Forget the tissues & tonics! All you need is a proper tan.
If you have trouble remembering what it is like to feel the warm glow of a fiery sun melt away your cares, then it’s time to grab your suntan lotion and seek out sunnier shores. Some like it hot and sweaty, others like it mellow and mild, but nothing rejuvenates the body and enflames the spirit like a healthy dose of vitamin D.
No matter how you define your perfect sunny day, there is a red-hot destination on this list with your name on it. Burn your umbrella and banish your raincoat, here are 14 of the top all-year-round sunshine destinations:
Colombia may conjure up images of unruly drug cartels yet rest assured, it has firmly shaken off its dangerous reputation. Prepare for sultry salsa rhythms, incredible coffee and, you guessed it, amazing beaches! There’s the unspoiled Caribbean coast of Tayrona National Park, the happenin’ party town of Cartagena and the sun-kissed Rosario Islands to enjoy a treasure trove of idyllic beaches. Check out our Colombian group adventure to soak up the rays in style.
Rio de Janeiro may be the undisputed party mecca of the Americas, yet Brazil has much more to offer than just trendy cafes and pristine beaches. For an alternative to sipping cocktails at the Copa, go on a bicycle tour along the scenic coastline, explore the Amazon by boat, rock a cable car up to Sugarloaf mountain, or chase waterfalls at Iguazu. Summer temperatures range from 24°C to 41°C and sizzlin’ Cuba is also just a stone’s throw away. Check out Flash Pack’s Brazil adventure for solo travellers.
India is the birthplace of several major world religions and home to over 1.3 billion people. With a diverse array of cultures, stunning natural landscapes and world famous food, India is nothing short of a spicy feast for the senses. From the iconic Taj Mahal and pearly beaches of Goa and Kerala to the lush beauty of Kashmir and ancient temples of Khajuraho, this country is bursting with magnificent sights and unique activities. Peak season kicks off during the winter months and lasts from November to March. To beat the crowds and benefit from better rates, plan your visit around the shoulder season from September to October or March to April. Find sunshine on our India & Nepal small group tour.
Whilst we’re on an Indian roll, Kerala is a small tropical strip along the southwestern coast of India lined with wildlife sanctuaries, tribal villages and ironically titled waterways. The “backwaters” is a magnificent network of lagoons, rivers, canals and lakes that’s best appreciated from the deck of your own thatched roof Kerala Houseboat (kettuvallam). With tranquil waterfalls, lush greenery and delicious organic cuisine abound, it’s no wonder that Kerala is big on Ayurveda and Yoga tourism. The best time to explore this plush Himalayan paradise is from early April to late June, but if 100% humidity scares you, it’s best to plan your healing therapies and outdoor activities for early January. Don’t miss our Kerala adventure.
10. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka (aka Ceylon) is a tropical (aka hot) country with a rich culture and magnificent natural landscapes abound. The Island is rich in lush forests, tea plantations, white-sand beaches and offers eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. On this tiny island, roughly the size of Ireland, you will also have the opportunity to discover elephants in their natural habitat and roaming leopards . Summer temperatures reach well over 38 °C and monsoon season hits the northern regions from December to March and the southwest from June to October. To escape to this stunning country, join our group adventure to Sri Lanka.
With summer temperatures sitting pretty around 30°C, head to Spain for sunbaked beauty fuelled by tapas and sangria. From its fashionable cities to medieval villages, there will be sun shining overhead from April to September. For those of you wanting an alternative city break without a tourist in sight, join us zooming through central Spain on retro Vespas. Pitstops include the epic Duratón Canyon Nature Reserve and the picture perfect town of Pedraza.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the only country in the European Union technically situated in Asia. Here, ancient castles, mosques and museums stand alongside luxurious golf courses and yacht marinas. Instead of following the herd and turning into a sunburnt lobster in a luxurious resort in Limassol or Larnaca, head for the picturesque hills of the Nicosia region. There are also several small villages and deserted beaches strewn along Akamas and Karpas Peninsula.
Sprawling deserts, buoyant seas and ancient cities. What’s not to love? If you are into Hollywood filming locations, this magical country is the stuff of legends. Indiana Jones lassoed his way to the world famous Treasury at Petra, Lawrence of Arabia crossed the shimmering red desert of Wadi Rum whilst Matt Damon made the most of this otherworldly landscape in The Martian. Things can get particularly sticky during the summer months when temperatures hit a toasty 40 °C so the best time to visit is spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). Join our Jordan group tour for a blockbuster adventure of your own.
Vietnam is the jewel in the crown of Southeast Asia and the home of the world’s best Coconut candy (worth the flight alone). The ravages of long gone wars did not wipe out the enthusiasm of the locals or leave its mark on the magnificent natural landscapes. Here you can navigate swampy rivers, explore emerald valleys and still have time for a sunset boat ride along Halong Bay. Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) is the powerhouse of Vietnam complete with modern skyscrapers, ancient temples, floating markets and thriving nightlife. When the going gets too hot to handle, look out for the hand painted signs reading “Bia Hoi” because it means fresh beer! While you’re in the area why not include a trip over to Cambodia? Join our Group Trip to Vietnam & Cambodia for solo travellers
With an eclectic mix of Arab, European and African cultures and mild, Mediterranean climate, Morocco is nothing short of magical. From conquering the desert dunes on the back of a camel to exploring fragrant bazaars and luxuriating in crystal clear waters, this diverse wonderland will leave you captivated and hungry for more. Once you’ve had your fill of snake charmers and mint tea in Marrakech, head for the Atlas Mountains before hitting the golden coast for surfing lessons on the sandy shoreline of Taghazout. To avoid melting in the scorching summer heat, plan your visit around mid-March to May. Escape to Morocco and enjoy some sunshine right now!
How would you describe Australia? The outdoor BBQ paradise down under or a shopping Hobbits’ dream come true? With pristine beaches, ancient mountains and some of the friendliest locals around, Australia is a natural wonderland of action and adventure. Enjoying 270 sunny days each year, this is the stuff of dreams for tan obsessed sun worshippers (which you most likely are if you’re this blog.) The north is tropical whilst the south is fairly temperate and most attractions remain open year-round. To beat the crowds, avoid the southern coast in January or the Easter school holidays and head north for the winter. Christmas day barby anyone?
3. USA – Miami, Florida
With the exception of peak hurricane season from June to August, Miami enjoys hot and humid summers and short, warm winters. During March and April hordes of ‘Spring Breakers” unleash their mojo, so it’s best to go in May, or between January and February. Miami beach tends to get crowded quickly, but a road trip to the Keyes or a visit to one of the many bars and clubs in South beach will more than make up for it. Prepare to brush up on your Spanish because here in “north Cuba”, Latin flavour rules! ¿Entiendes? Looking for some sunshine in the USA? Flash Pack have just launched a Deep South USA adventure.
2. South Africa
South Africa is an animal clad kingdom of breathtaking sights and exciting activities throughout the year. Here you’ll find fellow sun worshippers in the form of penguins chilling on beaches, this is not a drill. For the travelling lowdown, peak season kicks off in November and June and July can get a bit nippy. Whether it’s meeting wild game face to face on a safari, spotting whales from the Garden Route, or surfing on dreamy sun-drenched beaches along the Knysna Lagoon, you are sure to find something untamed and extraordinary. Special shout out to Flashpacker Sylvia Stojilkovic for the awesome pic! Click here to escape on an epic adventure to South Africa.
1. The Philippines
If the only sun you need is whilst sprawled out on a pristine white-sand beach, look no further than the Philippines. These 7000 islands are home to Palawan (voted best island in the WORLD), lively local beach bars and the awesome Chocolate Hills of Bohol (alas, not actually made of chocolate). When you’re not snorkelling through crystal clear waters or gently swaying on a beachside hammock, you can paddle board along the River Maribojoc or look out for native tarsier monkeys. November to April is the optimum tanning season (aka dry season) for these 7000 islands and you can experience this tropical paradise for yourself on our Philippines group adventure.
The sunniest place on earth is Yuma in the state of Arizona, USA with over 4,000 hours of sunshine per year. Can you guess which country gets the least amount of sunshine per year? See the World Sunshine map below for clues and comment below!
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Images: Shutterstock, Unsplash/Ed Derrico and Flash Pack