Looking for winter sun without the jet-lag and flight time of the Caribbean? A home in one of these destinations in the Atlantic should make escaping the UK’s chilly months a cinch

Sea-view pad in Sal, Cape Verde

Cape Verde
An archipelago 350 miles off West Africa, Cape Verde’s resorts and holiday home options focus primarily around the islands of Sal and Boa Vista. Both can be reached via direct flights by Thomas Cook and Thomson Airways from various UK airports. Flight time is around six hours with no jet-lag; the time difference is just an hour.

Cape Verde’s tropical oceanic climate, with typical December temperatures hovering around 25°C, complements the pristine sandy beaches of Sal and Boa Vista. With barren volcanic interiors, most of the fun on these islands happens on the coast, where conditions are ideal for wind and kite surfing.

Santa María, in Sal, is the archipelago’s main tourism hub. Centred around a charming old harbour, the town fuses its colonial Portuguese past with an exotic African edge. Property options there include small complexes within the town and larger, all-inclusive type resorts just outside.

Lounge by the pool in Lanzarote!

Canary Islands
The Canaries cater for just about every taste and type of second homeowner. While each of the four main islands benefits from a typical December temperature of 22°C, each is slightly different in terms of landscape and typical homeowners. There are numerous flight options to the Spanish archipelago, with typical flight time from the UK being four to four-and-a-half hours, depending on the island.

Mountainous Tenerife, the largest and most developed Canary island, has a bit of everything, but the lively, cosmopolitan resorts of Playa de la Américas and Los Cristianos in the south are where most sun-seeking second-homeowners head. The smaller resorts in Tenerife’s panoramic northern half offer a quieter lifestyle.

In Gran Canaria, the second most important island in terms of tourism, the buzzing resorts around the Maspalomas sand dunes and Playa del Inglés in the south contrast with the sub-tropical north and interior. Another cultural highlight is the historic capital Las Palmas. Flatter and less verdant Lanzarote is a beach destination to the core. Two key resorts there are Puerto del Carmen, the liveliest and the largest and with one of the largest beaches on the island, Playa Grande, fronted by a strip. In the south is Playa Blanca, a former fishing village that has become an attractive family destination, boasting 5-star hotels, a chic marina and a beautiful seafront promenade.

Magnificent panoramas in Madeira

Known as the Pearl of the Atlantic for its colourful flora, the Portuguese island of Madeira sits around 500 miles north of the Canaries. It’s a sub-tropical destination traditionally popular with more mature visitors and homeowners, who are drawn by the lush, natural scenery and cultural attractions. A highlight is the capital Funchal, with its relaxed pavement cafés, world-class restaurants and impressive harbour.

Sandy beaches are scarce in Madeira, but the sea views are breath-taking. More than half of the island is protected by UNESCO World Heritage status, so active visitors will find the average December temperature of 20°C ideal for exploring the island during the winter months. Direct flights from the UK to Madeira are plentiful and take less than four hours.