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Luxury Winter Sun


January is our favorite time of year to start planning all our holidays! There’s no better way to beat the January blues than to start booking holidays and it’s also the best time of year to do it, with most airlines, cruises and hotels all running sales.

We thought we’d help get you started with some inspiration on where to go when in 2023.  Selected by our team of experts at Swords Travel, these are the experiences and destinations we most recommend visiting in 2023.



Visit Botswana in the ‘green season’ for a discounted luxury safari with few other visitors. Botswana offers some of the most incredible wildlife experiences in the world, but it’s expensive. Their policy of low-volume, high-cost tourism makes it one of the most expensive places to go on safari.  However travelling during the ‘green season’ brings the price down by up to 40%. 

You’ll likely experience afternoon thunderstorms, but it’s unlikely you’ll have rain all day. These storms make for great wildlife viewing as they mean the landscape is lush and teaming migratory birds, young animals and the predators that hunt them, 

‘Green season’ is from November through to April.



This is one of the places we stayed on our honeymoon and I still dream of it. Located high up on the edge of an escarpment, Ngoma Safari Lodge has  panoramic views over the Chobe River, where elephant herds come to drink. The service and food here are outstanding and the game viewing is well worth the early morning starts.

Ngoma Safari Lodge has only eight suites, all of them are very private and enjoy the same incredible views over the Chobe River. All of the lodges have their own plunge pools, both indoor and outdoor showers and air-conditioning, which is rarely found on safaris.

The lodge is located in the Chobe Forest Reservem which borders Chobe National Park. The game viewing in the National Park is outstanding, with huge herds of elephants roaming. They also offer river safaris where you’ll likely see hippos, crocodiles, many birds and many more elephants. It’s not uncommon to see wildlife around the lodge either, with baboons frequently visiting the plunge pools and leopards strolling nearby.

Twin this with a stay in Zambia on the Victoria Falls, we recommend the Royal Livingstone Hotel.



Imagine skiing on fresh powder, enjoying a raclette on the side of the mountains and finishing the day with a hot vin chaud (mulled wine). I can’t think of a better place to spend your February holiday than in the French Alps.  

France has some of the most reliable snow-sure ski areas in the world giving you a high chance of great conditions. It’s also home to the world’s biggest ski areas with a great choice for both beginners and advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Where to go When in 2023 - February



Tignes tops the list when it comes to reliable snow and has the longest ski season in France thanks to the Grande Motte glacier.

I was lucky to attend the opening of Club Med’s newest ski resort in Tignes in December and was blown away by it!  The location is amazing, right on the slopes with immediate lift access to an extensive ski area. Club Med Tignes is really modern with lovely decor and facilities.   The entertainment was brilliant, really modern/funky singers and a beautiful spa with a lovely relaxation area with comfy loungers and twinkly lights made it a great relaxing haven for anyone to escape to. 

If you’re looking for a luxury family ski holiday then  you will love Club Med. They offer everything to make your ski holiday really easy and enjoyable, from professional childcare for all ages, entertainment and a completely all inclusive package including lift passes and ski lessons.



Picture-perfect islands, fine white sand and barefoot luxury define the Maldives. They are home to some of the world’s warmest, clearest turquoise waters and most beautiful beaches, the islands are a natural choice for both couples and families seeking relaxation and outdoor fun. 

The Maldives are at their best around March, when humidity and rain are low and visibility in the water is great. The conditions at this time of year are outstanding for snorkeling and diving with opportunities to see both whale sharks and manta rays. There are a wealth of experienced companies offering scuba diving courses at many of the resorts across the Maldives.

Where to go When in 2023 - March



When staying in the Maldives it’s a rare find to see an all inclusive resort that is truly all inclusive without lots of additional charges. I loved the fact that at Ozen even a spa treatment was included in the all inclusive package. If you’re looking for a premium all inclusive experience in the Maldives then Ozen is the one for sure. You even get Whispering Angel on tap, a favorite of mine!



April is a great month to visit Thailand as it’s Songkran, Thai New Year. Songkran is celebrated on 13 to 15 April with the world’s biggest water fight! Traditionally family members would sprinkle each other with water for good luck, but now water balloons and water pistols are used! Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are two of the best places to go for a festive drenching. 

Thailand is very hot in April so my recommendation is to only spend a short time in Bangkok before heading south to the beaches to cool off. Then head north for Songkran to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai.

Where to go When in 2023 - April



This resort perfectly combines many of the luxury features you would expect to find at an ‘adults only’ property with incredible kids facilities, making it a dream destination for all the family. This secluded hideaway has 71 pavilions and villas, either by the pool or by the beach.

For adults you can expect to completely unwind at Rosewood Phuket on a unique wellness journey at the Asaya spa, relaxing on the 600-metre stretch of beach and enjoying the gastronomic delights at the four restaurants.

For younger guests the Rosewood Explorers Club offers a wide program of activities, an exciting indoor clubhouse and kids pool and splash park. Family excursions include zip-lining through ancient treetop canopies at Hanuman World and private Phuket Elephant sanctuary tours. Rosebuds® provides little ones with baby care items during your stay, kids magazines and age appropriate toys.



Next on our list of ‘Where  To Go When in 2023’ is Greece in May. For me this is the perfect time to visit Greece, as it’s still lovely and warm without being too hot! It’s an ideal temperature if you have younger children or want to get out and do a bit more walking and exploring.  You can also benefit from lower off-peak rates making it much more affordable. 

Where to go When in 2023 - May



I can’t talk about holidays to Greece without mentioning Ikos Resorts. Having been to both Ikos Olivia and Ikos Oceania I now completely understand the hype around them and why they are so popular with families in particular.   

 When it comes to pre-conceptions of an all-inclusive holiday, Ikos Resorts break the mould! They are re-inventing the luxury all-inclusive beach holiday across the Mediterranean, offering  guests a unique, superior all-inclusive concept with elegant contemporary accommodation, five-star service and wide-ranging facilities for families and couples alike.

Food is such an important part of a holiday and at every Ikos resort you have a wide choice of dining options with menus created by Michelin-starred chefs. As well as the restaurants in resort you can choose to dine at specially selected local restaurants. All of these options are included in the all inclusive package making it an all inclusive like no other. 

There are now five Ikos resorts to choose from in Greece, Ikos Oceania and Ikos Olivia in Halkidiki, Ikos Dassia and Ikos Odisia in Corfu and Ikos Aria in Kos.

By booking any of these resorts with Swords Travel you will receive the following benefits:

  • Complimentary airport transfers for Ikos Deluxe Collection bookings of 7 nights or more
  • VIP welcome amenity in room
  • Early check in and late check out subject to availability



June is a brilliant time to visit the Great Barrier Reef as the water temperature is perfect for swimming, rainfall is low and the underwater visibility is high. By travelling in June you will also miss the dangerous box jellyfish season. You may also have the chance to see Humpback Whales and Dwarf Minke Whales at this time of year too.

The Great Barrier Reef is a truly incredible place to visit and should be on everyone’s bucket list. There are many ways to see the beautiful reefs, from diving and snorkelling to helicopter rides or underwater boats. You can even walk along the ocean floor in a diving helmet whilst breathing normally, so don’t be put off if you are a non swimmer.


Where to go When in 2023 - June



Lizard Island is without question one of Austrlia’s top luxury resorts and the ultimate place to experience the Great Barrier Reef from. I was lucky enough to stay there at the end of last year and it was the most incredible experience! 

The luxury private island is reached  by  a charter flight from Cairns and this is an experience in itself. The water surrounding the island is so clear that  we could see reef sharks and turtles swimming around the coral from the plane!  The arrival at the island is just as special as you are greeted by  lizards on the stunning white sandy beaches.

There are a range of accommodation options available, starting with the luxurious, air-conditioned Anchor Bay rooms, which are set just back from the beach in the gardens., right up to The House. The House at Lizard Island is true laidback luxury. The elegant three bedroom property has a private swimming pool, direct beach access and an incredible rooftop, allowing guests to enjoy the view from every angle. 

Lizard Island is particularly famous for it’s diving where you can expect to come face to face with massive (friendly) Potato Cod. I also recommend doing the hike to Cook’s Lookout, which rewards you with an exceptional view, especially at sunrise.

I  can’t recommend this resort and experience enough to you. One to add to your bucket list for sure!



July is an amazing time to visit Norway as in Arctic Norway you get to experience the land of the midnight sun.  This means  the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon giving you the opportunity to take in the stunning scenery 24 hours a day. Travel through the UNESCO-acclaimed fjords surrounded by snow capped mountains, colourful fishing villages and the stunning Lofoten Islands. 

Where to go When in 2023 - July



The best way to explore the fjords and islands of Norway is by cruise and I’m really excited about the launch of Explora Journeys this year. Their maiden voyage is through the breathtaking Norweigan fjords in July.

Explora Journeys is an exciting new ocean experience aimed at travellers who may not have considered a cruise before, but love to travel. This is an opportunity for these travellers to explore worlds that can only be discovered at sea. To discover new destinations that they have never been to before. Explora Journeys has an ambition to redefine the luxury cruise category and set themselves apart from other ocean experiences. The ships have been designed as if they are super-superyachts. In fact, the design team is made up of superyacht maritime architects in partnership with Fincantieri, the world’s finest luxury shipbuilders.

Check out their maiden journey here – A Maiden Journey into Epic Fjords & the Arctic Circle



Whilst August is off-season for Mauritius it’s still a great time to visit with the temperatures still in the mid 20’s and rainfall low, it’s the perfect weather for a family holiday. It’s one of the few destinations that are actually good value when travelling within the school summer holidays. In fact you’ll often find that a 5* all inclusive holiday in Mauritius  is a much better price than one in Europe in August.

 I spent 3 months living in Mauritius from January to March last year whilst on maternity leave.  and completely fell in love with it.  We chose Mauritius because  the island is a beautiful and extremely friendly place to visit. There is so much to do in Mauritius and as it’s a small island  everywhere is easily accessible as day trips (it takes 1.5 hours to drive top to bottom). We also love the food! Make sure to try the street food whilst you’re there – my recommendations are dal puri,  gateuax piments and  pani puri.

I’ve visited Mauritius 5 times and visited 33 hotels on the island! It’s safe to say it’s one of my favourite destinations.

Where to go When in 2023 - August



The resort is fantastic for kids as not only does it have a great kids club (3-12 year old) and teens club (12 – 17 year olds) they also offer a complimentary creche for 1 to 2 year olds between 1 – 4pm every weekday.  We loved the activities they included for the kids such as cookery classes and water skiing.

There is a choice of six restaurants including Creole, Mediterranean and Asian and the food is fantastic. If you opt for the all inclusive program then you can dine at all six restaurants. For the kids they’ll make them pretty much whatever they want! The waiters just come over and ask what they fancy and they’ll always do their best to accommodate it.

When it comes to accommodation there’s a wide choice. We really like the 2 bedroom family suites which have a master bedroom and kids room, with twin beds and a 3rd pull out bed. There are also brilliant beachfront accommodation options  with private pools and villas to choose from.

Beachcomber Hotels currently have a sale on with up to 30% off until 31st January. Contact the team to find out more.



September is without doubt one of the best months to visit as the region looks beautiful and it’s harvest time. The villages are bustling, market stalls are laden with autumn produce and it’s a wonderful time to roam the vineyards when the grape pickers are out in force.

Many of the smaller towns come back to life in September with locals returning from their holidays. There’s a great atmosphere and many celebrations and festivals take place around this time, from music to harvest festivals. This is a dream month for exploring the French countryside.

Where to go When in 2023 - September



A river cruise is one of the best ways to explore this region as it enables you to stop and enjoy many beautiful French towns and villages whilst taking in the beautiful scenery along the way. Scenic river cruises are a particular favourite of mine as they offer ultimate luxury onboard and great itineraries which really allow you to experience the best of the destination. 

Onboard be prepared to be spoiled with their unlimited branded drinks, delicious dining and your very own private butler. The staterooms onboard are extremely spacious and I would definitely go for a balcony cabin so you can sit on your balcony and enjoy a vino or two as you sail down the river. 

When sailing with Scenic each day you are presented with an option of included excursions from bike rides to city tours. If you prefer not to do a tour onboard you can take yourself on a private tour, guided by a device from Scenic. The tours on offer really allow you to get the most out of every destination you visit, such as visiting a local market in Provence with the onboard chef, followed by a cooking lesson. 

A river cruise with Scenic is like a boutique hotel on water and an incredibly luxurious way to do a multi-centre holiday.



Vietnam’s quirky climate makes it tricky to find the right time of year to visit the whole country from top to bottom. October is the month that works best for everywhere though. The weather in the north is fairly clear for Hanoi and Halong Bay,  warm enough for exploring Sapa and it should be dry in the south at this time for  Ho Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta.  

It’s also off season for tourism making it a great value time of year to visit as well.

Where to go When in 2023 - October



Located between tropical jungle and powdery beach, An Lâm Retreats Ninh Van Bay is accessed only by boat, meaning you’re forced to truly unwind once there. 

The 34 stand-alone villas are well spaced out along the shore and in the surrounding forest. Natural woods and muted, pared-back decor create a soothing, unhurried atmosphere with friendly staff and private butlers catering to every need. The contemporary timber villas, each with private veranda, and many with their own plunge pool, are spacious and bright with a choice of locations and views available.

The restaurant and bar are as impressive as their setting with creative Vietnamese and Western dishes and tropical cocktails dominating the menu. A large free-form pool, a jungle spa, gym, yoga pavilion and sauna nestle around the grounds, while bikes are available for guest use or you can opt for a short trek along one of the many surrounding jungle paths.

Of course we recommend combining this with stays across the rest of Vietnam as part of a tailor-made touring itinerary for which we would recommend our preferred partner Audley.



I absolutely love the Caribbean as a winter sun destination, so much so that I’ve visited 18 islands. With direct flights to many of the islands it’s an easy destination to get to from the UK as well.

December marks the start of the dry season for many of the islands, with temperatures slightly cooler and less humid it’s a great time to visit. It’s also a brilliant place to spend the festive period with many islands throwing big celebrations over this time. In St Vincent they have a unique tradition called the Nine Mornings Festival, where from mid-December the whole population rises at 4am to sing, play steel pans,  ride bikes and sup callaloo for the nine days  leading up to Christmas.

Where to go When in 2023 - December



It’s hard to pick just one Caribbean island so why not choose a cruise and do several!

My recommendation for you if you are travelling without children is Virgin Voyages. I absolutely love their cruises and this the concept is fantastic. Imagine dining at an amzingt restaurant followed by a really fun musical/show, followed by a night out dancing and drinking the best cocktails. This is a typical night onboard Virgin Voyages! If you are a foodie you will never want to leave. The dining is a real highlight, from the experimental “Test Kitchen” to my favourite as a Veggie, Razzle Dazzle where every dish is stunning! There are over 20 dining options and you can eat at any almost any hour of the day!

If you are going on board please make sure you take part in some of the entertainment.  My favourite was the VHS Workout. It was so much fun!! Think 80s music, leg warmers and a workout…

I have cruised on many different cruise ships, for me this was the friendliest, it was very sociable and had a family feel with the sailors on board.

You can now book Virgin Voyages cruises online with Swords Travel. Click here to search their 2023/24 cruises.



For those of you wanting to stay on a Caribbean island, rather than cruising, Saint Lucia is one of my favourite islands. With its stunning mountains landscape and beautiful untouched beaches and friendly locals St Lucia has something for everyone whether they are a family, a couple or a group of friends.

There is lots to do outside of resorts in St Lucia including a few unique experiences including a ‘drive-in volcano, a chocolate massage and the brilliant Friday-night fish fry. You can also climb the UNESCO site of the Pitons, bathe in hot mud at the foot of an active volcano, swim in waterfalls and go zip-lining through the rainforest..



The resort of Zoetry Marigot Bay is set in a fabulous location and takes its name from the same bay made famous by the Doc Dolittle original movie. The resort overlooks the bay and has a small beach which is reachable by boat.

The hotel offers four restaurants, a rum cave, four bars, two swimming pools, a SPA and 124 suites some of which have hot tubs and all of them offering plenty of space with a kitchen and even a laundry room. The atmosphere is relaxed and chilled and the setting is stunning. For guest that do not want to venture too far there are few restaurants and bars within the bay which can be reached by a taxi boat and offer a range of different dining options.

Marigot Bay is also within a short driving distance from the town of Castries and offers the possibility to explore the nearby coast by boat with its stunning beaches and of course the sight of the mesmerising Pitons.

Zoetry Marigot Bay St Lucia currently have a sale on with up to 50% off Club Rooms until 31st January. Contact the team to find out more.

For a tailor made itinerary for any of the above destinations please call us on 0203 189 1381 or fill out your details below and one of our team will contact you.

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