Today I want to bring you my guide to where to travel for winter sun. If you’re tired of of the cold and dark, these warm-weather getaways are perfect for you. They’ll make you forget about the grey skies and remember how nice it is to feel the sun on your skin and see the blue skies around you.

Where to Travel for Winter Sun

Where to Travel for Winter Sun

I don’t know about you, but cold weather isn’t my thing. I realize this sounds odd coming from someone who chooses to live in London, but it’s the truth. Even when I lived in San Francisco I used to escape to Hawaii for Christmas.

So over the years I’ve gotten good at finding warm pockets in the cooler months. If you’re wondering where to travel for winter sun, today I want to share 10 of my favorite destinations with you.

From South America to Asia, Africa to the Caribbean, I’ve discovered some amazing places in my quest for seasonal warmth.

I’ve traveled to all of these destinations in winter and can personally vouch for them. So whether you’re searching for a city or a beach, there’s a perfect place for you.

Antigua Beach

1. St Lucia

If islands are your thing, St Lucia is hard to beat. I fell in love with the island’s natural beauty—the green mountain peaks are stunning—and postcard-perfect beaches as soon as I arrived.

Which is to say nothing of the delicious seafood and friendly locals. St Lucia is famous for chocolate, too, so it’s a great place to indulge your sweet tooth.

St Lucia Beach

2. Cape Town, South Africa

If you’re more of a city person, Cape Town is where to travel for winter sun. The city won me over with its bright colors, dramatic topography, and penguins—yes, penguins.

There’s also beautiful wine country in nearby Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and the Worcester Wine Route. Add to that beaches galore, and it makes a great place for all-around good living.

Bo Kaap, Cape Town

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you’re wondering where to travel for winter sun in South America, Rio de Janeiro is just the place.

Not only does it have some of the world’s most famous beaches and a big New Year’s Eve party, but also rich culture, beautiful mountains, and iconic landmarks. And let’s not forget Carnival.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

4. Madagascar

If you want to get way off the beaten path, Madagascar is where to travel for winter sun. From Andilana Beach to Tsarabanjina, there are a lot of great places here.

With everything from baobab trees to lemurs, white-sand beaches to turquoise water, this island nation has a great blend of natural highlights and opportunities for escapism.

Beach in Nosy Komba, Madagascar

5. Antigua

Another island that’s worth seeking out in the cooler months is Antigua. This Caribbean beauty is said to have a beach for every day of the year, and from what I’ve seen they’re all spectacular.

Whether you want to learn to sail or spend all day sunbathing, eat seafood or explore historic harbors, there are a lot of great things to do in Antigua. Trust me. I’ve been to Antigua a number of times and can’t wait to go back.

Beach in Antigua

6. Langkawi, Malaysia

Over in Asia, Langkawi is a winter sun seeker’s paradise. In addition to the picture-pretty beaches, the island has monkeys galore and lots of natural beauty to discover. The spas are amazing, too.

If you’re wondering where to travel for winter sun in Asia, this is a great bet.

Four Seasons Pool in Langkawi in Winter

7. Sunshine Coast, Australia

Down under, Australia’s Sunshine Coast says it in the name. This part of Queensland is where to travel for winter sun in the Antipodes.

Coastal gems like Noosa offer everything from good shopping to great walking trails, and the Eumundi Markets are some of the biggest and best artisan markets I’ve ever been to.

Beach in Noosa, Australia

8. Sri Lanka

Back in Asia, Sri Lanka is one of my favorite places to combine sun worshiping and cultural immersion. The capital of Colombo is a great place to start a trip to this island nation.

Then after getting a beach fix at coastal spots like Unawatuna and Galle, I like to head inland for tea estates, temples in Kandy, and elephants.

Sri Lanka Beach

9. San Diego, California

In my home state, San Francisco’s chilly winters can easily be remedied by a trip south to San Diego. It’s where to travel for winter sun in California.

This beach city is the perfect place to surf, shop, and stuff myself full of Mexican food (with an emphasis on stuffing myself full of Mexican food).

Add to that a picturesque old town, the fun Gaslamp Quarter, and a world-class zoo, and there’s a lot of excitement to be had.

Paragliders in San Diego

10. St Croix, USVI

Back in the Caribbean, St Croix is one of my favorite places to travel for winter sun. Located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it’s guaranteed to have warm weather in the cooler months.

There’s a lot to do in St Croix in the winter, too. From kayaking to snorkeling, hiking, shopping, and dining, the island offers a great mix of activities. I spent 5 days in St Croix and enjoyed all of them.

And that’s to say nothing of beaches. If you want to lie out and work on your winter tan, there are lots of stretches of sand where you can do just that.

If this trip appeals to you, you can take a look at my blog post about the best area to stay in St Croix to find the perfect accommodation for your travel style. And if you want to see more, my U.S. Virgin Islands itinerary can help.

St Croix View

Places to Travel for Winter Sun

There are more places I could add to this list, but I hope it’s given you a good start if you’re wondering where to travel for winter sun.

I’m always looking for my next warm-weather getaway, so there will be more winter travel destinations on the blog soon.

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Where to Travel for Winter Sun

10 Comments on Lady’s 10 Places to Travel for Winter Sun

  1. I’ll be fleeing Stockholm in mid-February for a little winter sun in Portugal – hopefully it’s nice and hot! All of these destinations look amazing. Will definitely keep them in mind for future winters.


  2. This is an inspiring list of places- thank you. I suppose winter sun is all relative. We are taking a gamble on travelling to San Francisco next month because it’s our favourite US city and because the weather is still warmer than London – we hope anyway!

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