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Extend your summer: 12 hot winter sun destinations

Tamara Hinson
15 September 2016

If the impending darker evenings have you desperate for a vitamin D fix, why not escape to warmer climes? From Marrakech to Mauritius, we’ve rounded up the world’s sunniest destinations that will banish the autumn and winter blues

SEPTEMBER
 
Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and its position – 60 miles west of Morocco – means that it benefits from Africa’s sub-Saharan climate. The mercury hovers around 23˚C in September and you’ll enjoy eight hours of sunshine a day. It’s a wonderfully diverse destination, with long beaches of golden sand in the shadow of magnificent Mount Teide. Head to the lunar-like national park of the same name for some of the world’s best stargazing.
British Airways flies to Tenerife

Marrakech
It takes just three hours to get to Morocco from the UK. In September, the average temperature is 27˚C and you can expect eight hours of sunshine a day. Many visitors make a beeline for Agadir and Essaouira, and with good reason – both have gorgeous beaches. But Marrakech isn’t just a great starting point for explorations further afield – it’s a fascinating melting pot and home to some of the country’s most spectacular mosques, palaces and gardens. If you’re looking for a stylish crash pad, head to the luxurious Selman Marrakech, a family-run hotel, which is just five minutes from the Medina.

British Airways flies to Marrakech

Naples
Visit Naples in September and you’ll be able to the city’s treasures without dodging the selfie sticks – and experience temperatures of around 22˚C. Prices will also be lower than in the peak of summer, which means more money to spend on the city’s delicious pizzas – Naples is currently trying to convince UNESCO to officially recognize its pizza-making heritage. It’s worth noting that the city shuts down entirely on 19 September for the feast day of the city’s patron saint, San Gennaro – expect lots of singing and colourful processions.

British Airways flies to Naples
 
OCTOBER

Las Vegas
If you’re not too bothered about beaches, Las Vegas could be your perfect winter sun destination. In October, it’s still warm and sunny but cooler than in the summer, when the mercury regularly tops a frazzling 40˚C. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this city’s just about casinos and exploding hotels. In recent years the downtown area has been given a huge makeover. It’s where you’ll find a growing number of boutique hotels (the intentionally retro Oasis at Gold Spike is our favourite) and some of America’s most innovative restaurants. Don’t miss the oxtail empanadas at Therapy on Fremont Street.

British Airways flies to Las Vegas

Barcelona
Temperatures hover around the low 20s in October in Barcelona, which is just a two-hour flight from the UK. The cooler weather makes it the ideal time to explore popular sites such as the Sagrada Família, but October also marks the start of football season here, so why not watch the city’s team, FC Barcelona, do their thing at the spectacular Camp Nou stadium? The atmosphere is always electric, with thousands of fans chanting in both Catalan and Spanish. Afterwards, treat yourself to some roast chestnuts (castañas) and sweet potatoes (boniatos), two traditional autumnal dishes you’ll find at street food stalls throughout the city. 

British Airways flies to Barcelona

Orlando
There are plenty of reasons to visit Orlando this October, including the recent unveiling of the world’s fastest, longest and tallest rollercoaster. Mako can be found at SeaWorld Orlando, but Universal Orlando has its own offering for adrenaline junkies in the form of Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Venture beyond International Drive to Winter Park, on the outskirts of the city. The quaint town is famous for its farm-to-table restaurants and galleries, while downtown Orlando has a thriving culinary scene with restaurants such as the Rusty Spoon, where the chefs have a passion for fresh, local produce.
British Airways flies to Orlando

NOVEMBER
 
Hong Kong
Fly to Hong Kong in November and you’ll still enjoy fantastic weather, but it won’t be too hot to head to one of the rooftop bars, such as Sevva, to soak up the view. The cooler climes – between 19°C and 24°C – also mean it’s possible to explore the city on foot without getting too hot and bothered. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the street food stalls around Wan Chai. But don’t forget that this part of the world is a fantastic beach destination, too. Lantau and Lamma, (accessible by ferry) have some beautiful stretches of coastline, with hiking trails that wind around these forested islands.
British Airways flies to Hong Kong

Dubai
People say that Dubai has two seasons: hot and hotter. November falls within the cooler category, although it’s still seriously warm, with temperatures rarely falling below 30°C. It’s another destination for adrenaline junkies; September saw the opening of IMG Worlds of Adventure; a Marvel-branded attraction which is the world’s largest indoor theme park, while Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park open in October.
British Airways flies to Dubai

Muscat
Oman’s capital is a balmy 25°C in November, making it the idea time of year to explore the city’s souks. But some of the country’s best treasures are located outside of the city. Explore Nizwa mountains’ caves, which have a history spanning millions of years, or take a camel ride or jeep safari over Wahiba Sands. When it’s time to relax, head to the Chedi Muscat, a beachfront hotel which is just short walk from the stunning Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
British Airways flies to Muscat

Barbados
All too often Barbados is seen as a base for explorations of the Caribbean but this island has some of the region’s best beaches, along with lively towns where local life can experienced in all its glory. Although there’s a small chance of rain in November, you’ll still bask in eight hours of sunshine a day and will enjoy highs of 30˚C. Our advice? Hop on the Bajan Rum Bus for a tour of the island’s rum shops, or sign up for a cookery lesson and learn how to make Bajan fishcakes.
British Airways flies to Barbados

DECEMBER


The Maldives
December to April is the best time to visit the Maldives’ beautiful coral atolls, which are a ten-hour flight from the UK. Go in December and the islands won’t feel as crowded as they often do in January and February, and accommodation prices will be slightly cheaper, too. The islands have year-round temperatures of between 26˚C and 30˚C and the short, sharp bursts of rain that occasionally occur in December prevent the humidity becoming too oppressive.
British Airways flies to the Maldives

Mauritius
A wild, lush paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius ticks all the boxes. If you’re an independent traveller, it’s easy to hire a car and go exploring, but if you fancy taking it easy, there are plenty of luxurious all-inclusive resorts where you can forget about the gloomy winter back home. For the best of both worlds, head to the Shanti Maurice, a boutique spa resort on the south coast. The best time to visit the island is between May and December, so if you go at the end of the year you’ll experience glorious weather – expect temperatures of between 25°C and 28°C in the day and between 17°C and 19°C at night – but the crowds will have thinned. 

British Airways flies to Mauritius