Where to go for winter sun

A selection of sun-drenched destinations to suit all budgets

January is a difficult month. It’s cold outside. We’re fat. We’re broke. Our friends turn out to be crashing bores who abstain from alcohol for 31 days. We can either sit shivering while we stare down the barrel of 2017, or we can get away from it all by taking yourself away for a holiday in the sun. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to get away for a dose of winter sun – although, of course, you can if you want to. Here’s a carefully selected list of destinations to consider…

LUXURY

Brazil
If you feel like starting 2017 with a holiday to remember, then Pousada Tutabel in Bahia, Brazil, is the perfect place to head to. Pousada Tutabel is relatively new, and therefore relatively unknown, making it a discreet haven – perfect for quashing the winter blues. The hotel is situated on the coast of the South Atlantic ocean and only 8km from the historic centre of Trancoso, which has been described as ‘the best undiscovered beach town in Brazil.’ And with good reason – Trancoso is enchanting, historic and tranquil. Pousada Tutabel successfully masters the art of offering its guests luxury without any pretentiousness. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by luscious landscapes and with access to a private beach. I defy anyone who stays at the Pousada Tutabel not to fall in love with its infinite charms. Miraviva offers seven nights at Pousada Tutabel in Trancoso, from £2,550 per person based on 2 people sharing, including international and domestic flights in economy class and private transfers

An aerial view of Pousada Tutabel in Brazil

An aerial view of Pousada Tutabel in Brazil

India
For the more culturally curious, a tour of northern India in the winter months is an interesting and civilised way to catch some rays and take in one of the world’s most glorious countries. Because India is such a popular holiday destination (particularly at this time of year), booking a planned trip; The Best of the Golden Triangle and Udaipur is recommended. This trip gives tourists a chance to visit the glistening lake city of Udaipur, the imperial monuments of Delhi, and behold the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra. Ampersand Travel offers 12 days from £4,800 per person

Malaysia
Four Seasons hotels and resorts are famed across the world for their excellence, so there’s no more reliable hotel to disappear to for some much-needed winter sun. The Four Seasons Resort in Langkawi is a particularly desirable option, since temperatures in Malaysia average at 30°C in winter. For the wild at heart, the hotel is situated stone’s throw away from the world-class nature attraction, the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, with a gorgeous limestone landscape and endless adventure activities. It’s hard to leave the hotel, though, due to its luxurious trappings, breathtaking views and detoxing spa. One week at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi costs from £2,788, flights not included

A luxurious room at the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

A luxurious room at the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

MID-RANGE

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an excellent choice for those seeking some winter sun, and has lots to offer for all ages and budgets. One particularly charming option is the new Owl and The Pussycat Hotel (don’t be put off by the name), which has just 16 rooms and overlooks the Indian Ocean. Located in the southern coastal town of Thalpe, the hotel is a short tuk-tuk ride away from the historic Galle Forte. The restaurant (again, beware of the name) The Runcible Spoon offers traditional Sri Lankan cuisine which is widely underrated, but you can also enjoy Mediterranean delicacies and – of course – wondrous cocktails as the sun sets. From £250 a night per person

BUDGET

Morocco

One of the many joys of holidaying in Morocco is that it’s quick and easy to get to, and very affordable once you’re there. Food and accommodation are blindingly cheap – you can eat like a king for next to nothing – and the vibrant souks can keep you entertained for hours on end. The Moroccans are big on health and wellbeing, so endless treatments are available, ensuring you’ll return to grey England feeling truly rested and rejuvenated. Trailfinders offers five nights in Les Borjs de la Kasbah in Marrakech for £549 per person, including BA flights, accommodation and private transfers

A souk in souk of Marrakesh (Getty)

A souk in souk of Marrakech (Getty)

Thailand
With luscious rainforests, breathtaking mountains, white sand and crystal clear seas, Phuket is a lovely place to escape to. It’s no longer a hidden gem – tourists are becoming increasingly wise to its merits – but there’s lots to see and do: Phuket Old Town is splendid and the decorative temples are fascinating. Due to its popularity, Phuket is comparatively inexpensive and very hot in winter, averaging temperatures of 28°C. Trailfinders offers seven nights in Phuket, staying in the luxurious Cape Panwa Hotel for £749 per person (flights and private transfers included)


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