There aren’t many European hot spots in February – at least, not on the continental mainland – but Spain’s most southerly province is a decent bet. Head there at the end of February and 20C days are possible.
Annie Bennett, our expert on the region, suggests exploring the Costa Tropical, in the province of Granada – a coastline of coves and Moorish watchtowers.
“A quirk of climate means that dense groves of mangos, avocados, custard apples, bananas and other exotic crops flank the Mediterranean,” she writes. “The protection of the Sierra Nevada and the warm winds blowing over from north Africa create a subtropical microclimate with 320 days of sunshine a year and mild temperatures even in winter.”
Do it: Motril is the biggest resort on the Costa Tropical. A seven-night stay at the four-star Elba Motril Beach Resort, flying from Stansted to Malaga on February 19, starts at £239 a head, with Love Holidays (01234 975 975; loveholidays.com).
The best hotels in Granada
4. St Lucia
St Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s most coveted destinations – and with good reason. Its west coast is home to some of the planet’s loveliest beaches, including the golden strip of Anse Chastanet – while the twin volcanic bluffs of Gros and Petit Piton offer hiking and climbing challenges, as well as wonderful photos. All of this is served up in temperatures which cling to the upper twenties Celsius, not least in the dry season of December-May.
Do it: A seven-night holiday to the five-star Cap Maison resort costs from £2,349 per person, including flights, via Tropical Sky (01342 395 263; tropicalsky.co.uk).
The best hotels in St Lucia
5. St Kitts & Nevis
Along with its smaller companion Nevis, St Kitts is a Caribbean “Little and Large” act. The bigger island has an intriguing south-coast capital in Basseterre, and a sandy crescent on its southern tip in the form of Turtle Beach. Its friend across the tiny channel of The Narrows is just as enticing, its charm visible on Nisbet and Oualie Beaches. Both isles are quiet outcrops which do not rouse themselves to wild nightlife – and you might well argue that they are all the better for it.
Do it: A seven-night escape to the three-star Oualie Beach Resort on St Kitts, flying from Gatwick (via Antigua) on February 20, costs from £1,088 per person via British Airways Holidays (0344 493 0787; ba.com/holidays).
The best hotels in St Kitts