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Winter is coming, but you don’t want to spend it covered by layer after layer of blankets or wearing multiple layers of clothing. So, what do you do?

Well, you can get some winter sun at several hot spots around the world. While other countries are experiencing winter, some cities are perpetually in summer, giving you a chance to visit the beaches, take hikes, and generally enjoy the outdoors.

So, what are some of these hot spots for your winter sun? Here are the top picks and the best places to visit:

 

St.Lucia, Caribbean

Need some winter sun?  Here are some hotspots.

On the beach in the Caribbean

St. Lucia is a picturesque Caribbean island that is perfect for a luxury holiday where you can lose all sense of time. There are several high-end resorts here where you’ll be waited on hand and foot while sipping cocktails blissfully with your feet in the sand. St. Lucia is the favorite spot of a diverse group of vacationers, from music lovers who are fascinated with the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival to the honeymooners who wish to unwind at one of the many beautiful beaches on the island. The adrenaline junkies can also climb through the rain forest in the Chassin region. If none of these appeals to you, there are a lot of other indescribable charms on the island you can discover during your time there. There are many ways to spend your day, including basking in the Soufriere sunrise and joining a dance party in the evenings along Gros Islet. Other places to visit include Anse Chastanet, Reduit Beach, and Pigeon Island National Landmark.

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St. Lucia has a rich history of cultures from British and Africans to Amerindians and French. Therefore, it has an enormous variety of cuisines that will tickle your fancy. The island has a lot of fresh seafood from the mahi-mahi to conch prepared in tons of ways. Stewed saltfish with boiled green bananas is the island’s national dish, which dates back to the time sailors used salted cod as a staple during long voyages. It is in most menus at St. Lucia, including Barbecued pork and chicken. Other meals you can enjoy while spending your time at St. Lucia include the standard breakfast drink of cocoa tea and deep-fried bread. You can also choose to enjoy meals at your hotel where there are several great on-site restaurants with local delicacies. A great place to enjoy brunch is the Pink Plantation House in Castries, while you can get an Indian-Chinese fusion menu when you visit Masala Bay in Marigot Bay. Vegetarians are not left out of the great choices available in this luxurious island. You can get around St. Lucia easily using a minibus or car. Water taxis are quite surplus, and regular taxis as well. To get a rental car or scooter, you can check the Hewanorra International Airport, which is about 40 miles south of Castries, in Vieux Fort.

In reality, almost all the Caribbean is a great destination during winter.  Kati and I like to head down to Cancun since it is close to where we live and can take a cheap flight.  We also love to explore the area.  St.Maarten is another great destination.  Whatever you choose, the Caribbean is a great winter destination.

 

Sydney, Australia

Need some winter sun?  Here are some hotspots.

Sydney, Australia

When it’s cold and uncomfortable in lots of other countries around the world, Sydney is hot and the perfect spot for some winter un. It is filled with tons of great food, fantastic culture, historical sites, and beaches. There is no shortage of remarkable experiences and adventure when you’re in Sydney. The incredible parks and views also give you a taste of urban city style. So, in Sydney, you’ll be enjoying both a thriving metropolis and a beachside town. Here, you can engage in several activities and check out landmarks. The iconic Opera House is just around the corner with great shows while you can enjoy the waves at Bondi Beach. Other trendy areas you can check out include Darling Harbour and The Rocks. The beautiful thing about Sydney is that there is something for everyone, and you’re sure to find something that fits your taste. You will also see the Sydney locals exhibit an ideal mix of British-style sarcasm and fashion-forward clothing styles. This is one of the many reasons why Sydney is one of the first choices for winter sun by millions of people.

 

There are tons of things you can do in this Australian city, apart from visiting its top-notch restaurants and beaches. For those looking for an extra bit of adventure, you can get your fill of heart-pounding activities by climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you would rather unwind with a relaxing day, you can do that at Manly Beach or Coogie, including taking a stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden. December is also a great time to participate in some seasonal festivals and events in Sydney. These include the Night Noodle Markets, Festival of the Winds, and Sculpture by the Sea. Rugby lovers, history enthusiasts, and those who love to lounge quietly along the shore can all have a taste of fun in this city.

 

You can have a good time in Sydney by following some tips to save money. Sydney can get really expensive, but you can save your money by sticking to local brews where you will be served Australian beers like Coopers and Tooheys. You can also enjoy Sydney’s local cuisine, which is filled with elements of food traditions from different cultures due to the city’s sizeable Asian and European immigrant populations. You can have a great time at The Spice Room, Medusa Greek Taverna, and Fortune Village Chinese Restaurant. The multiple ethnic-specific districts like Little Saigon and Haymarket’s Chinatown area.

 

 

Tenerife, Spain

 

This classic holiday island attracts thousands of people throughout the year, and it’s not hard to see why. Tenerife is home to beautiful scenery, great food, and has gorgeous weather. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and sits off the coast of Africa. Here, there are endless black and white sand beaches, including several hiking trails for those who love to enjoy the views on foot. El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, and Tenerife form the western Canary Islands. They are more beautiful than the ones on the eastern side as they have a pleasant combination of ancient forests, lush valleys, and craggy mountains. This island has a population of about 900,000, including being the location of the volcanic Pico del Teide, which is the highest mountain in Spain. The lower skirts have beaches, while the mountains are dotted with green valleys and forests. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the island’s capital and a pleasant colonial town that still retains a lot of its earlier gentility, including ornate wooden balconies, colonial-style mansions, and narrow cobblestone streets.

 

While at Tenerife, you can check out the main resorts in the administrative capital of the westerly Canaries, Santa Cruz. A good spot for tourists is the Playa de las Americas in the south and Los Cristianos, which have great beaches. Puerto de la Cruz is the island’s first resort, which has no beach but a lot of other attractive locations to make up for this. It has sunbathing terraces landscaped with volcanic rocks and lush palms, cascading fountains, and tropical lagoons.

 

Another place worth checking is the varied wildlife of Loro Parque, which is delightful to all ages. It has more than 300 species of parrots, making it the location of one of the world’s largest collection of this animal. Other eclectic animals that have their home here include dolphins, sea-lions, alligators, jaguars, tigers, chimpanzees, and gorillas. There is always a pleasant surprise waiting here in the creatively designed spaces for these creatures. Head over to the most picturesque town on the island, Orotava. It boasts of traditional balconies in colonial homes. Explore the impressive architecture of the early Spanish conquerors, which was preserved at the World Heritage Site in La Laguna. The northern side of the island houses the Piramides de Guimar, and a great tour guide will tell you all about the rich history of this place.

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Finally, your trip may not be complete without seeing the highlight of the island, Mount Teide. This volcanic cone towers above Spain in the Parque Nacional del Teide. It became a World Heritage Site in 2007, and since then, this national park has garnered a lot of attention. The wildflowers are incredibly beautiful when they are in bloom in May and June. It also has impressive scenery for hiking, and in mid-winter, the beaches are filled with sunbathers. You can find out more details on guided walks and walking trails with a little more research.

 

Marrakech, Morocco

Need some winter sun?  Here are some hotspots.

Street Vendor in Marrakesh

Another hot spot to check out for some winter sun is Marrakech. This is an ancient city that is home to lush gardens, palaces, and mosques. Since most of its residents are Muslims, you’ll have to dress more conservatively than usual. However, apart from this, it’s a lovely destination for winter sun vacations. Due to the color of the brick walls that surround the city, Marrakech is also known as The Red City. Medina is also a World Heritage Site. While the rest of the world is decked in multiple layers of clothing during winter, the temperature in Marrakech is just conducive enough to enjoy its warmer temperatures.

 

For organized travelers, you may find the labyrinth of twisty alleyways disconcerting. However, even without this, it’s not easy to navigate through the array of spice sellers, fortune tellers, and snake charmers on this route, effectively slowing you down most of the time. If you’re able to condition your state of mind to this city, leaving behind your supposed well-structured daily routine at home a little bit, you can let the colorful chaos flow through you and enjoy the wild beauty. A great place to start your vacation tour I within the salmon-pink walls that surround Medina. This is in contrast to the white, jagged peaks of the Atlas Mountains that are not that far away. This is where you will find the famous Jemaa El Fna square where food vendors sell everything from snails to head of sheep, but they are not as awful as you may think. Down the alleyway are markets or souks featuring specially scented spices that leave behind an aromatic haze.

 

You can also stroll through architectural marvels like the Bahia Palace, and Koutoubia Mosque lined with beautiful merchandise. Retreat to Majorelle Garden or a public bath to enjoy some retreat away from the bustling streets of Medina. You can save yourself from wasting a lot of money by paying in cash. This will save you the stress of working with exchange rates. Also, not all shopkeepers and restaurants accept credit cards. It will not be great to be stranded. It could be quite difficult to resist the beautiful crafts in Medina. So, you have to work extra hard to resist paying the first price you’re told after listening to the hawker’s sales pitch. Use your bargaining skills and move to another shop that will accept your prices. Instead of visiting expensive restaurants, enjoy the authentic flavors of Morocco by eating in the streets where street vendors have a meal you can savor, especially in Jemaa El Fna.

 

Your winter vacation list just got more interesting with these fantastic picks. To have an even more enjoyable experience, get professional guides to help you make the most of the tourist attractions, and also navigate whichever city you choose. However, don’t let the guides steer you towards some vendors with higher prices that will earn them commissions. Also, wherever you’re going, trying to find out the rules that guide the locals so you don’t stand out for something inappropriate. Most importantly, keep your valuables safe and secure in zippered bags or your front pockets to avoid falling victim to pickpockets waiting for an unsuspecting tourist. Now, it’s time to head out there for your winter fun.  Just remember your sunscreen.

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