Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


Top 3 Family Friendly Destinations for Winter Sun


Being a South African expat I find that even after nearly a decade living in the UK that the winters are still a struggle, as much as the magic of snow will never fade the idea of those short days and long nights and the biting wind that lingers just a little bit too long for me are always hard. I find my main coping method to this is seeking out a little winter sunshine as it's surprising what a week or two away in a different country, culture and climate really does wonders for the soul and goes a long way to breaking up those cold winter months.

If you are a regular reader to my blog you will know we always travel as a family so that is always a factor when deciding and planning trips away. It doesn't necessarily mean we need everything tailor towards children but knowing where ever we decided to go that children are welcome is important to us wether it be a city, beach or culture break. I have put together our top 3 destinations if your looking for a does of sunshine this winter.

Spanish Island
Beautiful Tenerife offers a lot for those who enjoy the outdoors

1. Tenerife

Tenerife is one of those destinations I actually prefer to visit during the off peak seasons when it's a little bit more relaxing and quieter yet you can still take advantage of the stunning beaches and endless sunshine even during the winter months. With November and December temperatures averaging at around 24 degrees this is perfect for families with young children as its a very manageable temperature and warm enough to enjoy swimming in the sea and hotel pools. The colonial towns are also a fantastic place to explore the islands history and get a dose of Spanish culture and for those who like a little bit of adventure than why not take the cable car up Mount Teide, the tallest mountain in Spain and be inspired by the break taking views from the top. One of the major pros of going to somewhere like Tenerife during the winter is the amazing offers

Lisbon is perfect for sunny cultural city break

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has been on our list for a while and you may be surprised to see it on this list as it's more a city break destination that anything else but here are the reasons why - firstly it's less than a 3hr flight from the UK making it fairly quick and easy trip with small children. Also over the past few years it's seen a bit of a food revolution and become a real hot bed for pop up restaurants and street food which is the perfect way to dive straight into that warmer and more carefree Portuguese culture. It's not the hottest destination on this list but with November temperatures sitting happily around 14 degree it's an improvement on the UK's 7 degrees for the same time of the year as well as nearly doubling the UK's daily sunshine hours.

Boulders beach in Cape Town is a must see spot for sunshine and Penguins

3. Cape Town

Having grown up in Cape Town I can say from a personal stand point that November through to February is the most beautiful time to explore one of Africa's most southernly cities. It maybe the longest flight time but on most long distance trips children are well looked after and if you need some tips of keeping kids entertained while travelling do check out this vlog all about that. With an array of things to do including crystal clear beaches, hiking up Table Mountain, a safari adventure or enjoying some wine and eating al fresco at a concert in the Botanical Gardens, Cape Town has plenty to offer families under the never ending blue skies.

Why should winter feel like an endurance? Why don't you make it that exciting time of the year when you take your annual family holiday, its the perfect way to keep spirits up when your flagging little from the rain and cold as well as the post Christmas blues. Have you been anywhere interesting during the winter months?


  1. I experienced a Cape Town many years ago, and you're right, it's incredible! I've been hearing a lot about Lisbon too, and Tenerife is top of my list for this coming half-term.

  2. I too hate the cold winters and if it was not for work commitments I would live in a warmer climate in the winter months.

  3. I'd love to visit Cape Town sometime! But honestly, any sunny destination would work for me during winter. Where I live it gets so dark. We only have a couple of hours of sun a day starting from late october/early november until february or so.

  4. Funny enough my dad is in Portugal now and loves it. I havent had my passport renewed in nearly 20 years though so can't see me going anywhere soon! lol x

  5. Now I really want a winter holiday! I went to Portugal when I was younger and loved it. It's such a beautiful place x

  6. This is a really great post for me as we are trying to plan our next holiday, our 1st one with our baby son as well as our 6yr/o. Husband is already bidding for Tenerife as we went last year and it was fab for a family holiday. I have friends who live right by table mountain and they hike it all the time. The pictures they post are breath taking so it must be unexplainable in real life! I'd be more likely to win the lottery than convince my husband to take the kids long haul though! Lol. Here visitng from UK parent bloggers fb group :-)


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