Top 10 Winter Sun Destinations
If you live in the northern hemisphere then this is probably the time of year when you will start to feel that you are missing the sunshine and longing for the warming rays of the sun, and the longer days of summer. Even those who live closer to the Mediterranean may find that they are missing the heat of the sunshine over the winter months. That’s why we have compiled this list of our top 10 halal-friendly winter sun destinations – use it as a shopping list to book your next holiday, or a wish list to fuel your daydreams of sunnier climes, it’s up to you!
This is our top pick of winter-sun destinations for sun-starved halal-conscious travellers who want to swim, sunbathe and boost their vitamin D. Use HalalBooking’s halal-friendliness filters to find accommodation with halal food, alcohol-free areas, women-only or fully-secluded pools, spas or beaches and leisure facilities where modest swimwear is allowed. Whether you prefer a private villa or a beachfront hotel we have options to suit all budgets.
1. The Maldives - enchanting coral islands
The Maldives is an astonishingly beautiful country, made up of more than one thousand tiny coral islands, surrounded by clear water, and fringed by pale sandy beaches. It’s popular with honeymooners and those who wish to enjoy snorkelling and swimming around the vibrant coral reefs in the clear, warm water. The population is also Muslim, which makes it a great place for halal-conscious travellers to visit. Halal food is freely available and most of the local female population wears the hijab. Many of the halal-friendly resort hotels available through HalalBooking offer room types which have their own fully-secluded private swimming pool, which is not overlooked in any way, providing complete privacy for Muslim families and couples. The Maldives are a quintessential tropical paradise experience, combining natural beauty, luxury, and a range of activities to suit all types of travellers.
The months of January – March, inclusive, are the period when the Maldives experiences its lowest rainfall. The average temperature never falls below 27 °C and you can expect an average of 9 or 10 hours of sunshine.
For more inspiration, check out our dedicated blog article: The Maldives - where the Indian Ocean meets the Arabian Sea.
Malaysia is one of the most popular countries in the world for halal-friendly tourism, and consistently wins awards for the high quality of its services. Islam is its official religion and the delicious halal food is sure to be a highlight of your holiday in Malaysia. It is a perfect choice for a halal-friendly beach holiday - try the island of Langkawi, with its beautiful fine white sand. Malaysia is also home to stunning tropical landscapes and lush rainforests.
January and February are the months when Malaysia experiences its lowest rainfall. The average temperature is around 29 °C and you are likely to enjoy a minimum of 6 or 7 hours of sunshine. Choose a halal-friendly resort, offering halal food and an alcohol-free environment. Properties in Malaysia are consistently rated extremely highly by HalalBooking guests and many offer rooms with their own fully-secluded private pools, allowing Muslim women to sunbathe and swim in complete privacy.
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, and its friendly people are extremely welcoming to halal-conscious travellers, who will find it easy to find delicious halal food. The halal-friendly hotels and villas featured by HalalBooking in Indonesia are consistently rated very highly by guests. The idyllic island of Lombok is a wonderful holiday destination, whatever the time of year. You can enjoy swimming and sunbathing throughout the winter, with an average temperature of 28°C. January is, in fact, the best month for swimming in the sea, with an incredibly warm average temperature of 29 °C. The island is known for its high standards of luxury accommodation and is highly recommended for romantic trips and especially honeymoons. The Lombok Strait separates Lombok from Bali to its west, another popular tourist destination in Indonesia.
For more inspiration, check out our dedicated blog article: Indonesia - the land of contrasts.
4. Mauritius - lush tropical scenery
Mauritius is a perfect winter sun destination, as the warm season generally lasts from December through until April. It’s a great choice if you are based in Europe and have to travel during school Christmas holidays - the perfect place to soak up the sun. Likewise, February - when school half-terms usually fall - is also a great time to visit Mauritius as it is usually the hottest month, with average high temperatures of 30 °C. Enjoy lush tropical scenery and stunning beaches. Staying in a halal-friendly villa affords you the privacy of your own fully-secluded swimming pool, which is not overlooked in any way. Whether you are seeking an active holiday, a romantic getaway, or a family-friendly vacation, Mauritius has something to offer every type of traveller, a top choice for an unforgettable tropical holiday experience.
The East-African country of Tanzania is known for its safari opportunities on the vast Serengeti plains and Kilimanjaro national park. The semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago, however, is the place for tropical beach holidays, renowned for its stunning beaches that seem like something straight out of a postcard. Even the very name ‘Zanzibar’ conjures up exotic adventures and what’s more, the local population is 99% Muslim. The temperature here is a fairly constant 30 °C all year round. Although the period around November is known as the season of ‘short rain’, as the name implies, the tropical rains are not likely to last long. Those who would prefer it to be drier should visit in January or February - especially if your holiday is mostly planned around the beautiful powdery white sandy beaches, coral reefs and crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Choose a halal-friendly villa to enjoy complete privacy in your own fully-secluded private pool.
For more inspiration, check out our dedicated blog article: Zanzibar - a window into Africa's rich heritage.
6. Canary Islands - stunning volcanic landscapes
The Canary Islands are a very popular winter sun destination, although perhaps not the first which comes to mind when you think of halal-friendly holidays. In fact, in common with mainland Spain, the Canary Islands are keen to welcome Muslim guests. Tenerife is the largest of the islands and one of the most popular with holidaymakers. The island’s volcanic scenery is absolutely stunning – perfect for walking in the beautiful Anaga Country Park. Don’t miss a visit to the volcano and the fascinating Teide Observatory too.
Visitors to Tenerife during the winter months, will find a pleasant average of 6-7 hours of sunshine per day, and an average high temperature, which doesn’t fall below 20 °C.
7. UAE - luxury on the Arabian Gulf
The UAE has become synonymous with luxury winter sun holidays - whether you choose to stay in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah you’re in for a treat. Perhaps ironically, it is the fact that Dubai and the other UAE destinations are not so hot during the winter, which makes this the best time to visit. In summer it is simply too hot for most people to be able to enjoy themselves, so winter offers pleasant temperatures rather than searing heat, meaning that you can get out and about and even venture into the desert. The average temperature in November is around 25 °C, and throughout the winter you will enjoy an average of 8 hours of sunshine per day. It’s probably best to avoid December and February, which can be a little rainy, but otherwise it’s a great time to visit.
For more inspiration, check out our dedicated blog article: Dubai - the Emirate where anything is possible.
Thailand is a fascinating country to visit with its rich culture, friendly, welcoming people and delicious cuisine. If it’s sunshine that you are after, then there’s nowhere better to visit than the island of Phuket, on the west coast of Thailand. HalalBooking offers a particularly good choice of halal-friendly villas on Phuket, which offer stylish accommodation and fully-secluded private pools, which are not overlooked in any way, providing complete privacy.
Phuket enjoys its lowest rainfall during the period from December to March, and with average temperatures of between 27-29 °C it is the perfect place to enjoy some winter sun.
For more inspiration, check out our dedicated blog article: Thailand - Land of Smiles.
The Gulf state of Oman is perfect for an adventurous wintersun break, with its sun-drenched days and reliably warm average winter temperatures of around 20-25 °C. Enjoy lazy days on the beach or thrilling desert adventures. The port of Muscat, its capital city, is surrounded by dramatic mountains and breathtaking desert scenery. It offers the perfect blend of old and new - glitzy shopping malls and high-rise hotels juxtaposed with the 16th century Portuguese forts of Al Jalali and Mirani and the Muttrah Souq, widely considered to be one of the oldest markets in the Arabian Peninsula, and its history can be traced back to at least the 17th century. Be sure to visit the magnificent contemporary Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which can accommodate 20,000 people.
10. Egypt - unbeatable Red Sea beaches
Egypt’s hotels offer excellent value for money for all budgets. When you combine this with its long, sunny winter days, fine sandy beaches and clear waters, it’s hard to beat a winter sun beach holiday in the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. Average high temperatures over the winter range from around 22-27 °C - perfect for swimming and snorkelling in the clear waters, discovering the coral reefs and rich sea life. Learn to scuba dive or explore from a glass-bottom boat, the choice is yours. You can always mix it up with a desert adventure - choose from quad bike, horse- or camel-riding.
For more inspiration, check out our dedicated blog article: Top 10 places to visit in Egypt.