It might be hard to believe that summer is almost over here in the UK. We are keeping our fingers crossed for an Indian Summer, but there is no escaping the fact that soon, Autumnal nights will be fast drawing in, temperatures dropping and rain featuring more prominently in the daily weather forecasts… it is almost enough to have us packing our bags and making a dash for a warmer climate! With that in mind, our team have put heads and expertise together, to list our top destinations to escape the gloomy (and cold!) Autumn and Winter weather. So, before the prospect of Winter gets you down, take a look at these stunning (and warm!) destinations which are perfect for a winter escape, and give our personal travel consultants a call on + 44 1993 899 430 to book your winter holiday now.
Nowhere quite shouts ‘winter sun’ as loudly as the Maldives. With temperatures hovering around a deliciously warm 29C throughout the winter months, the shivering climate of the northern hemisphere will seem a distant memory as you stroll barefoot along stunning white beaches which are lapped by the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
Frequently described as ‘the most beautiful small islands on Earth’, the Maldives are renowned for being a luxury retreat and offering a real escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The only crowds you find anywhere near the islands are shoals of over 700 species of exotic fish which live among the amazing coral reefs. Unsurprisingly, the Maldives are a diving mecca offering some of the world’s best scuba diving for beginners and experts alike. Regardless of whether you want to spend time by the water, on the water or in the water, the Maldives offer a truly enticing destination for winter sun seekers. There are numerous luxury resorts on different islands to choose from, so make sure you talk to our advisers who can recommend the best one for you.
Is Thailand the ultimate winter escape? With stunning beaches, vibrant cities, amazing food and welcoming people (not to mention lots of sun with temperatures hovering around 30C - 35C, during what is Thailand’s most pleasant season from a weather perspective) it is understandable why so many people think so.
So, where to go and what to do? A hugely popular destination (and for good reason) is the largest Thai island of Phuket. A superb beach destination and perfect for those of you looking to relax, you will find white sandy beaches complete with nodding palm trees, set alongside glittering seas. The island is home to some particularly luxurious resorts and hotels ensuring your stay will be supremely comfortable. For a more vibrant break, head to Bangkok. With more visitors than any other city in the world it is home to an incredible array of sights, sounds and experiences. Check in to your luxury hotel before heading out to explore the street markets, stopping to try some of the legendary street food before visiting the malls to indulge in some shopping - packed with boutiques stocked with high end goods, you will struggle not to spoil yourself!
For the ultimate sun drenched, luxury holiday then head to the Seychelles. You will be completely wowed by the incredible colours of the sea, sky and sand, the abundance of nature and the quality of accommodation and food available to you.
There are over 100 islands which go to make up the Seychelles archipelago. Nature takes priority in the Seychelles and many of these islands are designated nature reserves, giving you an opportunity to see some extraordinary wildlife during your visit. Most famous are the giant tortoises which are impressive to watch! Most visitors escape to the Seychelles to experience peace and tranquillity which is delivered in abundance. Enjoying an almost perfect climate, the Seychelles are an ideal location to escape to for some winter sunshine. Relax on a white sugar sand beach gazing out over a brilliantly blue ocean, take time to enjoy exquisite meals at your luxury resort and rediscover an inner peace of mind. Once refreshed, there are numerous opportunities to explore – whether you choose the UNESCO world heritage Vallée de Mai National Park on Praslin Island or the colourful markets and unique shops on Mahé, the Seychelles offer ample opportunity to embrace island life.
Stunningly beautiful, Bali is an increasingly popular destination for those looking to escape winter. And with some amazing luxury beach resorts and hotels, incredible scenery, jaw dropping sunsets and a culture known for its warm hospitality, it’s not hard to see why.
There is so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to begin. Renowned for the luxury of its hotels and resorts you will initially have trouble coaxing yourself out to explore… and who can blame you? With incredible spas, exciting restaurants and first class service, everything you need for a truly relaxing winter holiday is right where you are. Step out to explore however, and you will be met with a feast for the eyes. Pristine sandy beaches play host to rolling surf, towering volcanoes merge with lush jungle and ancient temples dot the landscape. For the adventurous amongst you, you can enjoy exploring off the beaten track and finding numerous unspoilt spots across this lush island. Or if shopping is more your style then a visit to the Ubud Art Market, referred to locally as Pasar Seni Ubud, is the place to find beautiful silk scarves and other handmade goods.
An island just waiting to be explored… and what better time of year to do this than over the winter months when temperatures hover around 28C and rainfall is at its lowest. If you are looking for a winter destination that includes lush forests, coconut and papaya orchards, natural waterfalls, spectacular orchids and sandy beaches lapped by crystal clear, warm waters, then this is the place for you.
Luxury Resorts offer exceptional levels of comfort and service ensuring your stay on the island is a relaxing one. Whether you are more inclined to spend your holiday lying on a beach soaking up the sun, or you prefer to be out and about, St Lucia offers something for everyone. Begin your holiday on the palm-fringed beaches around Marigot Bay soaking up the sun with a good book to hand. Refreshed, pull on some hiking boots for a guided climb 2,000 feet up one of the twin peaks which tower over the island. You will be rewarded with some spectacular views at the top. Or if heights are not your thing, then a try a more sedate stroll through the open-air markets which offer an incredible array of vegetables, exotic fruit and fascinating fish. Without doubt this is a stunning island with something for everyone, and it has previously been voted one of the world's best family destinations.
As one of the larger Caribbean islands, Antigua allows you the luxury of a direct flight to the island for your winter getaway – less time travelling means more time soaking up the sun on one of 365 (yes, 365!), typically Caribbean, white sandy beaches.
A world-wide reputation amongst the yachting community makes this the ultimate destination for any keen sailor, who will be able to enjoy taking to the waters in balmy conditions – temperatures at this time of year average around 28C. Every spring the island comes alive with exhilarating races during Antigua Sailing Week, with much of the action centred around Nelson’s Dockyard, the former base of the British Navy during the 18th Century. For sailors and non-sailors alike, the island is renowned for its lively parties with music and dancing playing a big part in Antiguan life. Drinking rum punch, dancing to a steel band whilst taking in the incredible sunsets is a memorable experience and will doubtless result in ever such slight feelings of smugness (or guilt!) when you think of friends and family shivering away back at home. When you are not out on the water, you will probably want to be in it – some superb snorkelling and diving opportunities await in the warm seas around the island. Or just sit back on one of the many beaches soaking up the sun. With numerous luxury villas and resorts to choose from, Antigua is a superb destination for a winter getaway.
The Oxford Private Travel Team
In today’s connected and internet driven world there is no shortage of travel information… in fact, we have gone full circle and you can now find yourself overwhelmed with advice on where to go, what to do and where to stay. It can be extremely difficult to filter out the noise and make an informed decision about your next holiday. That is where we come in. Nothing can beat personal experience and our travel team know these destinations and many more inside out, allowing us to help you plan the perfect holiday. Simply give us a call on +44 1993 899 430 and one of our travel experts will take the time to understand your unique travel and holiday requirements, before providing tailored advice and possible itineraries just for you. You can also contact us online here. We look forward to talking with you soon!