Seek out properties in the sun

As the nights draw in and temperatures drop, wrapping up in woollies may have a certain appeal, but how about avoiding them altogether and buying a bolthole in the sun? Winter warmth no longer simply means visiting the Costa del Sol. It's now just as easy to head to glamorous properties much further afield. To get you started, here's a selection of dream homes abroad - all of which could help you escape the winter-time blues...
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Property: Sovereign Islands, Paradise Point, Gold Coast, Queensland
Price: $2,950,000 (£1,250,000)
Agent: Coldwell Banker Australia, 00 61 755 388 881;

Agent's details: This three-storey home is located right on the ocean on the prestigious Sovereign Islands. Near to golf courses, only 15 minutes from the main beach and a surfer's paradise, the house has a range of interesting features. Full height bi-folding doors allow the family room, kitchen and formal lounge to completely open to the wrap-around terrace from where there are spectacular water views. An indoor and outdoor wet bar, gas-operated circular fireplace, covered barbecue and custom-heated pool and spa provide the ultimate space for entertaining. There are two studies, a lower level home theatre and rumpus room along with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The main bedroom features a wrap-around balcony and glass-surrounded spa bath. Other features include: internal courtyard wine cellar with its own cooling system and garaging for four cars.

Weather rating: Typically tropical temperatures at this time of year.


Property: New villa, Pissouri Village
Price: From Cy£136,000 (£170,000)
Agent: Leptos Estates, 020-8883 2333;

Agent's details: Equidistant from Paphos and Limassol, the picturesque village of Pissouri has cobbled streets, countryside and Mediterranean views. This development has a range of two-, three- and four-bedroom detached villas, which all have feature fireplaces, en suite master bedrooms, fitted kitchens and contemporary bathrooms. There are large terraces and patios plus space for a private swimming pool. Village amenities include: local tavernas and bars, shops and supermarkets, bank and post office, plus Pissouri beach, with its wide range of water sports, is a short drive away.

Weather rating: Boasts an impeccable climate with nice long summers stretching well into our autumn and over 340 days of sunshine annually.


Property: Mirador, a detached villa at Arabian Ranches
Price: £335,589
Agent: Cluttons, 020-7408 1010;

Agent's details: A three-bedroom house which has 3,765sq ft of internal space, set on a gated community. The detached villa is generously proportioned and has a separate staff room. The development itself has many on-site amenities including a golf course and water features. There is also an equestrian centre complete with polo pitches plus an international school and shopping facilities.

Weather rating: Avoid visiting in UK summer time when temperatures are at their peak but bask in temperatures that are around 30C during the UK winter.

South Africa

Property: Large detached house in George on the Garden Route, Western Cape.
Price: R18m (£1.5m)
Agent: Pam Golding Properties: 00 27 217 975 312;

Agent's details: Built at the Fancourt World Class Golf Estate, this opulent custom- built property sits on a double fairway, framed by the Outeniqua Mountain Range. The house contains five bedrooms and five bathrooms. All entertainment areas and master bedrooms are designed to take full advantage of the views and there is a cinema, wine cellar, under-floor heating throughout, games room and pool, double garage, a spacious kitchen, scullery and laundry area. The spacious lounge area has opening sliding doors with an undercover patio area.

Weather rating: The start of the UK's winter sees most visitors heading to this part of South Africa, just as temperatures start to climb.


Property: A four-bedroom, three- bathroom villa at Emerald Island, Orlando.
Price: $439,000 (£245,000)
Agent: Coldwell Banker Team Realty: 0871 780 1180;

Agent's details: This large, detached property comes complete with fully fitted kitchen, attached garage and large private swimming pool with extended decking. Close to all major Orlando attractions, the Emerald Island development also has an attractive range of amenities, including a 4,000 square-feet clubhouse with large heated swimming pool, fitness facility and spa, sauna and steam room, and volleyball. The development also contains a children's playground and tennis courts.

Weather rating: An excess of rays in what is the sunshine state.


Property: Le Madinou, St Paul de Vence
Price: €1.75m (£1.2m)
Agent: Aylesford International, 020-7351 2383;

Agent's details: Designed by renowned architect Robert Dallas whose style is synonymous with the medieval walled village of St Paul de Vence, this house lies near Cannes and Nice in the south of France. Built around 20 years ago in the local Provencal style, it features antique roof tiles, floor tiles and beams throughout yet it has state-of-the-art fittings, a modern bathroom and a newly fitted kitchen. All rooms face south and have sea views, and the property lies in a quiet rural setting.

It has a master en suite bedroom plus four further bedrooms and three bathrooms. The house has a panoramic roof terrace plus covered terrace outside. The oval-shaped swimming pool features mosaic tiles and, as well as garaging for three cars, there is a pool house complete with barbeque area.

Weather rating: It can't compete with a Caribbean climate, but a short plane journey can still bring you within easy reach of sunshine at this time of year.


Property: Grange House, Port New Providence, Grand Bahama
Price: £3.1m
Agent: Savills, 020-7016 3740;

Agent's details: In the gated community of Port New Providence, this magnificent beachfront estate is set in more than five landscaped acres, stretching for over 440ft along the beach with another 150ft of canal frontage.

With breathtaking ocean views, this Georgian-style villa has manicured tropical gardens and formal infinity pool facing the ocean. There are seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms offering a grand-scale living and entertaining space. The house's 72ft-long great room features French doors opening onto a veranda, which leads to the pool and beachfront. A two-bedroom guest apartment is located above the separate three-bay garage. Two poolside pavilions house outdoor kitchen facilities plus a gym.

Weather rating: Even the water is warm here, averaging 26C all year round.


Property: Harbour Point, Porto Nova, Mallorca
Price: € 9.3m (£6.3m).
Agent: Knight Frank, 020-7629 8171;

Agent's details: 13km west of Palma on the south coast of Mallorca lies this impressive house, which boasts a water frontage of 55m and sea views from all of its main rooms and bedrooms. The three-storey Mediterranean style property has been completely renovated in recent years. The main entrance is via a grand marble staircase with formal gardens to either side. Large double doors open onto the entrance hall and a three-floor circular atrium. There's an open plan dining area and a lower level leads to a vast reception room featuring glass doors leading onto a covered terrace. A marble staircase leads down to the pool and terrace, and there are four guest bedrooms. Upstairs the master bedroom suite takes up the entire first floor. On the lower ground floor is a snooker room, entertainment area and bar plus self-contained staff apartment. Weather rating: Known for its mild winters, Mallorca attracts many UK escapees who prefer its kinder climate.