Because winter is coming. And we’re not waiting around for the chill to arrive.
We mourn the end of every summer. Here in Europe, the temperature drops, the skies become grey and, in most destinations, the sailing season comes to an end.
However, there is hope! We’re planning trips to warm winter travel destinations around the world, and we’re finding some incredibly cheap holiday deals for you.
Discover the 7 best places for winter sun, and rent a yacht before they’re all gone!
Sitting off the coast of East Africa lies a secluded scattering of 115 islands known as the Seychelles. These isolated islands are unbelievably picturesque and surprisingly affordable. And not only are they beautiful, they’re diverse. The Seychelles are ideal for holidays of all types: from honeymoons to active island exploration to ecotourism trips. You’ll find white sand beaches, jungle and coastal hikes, snorkelling, diving, and plenty of hidden coves and bays to explore.
The Seychelles are a great destination if you’re looking for somewhere warm to holiday during the winter but don’t want to fight the crowds of the Caribbean. With a rich mix of French, African, British and Indian influences, the Seychelles are like no other destination on earth. The best time to go is from February to April.
The British Virgin Islands (BVIs) are popular for their incredible beaches, snorkelling and diving, and close proximity that lends to easy island-hopping holidays. With refreshing trade winds, calm currents and ideal sailing conditions, the BVIs are one of our favourite sailing destinations for winter. With more than 50 islands to explore, departing from the main island of Tortola and sailing to hidden bays, coves and islands is the best way to do it.
The BVIs are more secluded than many other Caribbean destinations, and they maintain a special aspect of luxury that we love. Best time to go? September to November is still hurricane season, so December to June is the best time to sail here (the later you travel in this period, the less crowds you’ll see).
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Not many people consider Thailand for a sailing holiday, but this beautiful country is known for its hospitable people, its stunning beaches and its excellent cruising grounds. Phuket is the base of sailing in Thailand, with the Andaman Sea its maritime jewel. Here, you’ll find thousands of islands, beautiful beaches and plenty of unchartered territory to explore.
There’s cliff diving, raging beach parties, scuba diving, snorkelling and sea kayaking. A warm winter climate brings travellers here during December to March each year. And let’s not forget one of our favourite attractions: the opportunity to indulge in incredible local Thai food found all along the Phuket coast.
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Located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands. Picture incredible beaches, bright blue water, Spanish colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. Havana’s streets are full of music, art and events, and Cuba’s pristine beaches and coastline are some of the best in the world.
Cuba might not be the most obvious choice for a sailing destination, but Cienfuegos, Cuba’s ‘Pearl of the South’, is glamorous and atmospheric with excellent marine facilities. And, with the recent lift of the travel embargo, Cuba’s coast is increasing its visitor intake, so there has never been a better time to go than this winter. With a year-round warm climate and steady winds, Cuba is an excellent winter sailing destination.
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife’s warm winter sunshine attracts sailors and visitors from all over Europe. Although it is positioned over a thousand kilometres from the southern coast of Spain, Tenerife — with its beautiful volcanic archipelago and bustling coastal towns — is one of the best winter sailing destinations in the world.
Tenerife draws over 10 million visitors each year, most of whom head straight for the stunning southwestern resorts of Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos. Tenerife has an excellent coast for scuba diving and snorkelling, and year-round winds that are perfect for sailing. Take the cable car up to the summit of the Mount Teide volcano, Spain’s highest mountain, and enjoy basking in glorious winter sunshine.
Officially a region of France, Martinique is sophisticated, glamorous, and its beaches are unbeatable. The north of the island is mountainous and covered in rainforest, and the south is full of beautiful bays and coves with breathtaking beaches. One of our favourite spots is Le Marin, Martinique’s yachting capital, which has a fantastic marina, waterfront restaurants and a bustling town centre.
Officially a region of France, Martinique’s culture is a unique blend of French and West Indian influence. Peak season is from December to April, but Martinique enjoys year-round temperatures of around 25 degrees — just beware of the hurricane season when booking.
Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, is a scattering of tropical islands off the west coast of Africa. Situated in the belt of the Saharan trade winds, Cape Verde‘s warm and dry climate is perfect for sailing during the winter months, January and February being the most ideal.
Each island offers something special, whether it be amazing hiking trails, breathtaking beaches or unique coasts to explore. The islands are warm and sunny all year, maintaining a temperature in the high 20s, and the culture and scenery you’ll discover is inimitable. Cape Verde is a great place to escape the winter tourism rush of other popular destinations.
Can you feel that sunshine calling? For more travel inspiration and holiday information, check out the home of sailing holidays around the world.
Have you visited any of these places? Do you have any other suggestions for the winter 2015/2016 season? Let us know in the comments below…