Cape Town, South Africa
Top temperature: 26°C
Best for: bay-thing beauties
Walking on sunshine Blue sky, crystal-clear sea and lots of fine wine… Oh go
on then, Cape Town, if we have to. Head down to the Victoria and Alfred
Waterfront – the hub of the working harbour – and feast on the freshest
seafood and meat around at Docks Restaurant (Docksrestaurant.co.za).
From the waterfront, you can take a boat trip across to Robben Island for a
tour of the prison where Nelson Mandela was locked up for 18 years (Robben-island.org.za).
A trip to the rolling mountains of the Cape Winelands is a must, as is a cable
car jaunt to the top of Table Mountain. If picking up a tan is high on your
list of priorities, get down to Camps Bay with its white sand and towering
mountains in the background. Or if chilling with penguins on the beach
sounds up your street, head for Boulders Beach, where you can bask among the
Feel the heat Prices for seven nights at four-star Cotswold Guesthouse B&B
from £870 per person, departing December 8 from Heathrow. To book, visit
Expedia via Travelsupermarket.com.
Top temperature: 28°C
Best for: star spotters
Walking on sunshine Apart from wanting to vaycay Rihanna-stylee, there’s
another good reason to go to Barbados: it’s summer all year round! Even in
the colder months, the lowest temperature is a balmy 17°C. Get starry-eyed
as you celeb spot – Simon Cowell, Oprah and Sir Cliff have pads on the
Pitch up at your own temporary pad at the Almond Beach Village (Almondresorts.com),
a former sugar plantation. It’s set on the Platinum Coast, which equals
miles of white beach, and a turquoise sea with average temps of 28°C!
Perch under a parasol or palm tree with a rum punch before taking a dip in one
of the resort’s 10 swimming pools. After a spot of sailing or snorkelling,
you can properly indulge with a Warm Bamboo Massage at the spa (£62). Then
enjoy an alfresco seafood feast at on-site restaurant, The Reef, or venture
out to the Mount Gay Rum distillery (Mountgayrum.com)
to discover the origins of the 300-year-old liquor (and have a tipple,
Feel the heat Seven nights at the four-star Almond Beach Village from £999 per
person until December 8 based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick
and accommodation. Visit Tropicalsky.co.uk.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Top temperature: 28°C
Best for: movers and shakers
Walking on sunshine Want to pretend you’re Gisele? Just sling on a bikini,
head to Ipanema and lie on the beach with a caipirinha cocktail in hand.
Bliss! Once you’ve had your fill of that, take a tram up to the hilltop
’hood of Santa Teresa and sup a cafezinho (little espresso) in one of the
boho cafes along the winding, cobbled streets. Hit the nearby Parque das
Ruinas to see ruins of a stately home, complete with gasp-inspiring views of
the sea, the imposing mountains of Guanabara Bay, and the high-rise towers
of the downtown area.
Shake your tail feather till sunrise at Rio Scenarium (Rioscenarium.com.br),
a Samba club in Lapa with a dance floor and balconies packed with novices
and pros who put Ricky Martin to shame.
Feel the heat Seven nights B&B in a standard double or twin room in the
four-star Best Western Rio Copacabana costs from £92.24 per night with
Lowcostholidays via TravelSupermarket.com.
Flights to Rio from London Heathrow departing on December 3 cost from
£535.53 per person with Holiday Genie via Travelsupermarket.com.
Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
Top temperature: 17°C
Best for: cafe crawlers
Walking on sunshine There’s nothing worse than traipsing round historic sites
in the sweltering heat of summer, which is why we have a whole lotta love
for a pleasantly warm winter vay-cay in Tunisia. Stay in the gorge coastal
village of Sidi Bou Said with its whitewashed houses complete with
blue-shuttered doors. There are loads of idyllic cafes in which you can
enjoy a sugary mint tea while breathing in the sea air of the Gulf of Tunis.
Tunis is just a 30-minute train ride away so spend a day wandering around the
Medina where you can haggle for jewelled slippers and leather purses. Check
out the Kasbah (the high-walled, historic fort in the city centre) and the
Roman ruins at Carthage. You’ll get a proper history lesson – it boasts an
ancient amphitheatre, baths and columns that tower over the blue sea below.
Feel the heat Rooms at the traditional, boutique four-star Dar Said (Darsaid.com.tn)
cost from £141 per night per room. Flights from London Gatwick to Tunis with
British Airways departing on December 2 cost from £170 with Expedia.co.uk.