While the harsh winds continue to batter the country and snow is half-heartedly attempting to cast its icy blanket once again, it’s no surprise people are dreaming of getting away from this w
While the harsh winds continue to batter the country and snow is half-heartedly attempting to cast its icy blanket once again, it’s no surprise people are dreaming of getting away from this wintery captivity. Here are the best places to escape to right now. If you can’t get away, at least they’ll give you warm and sunny thoughts.
With the High Atlas Mountains, Atlantic coast and ancient cities to explore, there’s plenty of ways to make the most of sunnier climes. If you’re feeling adventurous take a camel ride across the Saharan sand dunes, trek the Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, or battle that Atlantic surf in Essaouira. Need to chill and just make the most of that inviting sunshine? Try the city of Taroudant. The historic souqs are less hectic and piled high with jewellery and crafts. Catch the last of the rays as the sun sets, casting a vibrant red glow over the clay buildings.
With an average of seven hours of sunshine a day, Malta offers seven more hours of sun-fuelled fun than Britain probably will in the next few months. Temperatures here now may be milder than in the height of summer, but you’ll have the beaches all to yourself. Home to a culture and cuisine based on Arabic, North African and Mediterranean influences, there’s nowhere better to experience such an eclectic mix. Explore ancient medieval dungeons, swim in Comino’s Blue Lagoon, wander meandering streets immersed in Baroque architecture and party on down at a lively fiesta.
You needn’t go long-haul to catch winter sun. Portugal has a quaint, old-fashioned charm, and the island of Madeira has it in droves. The elegant colonial architecture and cobbled streets of the capital, Funchal, are framed by the stunning volcanic mountains and surrounded by lush green valleys threading their way to pebbled beaches. The Mardi Gras carnival doesn’t quite reach the heights of Rio’s, but the locals sure know how to put on a colourful street procession on Carnival Saturday (February 21). Back on the mainland, sun yourself an envy-inducing golden brown on the unexplored beaches of Costa Vicentina.
Ok, so India is a bit more of a journey, but it’s worth it. With temperatures averaging well above 30°c and flour-soft white beaches lapped by the Arabian Sea, Goa is the only place to go when looking to catch a glimpse of that elusive winter sun. Spiritual, colourful and frantic, the town of Anjuna plays host to lively markets stalls whose atmosphere tingles and teems with activity. Traders battle to be heard over live music and the scent of spices floods the air. Arambol beach has a relentless party scene where you can crash in a beach shack and nod off to the sound of the waves gently whispering to the shore.
Wherever you go, or dream of going, may the thoughts of a warm, bright sun beating down on your neck as you wander ancient streets, relax on the beach, or barter at local markets, remind you summer is on its way. Sometime.