Follow the sun – 2012’s hot destinations

Let’s face facts. If we Brits want a proper summer in 2012, we’ll have to seek it abroad. That accepted, here’s the tricky bit: choosing a destination in just the right shade of summer for you.

While it’s easy to find the world’s highest highs (in Kuwait City and Ahvaz, Iran), 46°C and rising isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For most of us, anyway, reliable sunshine is the key.

Once you’ve settled on your ideal degree of sunshine and sizzle, you’ll want to explore the other dimensions of destination ‘hotness’ too – whatever that means for you! But whether you’re after adventure, family fun, or romance, there’s something for you among our travel hotspots for 2012:

1. Sun it up – Faro

Many towns jostle to be named Europe’s sunniest. I’m not suggesting Faro, Portugal, wears the crown, but I’ll take its summer average of 11 daily sunshine hours. Faro and the surrounding Algarve have a similar appeal to Spain’s Costas (think family-friendly beaches, finger-licking food and lively nights) but it’s not so overrun – yet!

Best for: Guaranteed sun and family fun

2. Dip into the hottest continent – Egypt

Africa is the hottest of the hot. And Egypt, on its Mediterranean coast, is also one of the sunniest places on earth – making it a dependable source of summer, not so far from the UK. It’s sure to captivate your inner explorer too – from the Nile’s ancient romance to the contemporary pleasures of resorts like Sharm El Sheikh, with its world-class watersports and coral wonderlands.

Best for: Adventurous holidays

3. Hot in Europe – Cyprus

In Cyprus, summers generously expand from a measly three months to the best part of eight (April to November). What’s more, the island is ringed by beaches made for lovers walking hand in hand. At Paphos, on Cyprus’s southwest coast, you can even see the rock where Aphrodite, goddess of love, is said to have emerged from the sea.

Best for: Romantic getaways for couples

4. Heat on the cheap – Spain

Spain’s summers aren’t uniformly hot. But follow the big travel buzz (to the Balearics, Canaries, Andalusia and Catalonia) and you’ll find yourself under the sun. Spain’s also the cheapest destination in the Eurozone according to Post Office Travel Money.

Best for: Great value family trips

5. Hotter and hotter – trending destinations

If you want a seriously good summer – but not more of the same – why not consider:

  • Aruba: get your slice of Caribbean bliss, and soak up the island’s rich cultural mix
  • New York: take a sizzling city-break that never goes out of style
  • Mexico: discover the authentic source of the Mexican street food phenomenon

Best for: Trendsetting travellers

What do you think – do you agree with this list or do you have your own ideas? Share in the comments below!

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