Winter Sun Destinations
We reveal the best winter sun escapes to chase away those blues
For culture lovers: Rajasthan
Best time to go: Between November to February is a good time to visit, before the scorching summer and monsoon.
Get there: Fly into Delhi then hire a car with a driver and guide. Distances are long and there is a lot to see. The state also has three airports with good links to the rest of India, and Jaipur also serving other parts of Asia and the
The Middle East.
What to do: With incredible palaces, festivals and temples, Rajasthan is a cultural overload where you can hop from one great monument to the next. Gaze out at the blue-hued city of Jodhpur, see the sandcastle-like fort of Jaisalmer and head to a haveli – one of the elaborately decorated old mansion houses.
Where to stay: There are palaces everywhere, many converted into gloriously atmospheric hotels. The Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur is romantically sited on Lake Pichola.
Thrill seekers: Costa Rica
Best time to go: Costa Rica is at its driest between December and April and weather will be warm and sunny in most places – keep in mind though that the country has several local microclimates.
Get there: There are some direct flights to San Jose or Liberia that take around 11 hours.
What to do: Hike a volcano, go rafting, ziplining, horse riding and surfing – there’s no shortage of high octane adventures.
Where to stay: The Papagayo Peninsula is home to the Four Seasons, which has just been refurbished, and has views over the Pacific. It has a number of restaurants, including a new steak house with sustainable cuts of Costa Rican dry-aged beef.
Party animals: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Best time to go: For heat and party vibe, December to March.
Get there: Fly direct to Rio in around 12 hours.
What to do: Rio is party central with no shortage of cool clubs and bars, although come carnival time (1 to 9 March 2019), the whole city is one heaving hedonistic playground. For some rest and recuperation, catch a boat out to the Ilha Grande, a car-free tranquil spot where you can laze on stunning beaches, snorkel, and go hiking.
Where to stay: Look out over the city and Copacabana beach from the rooftop pool at the Hotel Emiliano or stay outside of the centre in the hip and luxurious Hotel Santa Teresa, on a former 1850s coffee plantation in the hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa.
Chill seekers: Maldives
Best time to go: It’s warm all year but at its driest between November and April.
Get there: BA operates a direct flight from November to March to the capital, Malé, which takes around 10 hours. It’s then usually a seaplane or speedboat transfer.
What to do: You can go dolphin watching, or whale watching in a submarine, take part in a cookery course, and enjoy numerous water and land-based sports and activities, but the Maldives is all about kicking back and relaxing, admiring the view, and if it should rain, simply head on over to the spa.
Where to stay: There’s a whole new raft of hotel openings this year and next such as high-end family-friendly Joali offering villas with private infinity pools, and the luxury Italian group Baglioni opening in April.