5 great winter sun escapes
The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us, but if you dream of warmer climes, plot your escape now.
1. Bali, Indonesia
Tropical paradise Bali has long been a must-do destination for seekers of sun-drenched sand and scenery. The island’s lush green rice paddies, volcanic peaks and tranquil temples were the setting for Julia Roberts’ quest for spiritual sanctuary in 2010 Hollywood flick Eat, Pray, Love. The film did wonders for tourism to the island, but it needs no promotion if you’re looking for self-discovery, healing, or just an exotic winter getaway.
2. Goa, India
The other Sunshine ‘State’, gorgeous Goa is a banker for off-season sun. Winter may be the ‘cool’ season in Goa, but it’s the best time to visit. If you prefer it really hot and steamy, wait until spring or summer, but from November to February the weather is just right: simply dry, sunny and hot. Perfect for doing not much at all but whiling away your days with a book on the beach with a cool beer, working up your appetite for a mind-blowing fresh fish curry for dinner.
3. Abu Dhabi
If you’re not one for long plane journeys, consider a mid-haul holiday to the Middle East. If Dubai is just too flash and brash for you, ponder up-and-coming Abu Dhabi. Alright, it’s pretty flash and brash itself, but if lying by the pool gets tiresome, you can take the credit card out to play – shopping is something of a national pastime – and get your thrills at Ferrari World, home to the fastest rollercoaster in the world.
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, or KL, as it is affectionately abbreviated to, has been described as 'Asia in a nutshell'. The Malaysian capital has a diverse heritage and unique culture, with Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous influences in the mix, resulting in an exciting melting pot of religions and varied cuisines, with a flourishing arts scene. It also boasts the none-too-small claim to fame of being one of the world's best value destinations.
5. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is fast emerging as a great value holiday destination thanks to its magical mix of cultural treasures, inspiring landscapes and wonderful wildlife. Visit tea plantations and temples, go on an elephant-back safari, head off on a jungle trek, look for leopards in Yala National Park and take a whale-watching trip offshore. It’s just as well there’s an abundant supply of palm-fringed tropical beaches to ensure you return home suitably relaxed.
For more flights to exotic and exciting destinations like these, check out Qatar Airways.