Travel Inspiration

Where's Hot in Winter?

Where's Hot in Winter?

When the weather outside is frightful, a warm winter escape sounds delightful. It’s also a sure-fire way to beat the January blues. Swap sofas for sun beds in the Caribbean, thermal socks for sandals in laidback Lamu – Kenya’s posterchild for castaway fantasies – and leftover turkey for crunchy brisket in one of Miami’s hottest restaurants. If you like your heat with a side of history, Morocco’s northernmost city, Tangier, puts on a feast with its ten plus museums, while Colombia’s Medellín is proof that comeback stories are the best of them all. See below for our edit of where’s hot in winter.   


  1. Barbados, Caribbean
  2. Medellín, Colombia
  3. Lamu, Kenya
  4. Miami, USA
  5. Tangier, Morocco




If there’s one place that knows how to beat the winter chill, it’s Barbados. Home to world-class resorts and shot-silk waters, it’s the ultimate island idyll. Beaches are sun drenched, bars are rum drenched and every landscape you could possibly imagine seems to exist on this tiny island. Swap crisp country walks for surf lessons off Bathsheba, take a step back in time at St Nicholas Abbey, famed for its formal gardens and spectacular views (and working rum distillery), and head beneath the waves at Smitons Bay to catch a glimpse of its flamboyant fish and turtles. With temperatures topping the high 20s too, you’d be more than forgiven for trading your Sunday roast for Oistins Fish Fry. What could scream winter more than a plate of fried fish, a beach view and an iconic Caribbean sunset?


Barbados's beach




If you’re after the simple answer to where’s hot in winter, it’s Medellín. Once one of the world’s most dangerous cities, it’s now one of its most innovative (as decreed by the Urban Land Institute in 2013) and beautiful (thanks to its location in the leafy Aburrá Valley, famed for its coffee plantations, flower farms, orchids and butterflies). Temperatures rarely dip below 27°C so its newfound charm and sobriquet, ‘City of Eternal Spring’, can reign supreme throughout the year. In Patio Bonito, bohemia comes by the bucketful in its hipster bars, cafes and restaurants, while in sleepy Sabaneta, it’s all about its central parque, where you’ll find laidback locals enjoying alfresco coffees.




Lamu’s been laying low for a while. But ever since the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office lifted its travel advisory in 2021, the island has been making waves in the winter sun department. Its UNESCO-listed old town is a sea of whitewashed walls and pale plaster paths, interrupted only by blush bougainvillea, colourful clothes lines and the odd dawdling donkey. Its beaches are unspoiled thanks to the island’s ban on cars and resorts that have successfully combined low-key style with sustainable practices; and its marine national park (trumped only by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in terms of biodiversity) is the perfect site to spot whale sharks, mantas and humpbacks. With temperatures hovering in the high 20s too, we can think of no better place for a post-safari slumber.


landscape in Lamu

Image by Olivier Romano




It is probably not a coincidence that Miami’s basketball team is called Miami Heat. Basking in an average annual temperature of 25°C, this is a city that doesn’t understand the concept of cold. Its Ocean Drive-backed beaches are every bit as beautiful as you’d expect, with swathes of white sand punctuated only by Crayola-bright lifeguard stations and palm trees, its nightlife is iconic while its restaurant scene can’t help but serve up delight after delight (think crunchy tacos al pastor at Los Felix and shichimi-rubbed wagyu brisket at cool as a cucumber KYU). But Miami’s more than just beaches and bars, it’s museums, art galleries and atmospheric neighbourhoods like Little Havana, where the sounds and scent of wafting cigars and salsa spill out of shopfronts.


Building in Miami




Tangier puts a whole different spin on the phrase ‘winter warmer’ during the cold months. Boasting balmy 20°C temperatures and a three-hour flight time from London, it’ll feel like a mere hop skip and a jump into the sun. Start in its 17th-century kasbah, where creatives such as Matisse and the Rolling Stones once lingered, working your way through its labyrinthine streets to tea terraces. Spend afternoons ambling around the slick Kasbah Museum and Kasbah Collective – a vibrant concept store filled with Moroccan-made ceramics, clothing and artwork – and nights at La Saveur de Poisson, where five-course feasts await. Culturally hefty but far less frenzied than Marrakech, with sanguine temperatures and myriad intriguing sites, Morocco’s northern tip is the perfect answer to where’s hot in winter.


Written by Naomi Pike 

Header Image by Olivier Romano