A paradise for winter

Now that the winter has taken hold and there's still a long way to go before there's much chance of any sunshine, how do you fancy getting away to a tropical island with year-round summer temperatures and some of the best beaches on the planet? If that appeals to you, the Dominican Republic may be the perfect destination.

They say that the beaches of Punta Cana, stretching for over 50 kilometres along the east coast of the island of La Hispaniola, are the best beaches in the world. With their white sands, warm turquoise waters and lush coconut groves, they certainly live up to the traditional image of a tropical paradise. Luxury beachfront resorts offer the perfect romantic setting for a honeymoon, but are also great for family holidays, and this is an ideal getaway for golf-lovers, too. Farther round the island, on the south coast, the beaches of Bayahibe and Dominicus near La Romana are of the same calibre. Whether you just want to relax in the sunshine on a tropical beach or you prefer a more active vacation, maybe playing golf on a world-class course, polo, tennis, or water sports such as diving and snorkelling; dance to the rhythm of merengue and bachata, sample the fine local cuisine and visit the museums and galleries or browse the boutiques... whatever kind of holiday you fancy, the Dominican Republic is the perfect choice.