Winter Destinations That Deserve Attention
When it comes to winter holidays, we usually think of skiing in the Alps, jetting off to the Caribbean or taking a short break to the Mediterranean. If you’re seeking something a little more out of the ordinary, read on to discover five winter destinations that you may not have previously considered.
Located on the West African coast, The Gambia may not be the first place that you think of for a winter holiday in the sun, but its climate, locations and beaches make it an ideal choice. Only six hours from the UK, temperatures can reach 30 degrees in December, and recent years have seen an increase in luxury hotels and resorts situated by the coast. Known as the ‘smiling coast’ because of the friendliness of the locals, you’ll find excellent local cuisine, vibrant culture and unusual wildlife alongside idyllic quiet beaches.
For a winter adventure holiday with a difference, head to the Norwegian town of Lillehammer that was made famous by the eponymous television show and the 1994 Winter Olympics. Experience the ultimate adrenaline-driven winter sport by flying down the ice on a bobsleigh at speeds that will expose you to 5G forces, or try out tobogganing or downhill skiing for tamer options. In between extreme winter sports, spend time exploring the picturesque town and the surrounding snow-covered landscapes.
Take an alternative European city break to Tallinn to discover the medieval old town and one of the best undiscovered Christmas markets on the continent. Sample local food and beer, admire the snow sculptures and browse the stalls selling traditional handmade crafts. Combine with a trip over the ice road to Muhu Island to seek out deer, moose and sea eagles, and to indulge in a traditional hay bath in one of the local spas.
For those who seek adventure and stunning scenery, hire a jeep to navigate the otherworldly terrain of the Icelandic ring road. Begin your journey with a night in the colourful town of Reykjavik before heading into the wilderness to discover secluded hot springs to bask in whilst surrounded by snow, towering waterfalls, glacial lagoons and geothermal sites. An added bonus of visiting Iceland during the winter (aside from witnessing the landscapes covered in snow and ice) is the chance to spot the elusive Northern Lights, as once you leave Reykjavik there is little light pollution to obstruct your view of the night sky.
This southern state of India is as famous for its delicious cuisine as it is for its idyllic beaches and luscious green jungles. Much more affordable than other, more common far-flung winter sun destinations, Kerala is a complete contrast to the bustling scenes usually associated with India. Ideal for peaceful getaways, yoga retreats and cultural tours, there are a wealth of different landscapes to experience during a visit to the state.
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