Top Reopenings for Winter Sun

Closed to visitors last winter, the following countries have all now reopened their borders, making them a great bet for a spot of winter sun. We’ve looked at what makes them such a winning bet for winter 2022–23.

South Africa

Having removed all of its entry requirements, one of the world’s most spectacular destinations is a great choice in the British wintertime, with temperatures of 22– 33°C and great birding conditions in addition to little jetlag.

Fascinating Cape Town is also a great starting point for trips into the hinterland or along the coast, including the much-loved Garden Route with its ancient forests, remote artist communities, mountain hideaways and beaches, and dolphin and killer whale sightings. Also radiating out from Cape Town are tempting wine routes winding up the river valleys. 

Goa, India

India needs full vaccination or a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior to departure. A classic spot for winter sunshine, the small state of Goa blends Indian and Portuguese cultures and spirituality with golden-sand beaches each backed by its own unique community, whether that be backpacker, hippy, five-star or tropical hideaway.

This is a great place for wellbeing, including yoga and mediation, and for spirituality-based spa experiences, but there is also plenty of colonial and native architecture and heritage to discover, including Portuguese baroque architecture, whitewashed churches, crumbling forts and Old Goa’s cathedrals.


This epic destination has dropped all vaccination and testing requirements, and the British wintertime is an especially great time to visit the southern half of Australia, with their summer (December to February) bringing lots of lovely hot weather.

Head for the glorious beaches, the marine life encounters and the fabulous seafood eateries, celebrate Christmas like a true Australian, with a beach barbecue. see in New Year Sydney-style with its iconic harbour fireworks, hike the fabulous trails of Tasmania, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, or explore the wildlife and foodie paradise of Kangaroo Island.


This multicultural powerhouse, which needs either proof of full vaccination or recovery from COVID, is more captivating than ever. At this time of year, its heat is tempered by it being a surprisingly green and eco-friendly destination, with a vast array of parks, gardens and nature reserves.

These include the unique Gardens by the Bay nature park with its sci-fi-like Supertrees – vertical gardens stunningly illuminated by night – and its ferries to Pulau Ubin islands with its traditional Kampung villages, Chek Jawa wetland nature reserve park, and cycle trails and footpaths.

New Zealand

This far-flung destination has axed its pre-departure COVID tests earlier than planned; travellers now only need proof of vaccination. December–February are beach months for locals and visitors alike, although there are plenty of adventures and activities to be had, from scuba-diving and rock-climbing to hot-air ballooning.

The urban life and culture merit your time too, from Maori traditions and British settler history, to the excellent restaurant scene and fascinating museums of major cities.

For more inspiration or to book your winter sun holiday today, get in touch today.

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