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Six top spots for winter sun

A Place in the Sun presenters Ben Hillman, Laura Hamilton and Scarlette Douglas reveal their favourite destinations to catch some rays

Published: Monday, 4th January 2016 at 2:00 pm

Three sun-drenched destinations further afield...

Nevis

"Nevis is a beautiful, tiny Caribbean island full of warm, welcoming people," advises Scarlette Douglas. "There's delicious food, colourful plants and beaches that make you never want to go home. It stays around 30 degrees – that's their winter!

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Nevis

"Visit the botanical gardens in Montpelier Estate, which has acres of tropical plants and trees. The gardener, Terry, has been there for 30 years and knows everything. The hot springs in Charlestown, the capital, are great – but don't stay in longer than 15 minutes or you'll be drained!

"Oualie Beach has a great music night every Tuesday and a beach that is so chilled out. Down at Lovers Beach you can see turtles laying their eggs if you're lucky – November is the best time for that. Most communities are built around plantation hotels rather than towns, and they often have cultural events on. There's also a heritage trail that takes you around the island and teaches you about its history.

"You can find little food shacks as you drive around for very tasty, traditional food. Hotels do good food too, but it's usually been modified by a chef trying to create some sort of fusion meal. Head to Lime Beach Bar on Pinney's Beach for top-notch, fresh fare and a great atmosphere."


RT Travel offer: save up to 40% on a winter cruise to the Azores islands, Madeira, Portugal and a dozen Caribbean isles


Orlando

"I have recently been filming in Orlando which a great place to take the family," says Laura Hamilton. "I first went with my family when I was eight and this year I've been twice with my own children. Although my son Rocco is only two, he loved going to the theme parks – Disney's Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom were his favourites.

"Davenport and Kissimmee are the best locations in terms of access to parks. They are also great areas to stay in if you want some retail therapy at the fantastic designer outlet stores.

Orlando, Florida

"There is a huge array of eateries to choose from along the 192 highway from crab shacks to kobe steak to sushi. The portions in most of the restaurants are enormous so be careful what you order. Two of my favourite places to eat are The Cheesecake Factory at The Mall at Millenia and Buca di Beppo, an Italian restaurant at Florida Mall. Buca is ideal for families you can even take a tour of the kitchen and watch the chefs cook as you eat.

"I wouldn't describe Orlando as a pretty place but there is tons to do. If you are heading to Florida and want to combine a beach and theme-park holiday, the coast is only an hour and a half away towards Tampa."

Perhentian Islands

"These Malaysian islands aren't strictly a winter destination because they shutdown during monsoon season, which lasts from mid-November to mid-February. Visit in late October to grab some last-minute sun before the winter sets in back home.

"Getting there requires tenacity but you can't expect paradise to be on your doorstep! You will need to fly 12 hours from London to Kuala Lumpur and get a connecting one-hour flight to Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. Then it's a short taxi ride to the coast to jump on to a speed boat that will ferry you to the islands in 45 minutes.

"Go there to get back to nature: stay in your own beach hut and spend long, lazy days soaking up the rays and swimming in the turquoise waters. Wildlife includes huge monitor lizards, monkeys and nesting turtles. Some of the best sights are found underwater so diving is a must to glimpse reef sharks, sea turtles and tropical fish among the coral reef.

The Perhentians

"Sadly the coral reef is in decline so be sure you book with dive schools that are eco-friendly. If you want a break from the water, go jungle-trekking.

"There are a number of places to eat on the islands although the menus tend to be limited. Freshly caught king fish is a common dish, served with salad and potatoes. When my wife learnt to dive there, the guys that ran the dive school put on BBQs in the evenings while singing around the fire."


Visit our holiday site for the latest travel offers


A Place in the Sun – Winter Sun returns on weekday afternoons from January 4th on Channel 4, and Monday nights at 9pm from January 11th on More 4.

You can find out more about buying property abroad by visiting A Place in the Sun Live at Manchester Central 11th – 13th March 2016 or London Olympia 6th – 8th May 2016.

For free tickets, visit: aplaceinthesun.com/exhibitions/manchester and enter the code "mancomp" or aplaceinthesun.com/exhibitions/london and enter the code "loncomp"

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