Winter can bring bright, clear sunny days or dreary, grey skies. If the weather is getting you down, you could take a last minute winter break and escape to a more moderate climate. Many holiday destinations are cheaper during the winter than in the peak summer months, often with last minute deals available, so remember to shop around before you make a purchase.

winter beach

Image: onthebeach

Consider this guide your ‘need-to-know’ list of locations to hit up this winter if those long, cold nights begin to get you down.  It may sound strange, simple as it is, but sunlight is proven to help improve our mood and energy levels. Here we profile three distinct, but equally fantastic locations: Thailand, the Canary Islands, Cyprus and Florida. Spanning a few different continents, you can be sure to find some inspiration in this guide.

Thailand is a popular location for a winter getaway. It has beautiful beaches, delicious food and you can ensure that your getaway is full of surprises by taking part in the many water sports that are on offer. Thailand is an excellent location for scuba diving and snorkelling, with stunning marine life and coral reefs. Travellers can also hire kayaks or go white water rafting. A good time to visit Thailand is between November and February, as there is less chance of rain and temperatures are slightly lower, usually between 20 and 30 degrees.

The Canary Islands are a great place to get some winter sun. If you enjoy clubbing and partying, Tenerife is the perfect island with many clubs and bars and a vibrant nightlife. For those who prefer something quieter, Fuerteventura may hold some appeal. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach or go surfing. The weather is good all year round, and holidays to the islands tend to be cheaper during December to February due to package deals. If you are thinking of travelling on a more strict budget, then the Canary Islands is certainly worth some thought for this reason alone.

Another popular location for a winter break is Cyprus. Visitors to Cyprus can enjoy hiking, diving and water sports, but there are also plenty of cultural attractions. These include the ancient ruins of Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, Larnaca Medieval Castle and the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. Although Cyprus tends to be wetter during the winter months, the weather is generally pleasant all year round.

Florida is the perfect choice for those who are travelling with children. There are theme parks to keep the children entertained, as well as stunning beaches. Florida has numerous outdoor attractions, such as the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden and Lake Eola Park in Orlando that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Florida is also known as ‘the sunshine state’ due to the good weather. The winters are mild, with the warmest temperatures being experienced in south Florida.

Whatever your interests, there are a range of places that you can look to getaway for winter sun. Whether you enjoy sunbathing, hiking, clubbing or taking in the local culture, there will be a destination to suit your tastes.

Iain Aitchison is a travel and culture blogger based in the Uk, he writes on his experiences travelling through Europe.