The Scottish winter may be perfectly delightful on Instagram, but sometimes a change of scene and a change of temperature is needed to lift our spirits and thaw out our extremities. So where can you go that offers sunshine, good food and lots to do? Swap your Uggs for flip flops with our pick of the best places for a bit of warmth this winter…
Consider the Canaries
Although January is the coldest month in the Canaries, the average
temperature is still a balmy 17oC and you’d be really unlucky if the mercury dropped below 14oC. With a flight time of under five hours from Aberdeen and direct flights on Wednesdays and Sundays that makes it ideal for a winter break.
Tenerife is the largest of the islands. It’s known for its nightlife, restaurants and a large active volcano in the centre of the island.
Fuerteventura is your best option for if you just want to bake in the sun. It boasts around 150 beaches, a national park, some picturesque villages and lots of dive schools, whale and dolphin watching expeditions and water sports.
Lanzarote is great for budget-friendly family breaks, with lots of theme parks and attractions, though at times if feels more like Alton Towers than part of Spain, so there are better choices if you’re looking for authenticity.
Cruise the Caribbean
If you want to mix sun with an endless succession of sightseeing, then consider a cruise in the Caribbean. Each day brings a new island to explore, with organised excursions or the chance to slope off to a white sand beach or take a wander through markets and local landmarks. You’ll need to check on the latest vaccine regulations before booking.
Cruises, especially if you book last minute, can offer surprisingly good value. Food and entertainment is included and in some cases tips, drinks and even some on-board spending money is included in the package. Most ships have spas, premium restaurants, casinos, pools and lots to do. There are even ships with aqua parks, ice-rinks, go-kart tracks and roller-coasters. Even with all these activities, expect to gain a pound a day from overeating, so take some trousers with an elasticated waist for the journey home!
The best thing about cruising in the Caribbean is that you have so much choice. There’s always a new adventure in the next port and you can get some serious relaxation in between ports. Oh, and it gives you the chance to go shopping for a few new evening outfits for the journey, though many ships are less formal than previously.
Max out the credit card in the Maldives
If you’re looking for a warm wellbeing break and your bank balance can take it, then there are some exceptional spa hotels in the Maldives. You’ll need to travel via London or Amsterdam, and you’re looking at least 16 hours on board, so download a few films, books and podcasts to keep you amused.
There are 26 atolls in the island chain, so inter-island travel is mostly by speedboat or seaplanes. January to March is considered high season, and you can expect temperatures in the high twenties.
Holidays in the Maldives are more about doing nothing than being all action adventures. It’s about private islands, cabins over the water, people magically appearing with fruit-laden cocktails and an endless round of sunbathing, massage and perhaps the odd spot of yoga. Food tends to focus on being light and healthy with lots of seafood on the menu. It’s the perfect place to recharge and get away from it all.