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Whether you’re looking for warm waters and soft sands in the Caribbean or a once-in-a-lifetime luxury getaway in the Maldives, it’s time to stop dreaming and start searching. Long-haul holiday bliss awaits…
Sun-drenched sands, gin-clear tropical waters, palm trees swaying in the gentle sea breeze… your holiday in paradise is not as far away as you think. From Cuba to Cape Verde, Mexico to the Maldives, discover the best long-haul destinations for a holiday in the sun.
Barbados: Barbados has everything you’d want from a long-haul getaway, with swanky resorts, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters that make you feel about as far away from home as you can get. Add its laidback Bajan lifestyle and a lush interior that’s made for adventure, and Barbados is sure to tick all your holiday boxes.
Cape Verde: With its Caribbean-style climate, great-value beach breaks and shorter flight time, Cape Verde is a top pick for a long-haul holiday without the jet lag. Still a relative up-and-comer, this archipelagic nation off the coast of West Africa is one for the wishlist. Sal and Boa Vista are its two most popular islands.
Cuba: A holiday to Cuba is unlike any other. Resort towns such as Varadero and Cayo Coco are classic beach break territory, where you can fill your days with watersports, snorkelling and sunbathing in luxury resorts. And be sure to make time for its capital Havana – full of classic cars and Art Deco buildings, it’s a fascinating step back in time.
Florida: With mile after mile of beaches, the Sunshine State is packed with places to go. Atlantic breakers pound the east coast resorts of Daytona, Fort Lauderdale and Miami; the Florida Keys string out south of the state becoming ever more Caribbean the further south you go; and the warm waters of west coast beaches make cities such as Clearwater, St Petersburg and Naples must-stop locations.
Goa: On India’s southwest coast, Goa is a top pick for a great-value long-haul getaway. A mix of luxury resorts and affordable guesthouses pepper its pretty coastline, and you’ll find everything from yoga classes and all-night parties to activities for kids and, of course, plenty of beaches. Whether you’re after a family-friendly stay, a spiritual retreat in the sun or a week-long party on the beach, Goa is the place to be.
Maldives: Imagine a paradise beach break and you’ll probably conjure up something that looks like the Maldives. This island nation is pure luxury, a place where you can wake up in an over-water villa and dive straight into warm Indian Ocean waters. Holidays here can be expensive – the islands’ remoteness means you’ll usually need to arrive via sea plane – but they’re guaranteed to be unforgettable.
Mauritius: Holidays to Mauritius are equal parts relaxation and adventure. When you’re not stretched out on a sun-lounger, you can chase waterfalls, discover a colourful underwater world on a diving tour or trek through the rainforests of the Black River Gorges National Park. Mauritius’ north coast is a popular place to stay, but you’ll also find plenty of resorts on the west and east coasts.
Mexico: Mexico’s Caribbean coast – think Cancun, Riviera Maya and Playacar – is lined with great value for money resorts and you’ll be close to some of the county’s most recognisable sights (we’re talking Tulum and Chichen Itza). On the Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Mazatlan are a little more laidback.
South Africa: Long-haul holidays don’t get much more diverse than South Africa, where you can sip world-class drops at renowned wineries, spot the ‘Big Five’ on a safari and sunbathe on white-sand beaches. Table Mountain is Cape Town’s iconic spot, but you’ll also find plenty of culture, museums and beautiful beaches. Or, fly into Durban for Indian Ocean breakers and chilled out vibes.
Thailand: The trickiest bit about visiting Thailand? Choosing just one of its dreamy resort areas. Phuket to Krabi, Pattaya to Hua Hin, Koh Samui to Khao Lak… wherever you pick for your faraway escape, expect pristine beaches, mouth-watering food and adventurous tours on land and under the sea.
The UAE: With its so-called ‘seven-star’ hotels, gorgeous beaches and larger-than-life shopping malls, Dubai is a holidaymaker’s playground. It’s certainly the best-known emirate for Brits – but it’s not the only option for a long-haul holiday in the UAE. All high-rises and high luxury, neighbour Abu Dhabi is a worthy rival, while low-key Ras Al Khaimah is the UAE’s latest up-and-comer.
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