This time of year marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, while for those of us south of the equator, it’s the unofficial beginning of winter - and all the cold it brings with it! To fight those winter blues and inspire you to take a trip to sunnier shores, we’re exploring six holiday destinations around the globe with the highest amounts of sunshine per year. So lose the fluffy socks and strap on your wide-brimmed hat because things are about to get hot in here!
Madagascar, Indian Ocean
The island country of Madagascar, also known as the 'Land of the Lemurs', clocks up a whopping 3,500 hours of sunshine each year or close to 10 hours a day. With all those rays to soak up, it only makes sense that this is a destination dotted with beautiful beaches, tropical rainforest, dazzling deserts and radiant reefs, all waiting to be explored. The perfect location for avid adventurists who thrive in the daytime majesty of nature.
With the exception of Yuma, a small city in southwestern Arizona, Phoenix sees more sunny days than any other city in the world. Nicknamed the 'Valley of the Sun', its unique subtropical desert climate provides a great environment to explore the city's surrounding parks and preserves. In fact it’s surrounded by mountains on all sides, so if hilly hikes and scenic views are your thing, the red sandstone of the Sonoran Desert awaits you - just remember to pack your sunscreen!
A sacred town on the island of Crete, Lerapetra is the ideal spot for sunworshippers. With seemingly endless beaches of golden sand and warm winds, this sun-drenched city - whose name translates to ‘sacred stone’ - offers holidays that move at a leisurely pace and can be taken virtually all year round. Being one of the island's lesser-known towns, you’re guaranteed a more low-key experience while still being spoilt for choice when it comes to seaside tavernas, cafes and bars.
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Dead in the middle of Australia’s Red Centre, you’d expect a few scorchers from Alice Springs. With up to 11 hours of sunshine each day - even in the cold temperatures of winter - it really is a climate of extremes. The best time to experience the freshwater swimming holes, impressive gorges and phenomenal rock formations unique to this ancient landscape is during the Autumn months.
Marsa Alam, Egypt
A diver’s paradise is the simplest way to describe this town on the western coast of the Red Sea. Marsa Alam is rising in popularity as a premium tourist destination due to its enchanting reefs, pristine sea life and fascinating underwater treasures. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s close to 4,000 hours of sunshine each year. In what used to be a small fishing village, you can now enjoy high-quality luxury accommodations, desert trekking, ATV dune riding and even diving with dugongs. So next time you’re considering Egypt as a holiday destination, don’t forget it has a lot more to offer in addition to the temples, tombs and pyramids in the north.
Belle Mare, Mauritius
If your idea of the perfect holiday includes suntanning on a pristine white-sand beach, tropical drink in hand, then Belle Mare in Mauritius is the place for you. Situated in the heart of the Indian Ocean and next to the Tropic of Capricorn with the sun directly overhead, this idyllic island rarely sees a cloudy day, making it the perfect year-round family escape. As well as revelling in the island’s crystal clear lagoons, visitors typically opt for hiking up its lush mountains and exploring the wealth of delicious dining options on offer.
Fancy a holiday in any of these hot spots? We don't blame you. Get in touch with your local Travellers Choice agent to book!