Did you know that almost forty percent of Americans travel to warm vacation places during winter? Over eighty percent think traveling to warmer places in the winter will boost their mood. With that in mind, we wanted to give you some great winter vacation ideas in warm and cozy places—perfect for escaping cold winds, snow, and rain.
12 of the Best Winter Vacation Ideas To Escape the Cold
Our list of the best winter vacation ideas focuses on locations for snowbirds to fly away from the chill of winter. If you are looking for fun in the cold, check out our other articles about winter in the US National Parks or what to do in Lake Tahoe during the winter!
1. Lisbon, Portugal
It’s time to fly straight across the Atlantic Ocean towards Portugal. Lisbon is a beautiful and youthful city that brings delight and joy to all its visitors. It is a city of extraordinary wine and fresh seafood that you can buy cheaply everywhere. Lisbon is one of the most authentic cities in Europe, with beautiful, colorful buildings of Mediterranean architecture full of narrow streets meant just for trams or walking on stairs on the sides of the street.
The city is full of ups and downs. The terrain is filled with hills, so you will have a feeling that you are in a small town because, in most parts of the city, you get a cozy feeling due to narrow streets and ever-changing terrain. As we said, the tram is one of the city’s most recognized symbols, and a ride in one is a must! Don’t miss the Tagus River and its beautiful meanders. The weather in January is also great, with a lot of sunny days and temperatures around 59 F, making it a perfect destination for your next vacation!
This island country is underrated and secreted away in the waves of the Indian Ocean. Located on the eastern side of Madagascar, this beautiful island is filled with sandy beaches and turquoise ocean. Mauritius is a perfect place if you want a lazy holiday where you can lie down on the beach and sip on cocktails. Besides the surreal nature, you have tons of good restaurants and hotels.
3. The Bahamas
Much more approachable for American tourists, The Bahamas is a unique Caribbean world with blue lagoons and an abundance of sea life. Apart from sipping on your Pina Colada, there are many things to do in The Bahamas. We recommend you try snorkeling or scuba diving or go deep-sea fishing. Swimming with the pigs is also an attraction that you shouldn’t miss!
4. Bali, Indonesia
We recommend Bali to travelers who are looking for an enlightened or family-friendly trip. In terms of spirituality, you can visit many ancient temples and forests that allow you to connect with nature and with your traveling companions. Explore the Ubud Monkey Forest, hike to the top of Mount Batur, swim under a waterfall, or simply relax at the beach club and enjoy a drink.
Back to the Indian Ocean and the Maldives—a magnificent archipelago of islands. The Maldives are globally famous for its bungalows over the water and many luxury villas. Here, you can swim with stingrays and reef sharks. That is, of course, if you sum up the courage to do it. Scuba diving in crystal clear waters is a must-try, just like spending a night in a water villa or surfing. We recommend this, especially to couples, where they can look at the sunset every day while enjoying a delicious dinner.
Jordan is a choice for tourists who want to explore Middle Eastern culture and all its wonders. You won’t make a mistake with this one. Unlike some items on this list, a vacation in Jordan is an active vacation—lots of exploring and walking. The ancient city of Petra should be your first destination, as this surreal sight is an unforgettable experience.
Next on the list should explore the canyons of Wadi Mujib and ancient Roman ruins on Umm Qais. On the seaside, you can dive to explore shipwrecks, and in the end, you shouldn’t miss out on relaxing in the Dead Sea as you read the newspaper and float on the water.
7. Bangkok, Thailand
One of Asia’s most popular destinations is not there without a reason. Bangkok is an excellent choice for tourists who want to experience more of a city-based trip with good nightlife. Here, you won’t find many restaurants with Western food because here rules the culture of the delicious local street food. You have so much content throughout town, such as different shows, such as ping pong shows, right next to the streets.
The city is also full of ancient temples and monuments, so walking through the city is recommended. Bangkok is crowded, so get ready for this and always have a map and a phone with you, considering it’s quite easy to get lost. We recommend visiting the island of Phuket, where you can relax and enjoy the breathtaking nature of Thailand.
8. Sicily, Italy
A slow-paced holiday with a lot of pizza and espresso is a great choice for older tourists or families. This Italian pearl is located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. The influence of different cultures and empires through centuries has made Sicily a surreal place to visit. The whole island is like a museum, so content won’t be missing. Try walking down the streets of Palermo and enjoy their street markets. The weather in the winter is warm, with the average temperature around 59 F, making Sicily a great place to escape from the winter!
9. Costa Rica
Bordered by both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, it is a country where freedom is a way of life. A place with unmatchable nature, from rainforests to volcanos and beautiful beaches. Costa Rica offers warm weather on winter days. We recommend zip-lining and getting lost with monkeys in the forest. San Jose is the capital of these beautiful lands, and it would be a shame to come to Costa Rica and not visit it.
The gem of the desert has its wonders, and one of them is the city of Casablanca, which we highly recommend you visit. Casablanca has many things to offer, like the city’s famous lighthouse and incredible villages hidden in the desert. Morocco has multiple Arabic temples and unique Middle East-influenced architecture. You should not miss out on Rabat, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, and the Grand Hassan Tower. Lastly, we suggest you immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the narrow and crowded streets of Rabat.
11. Havana, Cuba
Cuba is among the most unique places in the world to visit. The whole country feels frozen in time. Instead of modern vehicles, Cuba boasts a variety of cars from the ’50s and ’60s. The city is loaded with colorful buildings, narrow streets, alleys, and palaces. People are very relaxed and outgoing; compared to the United States it is a completely different way of living.
The Cubans are very approachable, especially for a good chat and drink. You can dance the night away with the salsa dance on the streets among the locals. Cuba truly is an amazing place, and we highly recommend you visit it.
12. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is a great city, one that offers so much cultural experience from a variety of different cultures. From the iconic Harbour Bridge and stellar Sydney Opera House to beautiful parks and beaches. Culture-wise, Sydney has one of the best museums and galleries in the world. You can try exploring the city with bike tours or by walking as Sydney offers plenty to see.
Foodies shouldn’t miss the Taste of Sydney Tour to dive into various Italian and local foods and drinks. Bus tours through the city are a great way to get to know the city, its rich history and culture. Don’t miss out on the famous and iconic Bondi Beach; we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
I am a Criminal Law Masters student from Montenegro. I have graduated Law College in 2022 at Faculty of Law at University of Montenegro.
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Since I was a little I always loved to travel and had the opportunity to visit many countries.