Replonology

We’ve been absolutely blessed with summer weather this year in Britain, haven’t we? However, all good things come to an end and the miserable winter months are upon us. It doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom, though. If you fancy a winter break, take a look at the luxurious locations to get your juices flowing.

For winter sun-seekers

Sri Lanka
Maybe it wouldn’t be the first location to spring to mind, but Sri Lanka’s Hiriketiya Bay is one of The Guardian’s top picks for holidays destinations serving up some sun during the winter, and it’s simple to see why. The bay is a beautiful, secluded spot that sets itself apart from the usual hustle and bustle of tourist destinations. Sri Lanka in general serves up gorgeous sunsets, and no doubt you will want to wander along the sand to take in the sights.

Don’t forget to pack… 
Something that allows you to cover up. This will help you to both protect your skin from the sun and respect local customs. Culture Trip advises that bikinis are fine by the pool or on the beach, but elsewhere, it’s better to cover up. Shawls are not only great for this, but also double up as an extra layer of protection from the sun. Don’t skip the sunscreen though!

Dubai
Not all sunshine holidays require the beach and Dubai falls into that category. With average temperatures in November between 31°C and 21°C, the city won’t let you down for seeking that summery feeling, and there’s so much to do here beyond heading to the beach. Take part in the ultimate shopping experience at Dubai Mall, the biggest shopping mall in the world by area. Or, book in early to take a trip up the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Don’t forget to pack…
Similarly to Sri Lanka it’ll be warm and you’ll want a cover-up option. The Telegraph advises that the shopping malls can actually get a little chilly with their powerful air conditioning, so you will want something to cover up with when you head inside.  

Barbados
The luxurious resort Barbados is absolutely the traditional sun-and-sand winter escape. This island has a tropical climate throughout the year, so you can spend your winter months lounging on its pristine beaches and soaking in its crystalline seas. You only really need to leave the beach in search of dinner, and Barbados has that covered and then some! The island is renowned for its amazing cuisine, particularly its super-fresh seafood selection. Notable Barbadian food orders include flying fish, fish cakes, and macaroni pie.

Don’t forget to pack…
An umbrella or a raincoat. This is a necessity due to the rainy season starting in Barbados in the latter half of the year. As an aside, be aware that it is illegal for non-military to wear camouflage or army gear in public in Barbados. So no camo-prints! 


For spectacular winter snow!

Amsterdam
For a picturesque break, look no further than the capital city of the Netherlands. If you’re lucky, the temperature will drop far enough for the canals to freeze over into a spectacular ice-rink too! With winter markets galore and the magical Sinterklaas parade, you can’t possibly visit Amsterdam in the winter and not come away ready for all things Christmassy!

Don’t forget to pack…
A good, comfy leather ankle boot. This will help you to keep up the pace and keep your toes snug and warm. Remember, it’s going to get cold, and you’ll no doubt be doing plenty of walking, be it through the winter markets or strolling through one of Amsterdam’s museums.

Vienna
Like Amsterdam before it, Vienna has an array of winter markets available to attend. A must-see includes Christkindlmarkt which is held at City Hall. Vienna can get very cold in the winter months, but there’s options to warm up from silky hot chocolates in a quaint café retreat to…butterflies? Yes, the city is home to the Imperial Butterfly House, or the Schmetterlinghaus to give it its proper name. This amazing spot is home to approximately 400 live butterflies, which enjoy a year-round summer temperature, perfect to thaw out chilly cheeks and frozen fingers for a while!

Don’t forget to pack…
Your raincoat to go with your winter woollies! No matter what time of year you visit Vienna, there’s a chance of rain, but more so over the winter months.

Bruges
This luxurious location can help you sound fancy due to the fact the whole city was made a World Heritage site by UNESCO. If you want to sound truthful to your friends on why you’re going though, the  Choco-Story Museum is bound to be a reason. This museum will guide you through the history of Belgian chocolate, as well as showing you the process of how chocolate is made. Plus, the museum houses incredible statues made from chocolate! Don’t eat them though — the end of the tour allows for chocolate tasting without destroying works of art.

Don’t forget to pack…
A portable charger to make sure you can snap all the photos on offer thanks to Bruges’ gorgeous streets. Be sure to keep that camera and phone (sometimes one in the same!) topped up with a handy portable charger.