Winter Sun

Posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 at 11:15 am

Where to go for sunshine right now…

If you're the type of person that sees stark beauty in a frozen puddle or believes that windswept city streets are conducive to romance, you might be satisfied with staying put this winter.

But for many of us, January and February are usually the bleakest of times.  So when those first miserable months of the year roll around, you're faced with two options.  Choose to go off-grid and hibernate until the spring – not to be seen or heard from until mid-March. Or (and this is our preferred choice) escape to warmer climes, emerging with a sun-kissed glow.

 And so with that, 7 for All Mankind have found you the best sunny winter escapes. Leave your knitwear at home.

CAPE VERDE

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Cape Verde may seem like a far-flung choice on a quest for winter sun, but these tropical islands (500 km off the coast of West Africa) have a lot to offer adventurers looking for a beach holiday slightly off the beaten track.

From the friendly, welcoming people to temperatures that range from 24C in January to 30C in September – you're guaranteed sun-drenched T-shirt weather at any time of year. With a dozen or so islands to choose from, you can take your pick from the Sao Vicente carnival in February or just enjoy the vast expanse of sandy beaches in Boa Vista. 

SRI LANKA

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If you're looking to relax, you'd be hard-pressed to do any better than the south coast of Sri Lanka, home to a string of picture-perfect beautiful beaches, surf havens and peaceful yoga retreats.

Here you'll find a scattering of laid-back, sleepy seaside villages southeast of the bohemian city of Galle to Tissamaharama. The south coast is Sri Lanka's prettiest rural escape, where locals mostly rely on coconut farming and fishing. A heartland of Sinhalese culture, don't miss the well-preserved old port town of Galle on your way to the beaches of Unawatuna, Weligama, Mirissa and Tangalia.

MYANMAR

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Thanks to reduced travel restrictions for outsiders, travelling to the enchanting Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is now possible by applying for a tourist e-visa. With sanctions only lifting in 2012, the country's wondrous attractions in a society mostly undiscovered by outsiders in the 21st century are now open to everyone.

With 2,000 brick temples in the Pagan countryside, traditional teak villages, teahouses and bustling markets, it's a country where Buddhism reigns supreme and the Shwedagon Paya temple in the capital city Yangon (“the winking wonder”), is essential viewing. Don't forget to pack your denim jacket for those cooler summer nights.

HAVANA, CUBA

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Like a postcard from the 1950s frozen in time, now is time to go to the beautiful Cuban capital. It remains an utterly unique city. From the vintage cars lining the streets to the ice blue and lemon yellow colonial buildings, there is a plethora of things to do and places to see. Take a stroll along the sea front promenade or explore Old Havana (a Unesco World Heritage site) – end the day by having a drink in the infamous bar that invented the mojito – La Bodeguita del Medio. Blend in with the locals and pack your most vibrant summer pieces – like this bright red jacket .

With average temperatures in January hovering at around 27C, winter is the perfect time to plan a trip -  just walking the streets, taking in the music and ambience is an experience in itself.

FUERTEVENTURA

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The second largest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura boasts warm, mild weather that hovers at 20C, even in the depths of January. Pretty much a haven of sunshine all year, the former fishing village of Corralejo is home to a beautiful beach with charming streets, seafood restaurants and local Spanish bars. Don't miss the tranquility of Buen Paso, a serene freshwater lake surrounded by boulders and palm trees.

Those after a more active holiday can take surfing lessons or simply enjoy the opportunity to stroll around town in your breezy summer uniform of  denim skirt and sandals.  With only a fraction of the tourists that make their way to the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, it's the perfect low-key, relaxing place to cure those winter blues.