Nothing beats the feeling of the sun on your face the minute you step off the plane, so we’ve put together a month-by-month holiday guide, tracking the most popular destinations across the globe for heat-lovers. Plan your long-haul journeys early for winter sun experiences from October to March, and get ready for Europe heating up from April to September. Consider your vitamin D quota covered…
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Peel off months of winter layers and jet off to soak up Thailand’s January sunshine. Fly into Phuket and then hop on a speedboat to the magical Phi Phi Islands. From there, not much more than paddling turquoise waters and gazing up at rugged clifftops will be needed to make the memories of a lifetime.
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If you’re planning a trip to Australia then February is the perfect month. The Australian school holidays are over, so the beaches are a little quieter and temperatures are hot, hot, hot. Touch down in Sydney and head straight for Bondi Beach; a hand-in-hand Bondi to Coogee Beach walk on a blue-sky day is legendary.
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Come March, Mexico tips the mercury around a sizzling 35°C. Arrive in Cancun, and bask in those rays on the blissful beaches of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula. Fringed with palm trees and backed by lush jungle, it’s a bohemian paradise. Cool off at the nearby underground cenotes - natural subterranean swimming pools.
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April sees Europe starting to transition from spring to summer and really heat up. For some of the hottest climates, the Spanish island of Lanzarote, which is the closest of the Canary Islands to Africa, has temperatures that hover around the mid-twenties in April. Stop at the top of the peaks in the volcanic Timanfaya National Park and breathe in fresh air and panoramic views.
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For a Los Angeles break, May is a great time. The temperatures are high, the wintery showers have dissipated and the June gloom is yet to cast its shade. Hire a car and switch your regular driving commute for the 450-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco. Wind your way along the scenic coastal clifftops and stop in at sleepy sun-drenched Californian beach towns along the way.
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June sees the sun beating down on Europe’s beaches and its attentions to Croatia are unrivalled. The seafaring Dubrovnik has all the best shades of blue from clear waters to cloudless skies. Relaxed day trips by boat are its forte and the sea is warm enough to swim in until the sun goes down.
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The UK might not always be the first port of call for a heat-seeker, but Jersey in the Channel Islands has its own microclimate that’s warmed by the Gulf Stream. Laze on its hidden northern beaches, stroll through the flora and fauna of heathlands and wildflowers and keep your eyes peeled for bottlenose dolphins on the coast.
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For serious sunshine (and we mean those who like it really hot), Malta is your place. With temperatures starting at around 27°C in August, there’s only one place to be and that’s by the water. Make a beeline for Comino, the picturesque island that sits between Malta and Gozo; take your book down to a rocky outcrop and listen to the lapping waves.
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Portugal in September is beautiful. As autumn is hitting the UK, the Portuguese sunshine continues to shine. Fly into Faro and the Algarve is right on your doorstep. There are over 150 beaches to choose from including the romantic Praia da Marinha and Praia de Vale Figueira, both are gorgeous for picnics.
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October is a brilliant time to visit Hawaii, the full-on summer heat has come to an end but temperatures are still high and the rainy season has yet to come. If you tire of the idyllic beaches, there are festivals like the Coconut Festival and the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival to eat your way around.
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If you’re after a glowing tan for the Christmas party season, then Dubai is ideal. The thermometer can hit around 31°C, there’s lower humidity and it’s just before the start of the rainy season. Feel the breeze out surfing or kayaking on Kite beach or head for Sunset Beach; it’s a sun worshipper’s haven.
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End the year on a high with a trip to Cuba. Begin with cracking open a coconut to sip on the beach before hiring a bike – it’s best way to get around in the sunshine. Take a slow cycle along coastal routes past swathes of sandy beaches and tropical forests and around the vibrant town of Old Havana.