Top four winter sun travel destinations from Manchester

While Manchester in winter offers plenty to do in the way of entertainment, there’s not much to be said for the amount of sunshine we see this time of year.

Luckily, Manchester Airport offers a gateway to destinations that are only a stone’s throw away by plane, yet will leave you feeling like you’re on the other side of the world. And, being low season, airfare is often cheaper too.

So pack the sunscreen, put on your swimsuit and book a flight to one of these sunny destinations to enjoy a balmy beach holiday in the middle of winter!

Madeira, Portugal

This beautiful Portuguese island is found just off the North West coast of Africa. With several small towns to explore including the picturesque Funchal, there’s plenty to do on the island.

Nature lovers will enjoy hikes on the rugged, lush landscape, while wine lover can indulge in the famous Madeiran wine or Poncha, a delicious citrus-flavoured liquor favoured by locals.

Average high temperature in winter: 19°C

Flight time from Manchester: 4h 0m

Ibiza, Spain

In the summer months, tourists flock to Ibiza in search of parties the Spanish island is famed for. And while the winter has far fewer parties (and tourists) one thing that does stick around is the sun.

With only five days of precipitation in the winter months, you’ll be sure to get a fair share of sunshine while you explore the charming villages that are scattered throughout the island and enjoy the stunning beaches without the masses of party-hungry tourists.

Average high temperature in winter: 17°C

Flight time from Manchester: 5h 0m +


Malta is the perfect destination for travellers who enjoy outdoor activities. Hiking and horse riding along the beach are both popular ways to take advantage of the balmy Mediterranean winter weather, although the island sees a bit more rain than the other destinations on this list.

If you’re travelling in February, you’ll be lucky enough to witness the Maltese Carnival, a celebration synonymous with bright colours, fun events and a whole love of festivity.

Average temperature in winter: 16°C

Flight time from Manchester:  3h 25m


If it’s a winter beach holiday you’re after then Cyprus might be one of the strongest contenders. The Island has one of the warmest winters in Europe with temperatures as high as 23°C during the day.

Take a dip in the sea if you can bear the 17°C water temperature, and enjoy the mixture of both Turkish and Greek culture that reflects in the cuisine, customs and interesting history. There are also fascinating ancient ruins to explore and well as a range of outdoor activities like hiking and scuba diving.

Average temperature in winter: 18°C

Flight time from Manchester to Paphos: 4h 45m

Travel tips

While cancelled or delayed flights can be frustrating, the good news is you may be entitled to up to €600, a full refund or both according to EU legislation! 

If you’re flying to a European winter sun destination and you experience issues with the airline, you may be entitled to compensation. Even flights from low-cost airlines such as Wizz Air are eligible for compensation – so be sure to check with a reputable company such as AirHelp.

Image courtesy of Tom Jutte via Flickr, with thanks.

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