Winter in the UK is on the way, ushering in cooler temperatures and fairy lights everything. Along with Original Travel, the travel company that ‘gets’ me, I’ve picked out a few wild card winter sun escapes, some far-flung, from city breaks to island escapes, to inspire our quest for seasonal warmth.

A cool, cultural weekend in Tel Aviv

A long weekend in this cosmopolitan, pioneering city in the heart of the Holy Land feels like you’re in California; the sun shines every day, and you can go swimming all year round. At night, Israeli pop, live jazz and electro from bars, clubs and concert halls fills the air. Discover small cafes and organic restaurants, eat pitta bread and hummus at Ali Karavan’s in Jaffa, browse galleries and vintage clothes shops, explore the so-called ‘White City’, home to thousands of houses that together create the richest Bauhaus heritage in the world, before lounging on the beach. Find out more here.


A road trip through Andalucia

river in seville

This nine-day road trip through southern Spain takes in the cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Here, you’ll find the best tapas and sangria and learn about Moorish and Christian architecture before exploring the glorious Andalusian countryside. Highlights include visiting traditional white hillside villages and getting lost in their beautiful side streets, tasting the local flavours at food markets, sampling sherry at a family-run vineyard, spotting wildlife like flamingos and herons in Doñana National Park, and hiking through the lush Sierra de Grazalema mountains filled with wild olive groves and oak forests. Find out more here.


Southern Portugal for two

An eight-day trip to southern Portugal for two to discover the beautiful countryside and beaches of the Algarve. You’ll get lost in time-worn cobbled streets, eat freshly caught seafood, and simply kick back with a good book in the middle of a flowering garden, lulled by a soundtrack of waves and cicadas. Highlights include a trip to Carvoeiro, an authentic fishing village where colourful little houses adorn the ochre cliffs, the wilderness of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the Algarve countryside and the fragrant garrigue scrubland filled with juniper, thyme, rosemary, and lavender. Find out more here.


Natural wonder on Borneo

Sepilok in Sabah, the Malaysian part of Borneo © Lillian (Adobe Stock)

A 13-day adventure around the Malaysian island of Borneo to discover wildlife and natural wonders of Sarawak as well as the beautiful tropical beaches on Gaya Island in Sabah. Highlights include a guided visit to Bako National Park home to a population of roughly 300 proboscis monkeys, as well as silvery langurs, bearded pigs and monitor lizards, a trek through the rainforest near Kuching, a visit to a traditional longhouse to meet villagers, and snorkelling in the clear waters off Gaya Island. Find out more here.


A Mystical trip to Jordan

Petra, Jordan © Siempreverde22 (Dreamstime)

Jordan is a fascinating and diverse country full of cultural, architectural, and historic details and this fast-paced whirlwind six-day trip is for those who want to go big but don’t have much time. Highlights include swimming in the Dead Sea, exploring Wadi Rum and its huge swathes of the desert made famous by Lawrence of Arabia, experiencing Petra both during the day and by candlelight, and wandering through the well-preserved ancient city of Jerash near Petra inhabited by humans for the past 6,500 years. Find out more here.


Seclusion in the Seychelles!

The ultimate luxury 10-day trip to Seychelles, to discover the most unspoiled, secluded islands in the world: Mahe and Fregate. The trip starts in Mahe, with its postcard-perfect beach, Anse Louis before hopping into your private helicopter for your transfer to Fregate. Highlights of this trip include special touches like a sunset aperitif on top of a hill in Mahe, a special lunch at the top of a 100-year-old banyan tree on Fregate, and having your own on-site concierge on hand. Find out more here.


Escape to Mauritius

A 10-day trip to the French island paradise which combines culture, adventure, and relaxation. Itinerary highlights include visits to a fruit plantation, the Tamarind Falls, and hidden villages to meet talented craftsmen and residents in their homes and try delicacies such as gato piment (Mauritian chilli cakes), samoussas (local version of the Indian samosa) and dall pouri (fried bread). You’ll also hike to scenic viewpoints to spot unique flora in the Black River Gorges National Park, before sinking your toes into soft white sand as you stroll along beautiful beaches. Find out more here.

Check out all of Original Travel’s unique winter sun holiday ideas, here.

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