Winter Holiday Ideas

Nothing beats packing a suitcase for a well-deserved rest during the winter months. This year, escape the grey weather and the daily commute and experience a whole new location while friends and family brave the cold at home.

If you’re thinking about some winter sun or perhaps you prefer to truly embrace the season with snow and festive activities, these winter holiday ideas will provide you with the inspiration you need to book that break.

Winter sun

Donning your swimwear in December may feel unusual but nothing beats a golden tan in the winter months and a sunny stay is the perfect way to shake off the winter blues. A holiday in the sun during the coldest period of the year is a great way of boosting your mood for when you return home. Here are some winter holiday ideas in sunny locations to consider:

Tenerife | For an active break

The Canary Islands enjoy warm temperatures all year round, with winter averaging at 20°C and plenty of sunshine. It may not be lay by the pool all day weather – although you can definitely sit out and get a tan – but it’s the perfect temperature for those who love to stay active.

Tenerife features an abundance of natural beauty, with stunning national parks to explore and for the more intrepid adventurer Spain’s largest mountain to climb. You can stay in a luxury hotel overnight and enjoy all it has to offer, while planning your own excursions on the side. Hire a car and drive out to Mount Teide National Park. Hike to the Teide Observatory, which sits 2,400 m above sea level, and book a guided tour of the location to learn more about what they do and observe the sun or night sky.

Vietnam | A long haul destination with guaranteed sun

Make your way to Quy Nho’n – one of the most popular locations in Vietnam for a holiday, with temperatures ranging from 26°C – 28°C between December to February. This is the best spot for tranquil and gorgeously sandy beaches, fresh seafood lunches and ice cold beers to enjoy in the sunshine. The Phuong Mai Peninsula is a snorkeler’s dream but you can also take a boat to Hon Seo – an uninhabited island abundant with wildlife and plants to discover. Relax on the sandy shore and enjoy the unbroken peace and quiet or plan a hike and explore the natural caves on the island.

Quy Nho’n is also the perfect location for those looking to soak up a little culture as well as some sun. The location is home to a number of Buddhist temples featuring stunning statues and architecture and a way to connect with a whole new way of life. When the evening rolls around, seek out one of Vietnam’s popular karaoke bars, book out a room and sing your heart out – the perfect way to shake off the winter blues.

Mexico – for summer worthy temperatures mid-winter

If sun worshipping is your thing, you won’t go far wrong with a trip to Mexico in winter. Cancun is a destination many tourists flock to, when in need of some sun as temperatures reach up to 28°C even in December. Stay in Cancun, where you can simply spend time on the beach soaking up the rays, with a few days exploring some of the local cultural and historic sites.

Plan a day trip to the ancient Mayan structures and marvel at the structures built by the civilisation thousands of years ago. You should also book the famous Rio Secreto river tour that takes you through incredible underground caves, many tours offer transport to and from Cancun and a guide to take you through the cave system safely.

City breaks

Getting away for a long weekend is a great idea over the winter months. While you might not have sunny skies you get to experience the build up to Christmas in a new location or the New Year celebrations in a foreign city. These are some of the most popular winter city break destinations to consider:

Germany | Get festive in Berlin

No one does a Christmas market quite like Germany and Berlin and Hamburg are bustling with crowds and excitement during the winter months in the build up to the big day. You should enjoy some snow too – great for those who really want to get into the festive spirit. Wrap up warm and head to one of the nearby lakes and don skates for some fun on the ice.

Berlin is also a true cultural hotspot and if you’re a history buff it’s the ideal holiday location with exhibits and real remnants left behind from WW2. Pay a visit to Checkpoint Charlie or buy a piece of the Berlin wall from one of the tourist shops in the city.

Greece | Not just a beach holiday destination

Athens isn’t just a hotspot for summer holiday tourists, the hotels still open their doors during the winter months ready for you to explore this historic city. On rainy days, choose to investigate what the many museums have to offer, while on sunnier days head to an archeological site.

A walk to the Acropolis from your hotel isn’t unbearable in winter in Athens, allowing you to enjoy this marvel in comfort. Plus, there should be less tourists too – so no queues or waiting to check out the view. You could also plan a trip to Philopappos Hill, a less popular tourist spot but once you get to the top you’ll enjoy stunning views of the city and the Acropolis. Plus, it’s a completely free activity.

The Azores | Stay for a long weekend

The Azores is a little-known holiday destination but it’s the perfect choice for a three or four day break. This Portuguese island sits out in the Atlantic Ocean, with tropical climates all year round. It’s incredibly green, perfect for nature lovers, with volcanic lakes and natural hot springs to enjoy. You can reach the Azores in the winter months by flying to Lisbon then jumping on a plane to Ponta Delgada – once there, the island is small enough to get around by taxi or you can hire a car.

The island still reaches temperatures of a comfortable 16°C – 18°C, with humidity – there may be rain though so plan accordingly with a lightweight waterproof jacket. Take a walk by the marina and enjoy traditional pastel de nata and espresso coffee in one of the town’s cafes. The Azores has a laid back vibe all year round and isn’t yet a tourist hotspot, perfect if you truly want to get away from it all.

Feeling inspired? With these winter holiday ideas you can truly get away from it all and return refreshed and ready to go. Beat the winter blues and book a holiday today!