Winter sun

11 of the best places for budget winter sun holidays

Photo of Heidi Fuller-lovePhoto of Heidi Fuller-love
By Heidi Fuller-love

5 January 2023 | Updated 9 November 202310 min read

Aerial drone panoramic view of Playa Blanca resort in Lanzarote

Fancy fleeing grey skies and freezing temperatures but don’t want to pay a fortune? We’ve got good news! An out-of-season escape to warmer climes doesn’t have to blow out your budget – if you know where to look.

From cheap-as-chips destinations such as Morocco and Turkey to long-haul budget lovelies, we’ve done the research to reveal 11 of the best budget-friendly destinations where you can soak up a big dose of winter sunshine for a lot less than the cost of heating your (ice cold) lounge.

1. Algarve

Average flying time: 2 hrs 50 mins | Average high temperature: 19C

The Algarve’s low cost of living combined with a raft of keenly priced all-inclusive hotels and a mild climate that pleasantly hovers around the high teens in winter makes it a magnet for out-of-season sunseekers.

The popular resorts of Albufeira and Lagos come without the summer crowds meaning you can enjoy a peaceful, romantic getaway and explore beaches and old town plazas at your leisure. Or head to the region's capital, Faro, where top sights include the Arco da Vila and the Municipal Museum.

While the sea may prove too chilly for swimming between December and March, winter is a fantastic time to enjoy an activity-based holiday* in the Algarve. Tee up for a round of golf in Vilamoura, get your hike on along the walking trails of Rota Vicentina, or spot migratory birds at Ria Formosa Natural Park. It’s also one of the best seasons for surfing – the waves at Sagres are hard to beat.

Best budget tip: Imported wines and beers can be expensive so buy local brands such as Super Bock and Sagres.

Auramar Beach Resort

  • Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
  • 23 December 2024
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Gatwick

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2. Lanzarote

Average flight time: 4 hrs 20 mins | Average high temperature: 19C

Lanzarote is starkly beautiful, instantly welcoming and blessed with an abundance of sunny winter days. That this stunning Canary Island is known for affordable holiday prices is almost just a bonus.

Holidaymakers love Lanzarote’s golden beaches even during the winter months – Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca are the stuff of beach holiday dreams and the wild waves of Playa de Famara make it perfect for watersports.

Of course, Lanzarote is more than just its beaches. This is an island unlike any other and an easy morning or afternoon trip to the Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains) of Timanfaya National Park will prove it. These incredible lunar-like landscapes – accessible by tour from Lanzarote’s best resorts – are the island’s postcard shot. Build out your itinerary here.*

Best budget tip: Lanzarote has a good bus network, and you’ll get a 10% discount on fares if you buy a travel card.

Hotel Tabaiba Center

  • Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 29 December 2024
  • Self-catering
  • From Gatwick

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3. Cambodia

Average flying time: 14 hrs 20 mins | Average high temperature: 32C

One of Southeast Asia’s cheapest destinations, The Kingdom, as it’s known to locals, is perfect for long-haul winter sunseekers on a budget.

Whether you fancy lazing on the stunning sandy beaches of buzzing Sihanoukville or prefer to lounge in peaceful beach hideaways such as Ream National Park or Koh Rong, there are plenty of places to get a mega-dose of vitamin D.

When you tire of beach life, there's plenty to explore* - head for Siem Reap to discover the jungle-entwined temples of Angkor Wat or make a beeline for capital Phnom Penh for imposing palaces, succulent street food and bargain-packed bazaars, including the Art Deco Central Market.

Best budget tip: Tuk tuk prices can be haphazard. Skip the stress and download PassApp so you don’t need to haggle over the price of every ride.

4. Andalusia

Average flying time: 2 hrs 45 mins | Average high temperature: 17C

Famed for super sultry flamenco music and tasty tapas, Spain’s southern province of Andalusia boasts an average 320 days of sunshine per year, so you’re practically guaranteed to enjoy balmy weather in winter.

Home to Europe’s only desert – where countless Spaghetti Westerns and Indian Jones epics were filmed – cactus-studded Almeria is one of the hottest spots along the coast, while seaside Malaga, with its Picasso museums and beach shack chiringuitos serving great-value tapas snacks, is packed with budget-friendly hotels.

Back from the coast, you’ll find even cheaper options and – although temperatures will be lower – you’ll still find orange trees blossoming and blissful blue skies in a string of sun-dazzled cities stretching from Seville to Granada.

Best budget tip: Look out for restaurants advertising a menu del dia, which generally includes a starter, main, small dessert and a drink, and can cost under £15.

Hotel Riu Costa del Sol

  • Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol, Spain
  • 5 January 2025
  • All-inclusive
  • From Birmingham

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5. Tenerife

Average flight time: 4 hrs 25 mins | Average high temperature: 19C

Tenerife is a classic winter sun destination, with reliably sunny weather, lots going on (such as Carnival in February) and holiday prices to suit all budgets.

Winter is quieter and milder than any other season in Tenerife, though temperatures are tantalisingly warm compared to the UK – and they remain high enough to lay out on one of the island’s many beautiful beaches.

This is also a terrific time to explore Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide.* Take the cable car to the top for a magnificent panoramic vista (though at around £35, it’s fairly pricey) or get your hike on to save the cash and breathe in that fresh mountain air.

Best budget tip: Visit the island’s museums on Sundays when entry is free.

Best Tenerife

  • Playa De Las Américas, Tenerife, Spain
  • 15 February 2025
  • Half board
  • From Manchester

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6. Fuerteventura

Average flight time: 4 hrs 15 mins | Average high temperature: 20C

Yes, it’s another Canary Island, but as the old cliché goes: if it ain’t broke…

As for what you can expect, all the usual suspects are here – think great weather, good prices and plenty of sandy beaches. There’s also a lively watersports scene on the island, thanks to the strong off-shore breeze. And if you’re feeling adventurous, have a go at surfing*, windsurfing, kiteboarding and much more during your winter break.

The larger resorts of Corralejo and Costa Caleta are among the best places to stay in Fuerteventura, and if you can be flexible with travel dates, it’s possible to find some fantastic deals here during the winter months.

Best budget tip: With average temperatures around 20C, winter swimming is a joy – pack a picnic and head for beaches such as sand-swept Playa la Guirra or dune-studded Playa del Moro for a great-value day out.

VIP Villas

  • Caleta De Fuste, Fuerteventura, Spain
  • 12 January 2025
  • All-inclusive
  • From Edinburgh

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7. Marrakech

Average flight time: 3 hrs 35 mins | Average high temperature: 20C

Winter is a great time to visit Marrakech. The busy souks and bazaars are noticeably quieter – a feat for this famously chaotic city – and the oppressive summer heat makes way for a pleasant cooler climate.

As well as hunting through the city’s iconic markets, you can take a trip to see the mighty Atlas Mountains*, soak up the unique mixture of African and Arabian culture, and explore the bustling old town, all without breaking the bank.

Feeling flush after saving on your main holiday costs? Visit a Moroccan hammam to have all your stresses scrubbed, soaked and massaged away.

Best budget tip: As many of the hotels charge above-average prices for meals, dining in local restaurants is a great way to save money.

Be Live Experience Marrakech Palmeraie

  • Marrakech, Morocco
  • 7 December 2024
  • All-inclusive
  • From Gatwick

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8. Cyprus

Average flight time: 4 hrs 30 mins | Average high temperature: 17C

Okay, 17C is hardly red hot, but with a combination of excellent beaches, sunny skies and stunning archaeological sites, Cyprus is still an excellent option for a cheap winter getaway.

Holidaymaker favourite Paphos is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, with the fascinating sites of Paphos Castle and the Tomb of the Kings located nearby. On top of the history, there are plenty of bars and restaurants to hop between during your trip.

For inland adventures, a hire car is the ticket to exploring the lush Troodos Mountains. Peppered with charming villages and scribbled with trails for all hiking abilities, winter is a wonderful time to discover it all without the stifling heat of summer. Other off-the-beaten-track adventures in Cyprus include tasting wine in the Diarizos Valley and journeying through the Akamas Peninsula.

Back on the coast, top activities include boat trips to the Blue Lagoon* and sea cave excursions.

Best budget tip: With bustling markets selling fabulous fresh food, Cyprus is the perfect destination to book a self-catering apartment and save money by cooking at home.


  • Paphos, Paphos Area, Cyprus
  • 28 December 2024
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Gatwick

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9. Goa

Average flying time: 9 hrs 10 mins | Average high temperature: 32C

A trip to India might seem a bit extravagant, but if you’re after a long-haul adventure without the price tag, Goa is a wonderful pick thanks to its laidback vibe, beautiful beaches and amazingly cheap seafood.

Once a hedonistic paradise for hippy ravers, Goa has since mellowed a little, although you will not be left wanting for a place to party if that’s what you’re after. Try Candolim and Anjuna for all-night beach parties.

Of course, the main draw is the guaranteed sun and hot weather that perfectly complements Goa’s many beaches. And less than £1 for a local beer? Go on then.

Best budget tip: India is generally very affordable, but car hire can be expensive – hire a bike or a scooter or use public transport instead.

10. Turkey

Average flying time: 4 hrs 15 mins | Average high temperature: 15C

You can expect a spot of snow to cover Istanbul’s magical minarets and Pammukale’s postcard-pretty turquoise rock pools in the winter months, but if you head south to the Turkish Riviera, you’ll find bluer skies, warmer climes and a good range of well priced accommodation.

Backed by its medieval castle and fronted by a marina full of bobbing yachts, Bodrum makes an ideal base for exploring. If you prefer a quieter vibe, laidback Dalyan overlooking its reed-strewn river lined with Lycian rock tombs is the perfect hop-off point for excursions to see the ancient city of Kaunos and Fethiye’s lively cafes and buzzing market.

Best budget tip: Skip expensive restaurants and eat in lokantas, the neighbourhood bistros where they serve excellent homemade food for a fraction of the price.

Sun City Apartments

  • Side, Antalya Area, Turkey
  • 27 December 2024
  • Self-catering
  • From Luton

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11. Cape Verde

Average flying time: 6 hrs | Average high temperature: 25C

Known as the 'African Caribbean', the stunning Cape Verde islands come with everything you’d expect from a holiday to Barbados – at a fraction of the price.

Besides the obvious reasons to visit this delightful archipelago – stunning beaches and turquoise waters, in case you’re wondering – the islands’ cultural fusion of Portuguese, Brazilian and African influences makes Cape Verde a fascinating place to visit.

The main holiday islands of Boa Vista and Sal still maintain an air of 'off the beaten track' about them, especially with British holidaymakers, but there’s plenty of activities to get stuck into*, such as surfing, ocean fishing and kitesurfing.

Best budget tip: This music-loving nation seems to have a fiesta for every occasion and most of them are free. You can find some of the best ones here.

* If a link has an * by it, that means it is an affiliated link. If you use these links, we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. For more details on how we make money at TravelSupermarket, visit our About Us page.

Hotel Riu Touareg

  • Boavista, Cape Verde
  • 3 December 2024
  • All-inclusive
  • From Gatwick

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