9 Best Places to Visit in Winter

Planning a winter vacation can be hectic even for a seasoned traveler, especially when it comes to choosing the right destination to visit and the right activities to take part in while there. But deciding to take a leap of faith and travel in winter could be the best decision you’ve made yet. There are many places in the world that are surreal but are known too many people which takes the uniqueness right out of it.

Winter might be the most magical time to kayak the Swedish archipelago. The Argentine Puna, on the other hand, is mesmerizing in any season, just remember that daytime temperature differentials are extreme in this eerily remote, high-altitude desert. A backpacking trip through Central America, starting in Mexico and going all the way to Panama is good at this time. Don’t miss Belize!

Hopefully having mostly rearranged themselves after the hurricane season, a cruise in the Caribbean can be a nice way to prepare for Christmas. Or just travel to an island in the area and relax for many days. Enjoy the roars from the waterfalls in Iguazu. Make sure you visit both the Brazilian and the Argentinians sides of the spectacle. They are quite different experiences.

December marks the onset of the holiday season and winter. If you are looking forward to planning a luxurious holiday with an easy travel loan, you can explore countries that are bustling with activity this time of year. While you can do so within your country, you can also consider visiting an international destination.

The holiday is that the whole family dream. But sometimes it can be difficult to agree on what and where, a destination that makes everyone happy. Anyone wanting to experience as much culture as possible, someone loves sports and some just want to relax on a beach. Today we give you tips on destinations where many different interests can be combined.

With the days getting shorter, it’s the perfect time to plan an escape from the city lights and take in the wonders of the night sky — think the Milky Way, northern lights and, if you’re lucky, maybe a shooting star or two. Football matches, golf, shopping, sunbathing or sightseeing - find the favorite to suit everyone in the family.

Top Places to Visit in Winter

Here are few destinations you can consider for your winter holidays.

1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is an island in French Polynesia located north of Tahiti, 260 kilometers from the capital of Papeete. If you want to enjoy a show of Polynesian dances, forget about those organized by the hotels. Throughout the month of July a Festival of Polynesian dances is organized throughout the country called Heiva, which you can attend for free. Discover it in Bora Bora. Possibly it is the most beautiful lagoon in the world.

Bora Bora is the charming island in the South Pacific known for its tropical beauty and scuba diving. Bora Bora is believed to be a paradise island on Earth. Enjoy your day by heading to Martina Beach known for silk soft sand. Also, grab a bite at the Bora Bora restaurants that features delicious food. Enjoy fun activities at the beach like parasailing, snorkeling, or scuba diving to make your trip more adventurous and enjoyable.

One of the most beautiful and photographed motus of Polynesia is the Motu Tapu. From Bora Bora you can see the nearby islands of Tahaa, Raiatea and Maupiti. Do not forget the drinks, the delicious cocktails such as maitai (rum mix, fresh pineapple and Cointreau) and Banana Coralia (fresh bananas, lemon juice, strawberry syrup and coconut).

Luxury hotels abound, with Polynesian-style bungalows built on the waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, where breakfast can arrive on board a canoe. In addition, the national television channel also broadcasts Heiva live, so if you fall far or do not coincide you can see it quietly from the hotel room. In Tahiti rent a car and go around the island.

Cerulean beaches, scattered population, the finest villas – Bora Bora is essentially castaway but for luxury travellers. The best season to travel to Bora Bora is during the months of May to October. Hurricane storms are common during the rest of the year. For scuba diving in Bora Bora, the best months are from April to June.

The Rangiroa Atoll is the second largest atoll in the world and is a spectacular place to dive. A perfect place to drift dive, the tropical waters are full of dolphins, sharks, and green sea turtles. Very few people come here, making it the perfect place to get away from hordes of tourists and enjoy a truly unique dive.

2. Tahiti

Tahiti is a dream vacation spot for many tourists. Tahiti has so much to offer to visitors from forests to beaches, and cuisines to resorts. The calm warm water, lavish resorts, and lush green forests make it an ideal destination for travelers. This French Polynesian island is also known for its delicious seafood. Shop at the local markets and visit the island’s old temples for a cultural experience.

3. Noumea, New Caledonia

South Pacific is known by tropical islands that feature sandy beaches, turquoise waters, an abundance of the underwater world and not so many people around. Noumea, on the contrary, is the capital city of New Caledonia located on Grand Terre Island that enjoys the status of the fastest growing city in the region.

If you’re looking for a comfortable vacation with your family where everything is just minutes away from your resort, then Noumea might be the place for you. All major beaches are just a walk away from the city and you can expect nice infrastructures such as plenty of water activities, beach bars, and cozy restaurants.

If you’re looking to do some snorkeling or diving, heading to Amedee Island and exploring the crystal clear waters and coral reefs is a perfect choice. Looking for an adrenaline boost? Check out Rainforest Canopy Adventure which features a zipline ride through diverse Koghis Forest.

4. Lesotho

This is the only country in the world situated entirely over 1,000 metres above sea level, and one of two where the average altitude is more than 2,000 metres. Hence, it’s often referred to as the Kingdom of the Sky.

Lesotho is called the kingdom of heaven, home of the traditional Basotho people, where the shepherds take care of the sheep on the slopes and riders wrapped in mantles ride through the mountains. Lesotho is a tremendously undervalued destination. It is safe, cheap and very accessible from Durban and Johannesburg. In addition, it offers excellent opportunities for hiking and the infrastructures of its national parks progressively improve.

In the low lands (above 1000 m) the simple way of life of its people takes place, and in the ​​Teyateyaneng and Maseru area there is magnificent craftsmanship but we must not stop exploring the valleys and mountains crossed by streams that once were a playground for the dinosaurs.

Sani Top is on top of the pronounced port of Sani, on the only reliable (albeit sinuous) road that crosses Lesotho through the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range, in KwaZulu-Natal. Sehlabathebe National Park, the most undervalued reserve in the country is as remote as it is steep and beautiful. Katse houses the highest dam in Africa (1993 m), whose serene reservoir, surrounded by steep green hills, is a good place to make a stop.

Nestled in the bowels of the rugged Maluti mountains, Ts'ehlanyane National Park protects a beautiful area of unspoilt nature at high altitude, which covers the only native forest in the country. The Maletsunyane waterfalls are an hour and a half walk from Semonkong. Mokhotlong is the main town north of the port of Sani and evokes a Wild West style environment.

5. Seychelles

Seychelles islands are often perceived as one of those destinations unattainable by elitists and very expensive and an Eden reserved for patricians or wealthy newlyweds eager to celebrate love by spending money in handfuls. This being true, it is also true that there are ways to travel to Seychelles for a couple of weeks for much less.

Well, the first thing is to get to Mahé, where the international airport is. In it you can find the highest peaks of the islands of the Morne Sychellois and the Trois Frères. The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, is located in Mahé. Continuing down Benezet street you can reach the Sir Selwyn Clarke Market, which on Saturdays offers a special spectacle of color and bustle in the middle of the different stalls.

The Francis Rachel street is known for the many shops that are located in it, by Kenwyn House, traditional style house and by the bust of Pierre Piovre who encouraged the cultivation of spices in the islands. Beau Vallon is the most popular beach in Mahé with three kilometers in the shape of a half moon. This beach has fairly swell waters so it is ideal for windsurfing.

In Seychelles, the world famous, top-ranked beach Anse Source d'Argent alone is enough to catapult Seychelles near the top! In Seychelles, this beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the world. The beach sparkles against the massive backdrop of granite boulders, worn by weather and time. Located on the quaint island of La Digue, development here is kept to a minimum.

The beach stands out because of perfect white sands that are lined with palm trees dropping into the crystal-clear teal sea. The turquoise water serves as an excellent spot for swimming. It is an offshore reef that protects from ocean waves. You never know, you may spot tortoises and endangered birds. But there are even better, lesser known oceanfront areas including Anse Intendance and Anse Georgette!

Anse à la Mouche is much quieter and you can practice swimming and water sports with complete peace of mind. Baie Lazare is a pleasant fishing village with a beach shaded by trees that grow near the shore. Punta Noroeste, with its typical rocks and its exuberant vegetation, is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

The Baie Ternay Marine National Park is also very pleasant, less congested by tourists than Sainte Anne and in a better state of conservation.

Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles. Perhaps the greatest attraction of Praslin is the Vallée de Mai. In this valley the Coco de Mer, one of the symbols of the Seychelles, is preserved. Even quieter than the previous ones, La Digue is full of pink granitic rocks that have given it worldwide fame. On this island you can see great constructions of Creole style.

Anse Patate is a good bay to bathe before entering the wild coast where the wind blows with great force as in Anse Gaulettes, Anse Grosse Roche, Anse Banane and Anse Fourmis.

The islands are expensive and do not stand out for their great gastronomic offer. There are, of course, fish and fruits. But everything else is imported. So spending on food is as flexible as you want.

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is not really a national park but fascinating nonetheless. It’s in the Seychelles, which once formed an isolated continent along with Madagascar and India. The Seychelles remains remote, so its primitive Cretaceous flora was not replaced by more advanced species. In the Vallée, forests are dominated by palm trees, unlike anywhere else in the world.

6. Kyrgyzstan

Cholpon Ata is one of the best-known towns of Issyk-Kul, the second largest salt lake in the world after the Caspian Sea and, the highest, after Titicaca. Issyk-Kul Oblast is located east of Bishkek and occupies an important part of the national territory. The fact that in Kyrgyzstan there is no sea beach makes the Issyk-Kul is chosen by the vast majority of the Kyrgyz (and even Kazakhs or Russians) as a destination to spend a few weeks on vacation.

Another one of the busiest is Bosteri. To go from Cholpon Ata to Bosteri we took a marshrutka that took us to Bosteri in 10 minutes. The marshrutka was going to Karakol but we asked if they could leave us there. Upon arrival we find the craziest site in the entire Issyk-Kul.

Bosteri is full of beach bars of all kinds of food, in addition to the corresponding street vendors. There is everything, even souvenirs, but mostly what you will find is typical food from Kyrgyzstan, such as manti or pelmeni, since it is a food that is eaten a lot. You can also find places to buy hamburgers, frankfurt, kebabs, shawarmas, soft drinks, etc. And all at an incredibly cheap price.

In the whole country you will find ice cream street stalls, written Морoженое in Russian. Yes, buying kumis in Bosteri is also possible.

7. Sandwich Harbour, Namibia

This is one of the most majestic places you’ll see in the world. The massive sand dunes of the Namib Desert are juxtaposed against the mighty South Atlantic Ocean. in one of the planet’s most surreal scenes. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, black rhinos, and oryx are among hundreds of species that roam the barren landscape, even the coastline itself. The endless stretch of crashing waves and lunarlike topography without the intrusion of resorts and high-rises is simply stellar.

Namibia is a country in Southwest Africa, and one of the most famous features of its territory is the Namib Desert, which is located along the Atlantic coast. The Skeleton Coast is the northernmost part of this coast, though this name is more generally used to indicate the coastal part of the Namib Desert up to the Orange River. The Skeleton Coast is known for being particularly inhospitable and difficult to access; inland, the desert stretches for tens of kilometers, and it is difficult to approach from the sea due to the strong waves caused by the Benguela Current.

For these reasons, the coast was called by the Bushmen "the land God created in anger," while the current name refers to the large number of shipwrecks stranded along the coast.

For those who used to sail in these parts in the past, the trial was indeed harsh; the desert dunes here advance incessantly, whipped by the wind to the point of shaping the seabed itself, forming sandbanks that not even maps could accurately chart.

The dense fog that pours from the land almost every morning makes it difficult to understand one's position, to the point that for many navigators, the passage from the ocean waves to the hot and hellish sand of the desert was truly sudden.

One wreck, in particular, seems to best represent this hell.

Trapped in a blanket of dense fog, the merchant ship “Eduard Bohlen” ran aground along the Skeleton Coast on September 5, 1909. The cargo ship, about 100 meters long and manned by a crew of 30, now lies partially buried under the sand, destined never to complete its journey to Cape Town. This was revealed by the Namibia tourism site.

Strangely, the ship appears to have sunk in the middle of the desert. In fact, in the years following its sinking, the desert began to eat away at the coast, and now the wreck is located more than 300 meters from the water. It has become a must-visit for wreck enthusiasts, history buffs, and desert explorers.

Now, gusts of sand carried by the wind have replaced the ocean water that once lapped at its rusted remains. The Skeleton Coast has become a kind of open-air ship cemetery, and many other wrecks dot the desert around the Eduard Bohlen. Some remain in the grip of the ocean, while others are nothing more than a few pieces of wood poking out of the sand, clearly visible even from satellite images and well-known earth mapping software.

8. Saint Helena

Nestled in the South Atlantic Ocean is the tiny British Overseas Territory of St Helena Island. It may only be the size of Liverpool but the island is home to a very special biodiversity with more than 500 endemic species of flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world. The island also possesses the last natural cloud forest on British territory. Here’s why a visit to St Helena is an experience like no other.

As one of the most remote islands on Earth, St Helena is certainly a unique place. A small and safe community combined with a lack of extreme weather make it a subtropical destination that can be explored in total peace and tranquillity. Clearly, St Helena is a breath of fresh air in the modern world. Around half of St Helena’s endemic plants and animals can be found within the Peaks National Park – this area, in the central highlands, is known as the cloud forest.

Saint Helena Island, where Napoleon lived the last years of his life in exile is 1200 miles west of the border between Angola and Namibia. Soulful people, with a dry coast, steep hills, and a wet interior. Its a small island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean between Africa and South America and the oldest resident on the island is 125 years old, called Johnathan and is a tortoise from Madagascar. The island also has the worlds longest continuous staircase called Jacobs ladder.

Jonathan the tortoise has resided on St Helena Island since the mid-1800s. He has seen his world shift from pre-radio to social media, lived through two World Wars and has been a resident of St Helena through generations of Saints (St Helena islanders). He also holds two titles in the Guinness Book of World Records (the title for the world’s oldest living land animal and the title for the oldest chelonian to have ever lived). Visitors are always encouraged to come and say hello to Jonathan!

St Helena is a place that offers an escape from everyday life, allowing you to truly step off the beaten track. The island is certainly establishing itself as an emerging holiday destination, one that likely, your friends and family won’t have visited. This is somewhere you’ll be able to totally disconnect from technology and relax – not to mention discover breathtaking landscapes without competing with heaps of tourists.

St Helena is home to incredibly important wildlife, boasting an expansive cloud forest as well as more than 500 species of plants and animals – found nowhere else on Earth. This includes the St Helena Plover, locally known as the Wirebird, the island’s last remaining endemic land bird species. There are so many spectacular species to be discovered. This includes one of the rarest and most endangered isopods, the spiky yellow woodlouse which is well known amongst islanders for its bright colour and unusual appearance (it glows in the dark).

St Helena Island is the only known place in the world with an equal ratio of adult male and female whale sharks. Every December through to March, these gentle giants appear in the waters around the island. Swimming with these enigmatic creatures in the high-visibility, warm waters of the South Atlantic Ocean is certainly on the bucket-list for lots of people and just one of the many spectacular experiences to be had while staying in St Helena.

9. Armenia

Armenia is a hidden country among all Asian countries. Many of you have never heard the name or don’t know the exact place of Armenia on the map.

Armenia is tucked away and is unknown to most of the world but it is very surreal and is an ancient country with a long history and rich culture. The natural landscapes are so beautiful and are dotted with churches that are almost 2000 years old and other structures that date back to antiquity. Armenia is an open air museum and is unknown to the rest of the world but has some very surreal places that will impact you forever.

In the central part of Yerevan is the opera and ballet theater. A symbolic historical attraction is the Erebuni fortress. For hundreds of years, the city was the capital of the prosperous city of Urartian. Nagorno-Karabakh could be an independent country, except that no member of the United Nations recognizes it as such.

Although recognized by the United Nations as part of Azerbaijan, in practice the only way to get to Nagorno-Karabakh is by Armenia. Artsakh is mountains, for something it is called Nagorno.

Tatev Monastery built over a thousand years ago into the cliff side was a huge walled monastery complex in medieval Armenia. You can get there by taking the longest aerial cable-car in the world extending around 6 kilometres!

Echmiadzin Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in the world and was built in 303 AD in the holy city of Vagharshapat. It has been repaired and rebuilt subsequently in history.

Temple of Garni is the only Hellenistic Temple in the entire post Soviet Union area.

The cuisine also pretty much resembles the East. Armenians eat a lot of Dolma. Grape leaves (sometimes cabbage and tomato) stuffed with meat, are some of the most favorite meals here. It does have its varieties in other South and West Asian countries.

Average prices of hotels in Yerevan start from 20 $ per night. Hostels and guesthouses start from 10$. It depends on the location of the properties if it is right in the center the cost is higher than others. Taxies are cheaper than in Europe, and the USA. A normal tariff is 600 AMD (first 5 km) - 1.24 USD, then every 1 km is 100 dram. If you sit taxi and check the cost on the taximeter , no one can ask you to pay more.

Metro also costs 100 dram - 0.20 USD and it is faster and out of the city’s heavy traffic. Food is also cheap, of course, if you’re not eating in a luxurious restaurant. You can have dinner with 10 $.
Kalyan Panja