Sometimes what you need most out of a holiday destination is a spot of sunshine. 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 shores with our round up of the sunniest places in the world.
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 at least one warm holiday destination on this list with your name on it. So burn your umbrella, banish your raincoat and get stuck in.
A note on Covid: countries on this list may be subject to Covid-related restrictions or entry requirements. Please check your country’s official travel advice for further guidance and updates, or you can chat live with a Flash Pack travel expert.
All-year-round sunshine destinations
Sai hi to Colombia: land of sultry salsa rhythms, incredible coffee and, you guessed it, amazing beaches. As it’s located on the equator, there are plenty of locales to choose from for year-round sun. There’s the unspoiled Caribbean coast of Tayrona National Park, the happening party town of Cartagena and the sun-kissed Rosario Islands to enjoy a treasure trove of idyllic beaches.
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 sizzling Cuba is also just a stone’s throw away.
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 high on the list of sunny places to visit. 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. Perfect for sun seekers, India has an average of 300 sunny days a year. India is a great winter destination, with peak season lasting 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.
Vietnam is a jewel in the crown of Southeast Asia and the home of the world’s best Coconut candy (worth the flight alone). 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 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”; it means fresh beer.
Sri Lanka is a tropical (aka hot) country with a rich culture and magnificent natural landscapes abound. The island is rich in lush forests, 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.
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. One of the sunniest spots in Spain is Seville, with Murcia and Almería not far behind. Narrow down your sunny Spain destination with the 15 best places to go in Spain.
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 where you can soak up some sun in solitude.
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.
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.
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 of Taghazout. To avoid melting in the scorching summer heat, plan your visit around mid-March to May. Escape to Morocco with Flash Pack and enjoy some sunshine.
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 sun-drenched destination had to make this list. 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?
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? Head to Miami.
South Africa is an animal clad kingdom of breath-taking 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 while 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 snorkelling amid the kelp forest of the Cape Peninsula, you are sure to find something untamed and extraordinary. Special shout out to Flashpacker Sylvia Stojilkovic for the awesome photo (above). Escape with Flash Pack on an epic adventure to South Africa.
With average *winter* temperatures of 28°C, Bali – known as island of the gods – is a sure-fire bet when it comes to catching some golden rays of sunshine. Make a beeline for this tropical paradise for surfing, spirituality, snorkelling and more; all surrounded by wreathes of palm trees, waterfalls and azure seas. From boat rides to beach parties and Balinese blessings: this sunshine haven has it all. Join Flash Pack in Bali.
What is the hottest tourist destination?
The sunniest place on earth is Yuma in the state of Arizona, USA with over 4,000 hours of sunshine per year.
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Images: Shutterstock, Unsplash/Ed Derrico and Flash Pack