Today’s Traveller brings to you a comprehensive guide to international destinations for a charming winter break
The low hanging clouds overshadowing the mighty sun diminish human spirit during the winter months, while the cold wind chews on the bones. Winter is the time when we are on the search for the sun, looking for a bit of warmth amidst the cold and grey. The good news is that our planet offers a range of exotic locales that offer cold and warm winter sun, we list you, international destinations, places where Europeans traditionally escape to during the winter months and others where travellers go to experience the cold.
If you are planning to spend your winter vacation in the Middle East, then there can’t be a better place than Jordan. The country boasts a temperate climate which makes it ideal for those who are seeking comfort and warmth during the bone biting winter. The winter in Jordan can be best enjoyed if you get into action. A hot air balloon ride will take you 6,000 feet above the ground from where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the Wadi Rum valley and its ancient rock formations. Head towards the hot springs at Hammamat Zarqa and Ma’in Springs and enjoy a refreshing winter afternoon.
A Norwegian winter is just what you might need during the winter months. In Norway visitors can experience the famous Norwegian Christmas traditions by visiting a Christmas market, but you will be able to take in a holiday concert, or even catch a glimpse of the northern lights. The period leading up to Christmas is a special time in Norway, as the shorter and darker days make for a very cosy time of year. The city oozes of Yuletide atmosphere with lights, decorations, trees, gift shopping, the smell of roasted almonds and the sound of Christmas carols in the street. The best place to soak up the atmosphere is at one of Copenhagen’s Christmas markets. Norway also has numerous thrills for travellers, they include, skiing in one of the 200 resorts, hotels and igloos made of ice or enjoying your own dog sled or ride a snowmobile across frozen rivers. Do not forget to visit the numerous Christmas markets at Copenhagen to get into the Yule tide spirit.
A stunning winter experience that France has to offer, Nice was once essentially a winter resort to which Europeans would thrive, in order to escape the harsh winter months. It has been the centre of attraction as part of the Côte d’Azur or the French Riviera for a long time, so much so that, Nice had appealed to painters such as Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. The suitable balmy Nice breeze is perfect for an evening walk and a cup of hot chocolate. Do not miss Place Massena, Place Garibaldi, Place Rossetti, the church of St. Martin and the stunning beach of Nice.
Cape Town, South Africa
This alluring destination of South Africa is known for its winter charm. When cities across the world are suffering from a cold wave in the winter months, Cape Town remains calm with its mild Mediterranean-type climate, ranging from 18-20 degree Celsius. This is also the right season for tourists to indulge in outdoor activities such as hiking, trail running and mountain biking. The city also has some fantastic restaurants with fireplaces, setting a romantic and joyous mood. If being comfortable and cosy is what you seek this winter, then Cape Town is the place for you.
Auckland, New Zealand
This is a place where you are certain to find the sun, and along with it a whole lot of exciting outdoor activities can go underway. December and January are the months when New Zealand experiences summer and is in full bloom, so it is one of the best places you could be during this time. Like any summer place, the best thing to do here in Auckland is to enjoy the beach. On the other hand you could also go for picnic or the famous Auckland bush walk! Kayaking is also another great way to welcome the beautiful season.
Apart from pristine beaches, coral reefs and lagoons, the small volcanic island is also known for its warm tropical weather. The island can be best explored during the winter months when the weather is extremely pleasant. The bright sunny sky coupled with steady breeze will make you fall in love with the place instantly. You can indulge in various water based adventures like scuba diving and snorkelling while spending your winter at the island country. The winter in Mauritius is welcoming and its warmth will urge you to step out of your hotel room, and enjoy every bit of the beautiful island.
The winter in Bangkok is cool and pleasant making it really enjoyable. As, Bangkok boasts tropical monsoon climate, three different types of weather prevails. November to February is the best time to visit, if you want to enjoy every bit of the city’s vibrant metropolitan life and culture. The night is cool, but the cool winter sun makes the day time appealing. If you are spending your winter in Bangkok, then you shouldn’t miss Bangkok Illumination, the biggest and most vibrant winter festival of Bangkok. The festival is celebrated throughout Thailand, amidst art, food, sights, sound and colour.
The beautiful Swiss winter is famous amongst travellers from around the world. The reflecting sun on the white snow capped mountains creates an idyllic setting. To enjoy the Swiss winter intimately, you can stay at cosy ski huts. These huts will let you jump into action as numerous world class ski runs are organised in the vicinity of these huts. Various winter events are organised in the main city and in numerous boutique towns. Famous of all is Ice Karting, which features adrenaline filled activities coupled with the thrill of sliding on ice.