Islands to beat the winter blue
Jet off to a sunny isle and leave the cold weather behind…
At the southern end of the archipelago, Tobago offers value for money on one of the safest Caribbean islands. It’s laid-back with exotic beaches, dazzling coral reefs and one of the oldest rainforest reserves in the western world.
● Stay: A luxury oceanfront hotel, Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort is a gem on the island’s south-west corner. Rooms from £120; magdalenagrand.com
Glistening like a pearl off the southern tip of India, this small island is fringed with sandy beaches, backed by tea plantations and mountains dotted with waterfalls. If you’re into culture, you’ll love the ancient capitals, especially the rock fortress of Sigiriya, and Kandy up in the hills.
● Stay: Find stylish rooms with traditional touches at Anantara Kalutara Resort on the south-west coast. Rooms from £113; anantara.com
Out in the Atlantic, Madeira is in bloom all year round, with a pleasant climate and much of the land protected by a nature park. If you’re keen on fresh air and scenery, Madeira is a dream.
● Stay: Head to Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca. Rooms from £154; quintacasabranca.com
Just a four-hour flight away, Lanzarote lures visitors with its gleaming white villas, a stunning contrast to the dark volcanic soil. Beaches beckon, while in the Timanfaya National Park old lava craters whizz you into another world. The main resort is Puerto del Carmen, with enough restaurants to keep you happy for days.
● Stay: Find a chic collection of 70 apartments at Nautilus Lanzarote. Rooms from £84; nautilus-lanzarote.com
If you long for magnificent beaches and crystal-clear lagoons, Mauritius is for you. With superb resorts and miles of white sands, it’s the ultimate paradise in the Indian Ocean.
● Stay: The Salt of Palmar Mauritius is an adult-only boutique hotel. Rooms from £74; saltresorts.com/en/ mauritius/hotel/saltofpalmar
With resorts and beaches aplenty, Corfu is a crowd-pleaser. Explore the island’s medieval capital – Corfu Old Town is a warren of alleyways filled with gift shops and cafes. Or head up to Old Perithia, a gorgeous hideaway with views out to the Ionian island.
● Stay: If you want to soak in the romantic, secluded atmosphere of Old Perithia, stay at the Merchant’s House – a glorious little B&B filled with antiques. Rooms from £73; themerchantshousecorfu.com