If you're dreaming of escaping a cold, dreary UK this winter, you don't have to travel too far to find some restorative sunshine. Here are seven of the hottest destinations and holiday deals for this time of year.
With 10 months of sunshine throughout the year and temperatures rarely dropping below 20 degrees, the second largest Canary Island is a good bet for mid-haul sunshine.
Relax on 150km of sandy beaches (far less developed than other islands in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago) and explore the 12 national parks, which have earned the island Unesco biosphere reserve status.
Book it now: Stay at the Barceló Jandía Mar in the south of the island, with access to the beach, windsurfing activities and a wellness centre, from £263pp (two sharing) on an all-inclusive basis. Visit www.barcelo.com or call 0800 021 1256.
Ryanair fly from Stansted from £90 return. Got to Ryanair.com or call 0871 246 0000.
Sadly, the Duchess of Cambridge was forced to cancel her tour of this small Mediterranean island due to morning sickness, but if she’s keen on a warm winter break, she might want to reschedule.
Book it now: Travelsphere offers an eight-day escorted Relax & Discover tour of Malta from £479pp (two sharing), including accommodation, flights and transfers, with departures available from January 20, 2015.
Optional excursions include tours of Mdina, Valletta, Gozo and a harbor cruise – or you can just opt out and soak up sun by the pool. Go to travelsphere.co.uk or call 0844 417 1926.
Less busy than Dubai and far more spacious, Abu Dhabi combines glitz and glamour with wilderness and nature. Take a 4x4 safari through a vast desert dotted with oases, or step up a gear with a visit to the Ferrari World theme park.
Book it now: Travelbag offers seven nights at the four-star Aloft Abu Dhabi (room only) from £499pp (two sharing), including flights from Heathrow. Book by December 18 for select travel dates between December 5 and May 31, 2015. Go to Travelbag.co.uk or call 0845 543 6615.
Tourism in Egypt has suffered during the past few years, but it’s business as usual at beach resort Sharm El Sheikh, where it’s still safe to travel. The region offers excellent diving opportunities and good golfing facilities, with many holiday packages heavily reduced as a result of recent troubles.
Book it now: Olympic Holidays offers seven nights at the five-star Maritim Royal Peninsula from £408pp (two sharing), including breakfast, charter flights from Gatwick and transfers. Available for select travel dates from January to March, 2015. Go to Olympicholidays.com or call 020 8492 6868.
Can’t decide which of the Canary Islands to visit this winter? Do the whole lot with this excellent sail and stay offer from Cruise Nation.
Start the trip with five nights in Tenerife (room only), famous for its variety of beaches, lunar landscape and starry night sky, then continue with a seven-night cruise of the other islands, onboard the newly renovated MSC Armonia (full board).
Book it now: The package costs from £469pp (two sharing), including flights from London, and is available from January 18 to March 29, 2015. Go to Cruisenation.com or call 0800 408 0758.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Miami Beach, providing a good excuse to spend some time in America’s favourite oceanside spot.
After lounging on the beach, explore the surrounding area, where highlights include dolphin watching at Key West and alligator spotting in the freshwater swamps of the Everglades World Heritage Site.
Book it now: Flight Centre offers an eight-day fly and drive holiday from £499pp (two sharing), including flights from London and car hire. Available from January 12 to February 25, 2015. Go to Flightcentre.co.uk or call 0800 258 5773.
A year-round holiday destination, this east Mediterranean island benefits from a subtropical climate, and the only place you’re likely to find snow in winter is on the peaks of the Troodos mountains.
Head to Northern Cyprus where the main tourist hub is Kyrenia, a town well known for its historic harbor and Byzantine castle.
Book it now: Dealchecker offers a seven-night stay at the five-star Malpas Hotel, a short drive from Kyrenia and Cornaro beach, from £299pp (two sharing), including half-board accommodation, flights from London Stansted and transfers. Available throughout December and January. Go to Dealchecker.co.uk or call 020 3150 0412.
*Offers subject to availability, although if your chosen holiday has expired, similar alternatives will be on offer