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18 Dec Winter sun destinations

Want to swap your thermals for sun, sea and sand? We have compiled our lust list for winter sun destinations.

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The Bahamas

The Bahamas has more to offer than just a picturesque backdrop of palm trees, powdery sands, sheltered bays, piña coladas and a good opportunity to top up on your Vitamin D this winter. It is also the official home to the swimming pigs, orange starfish and green sea turtles. Book yourself a spot on one of the Bahamaian plush beaches, with approximately 100,000 square miles of tropical sea and an estimated 5,000 square miles of land.

Top tip: If you’re bringing the kids (or big kids) be sure to attend the Dolphin Experience on Grand Bahama Island.

Highest average temperature for December: 26°C


Jamaica, the Caribbean

All the stereotypes you might have about the Caribbean come alive the minute you step off your flight and enter the laid back surroundings of Jamaica. Chill by one of the ramshackle beach bars or kick back on the sugar white sands and hail the sunshine with cocktail in hand, while you whistle along to the tune of Bob Marley’s hypnotic version of Don’t Worry, Be Happy reggae classic. Thrill-seekers can enjoy kayaking, snorkelling as well as other island activities.

Top tip:  Because of the low wage rate there’s a strong tipping etiquette in Jamaica and the general rates can vary from one place to the next. Before getting into taxis be sure to ask the driver how much the total cost of the fare will be, plus the expected tip rate.

Highest average temperature for December: 29°C

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Cyprus, the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean’s warmest island and the only one where you are guaranteed year round sun, with talcum white sand beaches, captivating mountain views, crystal clear waters and more culture than your average island. Cyprus is the perfect destination if you are after some mild winter sun rather than sweltering heat.

Top tip: To get the full Cypriot experience, it is worth renting a car where you can travel from North to South Cyprus in less than 4 hours.

Highest average temperature for December: 19°C

Miami, Florida

Looking for a sun kissed glow stateside, then Miami is the perfect winter sun destination. South Beach or ‘So-Be’ is touted as the ‘American Riviera’ where you can immerse yourself in the plush surroundings of a relaxing day on the fine white sands, clear blue sea of the Atlantic Ocean and the sophistication of trendy nightlife.

Think your furry friend deserves a bit of winter sun? Miami Beach is known to be arguably one of the most pet-friendly cities in the world, with hotels and tour operators aiming to cater to all your pet’s needs.

Highest average temperature for December: 24°C

Top tip: Mark a visit on your calendar of activities to people watch in the trendy cafés, bars and chic restaurants on Lincoln Road or Ocean Drive.

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Lanzarote, Canary Islands

With (almost) guaranteed sun, sea and sand there is no wonder why thousands of Irish flock to sunny Lanzarote all-year round. Kick back on one of Lanzarote’s finest beaches and soak up some rays. Prepare to cross off a few once in a lifetime experiences off your bucket list where you can take a camel ride over volcanoes, enjoy breath-taking views and stop for lunch in a restaurant nestled on a volcanic cave.

Top tip: Though it may be warm during the day time it gets chilly at night so be sure to pack a cardigan or a light jacket, you will thank us for it.

Highest average temperature for December: 22°C

Thailand

If you’re willing to brave a long haul flight, Thailand has become a popular holiday choice among us Irish. Hailed for their unique full-moon parties, elephant trekking experiences, year-round tropical climate, pearl-white sandy beaches, and translucent coloured water and is home to the setting of The Beach filmed on Phi Phi Island.

Top tip: Try and leave booking your accommodation until you arrive as you could end up saving a packet, leaving you with more money to splurge in the popular markets.

Highest average temperature for December: 31°C

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Immerse yourself in the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife, where you will be greeted with a warm blast of heat, swanning from Sub-Saharan Africa as you disembark your flight. Among the major USPs for Tenerife are of course lazing in the sun, building sandcastles and over-indulging in tapas and sangria, the turquoise coloured sea also warranted a title of an Ed Sheeran song.

Top tip: Particularly if it is your first time visiting the island be sure to book a car so you can freely explore the island.

Highest average temperature for December: 20°C

If you are tempted to book a flight to any of these winter sun destinations, make sure to take out travel insurance at the time of booking.

Linda Pototzki
Linda.Pototzki@TheAA.ie