Winter means shorter days, darker evenings and colder temperatures. Escape the ice and frost and find some turquoise blue water and sunshine. It doesn't have to be a depressing time.

If you're looking to escape the frigid cold this winter, come to these destinations where the weather provides the perfect respite from the cold of other regions. Get some Vitamin D and luxuriate in the sunshine. Here are destinations to escape the gloom:

1. Charleston

Charleston is the friendliest city in the US. The weather is perfect during winter months for exploring its birthday cake-coloured historic downtown streets, swaying gently on a porch of an old clapboard house with a mint julep in hand or clopping around town in a horse and cart.

One of the most popular events in Charleston in winter, Wine Under the Oaks which features food and wine samples, cooking demonstrations, live music performances, and more. The daytime temperatures are pleasant enough to enjoy a game of golf or tennis on Kiawah or Seabrook Island. Shop the holiday market at Middleton Place, admire the Parade of Boats on the harbor during Christmas.

You can stay at the historic, luxe 21-room Wentworth Mansion. Turndown service, nightcaps and an onsite spa await you here.

2. Madeira

Portuguese Madeira is known as the island of eternal spring so it's a perfect holiday destination. Madeira is the pearl of Atlantic with a nearly perfect climate-warm and clear in winter. The temperature does not drop below 20 degrees Celsius. It is just a 4 hour hop from London.

Madeira is famous for its beautiful landscapes if hiking is your cup of tea. Madeira will delight you with some beautiful views and majestic cliffs falling into the ocean. The incredible wildflowers and dramatic cliffs are straight out of Jurassic Park. It is also a true natural paradise of green mountains and hidden beaches. Ponta do Pargo gets the most winter sunshine and is famed for its lighthouse and superb seafood.

Casas da Levada is a gorgeous collection of six rustic houses tucked away in the emerald foothills of Ponta do Pargo.

3. Andalucia

Southern Spain basks in more than 325 sunny days a year. In winter, the El Ventorillo villa comes into its own, with a tennis court and 50 acres of olive groves and grounds to explore. You are surrounded by stunning landscape and views of the twinkling Mediterranean Sea. The national park Sierra de la Nieves is perfect for hiking or following a nature trail. The park is actually a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. You can enjoy endless rolling hills of Pine and Oak trees and just the sounds of the wind rustling the leaves or the occasional birdsong.

The pace of life slows down in the winter without crowds. Sunrises and the sunsets during the winter months are breathtaking. During the winter you can enjoy quieter golf courses (over 70), sunny but cooler days and better rates.

Siesta Homes presents two stunning redevelopments nestled in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; The Oakhill and new Oakhill Heights.