January’s leaden skies and post-Christmas gloom can take their toll, which is why a winter break in the sun is such an appealing idea. You can find a few destinations within a relatively short flight, or go for the long-haul option. And if you’re planning ahead for April, have a look at some of these tempting ideas.
Lanzarote’s dramatic volcanic landscapes give this Canary island an eerily lunar appearance. In January, temperatures are pleasantly in the low 20s, perfect for splashing about in the beaches of Playa Blanca and exploring the spellbinding Timanfaya National Park. The five-star Princess Yaiza Suite Hotel & Resort has a huge choice of pools and restaurants and has direct access to the beach. Classic Collection is offering seven nights’ B&B from £999pp including Gatwick flights and transfers, departing 13 January.
Cape Verde Islands
This volcanic archipelago off the coast of West Africa is only an hour behind the UK, so there’s no jet lag to worry about. The newly opened Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is right on Santa Maria Beach and has an extensive nautical centre as well as a spa. Cape Verde Experience has seven nights’ B&B at the Hilton from £999pp for an 11 January departure from Birmingham, including flights, UK airport lounge access, transfers and visas.
It’s the dry season in this corner of the Caribbean, where temperatures are hovering in the high 20s – excellent for a January escape. Surrounded by tropical vegetation overlooking Labrelotte Bay, the four-star Windjammer Landing Villa Beach resort offers direct access to a white-sand beach. Hayes & Jarvis has a seven-night room-only break at the Windjammer from £1,849pp, including flights from Gatwick for a 21 January departure.
January is the coldest month in Goa – meaning the temperatures are only in the mid-20s to low 30s. One mile from Anjuna Beach in north Goa is Casa Anjuna hotel, a beautifully restored Portuguese colonial mansion full of antiques and with its own pool. Goa Experience has a week’s B&B from £799pp, including Gatwick flights on 18 January and transfers. Or treat yourself to a fortnight from £1,099pp departing 17 January.
Book now for April
Marrakech is delightful in April, when the mid-20s temperatures make shopping in the busy souks a more relaxing experience. Get into Medina life by staying in a riad, specifically the new Riad Star, which at one point was the home of Josephine Baker. Fleewinter has a three-night break in Riad Star from 20 April from £190pp, including breakfast and airport transfers. Flights are extra but can be arranged.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
April is low season in this sleepy string of Caribbean islands, which means a welcome dip in prices. Book by 28 February to save £240 on a week at laid-back Bequia Beach Hotel right on Friendship Beach on the island of Bequia. Inspiring Travel Company has a week’s B&B from 1 April onwards from £1,799pp, including flights, inter-island flights and transfers.
Away from the resorts of the Algarve is the Sagres peninsula, with its sandy beaches, pine forests and dramatic cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Follow the Rota Vicentina and Fisherman’s Trail hiking routes on a four-night self-guided walk with Headwater. Prices start at £689pp for departures throughout April, and include breakfast, two dinners, maps and luggage transfers. With flights, the price starts at £889pp.