When winter’s really set in, I know I certainly want a bit of sunshine to brighten up the gloom. Booking a trip to warmer climes is always on my to-do list at this time of the year and I think a villa holiday is a fantastic choice if you’re travelling with a group.
Staying in this type of accommodation has many benefits, from giving you more privacy than you’d get in a hotel to helping you keep the cost of your getaway down by self-catering.
With all that in mind, I’ve put together a list of a few spots that are on my radar for a sunny escape this winter!
Weather forecast: temperatures around 20 to 23 degrees C in the days, down to 16 to 13 degrees C overnight.
Lanzarote is in the Canary Islands and that means it’s located further south (off the north-east coast of Africa to be precise) than many other European destinations, which adds up to much milder winters!
As it’s an island, there are plenty of beaches (an essential component of any winter break, in my opinion!), with long stretches of sand such as Guacimeta, bays of black sand like Janubio and numerous secluded coves.
Although I enjoy topping up my tan, I also love getting active when I’m away and one of the best water-based sports to try in Lanzarote is surfing. You’ll ideally want to be based in the north-west of the island to make the most of the top breaks, with Famara being a particularly good spot for beginners.
Weather forecast: Between ten and 20 degrees C, although the winter is the wettest season.
The Greek islands are a perennial favourite for winter and summer getaways and I’ve put Rhodes on my list because it not only has stunning beaches and a beautiful coastline, but also plenty of history.
While I’m something of a water baby, I’m well aware that some of my friends like to have things to do away from the beach, and Rhodes is a great choice if you need to please different people.
The Old Town in Rhodes city is a must-visit, as it’s home to a fascinating array of buildings that tell the story of the island’s eclectic heritage. There are medieval fortresses, minarets from Ottoman mosques and busy squares. A highlight is the Palace of the Grand Master, which now houses a museum (perfect if you do have a rainy day during your stay).
Weather forecast: 15 to 20 degrees C, with the highest level of rainfall (87 mm) in December.
This is my final pick for a winter villa holiday, because you’ll find a little bit of everything on this delightful island. As you probably know, Cyprus is split between Turkey and Greece and it’s worth visiting whichever half of the island you’re not staying in to get an insight into the different cultures.
There are beaches for sun worshippers to visit, ancient ruins for history buffs to explore and fascinating cities for culture vultures to discover. On top of all of that, there are also some great sports to try if any of your party are keen to get active, including sailing and scuba diving.
In fact, one of the world’s most famous wreck dives – the Zenobia (a ferry) – lies beneath the waves off Cyprus’s coast, making diving a must for any keen underwater adventurers in your group.
If you’re planning a winter villa holiday this year, where are you thinking of going?