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Winter Sun Destinations

The Algarve has drawn visitors, siren-like, to its sun-drenched shores for years – its gently shelving beaches and warm air currents make for a tempting mix of ingredients. The coastline is simply beautiful – long stretches of golden sands are washed by refreshing seas and red sandstone cliffs seclude delightful bays.
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Costa Blanca
Meaning the 'white coast', Costa Blanca offers spectacular beaches and a warm welcome that, over the years, has made it a firm favourite with British holidaymakers. Boasting soaring skyscrapers, the main resort, Benidorm, is reminiscent of Manhattan and is just as vibrant with its heady mix of sizzling nightlife and bustling boulevards lined with bars, shops, cafes and restaurants. Inland, it's a different story altogether. The tranquil hillsides of the Costa Blanca play host to tiny whitewashed villages that look out over citrus groves and lush vineyards. Head away from the Costa Blanca's coastal resorts and discover olive and citrus groves, rugged mountain scenery and colourful hilltop villages. Perhaps the most famous is the whitewashed town of Guadalest. Boasting a dramatic Moorish fortress, it's well worth a visit and provides a real insight into Spanish life and culture.This region really has got it all – glorious sunshine, long swathes of sugar-soft sands, and resorts to suit all tastes. What more could you ask for?
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Costa Del Sol
Southern Spain embodies all that is typically Spanish...sun-soaked beaches, passionate flamenco dancers, Moorish castles, orange groves, proud matadors and sleepy whitewashed towns. The Costa del Sol is the perfect gateway to this quintessential picture of Spain and offers so much more besides. From the cosmopolitan marinas of Marbella to the top class golf courses of Fuengirola, from the glittering sands of Torremolinos to the lively tapas bars of Nerja, the resorts that make up Spain's 'sunshine coast' offer all ages a fascinating spectrum of sights and activities, both by day and night.
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Cyprus (Paphos)
The legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, Cyprus is a beautiful land of undulating contours bathed in almost luminous sunshine where glittering Mediterranean waters lap golden shores. Inland, rocky plains give way to hills and ‘kokkinokhoria’, or ‘red villages’, so called because of the red-tinged local soil. Punctuated by windmills, these sleepy towns offer a fascinating glimpse into everyday Cypriot life and stand in real contrast to the effervescent coastal resorts of Protaras and Ayia Napa - the latter of which has earned itself an international reputation for great nightlife and stands shoulder to shoulder with Ibiza as a premier Mediterranean clubbing destination.

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Egypt (Nile)

Overflowing with ancient treasures from a bygone age, the captivating city of Luxor is truly the jewel of the Nile. Magnificent temples, shrines and monuments pepper the banks of the meandering river and provide a fantastic insight into a past where once great pharaohs and animal-headed gods reigned supreme. Sitting to the south of Cairo, it lies on completely flat land and has glorious views over the Egyptian flood plains. Not many resorts can boast such a treasure trove of ancient sights barely a stone’s throw away from their luxurious hotel pool, but Luxor is actually built on the 4,000 year old ruins of Thebes.

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Egypt (Red Sea)

The warm waters of the Red Sea play host to an aquatic wonderland alive with colourful tropical fish and stunning marine life. This top scuba diving resort has been dubbed one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World and attracts aficionados year after year. Above sea level, you'll be welcomed by a sunbather's dream where white sands are dotted with parasols, elegant palms and small cafés. Lie back, unwind and let the hot, yellow rays warm your sun-kissed skin. This fashionable coastal area is a jewel in Egypt's crown and offers a relaxing alternative to the ancient treasures of the Nile.
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Holidays in Florida are all fun in the sun! Well why else would it be called the Sunshine State? A firm favourite, Florida holidays aren't all about theme parks. Granted, they've got them by the bucketload. You could say it's the birthplace of thrills and spill, characters and magical lands. But step away from the smiley happy atmosphere of the parks and you'll find a different vibe instantly.

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Soft, white sands, rolling waves and attractive resorts make Fuerteventura, the second largest of the Canary Islands, a natural playground for beach lovers and watersports enthusiasts. If you don’t want to do anything more energetic than lie on the shore and soak up the sun, Fuerteventura is a wonderful place to unwind – days can almost come to a complete standstill and evenings seem to roll on endlessly towards the cobalt blue horizon.

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Africa’s smallest nation is renowned for its broadest smiles. This famously welcoming country also packs a huge diversity of landscape into its narrow boundaries, from the ribbon of soft sand hemming its Atlantic shore, to mangrove swamps and mahogany woodland along its river banks. A wonderful winter-warmer.

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Vibrant and steeped in tradition, India seizes the senses with its confection of culture, colours and legends. Gleaming palaces and great temples can be found along with the dusty remnants of some of the world's oldest civilisations. Goa offers a more westernised version of the sub-continent where exhilarating local markets stacked with spices and silks teem with activity and vast sandy beaches are lapped by the Arabian Sea. Colonial churches, the streets of the capital and the temples of Ponda add local colour and are all richly rewarding.

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Gran Canaria

The volcanic activity that created the Canary Islands has left behind a magnificent legacy. Perhaps the most scenic of the Canarian archipelago, Gran Canaria boasts a stunning mountainous interior where rugged ravines and gaping gulleys become more fertile and lush with altitude. Winding roads snake up mountainsides to pretty whitewashed villages surrounded by spiky cacti. In contrast, bright and breezy coastal resorts bustle with life and excitement and play host to a superb selection of shops, restaurants and bars as well as long stretches of golden, sandy beaches where you can bask beneath the sub-tropical sun.

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Bathed in sunshine and boasting glorious beaches, Lanzarote is considered by many to be the most beautiful of the Canaries. Swirling multi-coloured rock strata, soaring purple volcanic peaks and jet black solidified lava streams punctuate Lanzarote's stark, moon-like landscape giving it a hauntingly beautiful, otherworldly magnificence.
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The bewitching isle of Madeira rises up from the sparkling waves of the Atlantic Ocean like an emerald jewel. Boasting a balmy, sub-tropical climate, Madeira is renowned for its stunning scenery, simply overflowing with exotic flora. Awash with colour throughout the year, Madeira is affectionately called the 'Floating Garden'. Dramatic mountains overlook terracotta-roofed villages and vineyards heavy with grapes, while lush meadows speckled with fuchsia pink and bright orange blooms spill down valleys and volcanic hillsides to a dramatic coastline lapped by waters of deepest blue.
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Holidays in Majorca offer an astonishing variety of things to see and do. Non-stop partying in Magaluf. Walking the broad plains and rolling countryside of Es Pla. And long tapas lunches in Cosmopolitan Palma. There's something for everyone in fabulous Majorca.

If you like to explore, holidays in Majorca are right up your street. Palma, the island's capital, offers a wealth of sights to be discovered. Check out some of the museums. Walk round the old cathedrals and castles. Or just kick back by the harbourside. But it's not all about Palma. From glass bottom boat rides in Calas de Majorca, to the peaceful botanical gardens of Soller, there's never a dull moment.
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Malta – the very name conjures up thoughts of the George Cross and enough historical sights to keep you busy for a month. But there's so much more to this little beauty than a fascinating past. These days you're just as likely to hear about its film locations and nightlife as you are its history and culture. The Hollywood swords 'n' sandals epics Troy, Gladiator and Alexander were all filmed on the island's sunny shores. And world famous DJs are flocking here to spin some discs at the up-and-coming hotspots.

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Make no mistake about it, holidays in Morocco have got what it takes to wow you. Whether you're lounging on soft golden sands in Agadir or haggling your heart out in the exotic souks of Marrakech, a Morocco holiday will capture your imagination like nowhere else on earth.

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Holidays in Tenerife certainly pack a punch when it comes to sun-drenched beach breaks. Jaw dropping to say the least, this island is less golden swathes of sand and more black volcanic seashores. But if it's yellow-white sands you're after, you'll find your ideal summer holiday spot in Las Teresitas. One thing's for sure, you'll return from your Tenerife holiday with a tan that even the most discerning sun-seeker would be proud of.

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Beyond its sun-soaked shores and sandy beaches, Tunisia is an exotic land of desert oases, Roman ruins, exquisite mosques and intriguing walled 'medinas'. Although an Arab country, it has a distinct Mediterranean character about it, moulded in part by a century of French colonial rule. Combining miles of pristine beaches with the mysterious atmosphere of North Africa, Tunisia is a fascinating mix of the ancient and modern.

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Thomas Cook UK

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