Christmas and the new year are approaching fast, and there’s lots to do with all the planning and preparations. With the weather cooling to sub-zero temperatures, leaving the house increasingly feels like a chore and summer is little more than a distant memory. Before you decide to hibernate and stay home through the winter, remember: the sun always shines somewhere. If cold weather isn’t you’re cup of tea, why not escape to more a temperate climate to defrost and top up that fading tan? With Wimdu you can indulge in a New Year’s treat that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Why freeze your socks off in dear old blighty when you can warm up somewhere you’re guaranteed to have summer-like sunshine? In the Canary Islands, winter isn’t really a “thing”. Blessed by nature with enviable temperatures all year around, not to mention the incredible beaches, leafy forests and picturesque deserts, for you, the islands might just be the perfect place to escape the winter blues. The archipelago has something to offer for everyone – regardless of whether you want history, culture or a pumping nightlife on your doorstep, you will find all of these things on offer in different parts of the islands.
The most populated island in the Canaries has a pretty impressive claim to fame: its capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has been labelled as having the best climate in the entire world according to the University of Syracuse. Explore the sands of the Maspalomas Dunes, or sun yourself on the white beaches overlooking azure blue waters. Discover Europe’s only coffee plantations located in the north of the island, or enjoy the renowned nightlife scene of Playa del Inglés. There’s plenty to keep you busy.
Travel writers will never grow weary of extolling the virtues of Tenerife, and yet the island still surprises those who visit. Within the island there is so much to see and do, whether you explore the great variety of landscapes and climates, climb the great volcano Pico del Teide (the highest point in Spain) or visit the unique villages and lush vineyards, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to possibilities.
If you can’t afford a trip to Mars, Lanzarote is the next best thing: its reddish deserts, wild plains and the volcanic heat that flows from its depths have been compared to the red planet. In addition to all this, Lanzarote has some of the best beaches of the Canary Islands, including the coves of Papagayo and Playa de Las Conchas on the island of Chinijo, just off the north of Lanzarote.
The peace and tranquility that exist on Fuerteventura make it a true haven for relaxation. If you’re a fan of surfing or windsurfing then the island may be the perfect getaway for you, due to the persistent winds. The warm climate and sparse rainfall make it a great place to see in the New Year. If you grow tired of enjoying the calmness afforded by the Dunes of Corralejo, you can always celebrate like there’s no tomorrow in the town of the same name.
Sometimes it’s worth flying halfway across the world to try something new, and with average winter temperatures that fall between 15ºC and 25ºC, Miami makes the shortlist. More than just a popular beach destination, there’s an unbelievable range of things to do in terms of entertainment. Whether you want to enjoy nature, visit art galleries, go to the theatre or just enjoy the vibrant nightlife on offer, you will never be bored in this city.
Thailand’s largest island has it all: a rich culture, picturesque natural beauty, incredible regional cuisine and terrific nightlife hotspots. With its colourful tropical vistas, it’s not difficult to understand why Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. While visiting the island, you should try out at least one boat tour and a tour of Phuket city to get a real appreciation for the island’s unique charm and culture.
If you fancy travelling even further afield, you can’t beat Australia’s cultural epicentre – Melbourne. As well as being the most multicultural city on the continent, Melbourne has been rated as one of the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life. If you’re not a fan of winter, why not just follow summer? Australian summers last from December to February, making it the perfect place to migrate to for a few weeks to escape the cold European winter.
South African summers typically run from mid-October through to mid-February. Cape Town, the country’s oldest and most cosmopolitan city, is bursting with culture, history and picturesque beaches. Oozing with seductive charm, Cape Town perfect place to visit in the new year, the outskirts of the city also offer breathtaking landscapes full of natural beauty. In the inner city, you can experience the man-made beauty in the form of historic architecture, with Neo-Gothic churches, Dutch houses and unique late Victorian buildings.
Header image: Miami Beach by Ricardo Mangual via Flickr CC