Beautiful tropical landscape on Providenciales Island in the Turks and Caicos, Caribbean Ask any school-aged child what their favourite season is, and chances are their spirited response will be, “Summer!”. A few cherished months with no school and no worries are enough to give summer the edge over the other seasons in the mind of a child. For those of us whose school days are more a nostalgic memory than anything else, summer still holds a special place in the calendar year. There is something to be said for those long, sun-drenched weeks when the days are hot and the nights are warm and balmy. Summer inspires a carpe diem attitude, a feel-good mood that the other seasons just haven’t seemed to master yet. So whether we are on holiday or enjoying the seasonal pleasures of our own hometown, summer is when we usually find ourselves at our best. So come October, as the sun and warmth begin to cool and fade and the crispness of autumn mornings arrive, we know that it’s time to dig out our scarves and boots, for summer is over. Or is it? While the temperature drops and the grey skies settle over London, summer is alive and well in some not-so-far-off destinations. For those fellow sun-worshippers who aren’t ready to give up sunny days and sultry nights, we have given you the low-down on some of our favourite off-season getaways. Revel in these sunny locales where you can still enjoy that je ne sais quoi quality that only summer holds.


The Canary Islands

Typical Canary village on the cape of La Gomera island Close to home and drenched in sunshine, the Canary Islands are a hot spot for a winter holiday. Throughout December and January the Canary Islands are bathed in sunshine and enjoy highs of 21°C-24°C. The most visited of the Canary Islands are; Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and La Palma. All of these islands offer gorgeous beaches, dazzling resort towns like Maspalomas, Playa del Ingles and Puerto Rico, family-friendly attractions and host of natural and cultural attractions. Outdoor lovers will want to discover the otherworldly terrain on the face of Mount Teide, Tenerife's highest peak and only active volcano. For insight into the islands' historical significance don't miss a visit to Gran Canaria's Casa de Colon and Fuerteventura's Museo de la Pesca Tradicional.

For airport transfers to Gran Canaria, click our page.


Orlando

orlando-nightlineWinter might just be the perfect time of year to jet-set to Orlando, Florida. With the average daily temperature around23°C, you are greeted by warmth and sunshine from the moment you step outside the airport. Winters here warm during the day with cool nights and lack the sticky humidity of the summer months, making it the ideal time to visit. Whether you want to flee directly to the nearby beaches of Daytona and New Smyrna, south to Miami, or stick around to enjoy the shorter queues at Disney World and Universal Studios, you can’t go wrong. On top of a wide range of outstanding resorts and family-friendly attractions like Islands of Adventure and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando is brimming with tons of tasty dining experiences, fantastic shopping and exciting water parks.


Thailand 

wat-arun-temple-bangkok Heady temperatures linger in Thailand throughout December, January and February, with much of the country enjoying highs between 21°C and 31°C. If you head to Phuket, the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Samui or its surrounding islands, be prepared for heavy rainfall, as tropical storms and monsoon are prevalent during this time of year. However, despite the threat of showers, many holidaymakers choose these Thai islands for an exotic winter breakaway. They all offer jaw-dropping beaches, and lots of daily excursions like jungle trekking, snorkelling tours and luxury spa resorts. Another popular destination is Krabi, a stunning beach town located on the Andaman coast. Even though December and January are two of the coldest months in Krabi, temperatures linger in the high 20s and low 30s-still perfect beach weather! Further north, the bustling capital of Bangkok and the beautiful temples of Chiang Mai enjoy warm, dry weather and cool nights.


The Maldives

bungalows-over-water-exotic-maldivesThe islands of the Maldives are some of the most beautiful on Earth, and their exotic appeal and ultra luxurious resorts are enough to lure any winter-weary traveller. Here, holidays revolve around the sun and sea, and thanks to the islands' balmy average high of 29°C throughout December, you can spend Christmas and New Years on the beach in your swimsuit. From their pristine turquoise waters and exclusive resorts to the phenomenal snorkelling and diving opportunities here, the Maldives is ideal for beach-lovers and sun-worshippers who love nothing more than a good swim and a nap on the sand.


Mauritius

mauritiusKnown as a hotspot for honeymooners and destination weddings, the stunning island of Mauritius is located some 2000 kilometres off of the Southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The island's temperate climate makes it an attractive holiday destination all year long, but come December tourist traffic really picks up. Temperatures here average in the mid to high 20s during December, making it a sultry escape during Europe's cold winter months. The capital of Mauritius is Port Louis is an eclectic mix of Indian, African, Chinese and Creole populations which have all left their imprint on the island's food, architecture and culture. What sets Mauritius apart from other tropical island destinations is its variety of things to do. Beyond the all-inclusive resorts and gorgeous beaches, there is a world of dazzling wildlife, art, culture, watersports and outdoor activities to enjoy.

For airport transfers to Mauritius, click our page.


South Africa

elephants For a winter holiday that's full of adventure and unforgettable experiences, you really can't do better than South Africa. Aside from the heat and sunshine, (summer in South Africa starts in December!) South Africa's attractions are as diverse as the country itself. Temperatures are consistently in the mid to high 20s in Cape Town and 30s as you move upward along the coast and inland. Adventure-seekers will love; the incredible safari opportunities in Kruger National Park, shark cage diving with Great Whites along the coast, and the chance to bungee jump off of Bloukrans Bridge Bungy, the world's highest commercial bridge bungy. To make the most of the outdoors check out the towns, vineyards and hiking trails along the Garden Route or make your way through the impressive Drakensberg Mountains. For loads of art and culture, there are the vibrant cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg which each offer a plethora of unique museums, cultural attractions, gourmet restaurants and lively nightlife. Exploring South Africa caters to holidaymakers of every stripe and budget.


No matter where you go this winter to escape the cold, we hope you choose hoppa to welcome you to your selected winter sun destination. We're always there to ensure you arrive happy!

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