Why brave the cold when you can brave the surf instead? Or the rolling hills of lush wineries drenched in sunlight? From the luxury seaside lifestyle of Cape Town to exotic Oman, we've picked out five of the best sunny destinations to visit this season:
1. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town experiences one of the highest numbers of sunshine hours a year in the world, and, coincidentally, is home to some of the best beaches in Africa. After you’ve got your fix of surfing sunbathing, join the locals in a customary sundowner.
The city may be the oldest in South Africa, but it's brimming with energy, charisma and that "big city with island vibes" welcoming spirit that always leave visitors wondering why they never travelled here sooner.
Where to stay: Kensington Place
2. Melbourne, Australia
It’s summer down under, which means it’s the best time of year to eat and drink your way through Australia’s culture capital. Food, coffee and wine are all taken very seriously here, so whether you're working your way through a three-star degustation menu or sampling the fare at a local market, you can bet it's going to be world-class.
Oh, and the beaches aren’t bad at all, either. Hire a car and take a scenic drive along Great Ocean Road, rent a charming bed & breakfast for the night, and explore the dozens of chic wineries that are just one or two hour’s drive from the city.
Where to stay: Adelphi Hotel
3. Bali, Indonesia
An obvious one, but Bali is never a bad idea and you can tailor your trip to suit your mood for the holidays–want to hide out in the jungle? Book a lush hideaway in Ubud or Manggis. Favour fancy cocktails by the beach? Head to Seminyak or Canggu. Craving absolute isolation? Disappear into a world-class villa in Uluwatu.
After spending your days biking through rice fields, soaking up the sun at the beach, exploring exotic temples and enjoying the island's growing number of chic galleries, restaurants, bars and cafes, there's no doubt you'll return to the city refreshed and revived.
Where to stay: Uma Como Ubud
4. Muscat, Oman
Decidedly different from its flashy neighbours like Dubai or Abu Dhabi, Oman is a woefully overlooked destination. Its sweeping sand dunes, pristine beaches and lush mountains appear to melt into the picturesque classic architecture.
Muscat, the country's dreamy capital, is home to two 500-year-old Portuguese forts, a Royal Opera House, a mosque with an impressive 164-foot dome and a growing number of stunning designer boutique hotels.
Where to stay: The Chedi, Muscat
5. Auckland, New Zealand
Similar to Melbourne, Auckland is a thriving cultural and creative hub that’s proud to show off its progressive ways while eager to keep its heritage alive, too. Whether you’re hopping beaches, restaurants and bars or vineyards, there’s no doubt that this city will surprise you.
If you’re eager to get out of the city, make time to check out the surrounding Hauraki Gulf, which is dotted with idyllic islands like the laid-back weekend favourite, Waiheke.
Where to stay: Hotel DeBrett