10 ways to escape Britain’s winter gloom – from just £13 a day

If you can go abroad for three months, congratulations. But even three weeks or a month will do you more good than an SAD therapy lamp or scrolling through the holidays for next summer.

Believe me, I tested the theory. I flew to Mexico on Christmas Day and spent three weeks in the Yucatán Peninsula. One year, I spent the whole month of February on the Brazilian coast. I used a month in Andalusia to work on a guide. I missed leftover turkeys, walks in the snowy hills and my wood stove not one iota.

You might think that fuel costs and rampant inflation will make vacationing unrealistic this winter. But some economies appear to have avoided the worst of the so-called global cost of living crisis. It’s crazy publicity to say “it would cost less to go abroad than to turn on the central heating”. But you can go to Cyprus for £12.75 per person per day, and many places cost around £50-60 per day – some offering breakfast or half board plus flights and transfers.

Here is a selection of packages and countries suitable for winter getaways. It is by no means exhaustive. We could also have included Cape Verde, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Malta, Senegal and the southernmost of the Spanish Costas and the Portuguese Algarve. Not all destinations offer the same degree of heat or minutes of sunshine in mid-January, but they are certainly more comfortable than even the most temperate corners of the UK.

1. Morocco: Relax in a luxury riad – from £50 per day

On the edge of the Sahara, Morocco has blue skies for much of the winter, and Marrakech is arguably at its most beautiful when the heat isn’t scorching but soothing. Tangier is pleasant too, and the cooler afternoons make strolls around the main sights and the old medina more pleasant than ever. Package day trippers from Spain are also dwindling, meaning you get a real sense of the city, its café culture and local life. The Atlas Mountains turn chilly and January campers will welcome an open fire once dusk falls.

It is easy to get around Morocco and you can find accommodation at very reasonable prices. As a base, the port city and seaside resort of Essaouira is a good choice; it has art galleries, palm-lined boulevards and some of the best hotels in the country – and its famous sea breeze drops in winter.

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