The best part about going away in February is that the temperatures are low, the hotel rates are cheaper and there are minimal crowds. It’s the perfect time of year to kick start your travels and holidays and to get some much-needed rest after the initial back to work rush during January. Also, don’t forget that it is Valentine’s Day on the 14th so be sure to book up somewhere romantic for your loved one.
With an abundance of destinations to choose from it can be quite intimidating trying to find the perfect place to go and that is where we come in with our hand-picked Top 8. Get your bags packed, passport in hand and ready to head to the airport because you will be sure to be booking a flight in no time.
1. Venice, Italy
Who doesn’t want to head to Venice and experience the biggest party of the year? For those of you who don’t know; it is a weird and wonderful time of year there as it throws a wacky carnival where the locals and visitors dress up in the classic ornate masks and costumes and take to the streets. You will find an array of parties, parades, concerts and balls that will keep you utterly fascinated the whole time you’re there.
I must admit, this is slightly more popular than it usually would be, but it is worth the experience and checking off the bucket list as well. Revel in its beautiful architecture, cathedrals, monuments, statues, art and hidden side alleys with unique experiences you can only find in Venice. A bonus is that this time of year you will also avoid the flooding which is prone to ruining your trip there.
2. Lisbon, Portugal
If you are looking for milder weather than what you are experiencing in the UK, then Lisbon is the perfect place to visit in Europe. While it may be slightly wetter it does, however, mean that hotel prices are significantly cheaper and with a lot fewer tourists around. The perfect thing to do here is to put on your best waterproof jacket while wandering its stunning streets, take in the fascinating architecture and explore areas such as Alfama and Chiado.
With its world-class restaurants, rich history and unique markets, Lisbon is certainly the place to find traditional Portuguese food and hidden gems in some of the coolest neighbourhoods around the city. Be sure to check out the Feira da Ladra market, National Museum of Contemporary Art and see the view at Portas do Sol.
3. Budapest, Hungary
While Portugal way is wet in February, Hungary is the total opposite as it is the driest month of the year in Budapest making it the perfect place to spend a romantic getaway with your loved one for Valentine’s Day. If you are looking for ideas then be sure to book you both on a cruise down the iconic Danube which will pass many UNESCO World Heritage landmarks such as Margaret Island, the Hungarian Parliament Building and of course the world-famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge.
For me, the most magical landmark to visit is the Fisherman’s Bastion which reminds of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts castle. With beautiful turrets, cream colours stone walls and fantastic views of the city it is well worth spending some time here. Then to end the day, head to the famous Széchenyi Spa and thermal baths to chill out in and relax after a hard day of exploring.
4. St. Mortiz, Switzerland
Who doesn’t want to visit Switzerland with its beautiful alpine towns, including St. Mortiz which looks especially breathtaking in February. At this time of year, you should be donning your ski’s or snowboards and heading to slopes to carve some fresh powder in the mountains. While it is winter there, the temperatures are actually at their warmest, so you haven’t got to worry about it being too cold.
The lake, however, is still frozen and during this time they have the world-famous horse racing event called ‘White Turf’ which takes place there and lasts for three weekends. Fancy some more adrenalin rushes? Then give bobsledding a go on its own Olympia Bob Run which is the oldest in the world.
5. Brasov, Romania
If Switzerland is a bit too mainstream for you then I would highly suggest checking out and exploring Brasov which at this time of year can be a pretty cold with temperatures dropping to around -30 Celsius. Now, while this may not sound appealing to some people it is a brilliant place to hit the mountains and go skiing or snowboarding.
The pace of life noticeably slows. There is a relaxed, romantic feel as you wander through Brasov’s narrow cobblestone streets which is perfect for that Valentine getaway and the 13th-century city transports you back in time with an unassuming tangible authenticity. When you enter the Schei district, a historic part outside of Brasov’s city walls, it looks like time has stood still. School close and people lay down their normal work because of the weather conditions. If you like an authentic vibe and loads of snow, this is the place for you.
6. Girne, Cyprus
This awe-inspiring city is located in Northern Cyprus and has some of the most stunning landscape backdrops on the island which range from the ocean to the rugged mountains creating a brilliant postcard-perfect location. Also, known as Kyrenia, it is surrounded by wonderful nature which will certainly keep you occupied the whole time you are there. Stroll along its white sandy beaches and if you’re brave enough, dip your toes in the sea.
Even though it is a small area, there is still lots to do and explore like walking its cobblestoned waterfront taking in the wonderful smells of freshly cooked food and coffee, uncovering the famous Kyrenia Castle and heading to the Shipwreck museum.
7. Canary Islands, Spain
Who wouldn’t want a bit of winter sun? At the most southern part of Spain, you will find the beautiful Canary Islands. Despite the name, the islands were not named after canaries, the cute, chirping birds. The name comes from the Latin word for dog, ‘Canaria’. This archipelago is composed of 7 small islands - Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.
Having an average temperature of 18-21 Celsius in February it is a great place to get some much-needed sun revitalisation. It is perfect for sea lovers, as you can do several things other than just chilling on the beach. You can go snorkelling, swimming, cliff diving and even scuba diving.
8. Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo is truly the ultimate place to indulge in your wildest (and most expensive) fantasies. It is often referred to as the ‘Billionaires Playground’ and it an ideal destination for February as the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, averaging 11-13 Celsius. Indulge in some car racing, or try your luck at one of the most famous casinos in the world – the Monte-Carlo Casino.
A must do is to go strolling along the quarters of Monaco-Ville, or even dining at some Michelin star restaurants to get a taste of some delicious cuisines. Or if you aren’t in the mood to blow all of your bank savings, you can choose to live the simple life and go for a cycle along the famous winding roads of Col de Braus and soak in the sunshine.
Be sure to check out my website Take The Leap Travel for more information and travel advice as well as my Instagram @explorewithlee and @taketheleaptravel.
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