Where to Get a (Much-Needed) Dose of Winter Sun

Where to Get a (Much-Needed) Dose of Winter Sun

On the hunt for a solid hit of vitamin D? We’ve picked our top spots for a much-needed shot of sunshine, from a sleepy fishing port in southern Portugal to Morocco’s most under-the-radar medina.

something deliciously satisfying about catching some
off-season rays. Skipping off to a sun-soaked spot as we wait for
winter to segue into spring feels a bit like jumping through time;
a fast-lane ticket to summer without the crowds, and a healthy dose
of vitamin D for that covetable freshly bronzed look. So, we’ve
drawn up a shortlist of the warmer destinations we’ve been dreaming
about this winter – from a glorious Caribbean island to sun-baked
desert dunes in

Five of the best destinations for a winter pick-me-up


Costa Rica

In search of a slow, peaceful, sun-dappled retreat? Life doesn’t
get much more laid-back than in Uvita, a tiny, ramshackle village
around 16km south of Dominical. A honeypot for yogis and surfers,
the neighbourhood’s main drawcard is Parque Nacional Marino
Ballena, a marine reserve known for its migrating pods of humpback
whales, jungle-shrouded waterfalls and empty beaches. And, if
you’re ready to shake things up after your mindful break, be sure
to bookmark Envision Festival – an annual knees-up at the end of
February akin to a miniature Burning Man on the beach.

Sharqiya Sands


Spread out like golden honey between Muscat and Sur are the
dunes of Sharqiya Sands -known locally as Wahiba Sands. This
wind-beaten stretch of shape-shifting knolls, ochre sunsets and
sizzling heat is one of the few places on Earth where a traditional
nomadic existence still thrives, with Bedouins offering an
authentic glimpse into their traditional way of life through
homestays, camel tours and guided treks. Set up at Thousand
Nights Camp
, then head out to explore the terrain on either a
walking tour, jeep safari or sand-biking adventure.

Anse La Ray

Saint Lucia

Lush, green and ripe for outdoor adventure, St Lucia beckons for
a few days of cloudless, fitness-fuelled rest and relaxation: read,
scampering up the Pitons (the island’s most popular hiking trail)
and back down again to open-air sanctuary Jade Mountain.
Between sunbathing sessions, make tracks to Anse La Ray. Once a
sleepy fishing port, the town is now on the cusp of island-wide
dominance, thanks to its (soon-to-be) blossoming hotel, Airbnb and
restaurant scene. The town’s first boutique bolthole is set to open
later this year. If you’ve still got time before poolside
sundowners, stop by Valelse Sports Bar and Soup Kitchen for the
island’s finest jerk chicken, rice and peas, then nip next door to
its brilliant bean-to-cup coffee shop – a first for the town.



If you’re looking to unwind after the headiness of
‘s sense-awakening souks, journey north to Meknes, a
city just south of Fez that’s known for its imperial past and
traditional spice market. As a Unesco World Heritage site, the old
town has been impeccably preserved, so a day getting lost in the
medina’s endless warren of small streets is time well spent. Be
sure to stop at Bab Mansour, a breathtaking monumental gate on the
south side of the old city, and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, at
the 17th-century sultan’s former kasbah, before bedding down at
boutique bolthole Château



The Algarve’s biggest fishing port, Olhão is best known for its
whitewashed Moorish architecture and laid-back fish restaurants.
Venture just beyond the harbour, however, and you’ll reach the Ria
Formosa Natural Park – a protected stretch of land sheltering a
handful of teal-coloured lagoons, beautifully boggy swamps and
marble-white beaches that shine bright with year-round sun. Back in
town, make Praia Verde Boutique Hotel your base, and don’t miss
the Sunday-morning fish market for a window into unhurried life in
Portugal’s most southerly parts.

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