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When the novelty of cozying up in front of the fire wears off and the freezing rain becomes too much to bear, it might be time to jet-set off to a nice hot destination. Here are our top picks that'll have you defrosting in no time!

Mauritius

There's something special about landing on the tropical island of Mauritius. The friendly welcome, the buttery smell of burnt sugar in the air, and the tropical heat quickly defrost fingers and toes and give life to jetlagged bodies. Situated smack-bang in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a little further South than its tropical cousins the Maldives and the Seychelles, Mauritius has long been a popular honeymoon spot. It is only recently, thanks in part to a few more middle-range and budget accommodation options, that the island has become an attractive option for everyone. While the beaches are obviously the main draw - and they are stunning - the island also has a spectacular inland peppered with plunging waterfalls, quaint little villages, and hidden treasures. And the best bit? Winter doesn't mean much in Mauritius; It's beach weather all year round.

mauritius

Thailand 

A stark contrast to the dull greyness the UK seems to exude in winter, Thailand is a land of brilliant colour and warmth. The entire country is jammed with rainbow-coloured traditional temples, deep green jungles, and colourful coral reefs. Bangkok is an excellent place to start, if for no other reason than to eat the street food. Think fiery red curries, heaping mounds of Pad Thai and if you're feeling brave, crunchy roasted insects. When the sweaty humidity of the city gets too much, take yourself to the islands for days spent cooling off in the pool, learning to scuba dive, and jungle-exploration. Whatever tropical island you choose, you'll find the same friendly hospitality and cheap beachside massages everywhere you go.

thailand

Morocco

Just a short flight from the UK, Morocco is a sizzling land of earthy tones, bustling souks, and steaming cups of mint tea. Thanks to cheap flights, and even cheaper accommodation options when you arrive, Morocco might just be the perfect budget escape for the winter. Head to Marrakech and leave with more rugs, pillows, baskets, and spices than you’ll ever need - the maze-like souks will leave you lost and potentially poorer than when you arrived. If you’re finding it difficult to bring the life back into frozen limbs, a trip to the hammam will sort out any lingering cold. You’ll feel like a new person after a long, lazy steam and a brisk scrub down. If you’re looking to catch a wave or two, or even just spend some time on the beach, the west coast rolls in a spectacular surf all year round.

morocco

Australia

Why not escape the chilly Northern Hemisphere for the toasty warmth of the South? Yes, Australia is about as far away as it gets but the land down under knows how to heat things up. With stretches of white beach on almost every single coastline, a red-hot desert in the middle, and the biggest reef in the world, Australia is all about picking your own adventure. But if you’re heading there for the UK winter, you can guarantee it’s going to be hot. Try Byron Bay for the laidback beach vibe, Sydney for the beautiful opera house in the bay and Melbourne for the coffee and quirky laneways. If you’re looking for something more remote, you can’t go past the Northern Territory for its rock pools and alien-landscape or Western Australia for its rugged beaches. Remember to pack the sunscreen because the strong Australian sun can give you a nasty sunburn.

sydney opera house

South Africa

Tucked away at the very bottom tip of the African continent, South Africa is finally getting the attention from travellers it deserves. With a handful of major cosmopolitan cities, stunning beaches, and some of the best safari parks in the world, it has something for everyone. While Johannesburg and Durban are special in their own way, Cape Town is where the country really shines. With table mountain looming over the beachside city, it’s so easy to start the day hiking and finish it with some world-class surfing. And if you’re after something more relaxed, the cafe culture rivals that of Paris or Melbourne.

south africa

If these toasty destinations take your fancy, what are you waiting for? The hot cups of tea and fireside nights will be waiting for you when you get back. 

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