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Five long-haul sunshine breaks

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Keen to shake off the cobwebs with a far-flung escape? We’ve chosen some of the best-rated long-haul destinations that come into their own during autumn and winter.  

You can skip the crowds and savour cultural attractions all to yourself or soak in the sunshine on the other side of the world, with our pick of five city breaks.

Melbourne


Sister city, Sydney, is arguably the more popular spot for winter holidaymakers planning to spend Christmas on a beach and New Year’s Eve admiring the harbour. But Melbourne has its own charms likely to reinvigorate visitors on a sunshine break. As well as the city’s endless gardens, such as Fitzroy, to explore by day, Queen Victoria’s night-time food market with its stalls of food, art and fashion re-opens during Australia’s spring. Get a dose of beach life, with a stroll along the esplanade at St Kilda and pack your glad rags for Melbourne Cup horse race in November.

Max November temperature: 22°C

Cape Town


South Africa’s capital has pleasantly long days and tourist numbers won’t reach their peak until the December holiday season. There are cultural sights aplenty, from the shops and cafés of the V&A Waterfront (where you can catch a ferry to Robben Island), to the lush Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. In Constantia, vineyards thrive on Table Mountain, and you'll find the best beaches in Clifton and Camps Bay.

Max November temperature: 22°C

Our destination features are based on real insight from readers, who tell us their favourite places to visit before we go undercover to investigate. Find out more about Which? Travel.

Washington DC


Late autumn is an ideal time to visit the US capital once the soul-sapping humidity of summer is over. Although it’s not the warmest of US destinations at this time of year, its bright days will be the backdrop to a crowd-free visit. The Smithsonian Institution is made up of 19 museums, none of which will cost you a cent to visit. But plan in advance if you want to visit favourites – such as the African American Museum – which require a timed-entry ticket. The US Capitol Building (America’s ‘Parliament’) is also free to enter.

Max November temperature: 15°C

Bangkok


Always bustling and popular, late autumn to early winter could well be the sweet spot for visiting Bangkok before the onslaught of Christmas holidaymakers and blistering heat arrives. The city works as a launchpad to take in attractions such as The Grand Palace and Wat Pho, before retreating to quieter beach resorts where your pound will stretch even further against a weak Thai baht. Winter sunseekers can escape the city to take a dip in sea water as warm as a bath.

Max November temperature: 32°C

Buenos Aires


Avoid the humidity of January and plump for Argentina’s mild, colourful spring to make the most of the capital’s outdoors. Streets are lined with jacarandas and a month of celebrations kick-start in November with the city hosting a jazz festival, gaucho cowboy event and a historic horse race at the hippodrome. Explore the stylish Recoleta neighbourhood on foot or sample your pick of 100 cultural attractions across the city during the Night of the Museums.

Max November temperature: 25°C

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