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One of the best things about our big beautiful planet is the chance to escape the effects of one climate by jetting into another. World travelers will tell you there’s nothing quite like the transformation from cold and dreary to balmy and brilliant in a day.
Warm, tropical climates are typically divided into wet and dry seasons as opposed to summer and winter. Fortunately, many of these destinations experience the best weather during the winter months of Europe and the US. Here are the top destinations for sun chasers looking for a luxury winter escape.
Located in the south-southwest of India, the Maldives is an archipelago of nearly 2,000 coral islands with 154 of them having luxurious resorts, stunning beaches, and plenty of sunshine throughout the year. By December, any chance of getting caught in the southwest monsoon will be over.
Most visitors arrive in the Maldives at the Velana International airport on the Hulhulé Island near the capital city of Malé. The flight takes around 12 hours from major European airports. For the ultimate luxury vacation, US travelers can visit the European Christmas markets and head to the Maldives for a sunny “side trip.”
Once there, you’ll be taken to your luxury resort by boat, seaplane, or both.
A dreamy destination any time of the year, Cape Town, South Africa is one of the best places for an exciting winter escape. Every day is “opposite day” since the southern hemisphere experiences the summer season between December and February. The average temperature hovers around 27 degrees (80 F) and the humidity is low.
Cape Town has luxury accommodations surrounded by stunning landscapes from waves lapping the shores of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to the imposing Table Mountain. Rent a car and tour the countryside on the Garden Route and book a safari tour to see the planet’s most interesting wildlife.
Major airlines with flights to Cape Town International Airport from Europe, Asia, and the US include South African Airways, British Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
Located off the coast of West Africa, Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands. Temperatures rarely fall below 20 degrees (68 F) making it an excellent winter getaway. The southern end of the island is generally sunnier than the north. The landscapes include lush forests, deserts, mountains, and volcanoes.
Tenerife has an abundance of kid-friendly luxury resorts, so it’s the perfect pick for a family vacation during the winter school holidays. The island’s Siam Park is known as the world’s best water park.
Tenerife is served by two airports, and ferries travel between the other Canary Islands.
Often called the “Little Britain of the Caribbean” due to its ties to the UK, Barbados is an island located northeast of Venezuela. A jewel in the Caribbean crown, Barbados has warm weather and sunshine from January to December. A winter trip will ensure missing the tropical storms that hit the island.
Exciting activities include world-class windsurfing and inland trips to plantations featuring fine dining and exhibitions.
The Sir Grantley International Airport accepts flights from the UK, US, and Canada. Citizens from dozens of countries can visit Barbados without a visa.
Only a seven-hour flight from London, Bermuda is an easily accessible island for endless summers. It’s located in the Atlantic Ocean east of the US state of South Carolina. The tiny tropical island is only 54 square kilometers in area and features pink-sand beaches and dozens of luxury resorts and golf courses.
With an average winter temperature of 24 degrees (75 F), the island is a diver’s paradise with coral reefs, off-shore shipwrecks, and underwater caves to explore.
The summer months are usually crowded with cruise ship stops, but daily flights from major US and UK airlines are available all year.
Anna was born to travel the world having studied languages all her life. Although she has traveled the world, she now calls Switzerland home and spends her time writing about her experiences on Expert World Travel. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.