Top 10 Destinations for Winter Travel in February: Feeling cold Even though February might not make you think of many holiday ideas, it’s actually one of the best times to travel because prices are lower and there are fewer people, except in ski resorts.
Before Lent, there are a lot of big gatherings and events in Europe and around the world. If you want to be sure of warm, sunny weather, you’ll have to look a little further and do some research before you settle down under a palm tree. The wet and dry seasons in tropical places can be very different from one another.
Here are some of the best places to go in February, both short-term getaways that offer winter sun and long-term trips that are beautiful at this time of year.
Top 10 Destinations for Winter Travel in February:
1. New Orleans, US
Old-world streets decorated in purple, gold, and green let people know that Mardi Gras is here in New Orleans. A lot of parades and parties put on by krewes (carnival clubs) with lots of floats, dancing, and body paint happen in the two weeks before Shrove Tuesday. It’s a busy time to visit, but not as hot as the summer months in Louisiana, when temperatures are usually in the high 20s.
Mardi Gras will feel more like a party if you stay away from the tourist traps and historic buildings of the French Quarter. The building that is now the Henry Howard Hotel was built in 1867 and has a classical colonnade and some modern touches. It is located one block away from St. Charles Avenue, which is a major parade route.
2. Koh Samui, Thailand
After a short but very wet season from October to December, Koh Samui and the islands around it in the southern Gulf of Thailand are at their best in February. The biggest full moon parties happen on the island of Koh Pha-ngan. The northeast corner of this jungle-covered island is quieter, and the smaller island of Koh Tao to the north is the best place to dive and swim.
You can get to both of them from Koh Samui, which is Thailand’s second-largest island after Phuket. Its beaches, sports, and hotels are very diverse. The Cape Fahn Hotel is a high-class option because it is on a small private island just off the northeast coast of Koh Samui and has only villas for guests.
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3. The Lofoten Islands in Norway
After many weeks of 24-hour night or twilight, the Lofoten Islands, which are above the Arctic Circle, get their first glimpse of the midnight sun in just three months. February is in the middle of this time when things start to change. This month has just the right amount of darkness to try to see the northern lights while also having enough sun to light up these beautiful islands where mountain ranges meet the ocean.
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Along the chain, a highway leads to the simply named town of A. Along the way, it passes old fishing villages with wooden cabins built on stilts over the water. Stay in one of the 38 houses at Svinoya Rorbuer in the town of Svolvaer to feel what it was like to be a fisherman in old Norway.
4. Baja California, Mexico
In Mexico, this time of year is mostly dry and a little cold. Animal movements are the best reason to go in February, even if you don’t want to spend time in the sun. A lot of monarch butterflies are getting ready to move north after spending the winter in the mountains on the border between Michoacán and Mexico State. And visitors can see grey whales up close in the bays off the coast of Baja California.
This is one of the best ways to see wildlife in the world. Along this 700-mile stretch, you’ll find both fancy resorts and lots of natural areas. Loreto is a town in Baja Sur that is often used as a base for whale-watching trips. The La Mision Loreto Hotel is a modern outpost with hacienda-style touches that is right on the Gulf of California.
5. Ari Atoll in the Maldives
In the Maldives, which has about 1,200 lush islands, February is the driest month. In the middle of the Indian Ocean, they are grouped into 26 atolls that hang in an extended loop, like necklaces inside necklaces. Whale sharks usually move to the eastern atolls in December and back to the western atolls in May.
However, you can see these gentle giants all year long at Ari Atoll on the western side. March is a great month for diving and a great time to go to a white-sand beach. Lux South Ari Atoll is a great place to see whale sharks and manta rays. The island is a mile long and has overwater houses, thatched beach bungalows, eight restaurants, and lots of family-friendly activities.
6. Valais, Switzerland
Alpine sky resorts can get busy in February because of different European half-term breaks. This is also the best month to find powdery snow. Switzerland is in the middle of the Alps, and the canton of Valais is a miniature version of that heart. It is French-speaking in the west and German-speaking in the east, and the Matterhorn is almost in the middle. Some of the most well-known ski resorts are Zermatt, Verbier, and Crans-Montana.
But Grimentz, which has kept a lot of its traditional wooden architecture, and the Lotschental valley are also worth a visit. The Tschaggata carnival, with its scary masks, is interesting to people who don’t ski. The Hôtel Alpina in Grimentz is perfectly situated between the village’s two main ski lifts. The 32 rooms have a simple, modern Alpine style, and there are bike racks for the summer.
7. Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
In its home country of Europe, carnival season before Lent is usually cold, but in Brazil, it’s the height of summer when the fun starts. Even though it rains a lot in most of Brazil, this is a popular time for vacations. The only places that don’t celebrate Christmas are Salvador and Recife in the northeast.
The show in Rio de Janeiro is the best thing you can see in your life. You can get a ticket to see the spectacular parade in the 90,000-seat Sambadrome or play drums at neighborhood parties while Sugarloaf Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer watch over you.
8. Luxor in Egypt
In the winter in Egypt, you should bring something warmer to wear outside in the nights. In the summer, it can get as hot as 40C, so if you’d rather see the temples and tombs than dive in the Red Sea, go in February when it’s nice out in the desert. The rewards get better as you go up the Nile. In Luxor, where it rains less than 1 mm a year, you’ll find a great collection of historic places in and around one of ancient Egypt’s capitals.
In February, you can visit the Valley of the Kings without getting as thirsty as the mummies that used to lie in its painted tombs. The Sofitel Winter Palace, which was built in 1886 and has a view of the Nile, is an atmospheric piece of Luxor history. Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, and Lord Carnarvon, who sponsored the Tutankhamun mission, have all been there.
9. Canada’s Quebec
Even though it’s the second-coldest month of the year in Quebec, people are ready to party. The city, Quebec City, has a ten-day Winter Carnival in early February. There are parades, snow sculptures, and winter sports like ice canoeing there. Along with this, La Poutine Week celebrates Canada’s national dish, which is fries, cheese curds, and gravy. The event started in Montreal and has now spread all over the country.
Outside of cities, now is also the time to ski (both downhill and cross-country) in places like Mont-Tremblant. The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac has been a landmark in Quebec City since 1893. With snow on its towers, it looks even more beautiful, and it may be the most photographed hotel in the world
10. The Philippines’ Palawan
The Philippines is hard to put into simple groups because it has more than 7,000 islands, but it is true that February has the least amount of rain of the year, except along a narrow eastern edge. There are still a lot of tourists, but not as many as around New Year’s. Plus, there are lots of events going on, like Baguio’s flower festival, which makes February a great month to go sightseeing.
The Banaue Rice Terraces and the Chocolate Hills of Bohol are both interesting places to visit on land, but the white sands and turquoise water of the beach call loudly. The province of Palawan has some of the best wreck diving in the world.
The Bacuit Archipelago, which is near El Nido, is a beautiful group of limestone rocks that hide secret coves. El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island is one of a few hotels spread out in northern Palawan. Its rooms are in thatched huts that sit on stilts above calm water and green cliffs.