Tanzania houses the highest peak (Mount Kilimanjaro), the lowest point (the lake bed of Lake Tanganyika) and a portion of the largest lake (Lake Victoria, shared with Uganda and Kenya) on the African continent. Whether you are in a hot-air balloon over the savannah or at eye level on the roads below, the Serengeti National Park is sure to be a wild experience. Ideal for those after some winter sun, Tanzania should be top of the list. Temperatures rise to around 28 degrees Celsius during January and February, and the area is packed with lodges and hotels offering safari tours to spot the local exotic wildlife.
Never been to Vienna? This Austrian city’s imperial grandeur is the legacy of the powerful Habsburg monarchy. One of the Habsburgs’ most dazzling Rinsgstrasse palaces, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, houses the imperial art collection. If there is anything that really distinguishes the aesthetic of Vienna during winter from the other parts of the year (besides, of course, a layer of white powdery snow), it’s the Christmas lights illuminating the sky above every city street. Landmarks are also covered in Christmas lights, or have lights projected on them. This is truly a sight you can see no other time of the year than winter! Cold weather is the perfect excuse to warm up in a Viennese coffeehouse and Viennese cuisine is practically made for winter especially the Schnitzel.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria delivered a major blow to the Caribbean in August and late September, respectively. In some of the harder-hit islands, like Dominica, Saint Martin and Puerto Rico, the natural disasters caused a humanitarian crisis, yet the place is now limping back to business. Colourful beachside buildings have reopened on many Caribbean islands, including Turks and Caicos. From its picture-perfect beaches to luxury resorts and family-friendly hotels, it’s no surprise that the Caribbean continues to be a firm holiday favourite—especially in the winter when temperatures are balmy and the snorkelling conditions perfect. Boasting some of the world’s top-rated beaches, as well as numerous spas, high-end restaurants and luxury resorts, it offers a true escape from cold climate winters.
A journey to Vietnam isn’t complete without a visit to its capital. Hanoi is medieval yet modern. The contrast between north and south Vietnam is never as obvious as in the contrast between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The traditional, socialist capital in the north finds its counterpart in a sophisticated, very western metropolis. Visitors can catch falling snow in the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range, Silver Waterfall, Heaven Gate or O Quy Ho Pass during the winter. The night train is a very common means of transportation in Vietnam as is renting a scooter. Vietnam is also known for its food. There are said to be around 500 national dishes in Vietnam. All those little barbecues, cafés and street kitchens are usually specified for one dish. You’ll get fried vegetables, grilled meat skewer, baguette, soup or wok dishes in every corner.
The dry season is somewhat Belize’s winter minus the snow and freezing cold. During the months of November, December and January, the temperature in Belize drops a bit, leading to cool windy days with lots of sunshine. And starting February, March and May, it tends to be hotter with almost no clouds. Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere and the 1,000-ft-wide Great Blue Hole. Once part of the ancient Mayan empire, nowadays Belize boasts plenty of luxury resorts, tropical scenery and exotic wildlife. Belize is a mecca for birdwatchers. Colourful species are so gorgeous, even tourists with no interest in ornithology are enthralled.
A gentoo penguin will make as many as 450 foraging dives per day, and with 24 hours of sunlight during days, you’ll have plenty of chances to see it happen. There’s no denying that Antarctica makes the ultimate winter getaway—after all, it’s home to jaw-dropping glaciers, awe-inspiring icebergs and some magnificent landscapes. The only downside is that finding a holiday there can be somewhat tricky—only a few companies offer tours and excursions, and they don’t come cheap.
Every winter, thousands of gray whales migrate some 6,000 miles south to the breeding grounds in Baja California. During the summer, Baja California boasts plenty of hot weather, but with that comes crowds of tourists. Go in the winter and the temperatures will be cooler, not to mention you’ll be able to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as whale-watching. The state includes islands in the Pacific, as well as several islands in the Gulf of California. It has a wide variety of attractions for visitors, including pristine beaches, nature preserves, etc.
Winter in New York City is full of white lights, window displays, shopping and more. From outdoor skating to seasonal festivals, there’s fun for everyone this time of year. So bundle up and go out to admire all the snow-covered trees at the best NYC parks and enjoy fun winter celebrations, including dog shows, book fairs, etc.
Patagonia is difficult to define, but is generally considered to be a rugged, mountainous area of southern Chile and Argentina, including the Andes mountains to the west and south, and plateaux and low plains to the east. It is characterised by long rugged coastlines, giant glaciers, fjords and extensive windswept steppe. With many amenities closed during the summer months, November through April is an ideal time to visit Torres del Paine National Park. Nature lovers are sure to be floored by Patagonia’s spectacular landscapes which include everything from deserts to mountains. The weather is unpredictable all year round and strong winds and sudden storms are common.
Winter is actually the best time to travel to Japan. Though in the spring there is the famous cherry blossom yet nothing is comparable to glowing houses covered in snow in winter months. Japan receives some of the world’s most reliable snowfall, thanks to icy winds blowing in across the sea from Siberia. All this considered, it’s pretty much the most epic snow sports location in the world. The snow festival is a winter celebration of epic proportions.