Travel Guide: Three Destinations For Your Winter Sun Bucket List

Travel Guide:
Three Destinations For Your Winter Sun Bucket List

From The Maldives to Antigua, these are the slices of paradise you'll soon be adding to your vacation wishlist.

Is it just us or does it feel like forever since we've seen any sun? While most are plotting their summer vacations right now, the smart ones are jetting off – swapping the big freeze for blue skies and crystal clear seas. We've rounded up our top three locations for winter sun (that we know you'll soon be daydreaming about too).

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1. The Maldives

The winter sun destination to beat all winter sun destinations. What's on the agenda, you ask? R-E-L-A-X-ation. Offering one of the most luxurious and comprehensive all-inclusive packages in the world, the resort of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO is set within pristine lagoons in the South Malé Atoll, just a short boat ride from the capital of Male. Kick back with an abundance of spa treatments, snorkeling excursions, and complimentary rental of kit including windsurfing, catamaran, canoe and stand-up paddle boards.

OZEN LIFE MAADHOO is a perfect North-South island, 900 metres long and 80 metres wide. Be surrounded by expansive white sand beaches and turquoise waters, teaming with exotic marine life. As part of The INDULGENCE Plan, there are six restaurants including the underwater M6m. Dive right in to the fresh and bountiful food options, and enjoy to your heart's content.

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2. Antigua

Over in the Caribbean, set your sights on this island retreat with crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and an old-school Caribbean vibe. Find a mix of low-key restaurant and bars at the UNESCO World Heritage Site (and only working Georgian dockyard in the world), English Harbour – the sailing hub of the Caribbean – and nearby Falmouth Harbour. The dress code? Flip flops and floaty dresses.

Stay at Scott William's Windward Landing, which sleeps up to 14. The owner is an antiques collector with an innate eye for colour and textiles meaning the palette is invitingly soft, neutral, and dotted with quality linens, carefully chosen art work and warm timber flooring. The best part? Reach the ocean in a grand total of... Wait for it... 50 steps, down through the tropical garden to discover a coral reef (just for you) and a rugged and wild beach. Nearby shorelines include Pigeon Beach – one of the best in Antigua – less than ten minutes away. Walks from Windward Landing provide breathtaking views of Montserrat, Redonda, the Pillars of Hercules and historic naval forts including One Gun Battery, Fort Cuyler and Middle Ground. Can we go right now?

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3. Morocco

For a more bustling break, look no further than this North African gem of a location. Explore Jemaa El Fna square, where you can sit and watch the snake charmers in the evening, or discover the bustling Souk, and 12th Century Koutoubia Mosque, palaces and gardens.

Medina is teaming with independent stores, winding streets and charming riads. Sample the wares of stall holders, from almonds to make-up, then go home with a stunning kaftan from one of the street markets. Feeling adventurous? Head to Gueliz, a new area of the city with a western influence and cafe culture – all while retaining plenty of Old Marrakech charm.

When you're done with the endless walking and fine dining, rest your head at Scott Williams' Villa des Oliviers, situated on the desirable south-west corner of Marrakech – only thirty minutes from the centre. It's a peaceful country location at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains (where you can go trekking with or without a donkey) or drive ten minutes down the road to reach the Berber town of Tameslohte, famous for its weaving and pottery.

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