True 'Britishness' is surely defined by our love of discussing the weather and, in particular, why the sun isn't shining. It's no surprise then that studies continue to show that we Brits are increasingly suffering from a lack of Vitamin D. The answer? Escape to sunnier climes, of course. With that in mind and winter just around the corner, the Original Travel team has canvassed the globe, studied the Campbell-Stokes recorder and had a hearty discussion about something called evapotranspiration… all in the name of bringing you the very best destinations for getting that Vitamin D hit. Now is the perfect time to plan your escape to the sun…
Ethiopia is a country full of surprises, truly underrated and one of the world's most culturally rich and diverse nations. We think the best way to explore the country is as part of our small group tour, guided by our very own culture vulture Amelia. Take in the joyous and vibrant Festival of Timkat, celebrating Epiphany in January. Get involved in the religious processions, music, raucous dancing and the baptismal ceremony in the northern region of Gondar, an area dotted with fairytale-style 17th century castles and palaces. Enjoy the heart of Ethiopian culture before moving onto Lalibela, where the rock-hewn churches are considered one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Thailand is an enchanting winter sun destination; with temperature sticking in the 30s (centigrade), breath taking scenery, fabulous food and beautiful beaches it is a great place to soak up some vitamin-D. Enjoy culture and the lush jungles in Chiang Mai, explore the countless gilded temples and pagodas and relax on some of the best beaches in Asia. Soneva Kiri is located in the gulf of Thailand, just a stunning seaplane ride from Bangkok. The hotel is a magical place for couples, with rooms with individual pools and vast living areas. During your stay enjoy a plethora of water-sports, the outdoor cinema or even dine in the treetops! The hotel is made even more appealing by their 'stay seven pay five' offer for Original Travel clients, valid until December 17th.
Antigua has a different stretch of sand for every day of the year - need we say more? If this doesn't sway you to visit the tropical island, the family friendly Carlisle Bay should. Located on an unspoilt bay surrounded by tropical rainforest, the hotel hosts two of the islands best restaurants and a brilliant kids club where nannies can be on hand for children aged 6 months and over. Leaving you parents to enjoy snorkelling or diving on the pristine coral reefs, the stunning freeform swimming pool or the spa.
We think Kenya is the ultimate for beach and bush holiday combos. With the average temperature a balmy late twenties during December-February, it is the perfect time to travel. Couples and families alike will enjoy visiting our favourite lodges in the Masai Mara, even when the wildebeest migration isn't in the region, the game viewing is extremely rewarding. After fulfilling the 'bush' portion of your trip take your pick of the beautiful beaches, untouched by the modern world on the Kenyan Coast or head to Zanzibar for chalk white sand and tropical seas.
When we think of winter sun we normally conjure up images of white sands and clear turquoise seas, but what about those looking for something a little more active? Head to the wonderful Portetta, located at the foot of the slopes of Courchevel 1650 in the Three Valleys, for the ultimate ski-in, ski-out break. The hotel has the largest sun terrace on the mountain, perfect for a relaxing vin chaud or long lunch.