Follow The Sun!

Enjoy Jamaica

Hours of sunshine in Oct / Nov: 8
Average temp: 26C
Flight time: 9 hours

Why go: This lush, Caribbean island will fulfill all your fantasies of golden sandy beaches and turquoise seas, along with a good dose of rum, of course!

What to do: You could spend all day sunbathing, but there’s more to Jamaica than you think. You could go horseriding, do a Bob Marley tour, ziplining, jungle-river tubing (all via, or just cycling or hiking. Don’t miss the impressive Dunn’s River Falls, in Ocho Rios, a refreshing place to spend the day, or take a relaxing catamaran cruise around the coast ( – a great way to see the island from a different perspective.

Where to stay: The idyllic Couples Sans Souci resort, next to Ocho Rios, is the perfect romantic getaway. All 150 well-appointed suites are ocean facing, the natural spa has been named best in the Caribbean, and there are several restaurants on offer, serving everything from traditional Jamaican cuisine to Mediterranean dishes and BBQs on the beach.

Get there: 7 nights at Couples Sans Souci in a Deluxe Ocean starts at £1424 per person, inclusive of flights, from 21 September. To book, visit For more info, go to

Explore the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Hours of sunshine in Oct / Nov: 9
Average temp: 20C
Flight time: 22 hours indirect

Why go: There are fears this natural wonder of the world – which can be seen from space – may be under threat from global warming, so see it while you still have the chance.

What to do: See the reef from all directions! Take a helicopter tour; it’s probably the best way to get a sense of its size and scale, not to mention the fact you can almost see the bottom of the ocean due to the clarity of the water. Flying over the famous and iconic heart-shaped reef is a thrill. You can also be dropped off on Whitsunday Island’s Whitehaven beach, renowned for its pure, fine, white silica sand, with a picnic and snorkel equipment.

Where to stay:
One&Only Hayman Island is a private resort situated on the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands. This upmarket beachfront hotel is home to 160 rooms (including several suites), with two pools, a gym, spa, watersports centre, stylish lounge bar, Bar Fifty, and five restaurants – including Italian at Amici and Asian at Bamboo. Rooms are tastefully decorated in cool shades of light grey, blue, white and sand, with colourful printed cushions and modern artworks; some of those in the Pool Wing have decks from which you can plunge straight into the water. The vibe is relaxation, Aussie-style, and it’s fantastic for families due to the well-staffed Kids’ Club.

Get there: Spend 4 nights at One&Only Hayman Island (two people sharing a Lagoon Room including breakfast), followed by 3 nights full-board at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in a Heritage Suite, from £4,425 per person, including flights. For further info contact Elegant Resorts Reservations on 01244 897515 or visit For further info on One&Only Resorts, visit

Marvellous Malta

Hours of sunshine in Oct / Nov: 8

Average temp: 21C
Flight time:
3 hours

Why go: Its various rulers over the years have left this craggy, but elegant, island with a compelling mixture of Arabian, Italian, Spanish, French and English influences…

What to do: Malta’s capital, the walled city of Valletta, is the best starting point. It was the seat of the Knights of St John, the famous military order of the Middle Ages; they built the imposing St John’s Co-Cathedral in the 1570s, which has a ridiculously ornate baroque interior. Gold leaf covers every wall and the main floor is composed of elaborate tombstones for the knights buried underneath. Stop for a drink at The Pub, where Oliver Reed drank his last ever pint while filming Gladiator. For fine views, head to the elegant Upper Barrakka Gardens, contained within the city walls, and look across to the town of Vittoriosa, with its red-domed churches. One of Malta’s prettiest fishing villages is Marsaxlokk, with a fabulous Sunday market, where you can see locals haggling for fine seafood. And a short drive away is UNESCO heritage site of Hagar Qim, one of the best preserved of Malta’s megalithic structures.

Where to stay: The Le Meridien St Julian’s Hotel and Spa is an impressive, modern five star property by the bay in the stylish and vibrant St Julian’s district, with dozens of cafes, bars, and restaurants nearby.

Get there: Malta Direct (Freephone: 0808 256 4836; offers seven nights at Le Meridien St Julian’s Hotel and Spa from £469 for October departures, or from £279 in November. Prices include direct return flights, transfers, free checked in baggage, free entry to a Malta attraction and rep service.

Have A Rum Do in Mauritius

Hours of sunshine in Oct / Nov: 9

Average temp: 24C
Flight time: 12 hours

Why go: A lush, volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, it’s surrounded by dozens of reefs – perfect for diving – and fringed by golden, sandy beaches.

What to do: There’s more to this island than just resorts; visit the capital, Port Louis, and haggle at the market for souvenirs and spices. Local craftsmen specialize in basket weaving, so take home a couple of colourful examples. But you might be more interested in a tour of one of Mauritius’ five rum distilleries; Chamurel Rhumerie, which opened in 2008, is the biggest, producing 140,000 litres of rum every year. The best bit, of course, is trying their products afterwards; from single distilled to VSOP, you can taste notes like vanilla, caramel, and, well, sunshine.

Where to stay: The One&Only St Geran hotel (the island’s very first luxury property, opened in 1975) is situated on its own private peninsula in Belle Mare, on the north east coast. The 162 sea-facing suites – each with its own 24-hour butler – are decorated to fit in with the surroundings, in pale browns, creams and terracottas, with teak slatted balcony doors. Set amongst 60 acres of gardens, studded with exotic flowers, it’s the 1.7km of secluded, palm-lined beach you’ll want to spend most time around, especially as dozens of watersports are included in the price of your stay.

Get there: Elegant Resorts (01244 897537 or offers 7 nights from £2,625 per person. Price is based on two persons sharing a Junior Suite on a complimentary half board basis, economy flights from London Gatwick with Emirates including private car transfers & UK lounge passes, valid 24 Oct-16 Dec 2016

Beautiful Bali

Hours of sunshine in Oct/Nov: 8
Average temp: 27C
Flight time: 16 hours indirect

Why go: Fringed with idyllic beaches, this mountainous, volcanic island is filled with sunshine, spirituality, temples and tradition…

What to do: Tempting as it is to spend all day relaxing, you’d be missing out if you didn’t explore some of Bali’s most alluring attractions. Start with the small town of Ubud, regarded as the island’s cultural centre, due to the local craftspeople who still make many items by hand. Lose yourself in its vast, thronging market, and barter for batik fabrics, sarongs, fans, toys, artwork and more – it’s fun, and we came away with armfuls of souvenirs! Nearby is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, an attractive, jungly conservation area home to hundreds of greedy and mischievous macaques; bring them a banana or two! Don’t miss seeing one of Bali’s most iconic sights, the lush, vivid, emerald green rice terraces; at Tegalalang, not far from Ubud, you’ll still see men and women in peaked, straw coolie hats tending to the crops. And one of the most spectacular Balinese traditions is the fire dance, or kecak; based on an ancient story about a prince who rescues his bride from an evil king, it involves actual fire and is a breath-taking form of entertainment!

Where to stay: The Alili Seminyak sits at the edge of the Indian Ocean, on one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. The main restaurant is located by the pool, and you can gaze out to sea as you dine, while the hotel’s spa offers specialist treatments such as yoga massage, using stretching movements to relax and recharge. Rooms are decorated in chic, simple Balinese style. For a slightly more luxurious stay, check into the Alila Villas Soori; this peaceful, stunningly-designed resort features a range of private villas, all with their own pool.

Get there:  A seven night trip to Bali staying with Alila Hotels & Resorts starts from £2,459 per person with Western & Oriental. This price is based on two adults sharing and includes return flights with Malaysian Airlines, transfers, two nights at Alila Villas Soori, two nights at Alila Uluwatu and three nights at Alila Seminyak. Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Book with Western & Oriental – 020 3588 6130,

St Lucia

Hours of sunshine in Oct / Nov: 8
Average temp: 28C
Flight time: 13 hours

Why go: Endless beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, cocoa plantations and first class snorkeling; what more could you want from a winter sun destination?

What to do: Enjoy a rainforest hike on the Jacquot trail, which takes you through lush territory, passing ravines, creeks and waterfalls, and finding out about the local flora and fauna ( Or take a dip in the Sulphur Springs (, nicknamed the ‘world’s only drive in volcano’! You can have a mud bath and experience the naturally heated water. The truly adventurous – and fit! – can scale Gros Piton, one of the two distinctive mountains the island is famous for, which stands 2,619ft above sea level; and if you love chocolate (and who doesn’t?!), take a tour of the cacao plantation on the Rabot Estate, owned by the Hotel Chocolat chain (

Where to stay: Cap Maison is a family-operated boutique villa resort located on the northernmost tip of St. Lucia in Cap Estate, one of the most exclusive areas on the island. You’ll admire the dramatic cliff scenery with the tranquil waters of the Caribbean Sea on one side and the brisk Atlantic Ocean to the other. Designed in an elegant Spanish Caribbean style, Cap Maison’s 49 beautifully-appointed suites are spread over three acres of tropical landscaped grounds.

Get there: Guests of Caribtours can enjoy a seven night stay at Cap Maison for £1,789 per person, based on 2 Adults sharing a Garden View Room, including breakfast. Price includes return flights, private transfers and the use of a UK airport lounge ( 7751 0660).

Palma, Majorca

Hours of sunshine in Oct / Nov: 8
Average temp: 17C
Flight time: 2.5 hours

Why go: The pretty little harbour town of Palma is like a miniature Barcelona, with a waterfront, impressive Cathedral and plenty of great shopping, eating and drinking…

What to do: Take a stroll down Palma’s very own version of La Ramblas, Passeig d’es Born, which stretches down to the sea. Check out famous Spanish artists such as Picasso and Miro in the Es Baluard modern art museum, and pay a visit to the huge Gothic Cathedral – Gaudi himself redesigned part of the interior. Shopping addicts should head for the Carrer de Sant Miquel, which is lined with boutiques, or the Avinguda Jaume III.

Where to stay: Luxury five star hotel Pure Salt Garonda is set in prime position, right on Playa de Palma beach, just minutes from the city centre. For adults only, it boasts slick, modern décor, a spa with Turkish baths, and a restaurant serving local cuisine.

Get there: Stays at Pure Salt Garonda start from €199 per room per night based on two sharing on a B&B basis and includes taxes.


Hours of sunshine in Oct / Nov:

Average temp: 27C
Flight time: 11 hours

Why go: It’s where all those Bounty advert fantasies come true – pure white sand, softly waving palm trees, and iconic, suggestively shaped nuts…

What to do: Take a day trip to Curieuse island, a Marine National Park which is home to the famous Giant Tortoises (as well as sea turtles, rare birds such as the Seychelles Black Parrot, Coco de Mer palms, and towering takamaka trees). These huge reptiles are friendly and tame, meaning you can pet them and feed them leaves. Explore the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a beautiful forest stocked with the islands’ flora and fauna, and if you want gorgeous beaches, head to La Digue, the Seychelles’ third largest inhabited island. Famous for the large pink granite rocks which pepper the coastline, it boasts the award-winning Anse Source D’Argent, perfect for relaxing on.

Where to stay:
With spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, the Banyan Tree Seychelles luxury resort is nestled in the beautiful Intendance Bay on Mahe. Villas are decorated Creole-style, and most have ocean views and their own private pool. There are a range of restaurants and also a spa.

Get there:
Abercrombie & Kent offer 7 nights at Banyan Tree Seychelles from £2,435 per person, including flights; for more details visit