Planning a sun holiday in winter? Don’t know where to start? If you don’t have much time off to take, don’t worry as the AA has rounded up the top winter sun destinations that are less than 5 hours from Ireland. In no time, you will be surrounded by sun, sand and sea, leaving the colder weather behind (at least for a few days that is!).
Faro is a fabulous place for all the family if you are looking to get away and soak in some sun. You won’t be bored on this trip as there is lots to do. Why not take a wine tasting tour, hire bikes, visit the salt mines in Loule or play some golf? Did you know there are 31 golf courses? If you are going to relax, this place is perfect as there are markets, food tours, or you can chill out on a stunning beach. Faro is about a 3 hour flight from Dublin.
If you’re looking for some sunshine and high temperatures, Madeira is for you. It isn’t necessarily a sun or beach spot, but it does have a lot to offer. For example, you could visit the annual Christmas market in the capital Funchal or the New Year’s Eve firework display from land or a boat ride. Speaking of boat trips, they are popular around the island and you can also partake in some hikes through the forests. It’s about a 3 and half hour flight from Dublin to Madeira and is a great winter sun destination.
Malaga is a great spot for anyone looking to get away for some sun, sea and culture. Visit the dedicated Picasso museum or check out some of the city’s history by visiting La Alcazaba. You could visit the Arab baths with cold, warm and hot thermal baths available. What a treat! Malaga is a 3 hour flight from Dublin.
You might associate Majorca with a wild holiday, however there is lots to do here besides partying! There is 550 kilometres of coastline to explore with white sand, clear oceans and ideal spots for surfing or windsurfing. There is a great nightlife of course, but there are family-friendly activities available too, so there’s lot to offer! It’s almost a 3 hour flight from Dublin to Majorca.
This is a very popular spot for most Irish people, as most tourist attractions remain open in winter. If you’re looking for an active holiday, then winter is a good time to go! The cooler temperatures will allow you to walk or cycle around. Lanzarote is famous for its beaches, architecture and landscapes. You can also take camel rides, guided walks, tours of a volcanic vineyard to eat and drink. Add this to your winter sun destination list, it’s about a 4 hour flight.
Malta is situated in the Mediterranean Sea and it contains beautiful beaches. It’s one of the smallest countries in the world, but there is so much to do and see - from ancient temple exploration to lagoon snorkelling. If you’re bringing all the family then check out Mellieha Bay which is on the main island. This is Malta’s longest stretch of sandy beach (800 metres of Blue Flag beach) and is ideal for swimming or windsurfing. Malta also has a great nightlife, with pubs and restaurants dotted around. It will take almost 4 hours to fly from Dublin to Malta.
Next on the winter sun destination list is Antalya, with it’s beautiful beaches, fantastic weather and delicious food. It’s situated on a part of the Mediterranean nicknamed ‘The Turquoise Coast’ and there are lots of fun things to do here. If you want to relax on the beach or partake in water sport activities, this is the place for you. If you’re into history then you’ll need to explore the city’s many castles and fortifications. This is a Turkish dream location, with a great nightlife too. It’s a 5 hour flight from Dublin.
Looking to go surfing? Well then Taghazout is for you as it is Morocco’s top surf destination. It’s on the Atlantic coast and is a fishing village. Winter is a popular time to go surfing, and many of the places to stay offer lessons with rooftop yoga at sunset too. If you’re not into surfing but would like to go to Taghazout, you can take part in a hike, camel rides along the beach and even partake in some fishing! To fly here, it will take 4 hours from Dublin.
Travel to Crete and discover the vineyards, olive oil and their fish and vegetables diet, all while soaking in the sun. You can partake in guided day tours, afternoon sailing trips, snorkeling, stand-up paddling, scuba diving and safaris. You can also relax on the beach while reading a book, the perfect winter sun destination. The flight is just over 4 hours from Dublin - what’s stopping you?
While you may not think it, Sicily is actually the perfect location for some winter sun from Ireland. It will be free of other tourists and you can explore some of Sicily’s culture by visiting its museums and historical sites. You can explore the cuisine while soaking in the sunshine. You can attend carnivals, Christmas nativity plays, go shopping, visit Christmas markets or go cycling. What more would you want? The flight to Sicily from Dublin is just over 3 hours.
If you’re planning your perfect winter sun destination, then you will need to consider travel insurance. The AA are here to help.