Brrr! Swap the so-cold snow for sun-soaked sand with our pick of the best winter sun holiday deals...
Best winter sun deals
Ten of the best winter sun holidays
A bustling city just an hour away from Bangkok airport, Pattaya combines beautiful beaches with excellent shopping – the perfect antidote to the winter blues. The town is quite modern, so for something more traditional, head to Nong Nooch Village, where you'll be met by local dancers, stunning scenery and the world's largest orchid garden. Head to the Elephant Village for 90-minute treks around the park – where you can also enjoy white water rafting – and make sure to take a day trip to Koh Larn, a beautiful island 40 minutes away with white sands and crystal-blue sea. Stay: At the Dusit Thani Pattaya, a luxury beachfront hotel located on a long stretch of sand at the northern tip of Pattaya Bay. Package: Kuoni (01306 747002; kuoni.co.uk) offers eight nights in a Superior Garden View Room on a Room & Breakfast basis from £799 per person (applies to departures 17, 25 & 31 Jan 2011). To book please quote tour ref: FE9137. Flights based on Jet Airways from Heathrow. The price is based on two sharing and include return flights (including taxes and fuel surcharges) and transfers. You save: Up to £642 per couple.
Enjoy your own castaway moment in the Maldives – at an affordable price! Enjoy watersports of every kind (even underwater hockey), indulge in a pamper at the spa, or have the ingredients for your own private barbeque delivered to your door. Stay: At the Kandooma resort, a beautiful island set 40 minutes away from Male International Airport. Fill up on Asian and Western fare at the poolside Kandooma Cafe, sip cocktails while watching the sun set at The Deck, and enjoy movie nights and live music in the evening. Package: Kuoni (01306 747002; kuoni.co.uk) offers seven nights in a Beach Villa on an All Inclusive basis from £1489 per person (applies to departures 23 Jan 2011). To book please quote tour ref: IO0651. Flights based on British Airways from Gatwick. The price is based on two sharing and include return flights (including taxes and fuel surcharges) and transfers. You save: Up to £450 per couple.
The beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia has it all: powdery beaches for sunbathers, mountains to climb, lush forests to explore, a rich history and tradition for culture vultures, and excellent snorkelling. Stay: At the luxurious Cotton Bay Village nestled on St. Lucia 's picturesque East coast. Choose from an array of award-winning Heaven spa treatments, water sports, or sun-worshipping, while The Humming Bird Kid's Club makes the Cotton Bay Village an ideal resort for families, too. It's secluded enough to make you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, but in fact you're right near Rodney Bay, with its array of restauarants, bars and shops. Package: Sovereign Luxury Travel (0844 415 1936; www.sovereign.com) offers a 50% discount for 7 nights at the Cotton Bay Village from £1199pp based on two sharing on a room only basis, including flights from London Gatwick and hotel transfers. You save: Up to £1353 per couple.
Hordes of travellers head to Egypt each winter to make the most of its blazing sunshine and unrivalled diving in the Red Sea. Away from the beach, Egypt also offers amazing sightseeing, a must being a day trip to the ancient pyramids. Stay: At the four-star Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna, located on three kilometres of private beach overlooking the Red Sea. You won't be short of things to do, with four swimming pools, a range of bars and restaurants, a spa, as well as watersports, tennis courts, squash courts and a dive centre. Package: W&O Travel Kids In The Med (0845 277 3300; www.wandotravel.com) is offering seven nights at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna from £499pp, which includes return flights from the UK, airport transfers and is based on two sharing a double room on a bed and breakfast basis for travel 3 – 24 December 2010. You save: Up to £75 per person.
Snake charmers, hidden palaces, must-see markets: Marrakech is an exotic, vibrant city full of mystery and intrigue. The focal point of Marrakech is its celebrated square, Jemaa el Fna, while the medina (old city), with its fondouks (artisans' workshops), is a place not to be missed, along with the myriad of chic bars and souks. Stay: At the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa. Designed in a contemporary Andalusian style and situated in sumptuous gardens, it promises a refreshing and relaxing winter escape. The hotel is ideally placed to enjoy the colourful markets and vibrant nightlife of this lively city, and many of the elegant rooms boast views of the famous Atlas Mountains . Package: Sovereign Luxury Travel (0844 415 1936; www.sovereign.com) offers a 15% discount and a free room upgrade for 3 nights at the Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa from £369pp based on two sharing on a bed and breakfast basis, including flights from London Gatwick and hotel transfers. You save: Up to £107 per couple.
Think Tenerife and the dubious Playas de las Americas probably springs to mind. But this hotspot – which sees more hours of sun than any other part of Spain – will surprise you with its stunning scenery. Stay: At the five-star village resort of Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque, in the fabulous Costa Adeje, 15 minutes from Tenerife South International Airport. Here you'll find a beautiful beach, five swimming pools, eight restaurants, an award-winning spa and even a shopping centre. See you there. Package: ITC Classics (01244 355 527; www.itcclassics.co.uk) is offering seven nights for the price of five at Bahia del Duque from £1,039 per person, based on two adults sharing a Double Room on a bed & breakfast basis, including flights and private transfers. Valid for travel until 25 December 2010. You save: Up to £440 per person.
This Indian Ocean paradise offers natural beauty and blissful beaches, but is also home to two Unesco World Heritage Sites, marine parks and nature reserves like the Aride. Go island-hopping, glass-bottom boating, hiking or just relax and enjoy the laidback lifestyle and Creole fare. Stay: At the Constance Ephelia Resort. Located on the main island of Mahe, the luxury hotel opened earlier this year between two of the island's most beautiful beaches and offers you a choice of five restaurants, five bars, four swimming pools and an extensive spa as well as a range of watersports, yoga lessons, tennis and squash. Package: Key2holidays (020 7963 6697; www.key2holidays.co.uk ) is offering a 50% discount on accommodation at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles as well as special airfares with Air Seychelles when booked before 31 December 2010, meaning that a seven-night break is available from £1299pp. This package includes return flights from the UK, return airport transfers and is based on two sharing a Junior Suite on a half-board basis when travelling 7 January – 10 February 2011. You save: Up to £800 per person.
St. Kitts: an unspoilt eastern Caribbean paradise, where you can enjoy beautiful Colonial architecture, shopping in quaint tiny towns, lava formations, lush tropical forests and seaside lagoons. Stay: At the four-star Ottley's Plantation Inn, situated on 35 acres of rolling lawns and gardens in the foothills of Mt. Liamuiga, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic. With just 24 rooms, this intimate resort - originally a 17th century sugar plantation - is set in extensive gardens with numerous nature trails; facilities include the Royal Palm Restaurant, a spring-fed 66ft swimming pool, a tennis court, croquet lawn and the Mango Orchard Spa. Package: Key2holidays (020 7963 6697; www.key2holidays.co.uk ) is offering seven nights for the price of five at Ottley's Plantation Inn, St Kitts, meaning a seven-night break is available from £1339pp when booked before 21 December 2010. This winter sun package includes return flights from the UK with British Airways and is based on two sharing a Deluxe Room on a room-only basis when travelling 4 January – 31 March 2011. You save: Up to £275 per person.
For a truly relaxing winter getaway, head to Grenada, which boasts one of the most picturesque waterfronts in all of the Caribbean at its largest town, St. George's. Turquoise seas, talcum powder sand and excellent scuba diving are just a few of the other pulls this paradise offers. Stay: At the stunning five-star Spice Island Beach Resort overlooking Grenada's most beautiful beach, Grand Anse. Perfect for both families and couples seeking a luxury Caribbean escape, Spice Island is a family-owned and run property offering 64 stylish beachfront suites. Janissa's Spa offers a menu of relaxing treats, while a state-of-the-art gym and tennis court will keep you active. Kids aged three and over can be entertained from dawn until dusk at the hotel's Nutmeg Pod with a weekly schedule of activities and games. The hotel is famous for Oliver's Restaurant offering an extensive á la Carte menu and daily table d'hote menu in a fine dining setting. Yum. Package: Caribtours (0207 751 0660: www.caribtours.co.uk) offers 7 nights at Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada from £3,720 per person staying in an Oleander Oceanview/ Garden Suite on All Inclusive. Price includes return scheduled flights with British Airways and private transfers. Based on departing 4 January and is a room discount when staying for 7 nights or more between 16 December 2010- 15 April 2011. You save: Up to £177 per person.
Bajans are some of the friendliest people in the Caribbean, and this coral island is also one of the most beautiful. Nature lovers shouldn't miss the Welchman Hall Gully, keen sightseers can take 4x4 safaris around the island, and adventurists can explore underground caves. And, of course, sun-lovers won't be disappointed with the silky white beaches! Stay: At the The Crane Residential Resort, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the south east coast of Barbados. It's the oldest hotel on the island and offers a tranquil alternative to the busy West Coast. Set on a dramatic clifftop above the pink sands of Crane Beach, you can enjoy breathtaking views. The Crane Village is the place to head for boutiques, restaurants and leisure facilities. Package: Key2holidays (020 7963 6697; www.key2holidays.co.uk ) is offering seven nights at The Crane from Â£1,499 per person. The price includes accommodation in a Junior Garden View Suite based on two sharing, return economy flights from London Gatwick with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, transfers and taxes. Prices are subject to availability and apply for travel dates from 30 January 2011 â 6 April 2011. You save: Up to Â£395 per person.