Warm winter escapes have a nice ring to them, especially if you are the type who absolutely hates being cold. Don’t get me wrong, winter can be magical- hot chocolate, stylish scarves and leggings, snowboarding, snowflake-themed things- the list goes on, but it’s not for everyone.
If you would like to escape the freezing weather in your country, here are the top ten places around the world you could visit:
1. Santorini, Greece
How does escaping to the Greek Isles sound? Santorini has always been a great place to visit any day of the year, but if you are looking for sunshine December, this is the perfect place for you. Santorini’s temperature can drop up to 55.4 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius)during winter, but activities that you normally do during summertime are still a possibility. You can take a boat cruise and enjoy a breathtaking sunset while sipping the best Greek wines. If you love taking photographs, what’s a better subject than the beautiful island? You can also join photography tours and appreciate the island from a different angle. In Santorini, you can spend your winter vacation riding donkeys, hopping on cable cars, or go hiking or cliff diving.
2. Kauai, Hawaii
Fly to Kauai, Hawaii and instead of being knee-deep in snow, be knee-deep in the sea. To appreciate the most beautiful island in Hawaii, take a helicopter tour and admire the beauty of Kauai from above. Aside from the given beaches and underwater paradise, you can also find magnificent waterfalls in this island. Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls are must-sees in the area. You can cap off your vacation by taking a catamaran cruise and enjoy the view of Na Pali Coast.
3. Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda, the third largest of the many islands in British Virgin Islands, is suitable for any travelling families or group of friends who are looking for a low-key and intimate Christmas getaway. The island was discovered as a tourist destination in the 60’s. It is popular for “The Baths.” “The Baths” is a beautiful beach with hidden treasures of caves and natural pools. You can swim to your heart’s content without worrying about the heat of the sun. Aside from The Baths, there are also beaches that are worth checking out in the area, such as Spring Bay, Little Trunk Bay, and Savannah Bay. Of course, snorkeling and diving are also popular in the island, but if you are looking for an adventure out of the water, a hike to Gorda Peak could be added to your itinerary.
4. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Providenciales or “Provo” is a must-visit for beach lovers any time of the year. If you are up for celebrating the holidays strolling on the white sand beaches instead of walking on slippery snow, Provo, with its luxurious hotels, shopping centers, and spas, is available for you. Conde Nast has ranked Provo as a Best Beach so this is worth the flight. Aside from shopping, dining, and sunbathing, endless water activities are offered in the island. It also has one of the greatest marine lives which give a stunning experience for anyone who enjoys diving and snorkeling.
5. Palawan, Philippines
As a tropical country, it’s sunny most of the time in the Philippines even during rainy seasons from June to January. When visiting the country while it’s winter in your area, you have so many options to choose from; one of which would be the Palawan Islands. Given an award by Conde Nast Traveler as the second Best Island in the World in 2016, Palawan is the ultimate vacation escape where you won’t be freezing cold. You can do island hopping, go kayaking or snorkeling, and feast on fresh and delicious seafood. The greatest thing about travelling to Palawan, whether it’s Puerto Princessa, Coron, or El Nido, is that it is very affordable. You would also have the chance to see one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, which is the Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National Park.
6. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
If you are from the U.S. and would not want to travel out of the country, there are still a couple of warm places that you could escape to when your state is deep in snow. L.A. weather during winter lets you do outdoor activities such as hiking up to the Hollywood sign or strolling at the beach. If you are travelling with kids, checking out Disneyland may also be a good idea. Since it is off season, you won’t have to wait in line that much. You can also check out shops, cafés, and might see a couple of Hollywood stars here and there.
7. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is vibrant and sultry from December to February. If you are from the Northern Hemisphere, you can fly to Argentina during wintertime in your country and experience summer instead. There are so many things to do in Buenos Aires. You can start your vacation learning tango dancing and checking out street markets. Foodie or not, dine at the parillas (grill) and have a taste of Argentina’s best grilled meals. During weekends, get the chance to witness a Buenos Aires tradition called Feria de Mataderos that involves cowboys, music, dancing, and food.
8. New South Wales, Australia
Just as with Argentina, it is summertime in December in the Land Down Under. Australia is known for its beaches above all else, but it does not mean that’s the only thing you can do here. Once you’ve had enough of the Bondi Beach, you can drive up to Blue Mountains for an awesome outdoorsy adventure. The Three Sisters is among the top reasons why Blue Mountains is popular in Australia. If you are up for hiking activities, this is worth your time. Blue Mountains also attract rock climbers and mountain bikers especially during summertime in the country.
9. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tomb Raider fan or not, Cambodia is a must visit for anyone who likes to explore ancient temples and discover unfamiliar traditions. The most famous attraction in Cambodia is Angkor Wat. Visitors would start arriving as early as 5:00 in the morning to watch the sunrise. If you don’t mind waking up this early, this would also help you cover a lot for the day since Angkor Wat is about 500 acres. If you’ve seen enough temples, you can explore the night markets, ride a tuk-tuk to tour around town, and try exotic food. Interested in eating a spider? You can do that in Route 6 Cambodia.
10. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas (commonly referred to as Cabo) is known for its beautiful beaches, spas, scuba diving sites, and delicious cuisine. If you would like to trade skiing with scuba diving, that’s a possibility here. You can lounge at the beach the whole day while watching pods of whales which usually make an appearance in the area during wintertime. Cabo not only offers beach activities, it also has a lively nightlife. High end and luxury resorts are also available to complete your ultimate winter getaway.