Lifestyle

From Sri Lanka to Seville

There’s only one way to shorten winter in the UK – spend time in the sun.

There are some great late deals whether you’re traveling with or without kids, even during the February half-term and the Easter break.

There's only one way to shorten winter in the UK - spend time in the sun

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There’s only one way to shorten winter in the UK – spend time in the sunCredit: Shutterstock

Stay in Europe with Majorca or take the long haul to Sri Lanka.

How far you chase the sun is up to you.

But make sure you shop around as prices can vary considerably.

Trisha Harbord selects ten hot deals for couples and families.

Canary Islands Cruises

Sailing time: 14 days

Temperature: 21C

Visit the quaint streets of Santa Cruz

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Visit the quaint streets of Santa CruzCredit: Getty – Contributor

SAIL succeeds with P&O’s Iona, which will take you to the Canary Islands.

Santa Cruz is not far from Tenerife’s Mount Teide, at 3,718 meters, the highest point in Spain.

Take the cable car to the top for great views.

Tour the cobbled streets of Gran Canaria’s capital Las Palmas, discovered by Christopher Columbus.

Iona also visited Madeira, Lanzarote, Cadiz and Lisbon.

GO: The Iona is P&O’s newest ship, with its stunning SkyDome, three-story glass atrium and infinity pool.

There are plenty of dining and entertainment choices, and the icing on the cake is Olly Smith’s bar.

A 14-night all-inclusive cruise on Iona, from Southampton on March 19, costs from £899pp. See pocruises.com.

Sri Lanka

Flight time: 10.5 hours

Temperature: 30C

Visit the stunning 12th-century Galapata Temple in Sri Lanka

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Visit the stunning 12th-century Galapata Temple in Sri LankaCredit: Alamy

FOR R&R there is no better place than laid-back Sri Lanka. Bentota on the south coast offers peace, with isolated beaches – some of the best in the country – stunning views and mangroves.

Visit the 12th-century Galapata Temple, see turtle hatcheries, boat wildlife on the Bentota Ganga River and go water skiing.

Get around by tuk tuk or bus. There are also safari trips and tours, including to the capital Colombo.

GO: The beachfront 4H Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa, in Bentota, features four restaurants, a swimming pool with a beachfront bar and an excellent spa.

Breakfast and dinner included for 10 nights, from Heathrow on February 26, from £1,004pp. See awayholidays.co.uk.

Seville

Flight time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Temperature: 21C

Seville's Santa Maria de la Sede is the largest Gothic church in the world

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Seville’s Santa Maria de la Sede is the largest Gothic church in the worldCredit: Getty

EVEN a few days in the sun will boost your spirits.

Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is far enough south to enjoy late-20s temperatures later this month.

Start with a visit to the majestic Santa Maria de la Sede, the largest Gothic church in the world.

Climb the Giralda bell tower for panoramic views and views of the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

Conversely, don’t miss the Las Setas modern museum, a wooden structure nicknamed the Mushroom for its shape.

Visit the beautiful Royal Alcazar gardens, and enjoy a river cruise with sangria and tapas. The view from the Cathedral terrace is amazing at night.

GO: Soak up the atmosphere of the historic city at 4H Eurostars Sevilla Boutique, a former palace from the 16th century.

Three nights, flying from Gatwick on 22 February, cost from £389pp. See easyjet.com.

United Arab Emirates

Flight time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Temperature: 30C

Ras Al Khaimah is a great alternative to Dubai

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Ras Al Khaimah is a great alternative to DubaiCredit: Unknown, clear with picture desk

The United Arab Emirates has become a resort’s playground with top-notch hotels, activities and entertainment.

Dubai is the main hotspot but Ras Al Khaimah is a great alternative, 45 minutes from the coast.

It is said to be more authentic, has a history of 7,000 years and offers craggy mountains, desert plains and beaches.

The different landscapes make for a plethora of activities including adrenaline-rushing Jais and poop at Bear Grylls Adventure Camp, rock climbing, trekking and kayaking.

Find time to shop at one of the five shopping malls or practice bartering for local textiles and crafts in the busy markets.

GO: The luxurious 5H Doubletree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island hotel features a private beach, five swimming pools, a fitness center, spa and 13 dining options.

Visit the rooftop bar for cocktails with a view.

The seven-night B&B, flying in from Manchester on 22 March, costs from £739pp. See Southalltravel.co.uk.

Dominican Republic

Flight time: 9 o’clock

Temperature: 28C

Punta Cana has 20 km of beaches offering water sports and dolphin-watching boat trips

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Punta Cana has 20 km of beaches offering water sports and dolphin-watching boat tripsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

FORGET yourself with an all-inclusive trip to a Caribbean island with white sands and clear blue waters.

Punta Cana, the easternmost tip, has 20 miles of beaches offering water sports and dolphin-watching boat trips.

You can go swimming with sharks, horseback riding, and ziplining through the rainforest.

GO: Visit 5H Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for an endless list of activities.

There’s an Escape room, bowling alley, equestrian surf simulator and golf club, not to mention 13 pools, 26 bars and nine restaurants.

Seven Nights’, flying from Gatwick on 22 March, costs from £1,926pp. See ba.com.

Lanzarote

Flight time: 4 hours

Temperature: 20C

Puerto Del Carmen is one of Lanzarote's main resorts, with a beachfront boulevard lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.

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Puerto Del Carmen is one of Lanzarote’s main resorts, with a beachfront boulevard lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.Credit: Getty – Contributor

LANZAROTE is one of the best Canary Islands for family vacations with sandy beaches, stunning volcanic landscapes, and lots of easily accessible attractions.

Puerto Del Carmen is one of Lanzarote’s main resorts with a beachfront boulevard lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.

Spend a day at nearby Rancho Texas, home to a zoo and water park.

There are creatures from tigers to donkeys, and you can swim with sea lions.

Your little pirates will love the Pirate Museum at 15th-century Santa Barbara Castle, a fortress built to protect the island from invasions.

GO: The 4H Seaside Los Jameos Playa Hotel has pools and clubs that kids will enjoy.

The seven-night B&B from £610pp, including Stansted flights on 15 February, is based on two adults and two children sharing. See jet2holidays.com.

Portugal

Flight time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Temperature: 24C

The resort town of Alvor is one of the loveliest areas of the Algarve

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The resort town of Alvor is one of the loveliest areas of the AlgarveCredit: Getty – Contributor

ONE of the loveliest areas of the Algarve is around the resort town of Alvor, with its traditional whitewashed houses and cobbled lanes.

Restaurants, shops and bars can be found in the historic center, and there are water parks, nature trails and dolphin-watching boat trips nearby.

Wonderful sandy beaches stretch along turquoise waters, offering sports including kayaking and windsurfing.

GO: The 5H Pestana Blue Alvor Hotel in Portimao is the first all-inclusive hotel built for families.

Seven nights’ including flights from Gatwick on April 3 costs from £490pp, based on two adults and two children sharing a family room. See tu.co.uk.

Majorca

Flight time: 2 o’clock

Temperature: 16C

Enjoy sunny days and blue skies in Majorca

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Enjoy sunny days and blue skies in MajorcaCredit: Shutterstock

There are great half-term deals on the British favorite island of Majorca, which is warming up.

Enjoy sunny days and clear skies and even when the sea is cold, the pools stay warm.

Active families will enjoy this quieter time of year, with hiking, biking and horseback riding.

You can take in the breathtaking views from the hot air balloon and cross the island by ferrying for a day trip to Menorca.

GO: 4H Zafiro Tropic Hotel features a kids’ club, a water park and an amusement park.

The seven-night self-catering, flying from the East Midlands on 14 February, costs from £165pp, based on two adults and two children sharing.

Prices include a £33 donation to a charity of your choice. See offer.chacious.travel.

Florida

Flight time: 10hrs

Temperature: 27C

Tampa has great theme parks - including Busch Gardens

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Tampa has great theme parks – including Busch Gardens

TAMPA BAY continues to add more attractions and is quickly becoming one of Florida’s top vacation destinations.

Watch out, Orlando, as Tampa has theme parks, water parks and entertainment that are constantly on the lookout for Britons.

The newest attraction is the two-and-a-half-mile Riverwalk, which links to interactive museums, an aquarium with 8,000 species of animals, a history center, zip lines and more, plus restaurants and bars. Buy tickets to save money on tickets.

Tampa is also home to the Busch Gardens theme park and zoo, home to Iron Gwazi, the country’s tallest, steepest and fastest hybrid coaster, which opened on March 11.

GO: 4H Hilton Tampa Downtown is just steps from the Riverwalk.

Seven nights only from £1,072pp including British Airways flights from Gatwick on April 5. View britishairways.com/tampa.

Turkey

Flight time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Temperature: 21C

Resorts along the coastline from Antalya to the lively town of Alanya have golden beaches surrounding the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.

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Resorts along the coastline from Antalya to the lively town of Alanya have golden beaches surrounding the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.Credit: Getty

TURKEY has just reopened Brits and is a top sunlit destination with great family deals.

Resorts along the coast from Antalya to lively Alanya have golden beaches surrounding the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, and the area is steeped in history.

Take the Alanya cable car up to the medieval castle and walk through the walls that stretch for nearly four miles.

Water rafting, paragliding and scuba diving are among the water sports offered.

Tours include exploring canyons and caves, 4×4 safaris, and sailing the shores in pirate boats.

GO: 5H Eftalia Aqua Resort, 25 minutes from Alanya, features a giant water park, sports and music programs.

All-inclusive for seven nights is from £435pp including flights from Gatwick on April 4. See easyjet.com/en/holidays.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/17557627/ten-sizzling-winter-sun-offers/ From Sri Lanka to Seville

Emma Bowman

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