Savings of more than 50 per cent are on offer on winter sun getaways as tour operators slash prices to entice holidaymakers into booking trips.
With rules for travel set to change on October 4, making going abroad easier than ever, now is the time to bag a bargain. If you’re after some winter heat, there’s masses to choose from — and deals galore. Here are some of the best…
DON’T MISS MALTA
Winter escape: The Maltese capital of Valletta. Britons planning a winter getaway to Malta need proof of a double jab to enter
Moderate temperatures linger into the winter months making Malta ideal for those seeking heat, but it’s far from stifling. It was the first EU country to ban people who are not vaccinated.
You’ll need proof of a double jab to enter. Masks are still mandatory in public spaces and, while social distancing isn’t a legal requirement, it is still advised.
DON’T MISS: Hiking to the Blue Grotto via a five-mile scenic loop.
GRAB A DEAL: Save £190 pp on seven nights at the Inter-continental Malta from £488pp B&B with Gatwick flights (olympicholidays.com).
Barbados is a guaranteed winter hotspot that has been on the green list since June
With temperatures touching a summery 26c (78f) in December, Barbados is a guaranteed winter hotspot that has been on the green list since June. Visitors must present a negative PCR test to travel, test again and quarantine on arrival (one day if double-jabbed, five days non-jabbed). Social distancing and masks are still mandatory.
DON’T MISS: Seafood doesn’t come fresher than at The Fish Pot overlooking the north-west coast (fishpotbarbados.com).
GRAB A DEAL: Enjoy a week’s five-star, all-inclusive break at the O2 Beach Club and Spa from £2,049 pp, saving £1,099 pp, including Heathrow flights and private transfers (caribtours.co.uk). Must book by September 30.
LOW-COST ST LUCIA
Soaking up the sun at Sandals’ La Toc resort in ‘Caribbean favourite’ St Lucia
With daily highs of 29c (84f) in our mid-winter, St Lucia is another Caribbean favourite. Entry is straightforward; visitors must have proof of a negative PCR test taken up to five days before travel and undergo screening on arrival.
DON’T MISS: Hike under forest canopy to the top of Gros Piton, one of the two cone-shaped peaks (grospiton.com).
GRAB A DEAL: Save £156 pp on seven nights at the Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa with Heathrow flights from £1,853 pp all-inclusive (virginholidays.co.uk).
MARVEL AT MAURITIUS
From October 1 onwards, those who are fully vaccinated will only need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival in Mauritius (pictured)
Expect daily high temperatures of 28c (82f) in Mauritius during our winter. From October 1 onwards, those who are fully vaccinated will only need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival. Those who are unvaccinated will still need to quarantine in an approved hotel for 14 days.
DON’T MISS: Spot playful dolphins and snorkel around the La Preneuse reef on a day cruise (jph.mu/dolphin-cruises).
GRAB A DEAL: Save up to £599 pp on seven nights at the elegant and comfortable Constance Prince Maurice hotel, now from £2,255 pp B&B including flights (abercrombiekent.co.uk).
ALL GO IN MOROCCO
Save 39 per cent (£204 pp) on a seven-night, all-inclusive stay at the adults-only TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden in Marrakech (pictured)
While you’ll still have some lovely warm days at this time of year, you won’t have to share them with the usual tourist hordes, meaning you can wander the souks and medinas in relative peace and quiet. Proof of a double vaccination or a PCR test 72 hours before arrival is required.
DON’T MISS: A half-day private walking tour takes in the Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs and the markets in the Medina (getyourguide.co.uk)
GRAB A DEAL: Save 39 per cent (£204 pp) on a seven-night, all-inclusive stay at the adults-only TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden in Marrakech, now from £322 pp including Gatwick flights and transfers (tui.co.uk).
Cyprus is ideal for those who are seeking some sun but who don’t want to travel too far.
A four-hour flight from London, you’ll find daily highs of 19c (66f). If you’re double jabbed, there is no need for a PCR test or quarantining on arrival.
DON’T MISS: You’ll most likely have the important archaeological sites in Paphos, including Kato Paphos Archaeological Park and the Tomb of the Kings, all to yourself.
GRAB A DEAL: Seven nights at the stylish Annabelle Hotel, Paphos, from £495 pp B&B, including a 15 per cent saving on accommodation, Gatwick flights and private transfers (sovereign.com).
MAKE IT MADEIRA
Save £300 pp on a seven-night stay in marvellous Madeira, staying at Quinta Da Casa Branca from £619 pp B&B
It’s still T-shirt weather on Madeira during our winters. The volcanic Atlantic island averages daily highs of 20c (68f) in December, making it ideal for hiking — and a consistently low rate of infection.
This is in part thanks to stringent safety measures still in place; masks must be worn in public (although not on the beach) and social distancing maintained. Visitors need a negative PCR test or vaccination certificate.
DON’T MISS: For sea and city views, ride the Funchal cable car from the old town to Monte (madeiracablecar.com).
GRAB A DEAL: Save £300 pp on a seven-night stay at Quinta Da Casa Branca from £619 pp B&B with Gatwick flights and private transfers (tropicalsky.co.uk).
HOT IN FUERTEVENTURA
Fuerteventura is magical in the winter – and we found a great seven-night deal from £474 pp
The nearest of the Canary Islands to the African continent, Fuerteventura is magical in the winter and still hot enough to sunbathe. A pre-travel declaration form and negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination are required for entry.
DON’T MISS: Spend a day exploring the dunes and glassy waters of the Corralejo Natural Park (hellocanaryislands.com).
GRAB A DEAL: Seven nights at Alua Suites Fuerteventura with Gatwick flights and transfers from £474 pp (easyjet.com).
Save up to 55 per cent on seven nights at Sofitel Dubai The Palm from £939 pp B&B with Heathrow flights
Dubai’s a guaranteed sizzler with temperatures climbing as high as 31c (87f) during our winter. You’ll need a negative PCR test to enter, as well as to register your details on the Covid-19 DXB app and undergo thermal screening at the airport.
DON’T MISS: Take a breather from the heat with at Wild Wadi waterpark (jumeirah.com).
GRAB A DEAL: Save up to 55 per cent on seven nights at Sofitel Dubai The Palm from £939 pp B&B with Heathrow flights (destination2.co.uk).
Winter is the best time to enjoy the normally crowded sands and coves of Papagayo Beach (pictured) in Los Ajaches Natural Park
Outside of the busy summer months, Lanzarote’s beaches, bodegas and volcanic scenery are all beautifully peaceful. And the weather reaches highs of 22c (71f). You’ll need a pre-travel declaration form and proof of a vaccine or a negative PCR test.
DON’T MISS: It’s the best time to enjoy the normally crowded sands and coves of Papagayo Beach in Los Ajaches Natural Park.
GRAB A DEAL: Enjoy seven nights at the family-friendly Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort in Playa Blanca from £974 pp, saving up to £220pp, with Heathrow flights (kuoni.co.uk). Must book by September 30.