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Top 6 Holiday Destinations For The Cold Season

February 14, 2014 Travel & Tourism

Winter can be a gloomy season. The days are getting shorter and the weather is cold and dreary. A great way to escape the seasonal depression is to indulge in a comforting holiday. Take some time off and endulge yourself in one of these top cold season destinations:

6. In and out of Africa

Holiday Destination Africa
Photo by Photodune.net

Stunning South Africa has plenty to offer to the winter traveller, such as welcoming warm climates, an exotic wildlife and breathtaking nature and coastlines. Cape Town is an idyllic haven for tourists with its natural beauty, harbour and architectural interest and has recently been voted as being the best city of 2013 in The Telegraph Travel Awards. Leaving behind Vancouver and Venice, it is the only place where you can „surf the Atlantic, climb mountains, eat in Michelin-starred restaurants, stay in both historical and super-hip accommodation, indulge in wine tours and still find time to relax on the beach (with or without penguins)“. Journeys to Cape Town can be broken in Johannesburg, where you can enjoy a view of the city from the observation deck at the Carlton Centre. If you want to experience the raw wonders of nature, there are numerous safari packages available that cover the impressive Kruger National Park.

5. Cyprus – a Mediterranean gem

Holiday Destination Cyprus
Photo by Photodune.net

The beautiful island of Cyprus is nestled in between the South-East of Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Even though, geographically, it belongs to Asia, its people, mythology and culture are looking back on distinct European roots. Its diverse heritage keeps attracting travellers from all around the world. In wintertime, Cyprus really proves to be one of the Mediterranean's brightest gems, demonstrating a laid back charm and comfortable climate. According to Wikipedia, „Among all cities in the Mediterranean part of the European Union, Limassol has the warmest winters, in the period January – February average temperature is 17–18 °C (63–64 °F) during the day and 8–9 °C (46–48 °F) at night, in other coastal locations in Cyprus is generally 16–17 °C (61–63 °F) during the day and 7–9 °C (45–48 °F) at night“. Given the diverse and mountainous geography, it is highly recommended to hire a vehicle if you want to explore the villages and picturesque coastal roads along the both sandy and stoney beaches. Be sure to head inland for a scenic journey through the enchanting Troodos Mounta ins and beyond to the capital, Nicosia.

4. Embracing Finland's winter

Holiday Destination Finland
Photo by Photodune.net

Instead of escaping the cold, you might actually want to embrace the winter wonderland for a change! This can turn out to be a particularly fun and memorable experience in Newsweek's Best Country of 2010: Finland. Here, both young and old are able to nurture their childish fancies: you can take sleigh rides, ski on one of the many fantastic slopes or simply experience the the breathtaking scenery of the region, where miles upon miles of pristine snow and Christmas-card forests dominate the landscape. Something very unique this far up the Northern hemisphere are the ethereal Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, a natural phenomenon occuring when charged particles from solar winds collide with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. No matter if you seek activity or leisure, Finland offers a refreshing break from your usual surroundings.

3. Picture-perfect Sri Lanka

Holiday Destination Sri Lanka
Photo by Photodune.net

A destination consistently rated as a top cold season getaway is Sri Lanka. With its picture-perfect coastline, a great surf and the lush topography, there really is little more a winter wanderer could wish for. To enjoy the best weather, try to remain in the south and west of the island. If you favour cooler temperatures, you can take one of the spectacular train rides, such as the connection from Colombo to Kandy. Sri Lanka's Expo Rail offers an overview of the trip during which you ride past rice paddies, tea plantations and the epic surrounding of the highlands. Fabulous waterfalls are plentyful to be found, just pick one from Wikipedia's list. Aside from this, there are many ancient temples to explore. However, it really are the glorious beaches that remain the most popular feature of Sri Lanka.

2. The Bahamas – the all-time favourite

Holiday Destination Bahamas
Photo by Photodune.net

The Bahamas remain the ultimate winter holiday destination, comprising of over 700 beautiful tropical islands with countless opportunities for diving, surfing or simply relaxing. If you are in for an active nightlife, you can head out to Harbour Island, which was formerly frequented by pirates. The travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler writes that it „is now a colourfully eccentric retreat where every night is a party and every day more vibrant than the last. The sand is pink, the turquoise water is home to green sea turtles and orange starfish, and yellow-throated birds fly about the trees. Days on the beach are long and lazy, and the time of day forgotten.“. For a different kind of excitement, book an excursion to swim with dolphins or whales in Bimini, or watch the diverse marine wildlife at the Atlantis Marine Habitats and Aquarium on Paradise Island. If it is romance you desire, it will be easy to find a spot to share a bottle of wine: take a water taxi to Cat Island and head for The Hermitage, the highest point in The Bahamas, from which the magnificent panorama is awe-inspiring. A visit to the magical islands of The Bahamas will prove to be the ultimate winter get-away.

1. The Florida Keys – the number 1 choice

Aerial of Florida Keys island and bridge

For US citizens seeking tropical island style and warmth without a passport, the Florida Keys are a perfect destination for a winter vacation. The island chain, strung like necklace of emeralds in the blue and turquoise waters off the southernmost tip of Florida, offers world class fishing, diving on the only coral barrier reef in North America, sailing, kayaking, bird watching and just relaxing on island time. The islands also boast some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets anywhere.  The drive across bridges and causeways is noted as a world class scenic highway and the trip is worth that alone. A middle Keys location, such as a waterfront rental in Key Colony Beach, provides a central location for exploring all the attractions of the Florida Keys.

 

Kitty Hastings loves sharing her insights and experiences with her readers. When going abroad, she does not go through the hassle of bringing cash, but uses her tuxedo currency card (visit the website) instead and always has some travellers cheques as a backup.