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7 best winter sun holidays to book in 2023

From Mexico to St Lucia, The Canary Islands and beyond...

If you're anything like us, you're craving some vitamin sea. Though the crisp icy mornings of winter are perfect for a duvet day, we'd much rather be lounging on a sunbed with a pina colada in hand - but where does one find the best winter sun holiday?

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If you're looking for guaranteed winter sun, you've come to the right place. From the dreamiest luxury locations to the ultimate package holidays, flight deals and more, here are the best places to find winter sun holidays. 

SEE: 17 of the best holidays to go on with babies and toddlers

MORE: Time to hit the slopes! The best places to ski this winter

Maldives 

Famed for its crystal clear waters and picturesque landscapes, the Maldives offers the perfect escape from the UK's grey skies. Found in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is home to a tropical climate that is consistently hot and often humid all year round. 

Travelling to the Maldives in winter is one of the most cost-effective times of the year, with SkyScanner on hand to source the best flight deals, and cheapest months to travel.

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Best hotel deals in the Maldives 2023

The Residence Maldives offers a superb stay in five-star Maldives heaven, in a stunning overwater or beach villa that includes breakfast, dinner, local transfers and extra perks for longer stays. Even better, your hotel is fully refundable should you need to change dates due to coronavirus. 

The Residence Maldives, from £499, Secret Escapes

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Paradise Island Resort & Spa offers private villas and bungalows on an idyllic island in the Indian Ocean. The perfect place to perfect your snorkelling in turquoise blue waters, the resort also features an outdoor pool, four restaurants and a tranquil spa.

Paradise Island Resort & Spa, from £500, Booking.com

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Canary Islands

Frequent flights from all over the UK with a journey time of around four hours make the Canary Islands a sure bet for winter sun holidays. Temperatures average the low-mid 20s all year round guaranteeing you plenty of sunshine and vitamin D. Better known destinations include Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote while smaller islands La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera offer unspoilt, idyllic hideaways.

Tenerife, Lanzarote, and Gran Canaria are some of TUI’s best value holiday destinations. Explore the best travel deals and snap them up for your winter sun fix. 

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Ras Al Khaimah

HELLO!'s Alexandra Wilby experienced first hand the beauty of Ras Al Khaimah - the perfect destination for winter sun and adventure. Don't miss her full review of the sun-soaked destination in the UAE.

Not only that, but the Emirate is dedicated to environmentally-conscious tourism - they’re aiming to become the regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025. Whether you fancy a family holiday, a long weekend with friends, or you’re flying solo, you’ll find plenty to occupy you here.

Emirates currently run six daily flights between London Heathrow and Dubai.

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Best hotel deals in Ras Al Khaimah 2023

If you're in search of a beach-front, luxury hotel that feels like a real sanctuary, you'll love five-star DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island. Suites feature a balcony overlooking the 650m private beach and a children’s adventure playground with waterslides into the sea, including a huge, cloud-like bed to sleep deeply in. Wake up early and head outside to catch the sunrise before breakfast, served as a huge buffet with every breakfast food you could possibly imagine.

DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, from £198, Ras Al Khaimah

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Barbados

With its pristine white sand beaches, breathtaking landscapes and rich culture - not to mention the year-round sunshine and rum cocktails - Barbados is the perfect winter sun holiday destination. Head to the west coast for swimming and snorkelling with the chance to see some of the hawksbill or leatherback sea turtles that frolic just offshore. If surfing is high on the agenda, hit the beaches at Bathsheba on the choppier east coast or head to North Point, where you can watch the Atlantic Ocean crash against the nearby Animal Flower Cave, named after the colourful sea anemones found there.

Flights to Barbados have landed in British Airways New Year sale, with return flights for winter sun-seekers going from just £412. 

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Best hotel deals in Barbados 2023

The House by Elegant Hotels is the ultimate all-inclusive hotel for a luxury winter sun escape. The 34-room all-suite adults-only property is located in Paynes Bay, St. James, on one of the most beautiful beaches on the Platinum West Coast of Barbados. Guests can enjoy non-motorised water sports, jet lag massages, champagne breakfasts and even a Romance Concierge as part of their stay.

The House by Elegant Hotels, prices from £900, Expedia

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Recently converted into a glorious all-inclusive resort, Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels is a true gem among luxury hotels in the Caribbean. Ideal for lovers of art and gastronomy, the hotel hosts interactive Chef’s Table experiences, mixology and pastry-making workshops, guided art crawls and the chance to create paintings on the waterfront deck.

Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels, from £344, TripAdvisor

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Mexico

The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico has an estimated 7,000 cenotes ('sacred well' in Mayan) – beautiful, natural underground caves filled with water you can bathe in for a completely different winter experience. If you’re after sun and sand, head to the popular Riviera Maya. With a choice of wonderful islands such as Isla Mujeres and Isla Cozumel, as well as Playa del Carmen (just along the coast from the busier Cancun) and not forgetting the famous Mayan ruins – including the world-famous Chichen Itza and the spectacular historical city of Tulum, situated on a clifftop overlooking the sea – you'll have plenty to keep you from heading home.

Flights to Mexico are currently starting from around £266 for one way, with airlines constantly offering discounts and deals for winter escapes. 

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St. Lucia

Explore everything from the Piton Mountains and rainforest to the sulphur springs of Soufriere and the Caribbean coral reef on this 238 square-mile paradise island. Snorkel in the sparkling sea, get adventurous with water sports and enjoy the diverse culture and cuisine, featuring African, Indian, Caribbean, British, Spanish and French influences.

Best hotel deals for St. Lucia 2023

With minimal Wi-Fi, friendly staff, a beautiful Caribbean beach, fresh and seasonal food, an abundance of classes, and a pampering treatment every day, it would be somewhat of a challenge not to feel instantly relaxed and restored after a few nights at BodyHoliday, where HELLO!'s Ainhoa Barcelona spent several nights soaking up the winter sun. "It's the perfect balance of wellness and exercise and is a holiday that really does cater to all types of travellers – whether you're into your facials or your fitness," she writes in her review of the gorgeous wellness retreat. 

BodyHoliday St. Lucia, from £285, TripAdvisor

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You'll feel inspired to go off and do your own thing, be it sunbathing on the beach or trying windsurfing, and then regroup with your loved ones for meals. It also is an all-inclusive where you won't get itchy feet and want to duck out of the resort, because there is just so much to do.

Prices start from £285 per person per night at BodyHoliday.

RELATED: Cocktails, daily massages and fun fitness classes: why BodyHoliday St Lucia isn't your average wellness retreat

 

Cape Town

South Africa's Cape Town is a popular winter sun holiday destination thanks to the glorious weather which peaks between December and February. From March, the days are still sunny but crisp and clear making it perfect for a hiking trip up Table Mountain or wine tasting in the incredible Cape Winelands. Expect beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. 

Direct return flights between London and Cape Town are currently around £700 but look out for airlines frequently offering deals and discounts.

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