Fancy escaping the cold this winter in search of warmer climes? Here are Marco Polo’s top 10 winter sun beach destinations…
1. Eagle Beach, Aruba
The gnarled divi-divi trees, contorted by the wind, look like over-sized bonsais on a sugary-white beach. On ‘One Happy Island’ the sun shines 365 days a year – the word ‘winter’ doesn’t even get a look-in.
INSIDER TIP: If you’re looking for something active, give the latest trend a try – yoga on a stand up paddle board – SUP yoga. Don’t fall off!
2. Tropea, Italy
The little Calabrian town of Tropea sits sublimely on a 40m (130ft) high cliff above the Tyrrhenian Sea and there is a fine sandy beach at the foot of the Old Town. Even if the temperature here in the most southerly part of the ‘toe’ on the Italian Peninsula isn’t tropical, it’s never freezing either.
3. Djerba, Tunisia
The soft, wet sand sticks between your toes, palm trees cast their shadows here and there and the occasional camel trots by. The mile-long beach on the Tunisian island of Djerba has a very oriental feel and even at Christmas time the temperature here is very pleasant.
4. Agate Beach, Lüderitz, Namibia
Gentle, white-capped waves roll in from the Atlantic on Agate Beach. If you’re lucky you may even find a piece of agate in the sand. In this hot, dry climate temperatures can climb up to 25°C in winter.
5. Sidi Abdel Rahman, Egypt
Gentle waves have been formed by the wind in the white, fine sand of this beach that stretches down the Mediterranean coast. White sunshades make a perfect contrast to the blue water. In winter, visitors can look forward to mild temperatures here of around 20°C.
6. Matira Beach, Bora Bora
The name Bora Bora melts in the mouth like a gooey cream chocolate and makes us long for the South Seas – and not just when the Christmas lights are turned on at home. There is no winter on the beach of this atoll. The only thing the colour of snow here is the velvety soft sand between your toes and the only ice to be found is in your cocktail.
INSIDER TIP: A pareu, a colourful wrap-around makes a lovely souvenir.
7. Ras Al-Jinz, Al-Hadd, Oman
The Gulf of Oman is there to enjoy. The waves are like music to the ear and on Ras Al-Jinz beach you can listen to the sound of the sea and watch green sea turtles lay their eggs. All this at a daytime temperature seldom below the 20°C mark.
8. Papanasam Beach, Varkala, India
The view from the cliff top is breathtaking. Steps carved out of the rock lead down to the beach. Varkala Beach in the state of Kerala is not only unbelievably beautiful but, thanks to its proximity to the Equator, is tropical the whole year round.
9. Oualidia, Morocco
An oriental lifestyle, the call of the muezzin and the sheltered lagoons of Oualidia soon make you forget the cold north. That’s what the flamingos think too when they stop here in autumn on their way to milder climes further south.
10. Praia de Santa Mónica, Boavista, Cape Verde
Here, off the coast of Africa, the sun shines 350 days a year and the average temperature is between 21 and 29°C. You won’t necessarily meet a soul on the 18km (11 mile) long beach of fine Sahara sand – which is not really surprising as this idyllic spot can only be reached in a 4 × 4. But the journey is more than worth the effort!