Traveling in winter has its own charm. There are two main approaches: to go somewhere to escape the cold, where it will be warm and summer sunny; or to fully immerse yourself in the winter fairy tale and find a place where it becomes almost real. It’s up to you, but the pros are obvious.
Tickets are cheaper in the winter, the flow of tourists is less, you can easily stay anywhere and get into museums without queuing – says a travel agent here. And of course, when the streets of the native city are gray, ice and early twilight, so nice to go to where you’ve never been, enjoy new experiences and a wonderful atmosphere. We’ve gathered for you the best countries and cities for winter travel in this article.
1. Funchal, Madeira
From the cold streets we are immediately transported to a pleasant, warm and tropical climate. The island of Madeira, washed by the Atlantic Ocean, can be called a paradise, even in winter. This is a favorite destination of European tourists. It never snows, it’s warm, there are palm trees and towering mountains. Madeira is also good in that because of its topography here are indeed a lot of mountain ranges, there are spectacular cliffs over the ocean, and most beaches – pebble. In winter, the temperature rarely drops below 17 degrees. Funchal is the island’s main city. This is Madeira’s oldest port city and you’ll appreciate its charm once you’ve been there. Medieval cobblestone streets with old mansions against a backdrop of towering mountains, and just around the corner – chic pebble beaches. Seek flight tickets to Funchal if you have never been here before. The beaches are not the only things that are great on the island. For those who love walks in beautiful surroundings, there is no better place to be than Funchal. Levada is Madeira’s calling card. These irrigation canals stretch all over the island, giving tourists fresh air and hiking trails along the rocks, waterfalls, and forests. Because the resort began welcoming visitors in the 19th century, there are also many attractions – palaces, wine plantations, museums and cathedrals.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
If you want to get all the delights of a winter fairy tale, then you should definitely pay attention to the Czech Republic. It is better to take air tickets to Prague for Christmas vacations. Of course you can not save money, but in return you get the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful Christmas fairs in the world. Winter Prague is transformed. Everywhere there are lights, spruce branches, wreaths, at every step there are aromas of mulled wine and pastries, in taverns and on squares there are beautiful Christmas trees. In addition, it is the best option for a trip with children.
They will be captivated by the city in winter. Here every day for free many events: organ music concerts, performances of street artists, puppet theater, guided tours of medieval sites. There are fairs in the main squares, where you can taste the local cuisine and buy souvenirs. Be sure to try a traditional dish in the Czech Republic for Christmas – roasted carp. It will replenish your energy after a long winter walk.
3. Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife is a vacation island in the Canary archipelago with a mild and warm climate year-round. Air tickets to Tenerife gives tourists a great variety of where to go next. There are medieval towns with lots of attractions, noisy party centers with clubs and developed nightlife, family friendly villages with cozy hotels. There is even Playa de la Arena – a beach, the sand of which is attributed medicinal properties. By the way, Tenerife resort is not too expensive, but you get the famous Spanish quality in full.
Be sure to visit Loro Park – at the same time a zoo, oceanarium, botanical park and much more. It works in the winter as well. In winter the temperature drops below 20 degrees, so you can swim and sunbathe, bless the beaches are clean, sandy and plenty of them. If you go to Tenerife just for the ocean, it is better to settle on the south coast, it is the warmest.
4. Riga, Latvia
If you want to visit the European fairy tale with the Christmas markets, millions of lights on the trees, cozy restaurants, performances and shows, but you have an organic budget, you just need to buy airline tickets to Riga. The prices here are just an order of magnitude lower than in the other cities of old Europe, even for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. At the same time, you get a ton of fun, magic and beautiful, inexpressible atmosphere. In addition, the country celebrates both Catholic and Orthodox Christmas at the same time, which is very important for our latitudes.
Latvia is ideal for family vacations. Old towns, some dating back to the Middle Ages, paved narrow streets where every building is already a historical monument, all this splendor in snow and decorated with garlands and wreaths, fine pastries and hot drinks at street stalls, traditional meat dishes in cafes, lots of sights and cathedrals where you can listen to organ or choir and watch children’s performances for free. Beginning in December, theatrical performances and folk festivals are held at every turn in Riga. Smoked meat is also a symbol of Christmas here, so feast time is guaranteed.
5. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the cheapest countries for tourists. Here you can live in great conditions for pennies. And you get all the charm of the tropics – the beaches with clear water, palm trees, in addition, the ancient history of Cambodia will provide you with the ruins and statues of the temples that were built in the 2nd century BC. Wandering among the abandoned heads of dragons made of stone and lianas is an unforgettable experience. It is worth buying air tickets to Phnom Penh, the capital of the kingdom, just for the winter.
At this time there is a more comfortable climate: it’s warm, there is no monsoon, which begin to rage in May. In summer in Cambodia, you can go crazy with the heat. In fact, the kingdom – a paradise for tourists. For pennies you can taste the most outlandish tropical fruits, the beaches are mostly deserted, there are many sights, the exotic cuisine is a mixture of cuisines of Thailand and China, many islands around the perimeter, which are national parks and can impress you with mango groves. By the way, Cambodia is the country where key scenes of one part of “Lara Croft” were filmed.
6. Bucharest, Constanza, Romania
In fact, it’s not just Bucharest, the capital of Romania, that’s your ultimate destination for winter travel. This whole country is ideal for tourists during the cold season. To begin with, here are the cheapest prices in Europe. Flight, lodging, food, sightseeing – everything is very favorable. Airfare to Constanta or Bucharest will allow you again to enjoy Christmas fairs and folk festivals. Right from here you can book a tour further afield.
Why? Yes, because in Romania you can go in the winter in the mountains, to see all the romance of Transylvania in the snow, all these ancient castles surrounded by pine forests and mountain ranges, to walk in the old forts. Especially skiing fans come to Romania. Again, the prices at such resorts are affordable, and the slopes are some of the most beautiful and long in Europe. Dracula’s castle, a few attractions from the UNESCO list, friendly locals, a noisy celebration of New Year, huge portions of local dishes in any cafe – this holiday will be remembered for a long time.
7. Phuket, Thailand
Holidays in Thailand are available, it is warm all year round, you can swim even in winter, all kinds of entertainment are waiting at every step. If you’ve never been here, then it’s better to buy tickets to Phuket – one of the most popular resorts in Thailand. It is the largest island of the country, and probably the most popular.When you fly here, you get a golden mean between a family vacation and a party center. But the island is most appreciated for its beaches and nature. Snow-white sand, reefs, blue ocean, palm trees, from which coconuts and fruits fall straight into your hands, the opportunity to rent a bungalow right on the beach – that’s what tourists love Thailand. Sometimes in Phuket there are rocky beaches – very beautiful and fascinating. Diving, hiking, surfing. Text source