If you don’t have the cash for the Caribbean and your funds won’t run to Australia don’t panic. While temperatures in Europe are dropping there are still ways to seek out winter sun without spending a fortune. Whether you’re a student, or you’re just on a budget, the world offers some great winter sun spots that won’t break the bank.
For some reason Oman has never made it onto many winter sun destination lists. However, this fascinating country with its rugged mountains and sparkling seas is the perfect low cost location. Positioned on the edge of the Arabian Peninsular, Oman is rich with history and dramatic locations, from the buzz of Muscat, to the moon-like landscapes of the desert. The Wahiba Sands offer insight into local Bedouin lifestyles and the Oman Fjords are known as the Grand Canyon of Oman. As well as the wealth of natural beauty there are plenty of man made delights too. See the stunning architecture of the local mosques, visit the Nizwa Fort and spend hours shopping the souks. Oman also has beaches to rival any in the Med, such as Qantab in Muscat and Al Mughsail in Salalah. Temperatures remain in the 20s throughout the winter and flight time is around seven hours from the UK.
One of the cheapest winter sun spots, Egypt is a great option thanks to the wealth of cheap flights and low cost accommodation available. This is also a land with enormous history that dates back to the Pharaohs, plus fantastic beaches and food. Resorts such as Sharm El-Sheikh are more than equipped to offer a little luxury at very low cost and Giza is where you’ll find pyramids, sphinx and tombs. A boat trip down the Nile is a once in a lifetime experience and the Valley of the Kings takes most visitors’ breath away. You can fly into Egypt’s cities, or directly to a resort location. Flight times are around nine hours. Weather-wise, Egypt remains hot throughout our winter, a toasty 20 to 26 degrees Celsius.
Cape Verde lies off the coast of Senegal in West Africa. This beautiful collection of islands is a winter sun paradise and just six hours flight time from the UK. The islands here are a fascinating mix of Creole Portuguese-African, which produces a heady fusion of culture, food and history. Volcanic backdrops provide drama to towns and cities but it’s the beaches that are the real draw for visitors. Fine golden sands and the bluest of seas offer Caribbean landscapes without the price tag. Keen divers love Cape Verde and if you’re looking to do a PADI course there is plenty of choice here. This 10 island archipelago provides lots for adventurous visitors off the beach too. You can hike the mountainous islands, explore by boat or immerse yourself in the hospitality of the buzzing capital Mindelo. Temperatures during our winter are mid – high twenties so there’s plenty of opportunity to get a tan.
The southern African nation of Mozambique has a rich history that has often been controversial. However, in recent peaceful times it has emerged as a winter sun winner for those who love ocean landscapes. The main reason for this is the vast stretch of Indian Ocean coastline – some 1,400 miles –, which is increasingly populated with chic resorts and cool hotels. Prices remain low but the country is up and coming in terms of appeal. Gorongosa National Park is just one of the locations in Mozambique becoming famous for its safari and cities such as Maputo are rising cultural stars. The beaches here are startling in their beauty, from the Bazaruto Archipelago with its rare reefs, to beautiful Pemba. Flight time from the UK is around 14 hours. However, it’s worth the effort as temperatures remain up in the high 20s all winter.
While some Southeast Asia destinations have soared in cost in recent years, Vietnam remains accessible and interesting. From the history of Hanoi, to the jungles of Hue this country has a huge amount to offer. If you want to spend a week by the beach then Vietnam can oblige, whether on the untouched Hon Khoi peninsula or the party atmosphere of Nha Trang. Caves and kayaking, war remnants and national parks, there is something in this beautiful country for just about everyone. The food is another reason people visit Vietnam in droves. Local specialities such as pho (noodle soup) and banh xeo (filled pancakes) are delicious alongside the local Bia Hoi beer. Leftover Colonial influence also means that cakes and fresh bread are plentiful and this has produced some delicious local culinary fusions. Vietnam is around 12 hours flight from the UK and temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees.