Winter is nearly here, and we’re all going to be soggy, possibly ever frozen (thanks, climate change). However, the thirst for a good tan is barely ever satiated, and so we’re all chasing that winter sun. Here’s a list of great spots for getting that tan in winter.
1. Cape Town, South Africa
There are quite a few flights from Europe that go to sunny Cape Town. The city offers a variety of activities in the sun that will keep you tanned even in the midst of winter. You can go surfing, or hiking or event visit Table Mountain. If you’re feeling less active, you can go and enjoy the local cuisine and wash it down with some South African wine. Make sure to constantly drop District 9 references!
2. The Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands is the bit of Spanish territory that’s located in the Atlantic ocean just west of North Africa. It’s a very popular tourist destination, easily accessible via a flight from Europe. It’s sunny all year round. However, you can ditch Tenerife and Lanzarote for the less popular islands like La Palma or El Hierro. La Gomera is also a great option, as it offers both great hiking opportunities and many beaches to get that winter tan on.
3. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, the island south of India, gets the best weather between late November and April, which is just great for Europeans looking for winter sun. Exchange the cold and slush of winter for sandy beaches and green rainforests. You can also gorge on local foods, which merge the 2500 years of traditions with influences from the Dutch and Portuguese colonial powers.
More than 11 million people visited Morocco in 2017 – and so can you. The country invests in tourism and has a lot to offer, from lower prices to ancient cities and fortresses. You can always go exploring and get a great tan while you do it. And who knows, maybe you’ll even visit the majestic Atlas Mountains. Wherever you go, the infrastructure is reportedly well-developed for tourism, though if you’re not a fan of crowds, you should skip Agadir – it hosts the 1/3rd of all hotel beds in the country.
5. Havana, Cuba
Unlike Guantanamo Bay, Havana is the bit of Cuba that everyone wants to visit. The country enjoys a tropical climate and the sun will darken your skin whenever you go there. Even in deepest winter, the temperature remains around 23°C. Go there and soak in the colonial homes, the vintage cars maintained in working order despite (and because of) US economic blockade, the sandy beaches and cocktails.
6. The Gambia
The Gambia may not be your first choice, but the country hopes it would be. Its economy is based on tourism in a major way, so why not do your part? The Gambia is popular among Europeans who want the whole “golden beach with tropical palms” experience. Or you can go down the river that gives the country its name and sees hippos and other wild animals. Maybe you’ll visit the capital of Banjul for a bit of historical splurge, eh?
7. Cape Verde
Cape Verde is an archipelago south of the Canary Islands. More than 500,000 tourists visited it in 2015, which means that it’s not overcrowded – yet. Better get your winter sun before it gets blocked by other tourists! You can go hiking in the mountains, hit the clubs or just lounge at the beach. For the historically minded, Cidade Velha was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2009!
Oh man, Oman. Situated at the south-eastern end of the Arabian peninsula, it’s a country that’s dying for your tourist Euros. If you think that a winter tan is best achieved while exploring the desert, go to Oman and visit the Wahiba Sands. You can also drive to the mountains or visit one of the popular caves. You also have plenty of historical sites – forts and markets – to see as well.
9. Valletta, Malta
Don’t want to stray too far from Europe? Well, Malta is right, smack-dab in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. Heavily involved in whatever fights were happening in the area, the island – and Valletta itself – is just oozing with history. The weather is milder than at the other destinations we covered, but it’s not in any way cold. And you can always lounge at the beach.
Already planning where you want to go to escape whatever is happening *gestures towards the window* out there? Well, we hope your flight goes well! And if you are waylaid by delayed flights, flight cancellations or overbooking, remember Skycop. You can claim up to €600 in flight compensation and doing it with us is as easy as pie.