With winter coming, many of us are dreading the cold dark days. Wouldn’t you instead soak up the winter sun on a white sandy beach alongside some turquoise warm, clear waters? That’s why we created the best sunny islands to visit in winter list.
Forget winter jackets and rainy days. There’s no need to do research either.
We did the hard part for you and handpicked great winter travel destinations for those who prefer sunbathing over skiing. The below-mentioned isles have an average temperature between the mid-70s and 80s (25-30°C) during the winter. This makes them great for relaxing on the sand, swimming, snorkeling, and napping in your bathing suit.
Continue reading to choose your perfect sunny island getaway location for this winter.
Soak up the warm sun while relaxing on a white sandy beach in South Asia. The Republic of the Maldives, which is made of up of 1,000 coral islands, is the perfect all-year-round summer destination with an average temperature in the 80s (27-29°C).
The summer islands of Maldives offer surfing, diving, whale shark snorkeling tours, swimming with manta rays, fishing, and complete spa experiences. It really is on everyone’s Asian travel bucket list, and it should be on yours too!
- Accommodation in the Maldives: Meeru Island Resort & Spa is a 4-star hotel on the private island of Meeru in the Laccadive Sea. It’s a great honeymoon destination and close to the Dhiffushi island and beach.
- Hurricane season: May – October is the monsoon season.
- Best time to visit the Maldives: November – April.
Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago, is informally referred to as the Zanzibar island in Tanzania. This Tanzanian island in the Indian Ocean offers beautiful white sandy beaches, rich culture and history, and plenty of wildlife to see.
Zanzibar is one of the best tropical islands to visit in the winter. You can even spend Christmas here, with prices starting at $58 per night. Plan to do some fun things like snorkeling, diving, fishing, relaxing with massages, and even explore the old town with a bike rental.
- Accommodation in Zanzibar: The Mnana Beach Bungalows are a beachfront property, perfect for a family vacation – offering great service backed by excellent reviews.
- Hurricane season: None, but rainy months include March through May.
- Best time to visit Zanzibar: June to October (cool and dry) or December to February (hot and dry climate)
Oahu Island (Hawaii)
Aloha! You can find an all-year-round summer in Oahu, Hawaii. From exotic waterfalls in the Hawaiian rainforest, sandy beaches, dormant volcanos, and turtle beaches. You have plenty to see and enjoy an adventure of a lifetime.
When on Oahu Island, don’t miss the iconic Waikiki, surf beach, near Honolulu. In Honolulu, you can visit Pearl Harbor–the USS Arizona Memorial–which was bombed by the Japanese in World War II. And of course, a hula ceremony to experience the rich Hawaiian culture.
- Accommodation in Oahu: Along with hotels and resorts in Hawaii, vacation rental properties are highly sought after for family vacations. Jenny’s Cottage Waikiki is a beachfront property with only 250 meters from Waikiki beach, Kuhio Beach, and a Torch Lighting and Hula Ceremony.
- Hurricane season: March – April
- Best time to visit Oahu, Hawaii: April – May, and September – October.
Cape Verde is one of those warm places to go in winter for a fantastic vacation. It an archipelago in West Africa – consisting of ten volcanic islands. After October, the climate is usually dry, making it perfect for visiting some beautiful sandy beaches like Santa Maria and Boa Vista.
Cape Verde is perfect for diving, windsurfing, sunbathing, and vibrant nightlife in the winter.
- Accommodation in Cape Verde: One of the top picks for adults in Santa Maria is Ocean Suites, with 20 meters from the beach. It has excellent staff, and with its premium location in Santa Maria, you won’t miss any of the action.
- Hurricane season: August – October
- Best time to visit Cape Verde: November to June – avoiding the rain season.
One of the most popular Caribbean islands to visit in the winter for Americans is the Dominican Republic. It boasts with beautiful white sandy beaches, palm trees and coconuts, all-inclusive resorts for the perfect relaxation, and rich history of Punta Cana.
It’s popular among college students for spring break trips, golfers, and couples. Many of the resorts have tennis courts, golf courses, and plenty of watersport activities. Because of the close location to the USA, the Dominican Republic is an excellent destination for a warm place to go in winter.
- Accommodation in the Dominican Republic: If you are looking for an all-inclusive resort for your winter vacation in the Dominican Report, Now Onyx Punta Cana is backed by great reviews and excellent staff. If you prefer an Adults Only resort, check out Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar.
- Hurricane season: June – November
- Best time to visit the Dominican Republic: March-May.
A list of sunny places in the world can’t go without Bali. This Indonesian island is an all-year-round summer island because of how close it’s to the equator. For those that love nature and traveling, Bali will be the perfect spot. From ancient Hindu temples, a sacred monkey forest sanctuary, an active volcano to climb–Mount Batur, and beautiful beaches, there are many things to do in Bali.
Bali is a grand sunny island to visit in the winter and escape the freezing weather.
- Accommodation in Bali: Grandmas Plus Hotel Legian is in the south Bali with an excellent position near the Kuta and Legian beaches.
- Hurricane season: None, only a warm and humid climate.
- Best time to visit Bali: All year-round. April, May, June, and September if you want to avoid the high season.
Bahamas is one of the best islands to visit in December to escape the winter. It’s an archipelago in the West Indies. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular among tourists with plenty of wildlife to see due to the coral-reef bedding. The Bahamas atoll has the third-largest coral reef in the world – Andros Barrier Reef.
The most northern island, Grand Bahama, is excellent for vacationing due to its white sandy beaches, all-inclusive resorts, golf courses, and vibrant local life. Don’t miss the Golden Rock Beach, Lucaya Beach and National Park, and Garden of the Groves. Grand Bahama is considered one of the best beach destinations in December among tourists.
- Accommodation in Bahamas: In the largest town on the Grand Bahama Island, you can find Bajamar Bed n Breakfast, offering a tremendous homely feeling and within proximity to the Coral Beach.
- Hurricane season: June – November.
- Best time to visit the Bahamas archipelago: December – April to avoid the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season.
St. Martin (St. Maarten)
The Caribbean St. Martin isle is a great place to travel where it’s always sunny. It is separated into two sides – the French and Dutch. The norther and French part of the island is known as Saint-Martin, while the southern and Dutch part is known as Sint Maarten.
The French and Dutch West Indies offer lots of great beaches, watersports, and relaxation for your winter getaway – naturally, St. Martin is excellent for a sunny island getaway.
- Accommodation in French St. Martin: In the French West Indies, Résidence La Plage Orient Bay by La Conciergerie FWI offers a beachfront property and full vacation experience in the Caribbean.
- Hurricane season: June – November
- Best time to visit French St. Martin: May, June, November, and December to minimize rain chance.
It might be a long trip from the USA but visiting New Zealand during the winter is always a smart decision. This destination is among the best islands to visit in winter because it’s located in the southern hemisphere. Meaning, when winter strikes in the USA, it’s summer in New Zealand.
New Zealand is made up of two islands – the North and South Island. Regardless of where you go, there is beautiful nature, waterfalls, amazing caves with glowworms, ziplining, wine tasting, surfing, snorkeling and diving, and mirror lakes to see.
- Accommodation in New Zealand: Boulcott Suites is a great place to stay in Auckland (North Island), so you have easy access to the South Island. It holds 5-stars and has a modern and stylish look.
- Hurricane season: March – April
- Best time to visit New Zealand: December – February for excellent summer weather.
Other great Caribbean islands to visit in the winter
If none of these options caught your eye, you could always go for any of the marvelous Caribbean islands. Here is our list of the best Caribbean islands to visit in December if you haunt for summer fun during the winter season.
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- US Virgin Islands
Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit
It’s always smart to prepare ahead of your trip to any of the summer-long island ideas on the list. So, here are some general tips to keep in mind before and during your adventure.
- Prepare for the temperature shock.
- Bring appropriate clothes for your departing and arriving destinations.
- Beware of different room types (e.g., sea view rooms cost more).
- Try island hopping if you have the time.
- Seaplanes are more expensive than speedboats.
- Check the local laws (are drones allowed clothing restrictions, etc.)
- Get a SIM card with 4G at the airport.
Sunny Islands to Visit in Winter – Bottom Line
All in all, winter doesn’t have to be cold and sad for you. Thanks to affordable accommodation and cheap flights, you can escape the snow and enjoy the sun instead.
Our list with sunny islands to visit in winter takes you one step closer to your summer dream vacation in December. Just pick a destination, book a hotel, and pack your bags. Sunny days and unforgettable adventures await you on these paradise islands.