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Winter in the UK is famously changeable. There’s drizzle, torrential downpours, strong winds, snow, and very occasionally, those beautiful clear winter days that are perfect for long walks under blue skies. This year, we’ve found the British winter to be overwhelming grey. There’s been very little of anything to speak of other than an all-consuming greyness, which frankly, does very little for the soul.

It’s only natural then that you’ll be looking for an opportunity to remind yourself what the warmth of the sun really feels like. For all those of you sporting gargantuan vitamin D deficits, here are some of the best sun-soaked winter holidays for families in 2019…

 Dominican Republic

If your New Year’s resolution is to treat you and your family more regularly, how about starting the year with a trip to the Caribbean? The Dominican Republic has long been the more affordable side of the Caribbean, making it a good choice for family holidays, but it also has a burgeoning luxury market, with plenty of options for a wide range of budgets. The resorts in the southeast of the country, particularly around Punta Cana, offer excellent accommodation and good value.  

While the nine-hour flight time might deter younger families, we think an average temperature of 25oC in January might provide the impetus you need.  

 Madeira

Madeira, which is a Portuguese island chain situated just off the west coast of Africa, might not the first location that springs to mind when booking a winter sun escape, but we think it’s worth serious consideration, particularly for families. Not only is the flight time a very palatable three hours, but it also has an excellent mix of attractions, with plenty of historical and cultural sights for the adults and excursions for children. 

The cosmopolitan capital of Funchal, with its ornate cathedral and stylish boutiques, is perfect for a browse, while the dramatic peaks, clifftops and waterfalls of picturesque Calheta are primed for afternoon trips. You can expect winter temperatures of around 18oC and six hours of sunshine a day. 

Cyprus

If you’re looking for cheap winter holidays in the sun then Cyprus is pretty tough to beat. Teletext Holidays currently has deals starting at just £126 per week, including flights and accommodation, which is an absolute steal. Although you can’t expect the sort of winter temperatures you might get in the Caribbean, Cyprus does have one of the mildest winters in the Mediterranean, with average temperatures of 17oC. 

Paphos is probably the most appealing of the big resorts for families as there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy. The Coral Bay area, situated around 12km from Paphos Town, has a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere and beautiful sandy beaches lined by restaurants and quiet bars.

Mexico

If you’re happy to travel further afield and can stomach a 12-hour flight, Mexico not only guarantees winter sun, but it also provides excellent value, particularly for all-inclusive holidays. Winter is the coolest time to visit Mexico, which helps to bring the prices down, but with average temperatures of 24oC, it’s still plenty warm enough to spend time on the beach with the kids.

Head to the Caribbean coastline of Riviera Maya for beautiful golden beaches, turquoise seas and authentic Mexican culture. There are also plenty of all-inclusive deals around the beaches of Cancun, although the area is heavily developed and extremely popular with Americans.  

The Algarve

The beauty of the Algarve is not just in its mild winter temperatures but in the diversity of its many potential destinations. In the centre of the region and on the fringes of the sea, resorts such as Vila Joya and Vila Vita Parc line the cliffs. Here you’ll also find the built-up, better-known resorts of Albufeira and Vilamoura, with their long sandy beaches and numerous attractions for the kids. 

In the east of the Algarve, it’s as if time has stood still. Here you’ll find authentic guesthouses and whitewashed villages that’ll give you a true taste village life. In the wild west of the Algarve, expansive beaches are battered by the power of the Atlantic, creating excellent opportunities for water sports fanatics, dolphin watchers and bird lovers alike. 

With temperatures hovering between a balmy 16oC and 20oC and a flight time of just over two hours, the Algarve is an accessible and affordable winter destination you won’t want to miss.   



Sun-Soaked Winter Holidays for Families
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