The climate in the UK in February is not ideal for romance, but there are a few destinations reachable within a few hours which are perfect for declaring your love in the sun.
What are the options?
With a fantastic 9-10 hours of sunshine a day, Tunisia tops the winter tanning chart. February averages temperatures of up to 18°C, perfectly comfortable for either lazing on the beach or exploring the historic cities of Sousse and Tunis. Flight times are short at 2.45 hrs from London and package holidays are inexpensive. With many of the major holiday tour operators such as Thomas Cook and First Choice represented in the most popular Tunisian resorts, a good deal is not hard to come by.
At 3.5hrs from London, Marrakech offers balmy average February temperatures of 20ºC. But if wandering the souks or camel riding in the desert is not romantic enough for you, then the stunning coastal city of Essaouira is where you need to be. A 2.5 hr transfer can take you to some of the best beaches in Morocco, a mecca for water sports enthusiasts. In the average 11 hours of daylight and 7 of sunshine, there are lots of sights to experience in this renowned community of artists. The town’s medina is perfect to give you an authentic taste of the East African souk culture, and the Moroccan food offers a culinary adventure not be missed.
Winter sun in Europe
The flat Maltese landscape is somewhat exposed and can be fairly windy at times, but in February, the weather remains mostly constant across the island. Averaging temperatures of 16°C it is not perfect beach weather, but if you are lucky enough to be on the island when a southern weather pattern races up from Africa, you can experience above-average heat. Served by Ryanair from most of the leading UK airports, it’s a tempting 3-3.5hr flight away.
A multitude of budget airlines fly to Cyprus from London’s main airports (Wizz Air, Blue Air, Ryanair and Easyjet), making it an attractive weekend destination with a quick 4.5 hr flight. This historic island renowned as the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love Aphrodite has one of the mildest winters in the Mediterranean. Although February is the coldest month of the year the daytime temperature can reach a pleasant 17°C during the 6 hrs of sunshine.
Neighbouring Turkey doesn’t fare quite so well. A diverse country the temperatures can be lower than the islands in the Med. Antalya, on Turkey’s south coast, offers temperatures a few degrees lower, averaging a high of 15ºC in February. So you would have to be brave to bare all in a bikini despite warm sea temperatures of 17ºC and 6 hrs of sunshine each day.
Head to the tropics
Venturing further south to skim the tropic of cancer rewards you with higher temperatures but the tradeoff is longer flight times. Cairo can be reached in just less than 5 hrs and makes a good city break. But if sea temperatures of 22ºC and an enjoyable average air temperature of 23ºC is what you yearn for, then Sharm El Sheikh is an ideal destination.
Dubai promises temperatures of 21°Cand 8 hrs of sunshine, but the 7 hr flight time makes it a bit of a stretch for a quick, romantic sun-drenched weekend break. As does the most popular, and one of the most costly romantic destinations, the Maldives and Mauritius. With average temperatures of 26-28°C, 8-9 hrs of sunshine at this time of year. However, with a 10 hr flight to reach paradise, it’s almost obligatory to stay for at least a week.