Winter sun holiday ideas

If the forecasts are to be believed, we Brits could have a long, cold winter ahead, and some will already be dreaming of sun, sea and sand. If you've already had enough of dark, chilly evenings and biting wind, it might be time to think about getting away for a bit of winter sun.

Winter sun holidays 2012

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North Africa
Always a popular choice for a cheap winter sun getaway, North African resorts in Egypt, Tunisia or Morocco come without the long-haul flights and the hefty price. For a family-friendly holiday, try the Sharm El Sheikh resort in Egypt, which caters for kids and adults alike, in a beautiful setting beside the Red Sea. Last minute all-inclusive, seven-night deals can be snapped up for around £340 per person.

Alternatively, Yasmine Hammamet in Tunisia is ideal for a couples getaway. With a traditional walled medina, 15th century fort, elegant marina, two nearby golf courses, and three miles of gloriously sandy beach, it's perfect for a relaxing getaway. And in the unlikely event that you miss the winter chill, it's just a stone's throw from Tunisia's very first ice-skating rink.

The Caribbean
With the hurricane season hopefully finished for the year, now is the time to enjoy the Caribbean at its best. The island of Cuba, synonymous with cigars and mojitos, offers more than just clear blue skies and warm sun - Spanish colonial architecture, 1950s motors and, of course, the local rum mean you don't have to spend your days lazing on the beach. The all-inclusive resorts of Cayo Coco are the priciest, but Varadero is popular with Brits and a seven-night stay starts at around £680 per person.

There are some excellent late deals to be had in Thailand, as long as you choose your resort carefully. The wet season differs from the east to the west coast, so while Koh Samui on the east side could see some rain, more westerly islands like Phuket and Krabi will give you the best chance of sunshine and probably the best value. Opt for a room only seven-night stay and you could bag a break at the bargain price of around £650 per person.

Mention a winter sun break in the USA the first thought that comes to mind is Florida. At this time of year, the weather is warm and sunny without the sometimes sapping humidity, so it's great for any type of break. Families will, of course, head to Orlando for the theme parks, and it's possible to get great deals at the Disney self-catering villas throughout December and January. For couples though, a fly-drive holiday taking in Miami's hip South Beach, the Florida Keys and Key West will show you the best of the Sunshine State.

What's your favourite winter sun destination? Leave your comments below...