Looking to make the most of your holidays this year? We know all the best places to go. These are the places that everybody else will be talking about, so we’re letting you know now so you can beat the rush – and even better, save on your trip. Discover where to go this year and take advantage of some seriously hot savings on seriously cool destinations.
Malta’s history might date back thousands and thousands of years, but it’s got so much to offer today’s traveller too. From some of the oldest temples on earth to the stunning capital of Valletta (a UNESCO world heritage city, and the European Capital of Culture just two years ago), to the modern resorts of Saint Paul’s Bay – a trip to Malta is like travelling through time. And the melting pot vibe is true for the archipelago’s cuisine as well, with some of the best flavours of Italian, Spanish and French cooking coming together to create a truly delicious combination.
Another Balkan stunner, Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach certainly lives up to its name. A modern resort town on the Black Sea coast, Sunny Beach is packed full of things to do, including water sports, casinos and bars and restaurants. Or if you’re just there to relax, there’s more than 8km of golden sands waiting for you too. And with the historic town of Nessebar nearby, you can get a real taste of Bulgaria’s fascinating culture too.
Previously a bit of an undiscovered gem in the Adriatic region, Montenegro is starting to become a bit of a holiday hotspot. But, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of bargain breaks to be found. Home to both beautiful beaches and majestic mountains, it’s ideal for both activity holidays and relaxing beach stays. And you can expect a warm welcome from the locals too.
Picture a Greek island, and odds are, you might be picturing Santorini – the traditional white-washed houses sparkling under the Mediterranean sunshine, the crystal clear waters, and the beautiful beaches. And while there’s plenty of stunning historic and natural sights to see during the day, the lively scene in Santonrini’s capital Fira offers plenty to do at night too.
A long-standing luxury holiday favourite, you probably already know that the Maldives are an amazing place for a beach getaway. But with more than 1000 islands to explore, even if you’ve been before, the archipelago still has plenty of surprises in store. With many resorts located on their own private islands, it’s perfect for really relaxing escapes.
Vibrant and verdant – Costa Rica is a real nature lovers’ paradise. You can explore lush rainforests, hike across volcanoes, come face to face with sloths, monkeys and toucans, and try locally grown chocolate and coffee. And if that’s enough excitement there’s plenty of adrenaline-packed activities to try out, like epic zip line experiences and fantastic surfing spots.
Looking to escape the dreary UK winter and wondering where’s hot in January? Sunny Tenerife is a dream destination with temperatures around 20°C – ideal for hiking and climbing – and a lot more sunshine and blue skies than home. While the Atlantic Ocean won’t be warm, it’s a comfortable temperature to take a dip. Although January is Florida’s “low season”, it’s one of the best times to visit, with around ten hours’ sunshine per day, 24°C, and emptier Disney World theme parks than at the height of summer. It’s a pleasant temperature for exploring the Everglades or the long, golden-sand beaches. Thailand is well known for winter sun, with temperatures in January ranging from the low twenties to mid-thirties. This is technically the cool, dry season, but most tourists will find it dreamy, whether you’re heading south to the idyllic beaches, exploring Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and the beautiful north, or discovering Bangkok. January is technically cold season in Cyprus, but with average highs of 17°C, tourists might not notice the “chill”. It does get a little cooler at night, but for those who don’t love scorching summer heat, enjoy walking in the mountains, or just fancy some vitamin D, it’s still the perfect spot.
Where’s hot in February? You can take your pick, from Central and South America to the ever-sunny Canary Islands. Lanzarote and Gran Canaria are top picks at this time of year, whether you’re looking to explore the incredible volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote’s national park or enjoy the many beautiful beaches up and down the island of Gran Canaria. Dry, warm and with pleasant water temperatures, not to mention Carnival season starting, it’s no wonder February is such a popular time to visit Mexico. The Yucatán Peninsula is especially lively and vibrant at this time of year, while Majahuitas and Quimixto can be a little quieter. From surfing to partying, zip-lining to birdwatching, plus sunbathing…it’s the perfect time to visit. February is a fantastic month to experience Rio de Janeiro too, with average temperatures from 26–32°C and the spectacle of Carnival often falling in the last two weeks of the month. Being in Rio for Carnival is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but even if you don’t catch that, the city is teeming with culture, vibrant music, delicious food and some of the best beaches in the world.
Those seeking a sunny March have plenty of choice. Bali has to come top of any “Where’s hot in March?” list. This dreamy, tropical destination averages 27°C during the day, usually with sunny mornings and showers in the afternoon. From its white-sand beaches to its jungle temples and the serenity of the rice paddies, it’s the perfect island paradise. Egypt is perfect in March if you want to avoid blistering heat but still get maximum sunshine hours and long, balmy evenings. On the Red Sea Riviera, daily highs hit 25ºC and the sea is a delightful temperature. It’s also a more pleasant climate for visiting the Pyramids and the Sphinx. If sea swimming, strolling along glamorous promenades and generally soaking up a life of luxury sounds good to you, then Dubai in March is your pick. Daytime temperatures average 28ºC, dropping to 17ºC at night, and with sea temperatures around 22ºC, it’s a good idea to pack your swimwear. Miami is warm year-round, but in March (the start of the dry season) you can expect 25ºC and a lively atmosphere, with a packed calendar of film and music festivals, as well as Carnival – nowhere parties like Miami.
Where’s hot in April? You can choose from Central America, the Canary Islands and Africa. The Dominican Republic is possibly at its best in April, with low humidity, consistent sunshine, and fewer rain showers than the summer months. Expect average temperatures of 26°C on the coast, with highs of 29°C, and a beautifully clear sea for swimming and snorkelling. Head north to the Atlantic coast for fantastic watersports, or pop to the Caribbean coast for calm, gentle beaches and turtle-watching at Jaragua National Park in the southwest. It’s the end of summer in Mauritius in April, with low rainfall and bath-temperature seas warmed by the summer sun. April in Agadir, Morocco, is perfect for a sunny spring break with a dip in the cooling sea before the temperatures really start to soar. For anyone looking to delve into Morocco’s rich culture, exploring the coast, cities, or countryside, this is just the right time before things get sweltering. For reliable temperatures in the mid-twenties and little rain, meanwhile, Fuerteventura is the destination of choice. Whether you’re scaling a volcano, exploring the dunes at Corralejo Natural Park or simply sipping a cocktail by the shore, you’re sure to be doing it in sunshine.
Malta is a top spot in September, with glorious sea temperatures for swimming, snorkelling and diving, and the crowds of summer are largely gone. If your trip coincides with Victory Day (8th), you’ll witness a regatta in Valletta harbour and evening fireworks. Expect some rain, but generally temperatures range from 20–28ºC, while the sea is around 25ºC. The Costa del Sol is a dreamy 20–26ºC in September, with a balmy sea and long evenings. The crowds and the blistering heat have dissipated and it’s a relaxed time, where locals are out and about enjoying the beaches, fabulous food and evening light. Of course, no list of ‘where’s hot in September’ would be complete without the Seychelles. This romantic idyll is 24–29°C with little to no rain, so it’s the perfect time to explore the silver-sand beaches and take a snorkelling trip or boat ride in one of the marine parks. September is also a great month to explore Morocco, with temperatures dropping to a pleasant 18–28ºC and fewer crowds. Lower temperatures are perfect for exploring Marrakech and the coastal regions, and hiking in the Atlas mountains is a great activity for this period.
Wondering where’s hot in October? Our first shout-out is Athens, a city packed with antiquities that can be sweltering in summer but is perfect as the temperatures level off in autumn. The average of 19°C is ideal for a city break marvelling at the Parthenon, Acropolis, temples and museums. Spend mornings strolling through colourful neighbourhoods and bustling food markets, then escape the midday sun in the National Garden. With daily averages of 23ºC and 10 hours’ sun per day, it’s hard not to want to visit Corfu in October. Dip in a sea warmed by the summer’s heat, hike up mountains in comfortable temperatures and enjoy terraces at seafood restaurants. To see Tunisia without the crowds, visit in October (18–28ºC) and enjoy emptier archaeological sites and gorgeous sea temperatures. Visit the impossibly pretty blue-and-white village of Sidi Bou Said, tour the Sahara, stopping in at the oasis town of Tozeur, or explore the colourfully tiled Medina district in Tunis. October is between seasons in Sri Lanka, making for low crowds and prices. To avoid the rain, head to the north and east of the island, exploring the Cultural Triangle and the beaches without the bustle. If you come in late October, you’ll find Diwali in full swing.
Want to know where’s hot in November? Consider Cape Verde. These islands off the west coast of north Africa barely see any rain and the most popular spots, Sal and Boa Vista, reach 28ºC in November. It’s a great beach and hiking destination with sea temperatures of 26ºC and the promise of wind for sailing, kitesurfing and windsurfing. November marks the start of dry season in Cancun, but it’s just before the temperatures start to soar. You’ll have plenty of beach days with highs of 30ºC and warm evenings even after the sun drops. Take a dip in the balmy 28ºC sea and book something adventurous – like cenote swimming or jungle zip-lining – for an unforgettable holiday. November is rainy season in the Seychelles, but the showers are short, leaving clear skies and fresh-feeling air. Hop between small islands on boats, sampling the tastiest food and finding the best reef snorkelling in the calm and beautifully clear ocean. Gran Canaria is as gloriously sunny in November as it is most of the year, with temperatures hovering around 20ºC. Take a road trip around the island’s coastal towns, sampling mouth-watering seafood and the countless beaches, or book some surf lessons and enjoy the legendary waves.
The UK winter has many people frantically searching for “Where’s hot in December?”. The answer to your winter sun cravings could lie in Cuba and Barbados. Temperatures in the former are between 19–26°C, drawing in droves of tourists from Canada and the USA for Christmas. Havana and Remedios are bustling, with the latter hosting a legendary fireworks competition, and it’s also a wonderful time to take a bird-spotting tour. Barbados is dry and sunny, with highs of 29ºC, warm evenings and a sea temperature of 28ºC – surely this getaway is all about beaches? Madeira is one of the best European destinations for winter sun, with temperatures in December (in the sea and on land) reaching 20ºC. It’s warm enough to dip into Funchal’s beautiful natural pools but cool enough that you can tackle the country's beautiful and mountainous interior without being bathed in sweat. The sun-blessed Canary Islands are also, predictably, a top hotspot in December. The temperature holds steady at a mild 20ºC with cooler evenings, but it’s the perfect sunny antidote to grey northern European winters. All of the islands have unique landscapes to hike, but all share the promise of glorious beaches and phenomenal seafood.