One of the advantages of having young children is that you are free to go on holiday whenever you want, pretty much. You’ll obviously have to work around your boss, and needs of the business, etc, but if you don’t have any school-aged children then you’re good to go when the flights and hotels are cheaper. So, if you want some winter sun, here’s where to find it within 5 hours of the UK.
Winter sun destinations with short flight times
There are actually loads of short flights that will get you away from the freezing UK and into lovely warm weather. When the clocks go back, we’ll have even fewer hours of sunshine each day, so coupled with the cold and wind – don’t even mention the rain – no wonder we want to find somewhere with a bit of warmth.
When you’re going on holiday with a young child, you might want to try a short flight so if things go wrong up there you don’t have long to go before you land.
Here’s where you can get winter sun within a few hours of the UK
Spain – Costa del Sol
The temperature gauge still reaches 20°C in October here on the south coast of Spain. And even in December or January, you’re looking at highs of around 17°C to 18°C.
My parents love to go to Spain for Christmas, for a bit of warmth when it’s cold (and unlikely to be snowy) at home. We love Benalmadena, as there’s so much for kids to do, and you have a good base to explore the rest of the Costa del Sol and into mainland Spain. From here it’s a short hop to Gibraltar, to see the monkeys and ride in a cable car.
There is so much to do and see in Malta. There’s a fantastic bus system, so it doesn’t really matter which part of the island you choose to stay on. You’ll be able to explore the rest of Malta quite easily. Malta has loads of churches to visit, 359 to be precise (nearly one for every day of the year). Something we loved about Malta was that play parks are quite prolific. No matter where we went, we seemed to happen upon an excellent playground for the boys to run off steam, so looking around churches was easier. We also enjoyed a really fun day out at the Popeye Village. It’s the preserved set from the 1980 film starring Robin Williams; you can make your own movie with the actors in the street and appear on the big screen. It’s interesting to be able to go into the houses on the set, too.
Turkey is not strictly a winter destination, as the end of the season is around October half-term. But the temperature is around 20°C in September and October. We visited Bodrum, which is a good family-friendly destination. There are promenades to walk along, with cafes, bars and shops to pop in and out of. You’re not going during peak season, so you might find that some of the tours aren’t operating. Tours not to miss are Ephesus and to the Tombs of the Kings in Amasya
Spain – Canary Islands – Gran Canaria
While the average temperature is 19 to 20°C, it’s not unheard of to have winter days approaching the late twenties (the south of the island is the sunniest). Gran Canaria is full of places to visit. Some of our favourites include Dunas de Maspaloma, at the southern tip of the island with the huge sand dunes. For a day of shopping try the capital, Las Palmas. The city has a historic old town and it’s noted for its blend of early-American / Spanish architecture. It was the place Christopher Columbus stopped on his voyages of discovery. My personal favourite place in Gran Canaria is Sioux City, where you can watch a cowboy show in the town. Gran Canaria is quite hilly, and the hotels are set up on the cliffs from the sea.
This is the destination for you if you don’t fancy doing much else than a casual stroll along the promenade, making sandcastles on the golden beach, and topping up your tan by the pool. There are a couple of places to go on a day out, like the old town of Nessebar, but a trip to Sunny Beach in Bulgaria will be a warm-weather relaxing holiday for the whole family.
Where are you heading for some winter sun?
Let me know where you’re aiming to catch some rays during the colder months by leaving a comment below!