During the bleak midwinter of Britain, it’s understandable that many of us feel an urge to suddenly splash some cash and escape the bitter cold. Unfortunately, though, Europe offers little for the sunseeker in need of genuine heat. But don’t fret, here are five destinations to consider that won’t cost the Earth to get to, all of which require suncream and a hat in order to avoid burning at this time of year.
Over recent years, the east African island of Cape Verde has established itself in the package holiday market, but remains comparatively unspoilt up against most people’s image of package holiday hotspots. The visual definition of an island paradise, think luxurious oceanfront resorts, photogenic interior mountains and white sand beaches.
Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Las Palma and Fuerteventura have long been favourites with the winter sun crowd, and are the cheapest destinations on our list to get to. Don’t forget the smaller islands, though; La Gomera and El Hierro, both of which offer the same north west African sunshine, spectacular volcanic scenery, but fewer crowds.
OK, so a January jaunt to the Caribbean Islands won’t come cheap- it’s peak season in this neck of the woods. Nevertheless, destinations like Dominican Republic and Barbados are more competitively priced than many of the others, with package holidays offering excellent value for money. Meanwhile, heartbreakingly blue seas and sun are guaranteed.
Although political unrest has left something of a blot on the touristic face of Egypt, the main resorts near the Red Sea are unaffected by the troubles. For a medium-haul destination you’ll struggle to find anywhere that offers as much- from endless beaches to fantastic diving opportunities, international cuisine to lively bars.
It’s a big old country, and in some areas rather dangerous. Nevertheless, the Yucatan Peninsula, where resorts like Cancun and Playa del Carmen sit, are safe for tourists. Straddling the Caribbean Sea, thanks to the natural lagoon both face waters here are amongst the warmest in the world, with a high standard of hotels to boot.
Image credit: Cancun Beachfront (C) Ricardo Diaz