10. Was just thinking about this! I live in the permanent summer but Christmas is a time when I look for the colder weather, it just doesn;t feel Christmasy until I am wearing a jacket :) but for those living in miserable weather the sun and warmth is a welcoming change. Koh Samui is a great luxury destination and I have to make to the Whitsundays sometime soon, must be so beautiful! A friend was just telling me they go to Lanzarote every winter to escape the UK rainy cold weather, definitively a great and close option for Europeans

    • One of the lucky ones to be living with permanently sunny weather! I don’t know what it is, but the sun just seems to always put you in a good mood! So I don’t blame people for trying to escape the gloom.

      Definitely try to organize a trip to the WhitSundays soon – you’ll love it, the northern Australian islands are some of the best!

  11. I wish for a break in one of those sunny places you wrote about – Australia would be the best but others aren’t any worse. Unfortunately, they are too far away and the costs are to high for me, so I travel closer, but sometimes it’s enough just to go away and cold is not a problem as long as it doesn’t rain ;)

    • I hope you have the chance to visit any of these destinations soon Monica :) Australia is definitely an amazing location, though each of the rest are just as good too.

      Where abouts are you based? Perhaps I could recommend a few spots which are closer for you :)

  12. Those are some great places to go get some warm weather during the winter. Thailand is of course a popular place but it’s great to see Sri Lanka mentioned.

    • Definitely trying to promote a few off the beaten path alternatives to sunny winter escapes for those who like to escape the tourists as well as the snow!

  13. Hey Megan, nice suggestions!

    We’ve already escaped winter in Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand and most recently – South Africa! But Canary Islands are much closer to Europe, so maybe next year ;)

    Cheers, N.

    • Thanks N! Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on escaping winter each year! Hope you have an amazing time in the Canary Islands – great choice :)

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