Go all in this winter: where to find seasonal sunshine in 2019

An all inclusive winter holiday is a brilliant way to end, or be it start, the year. To help you find your seasonal sunshine of choice, we've pulled together our favourite places from October to May that you can visit with First Choice offering just that.

Where to go for an all inclusive winter sun break © Travnikovstudio - Fotolia.com
Where to go for an all inclusive winter sun break © Travnikovstudio - Fotolia.com

Being winter in the northern hemisphere, you'll have to travel further than in summer to find those searingly high temperatures. If, however, you just want some warming sunshine but aren't keen on things being too hot, we've got a selection of choice places in around four to six hours from the UK for you to consider as well.

  1. Goa, India
  2. Cape Verde
  3. Agadir, Morocco
  4. Phuket, Thailand
  5. Jamaica
  6. Sri Lanka
  7. Costa Rica

If this lot doesn't have you packing your bags, we've also added our very own holiday finder, which lets you search for that dreamy destination based on your preferred weather. Happy planning!

Destination finderDestination finder

Plotting your winter getaway? Browse our complete selection of savings on all inclusive holidays with First Choice to bag your break for less.

1. Goa, India

  • Flight time: 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Time difference: GMT +5.5
  • The very best time to go in winter: January & February

Goa, India's best-loved beach resort and once-upon-a-time Portuguese colony on the continent's west coast, has been pulling in adventurous sun and sand lovers for decades, so this area knows a thing or two about keeping holidaymakers happy.

Part of its appeal lies in its variety: luxe hotels with all mod cons rub shoulders with budget-friendly boutiques; there are busy, well-equipped stretches of beach as well as quiet, secluded spots with a more laid back feel.

A typical winter's day in North Goa © Druxa - Fotolia.com
A typical winter's day in North Goa © Druxa - Fotolia.com

You'll find historic sites and colourful temples alongside local shops and trendy bars. Goa is a truly eclectic beach resort where you can throw yourself into as much or as little as you like. Separated into north and south, it's just a question of choosing the right place to stay for you.

First Choice offers winter sun holidays to both bustling North Goa as well as more sedate South Goa, departing from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

After a quick look at the climate guide above, you'll soon see why Goa stands out as a winter sun hit: look at all that sunshine! November to April is hot, dry and exceptionally sunny, with warm sea temperatures an added bonus.

2. Cape Verde

  • Flight time: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Time difference: GMT -1
  • The very best time to go in winter: April

The nine islands that make up the Atlantic archipelago of Cape Verde are standard issue idyllic beach territory. We're talking platinum sands and clear, clean water for swimming and water sports.

This is the place to come if you want to put your feet up - be it by the pool or in the hands of an expert in the spa - and enjoy a civilised cocktail or two come dusk. Resorts are well stocked with everything from restaurants to kids' clubs.

A seemingly endless beach in Cape Verde © Miguel Discart - Flickr Creative Commons
A seemingly endless beach in Cape Verde © Miguel Discart - Flickr Creative Commons

Other activities such as hiking, horse riding, fishing and golf are hugely popular while the botanic gardens of Sal and dunes of Boa Vista captivate the curious. Venture out of your resort to experience buzzing beach bars and that warm, friendly welcome from local Cape Verdeans.

First Choice offers breaks to the islands of Sal and Boa Vista, departing throughout winter from London Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

As well as appealing to beach babes, Cape Verde is great for those who love the sun but don't like it too hot. This sprinkling of islands sees sunshine comparable with Sri Lanka, but its temperatures are reigned in by the cooling effect of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean.

3. Agadir, Morocco

  • Flight time: 4 hours
  • Time difference: GMT +1
  • The very best time to go in winter: April

Morocco is a favourite of ours at Weather2Travel.com for its heady mix of wonderful weather, enchanting culture and natural attractions - not to mention the tantalising food and stunning architecture! - that leave an indelible impression on all who visit.

Stay at the Sofitel Agadir Royalbay Resort, Agadir, Morocco - photo courtesy of AccorHotels Group
Stay at the Sofitel Agadir Royalbay Resort, Agadir, Morocco - photo courtesy of AccorHotels Group

While Marrakech tips the scales for those after a city break, if it's some sunshine by the sea you're after, your winter sun break will have to take you to the resort town of Agadir.

Instantly recognisable thanks to its huge arc of golden sand, this bay is home to a mish-mash of resorts, riads, restaurants and markets - all without being too busy or overcrowded. Hit the shoreline for water sports, hike in the nearby Souss-Massa National Park or haggle for souvenirs in the Sunday Market.

First Choice offers breaks to Agadir and Marrakech direct from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham throughout winter, with holidays to Marrakech also departing from Bristol.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

Similarly to Cape Verde, although cooler and fresher, the weather in Agadir is warm and sunny in winter. Days are long and bright with little chance of any rainfall and no heat and humidity. The sea, however, is chilly - a hotel with a heated pool may be for you.

4. Phuket, Thailand

  • Flight time: 12 hours
  • Time difference: GMT +7
  • The very best time to go in winter: January

Phuket is Thailand's all singing, all dancing, fully-fledged go-to island beach resort. You name it, you're likely to find it here, from water sports and markets to temples, Thai boxing extravaganzas and home comforts in the wide selection of international restaurants.

This really is the place for a fun-and-sun-filled winter escape. For the active, there are endless hiking opportunities to waterfalls or in the likes of Sirinat National Park, as well as boat trips to turquoise bays and coves. Meanwhile, Splash Jungle Water Park is a hit with big and little kids alike.

As well as the livewire that is Phuket, First Choice also offers winter sun holidays to the beautiful beach resort of Khao Lak, around an hour north of Phuket on the mainland. Book your all inclusive holiday to Thailand, and choose from a number of UK departure points including Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff and London Heathrow.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

We could be accused of being fixated with sunshine here, and that's because, frankly, we are. Phuket, from December to April in particular, is a good example of why: days are deliciously long and bright with high temperatures and warm water for swimming. What's not to like? Just bear in mind that the heat and humidity is high to very high, which can make things feel rather close.

5. Jamaica

Few need convincing of the virtues of Jamaica as a winter sun destination. Its characteristically Caribbean sugary sands and calm, warm waters ensure it's exceptionally inviting to all.

What's more, Jamaica has a playful mix of attractions and things to do. While sipping sundowners is a given, you can fill your days with anything from water sports and browsing markets to trekking inland, taking a tour of the Appleton Estate Rum Distillery or seeing where your chocolate comes from on a cacao plantation at the likes of Restoration Village Farm.

In the renowned resort of Montego Bay in the north of the island, the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary and AquaSol Theme Park make for memorable days out. Try also the Montego Bay Marine Park for some sustainable snorkelling.

You can fly to this Caribbean treasure on a First Choice holiday from numerous major and regional UK airports including East Midlands, Doncaster Sheffield, Newcastle and London Heathrow.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

At first glance, the weather in Jamaica looks pretty steady year-round, and it is largely, except for a few subtle nuances: while temperatures remain high and there's still plenty of sunshine in winter, heat and humidity takes a backseat, which contributes to conditions being a bit fresher than they are during the summer months.

6. Sri Lanka

  • Flight time: 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Time difference: GMT +5.5
  • The very best time to go in winter: March

Sri Lanka is very much the Indian Ocean island of the moment, taking top spot in Lonely Planet's coveted 'Best in Travel 2019' rundown - and for good reason.

This diverse destination has a little bit of everything for everyone: national parks brimming with wildlife, history and heritage in the form of old fortifications, plantations and revered shrines, and, of course, an abundance of beautiful beaches.

Day trip from Negombo to the 12th century city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka © Rafal Cichawa - Fotolia.com
Day trip from Negombo to the 12th century city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka © Rafal Cichawa - Fotolia.com

Even if your primary concern is finding that well-positioned lounger, you won't be able to resist the lure of life outside your resort. Head to the capital Colombo for a day trip full of colourful sights and sounds - pop into the Gangaramaya Temple before taking a load off on ocean-front Galle Face Green.

First Choice offers all inclusive holidays throughout winter to five major resort locations in the west and southwest of Sri Lanka departing from airports across the UK, including Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and more.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

When it comes to the weather in Sri Lanka, you could really go at any time of year for the undeniably high temperatures, but things are certainly sunniest from November to April. January to April is especially good, with the winning combo of low rainfall, long, sunny days and warm seas.

7. Costa Rica

  • Flight time: 12 hours
  • Time difference: GMT -6
  • The very best time to go in winter: January

For a truly immersive winter sun beach break, Costa Rica ticks the box and then some. You'll get all the beach you could wish for with the added benefit of holidaying in one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world - think long, quiet beaches lined with laden-palms backing on to dense jungle alive with noisy howler monkeys.

Costa Rica's credentials as the action-packed, wildlife-rich, volcano-puffing heart of Central America are revered, attracting a variety of different holidaymakers and travellers to both its wild interior and lively coasts.

Come for the surfing, the canopy walks and the easy, relaxed vibe on offer. It's sure to be a holiday like no other with plenty of things to do in and out of your resort including paddleboarding, hiking, biking and fishing, to name but a few.

First Choice will whisk you to this fine stretch of Costa Rica direct from London Gatwick throughout winter. Choose from three locations on the country's northwest Pacific coast, arriving via the small city of Liberia.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

Simply put, the weather in this northwest corner of Costa Rica is hot, dry and sunny in winter, especially from January to April. The sea is warm, although currents can be strong, so always check where you're swimming along the coast.

Tempted to book that all inclusive winter sun break? Check out our complete collection of all inclusive deals with First Choice, and book your seasonal getaway today.

Please note: what's included in an all inclusive holiday can vary between resorts. Ensure you read the small print so you know what is and isn't included before you book to avoid any unexpected charges.

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton
Posted on Tuesday 5th March 2019 in: Beach Season Winter sun

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