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Winter Sun Holidays

Updated on December 28, 2009
Winter Sun Holidays on the beach in The Gambia, Africa
Winter Sun Holidays on the beach in The Gambia, Africa

Make your winter shorter by going on a Winter Sun Holiday!

Winter Sun Holidays make so much sense to me, I have always found it strange how so many people travel abroad for the summer holidays, not only are you missing out on summer back home, but the prices of flights and accommodation is usually more expensive at peak travel times.

There are many fantastic holiday destinations that lend themselves to being the perfect winter sun holiday destinations, I will go through a few of my personal favourites.

So why Winter Sun Holidays?

Here are my top reasons to go on a Winter Sun Holiday this year.

  1. You escape a few weeks of bad winter weather back home
  2. Cheap flights, the prices of flights are often much cheaper and last minute deals are easier to find
  3. Cheap accommodation, hotels at your destination offer cheap deals during quiet times
  4. No large queues at the airport as everyone is travelling on the same summer bank holiday weekend

Top Destinations for Winter Sun Holidays

Here are the best Winter Sun Holiday destinations:

  • Kenya: A beach and safari holiday in Mombasa that will blow you away

  • The Gambia: warm weather all year round, fantastic beaches
  • South Africa: try Cape Town for beach, golf, fantastic restaurants and excellent night life
  • Caribbean: Warm weather all year round, laid back atmosphere and some of the best beaches in the world.
  • India: Try Goa, beautiful unspoilt beaches and fantastic Indian food and culture.
  • USA: Florida, great beaches, shopping, and loads of entertainment for the whole family
  • Mauritius: Picture perfect lagoons and blue sea, and island paradise

Lions in Tsavo National Park Kenya
Lions in Tsavo National Park Kenya

Winter Sun Holidays in Mombasa, Kenya

Firstly I must state that kenya is probably one of my favourite holiday destinations, at any time of the year! Kenya and especially Mombasa can get a little hot and humid during the Summer, but is perfect a winter sun destination.

There is so much to see an do in Kenya, it almost seems unfair to only dedicate a few paragraphs to the country, but I guess if you are after winter sun right on the beach, Mombasa in Kenya has to be on your list of places to go.

My top reasons for a winter sun holiday in Mombasa, Kenya

Kenyan wildlife, you can visit some of the best game reserves in the world and view all of the Big five animals and more African Wildlife. Organise a trip to a game reserve before you go to Kenya or from your Hotel.

Beaches, The beaches around Mombasa are excellent, white Sands and crystal clear water

Kenyan Culture, Discover a culture completly different to your own, there is so much to learn from other people

Diving: Learn to dibe in Mombasa, i did and i can tell you that not only is the diving excellent, but it must be one of the cheapest places in the world to get your PADI divers licence.

Hotels: There are some excellent hotels right on the beach, head for dani beach, less than half an hour from Mombasa. The hotels are of a very high standard and don't charge first world prices, especially during the low season

Food: You have to try some of the resturants and local food in Mombasa.

Africa: You are holidaying in Africa, what could be more exciting!!

Boat Safari on the Gambia River

The Gambia makes an ideal winter sun holiday destination and whilst most visitors to the Gambia will spend the majority of the time on the beach at their costal accomodation, for the real Gambia Experience you should consider taking a boat trip up the river Gambia

Things to see and do include:

  • Seeing Chimpanzees at the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project in the in the Gambia River National Park.
  • Have the chance of spotting West African Manatees, Hippos and Nile Crocodiles in the Gambia river.
  • Try and Fish for one of the worlds most ferocious fresh water fish, the Tigerfish!
  • Go for a guided bird walk at the bird Safari camp on MacCarthy Island which is also known as Janjanbureh Island

On top of this, The Gambia is a fantastic place for bird watches with a huge variety of exotic african birds, including the African Fish Eagle, Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, Marabou Storks, Hooded vultures, the Hammerkop and many many more.

For me The gambia has to be one of the best winter sun holiday destinations ever!

Winter Sun Holidays in Malta

With a few daysof holiday due to me and over Easter I had 10 days of holliday and I wanted to go somewhere warm, not to far from the UK, with a beach and have a place where I could go scuba diving! After a little research on the internet I decided on the republic of Malta, which is actually archipelago of 7 islands located south of Sicily and north of Africa in the Mediterranean sea and because of this the weather in Malta generally warm all year round, perfect for a winter holiday destination then!

So why a Holiday in Malta?

Well as mentioned earlier because of it's location Malta has pretty good weather, similar to that of southern Greece so a winter sun holiday in Malta is definitly possible.

Check out the Beach Holiday Guide for more on Cheap Diving and Beach Holidays in Malta

Cheap Flights to Malta

Because I was travelling out of the peak holiday season in the summer (June / July / August) I managed to get some very cheap flights to Malta as well as an excellent deal on my four star hotel with sea views so another really excellent reason to visit malta :-)

Scuba Diving Malta

Now I know Malta probably is not the best diving location in the world but to my surprise there are a few diving schools in Malta, I decided to use Paradise Diving Malta, which is located on the Northern Tip of Malta near the Malta to Gozo ferry departure point. The cater for all levels of diver and as a P.A.D.I. Gold Palm Resort they offer a range of diving courses. At the time of writing a PADI Training PADI Open Water course which includes all your equipment costs Euro 340 all year round and the PADI certification fees are already included.

Accommodation in Malta

I chose to stay at the four star Paradise Bay Resort Hotel in Malta, mostly because Paradise Diving is located within the premisis, but Malta has many hotels and Bed and Breakfast cottages to suit all tastes and budgets. The Paradise Bay Resort hotel has the sea on both sides in an idyllic spot at the northern tip of Malta, within easy reach of Gozo. All the rooms in the hotel are air-conditioned and the hotel 4 swimming pools! Extensive sun terraces, and its own private beach, so there is no need to get up early for sun-loungers!

If you are interested at staying at the Paradise Bay Hotel, it is offered by most tour operators, or you can check them out online including 360 degree shots of the rooms and public areas:

Anyway enough plugging the hotel! It is Malta that I wish to promote, it is an excellent place to visit, so make your next winter sun holiday in Malta!

Self Drive Safaris and Car Hire in Namibia

A self drive safari can really help you to save money. It does mean however that you need to be fairly independently minded and confident as well as knowledgeable enough to view African wildlife without a guide.

Namibia is a great country to choose to go on a self drive safari. They have a pretty good road system as well as plenty of very good National Parks to visit.

Make sure you plan your trip - Namibia is a large country and many people seriously underestimate the distances and times involved in travelling.

Car Hire Namibia
As well as the roads, there are plenty car hire companies in Namibia, many of which will be well known companies throughout the world.

Try and make sure you pick up and drop off your car in Windhoek as this is where most of the car hire companies are located. Doing so in more remote locations will most probably include costly transport fees.

Rent the best car you can afford, driving even on good dirt roads, especially long distance can get tiring. A good car will help with this.

4x4 is probably a good idea, especially in the wet season when some roads will only be passable with four wheel drive and the extra clearance that they give you.

For more information take a look at these articles:

Car Hire Namibia | Car Rental on the Safari Holiday Guide

Car Hire Namibia on Zambezi Safari, the safari resource site


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      So glad you had Malta in your list even if it isn't true Winter Sun! We do have great mild days and it can easily be T-shirt weather on some. However, as you rightly point out, diving all year round here is a huge plus for those in Northern Europe needing a quick dive experience without travelling too far. In fact, Malta is a tops diving destination as this dive expert says - so in fact, your research was spot on. Malta in winter has some of the very best diving. So thanks for pointing it out in your winter sun list as it was an unexpected but worthy entry.

    • meteoboy profile image


      10 years ago from GREECE


    • AuraGem profile image


      11 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Wonderful to see another perspective on Africa! I so wish I could travel there! (Sigh!) But at least I can read about it and dream!


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