Winter is coming and sadly, unlike the well-known TV show, you won’t have to wait until 2019 to see it and feel it, it will sneak through the back door and slam you in the face with a cold breeze when you least expect it. Thus, this makes it the perfect time to look for the top winter escapes and start planning your winter getaway.
With this in mind, I went out and asked my fellow travel bloggers for the recommendations of their favorite getaways, and since I’m not selfish, I will share them with you, for you to review and choose wisely your dream winter destination.
So here they are, the Top Winter Escapes recommended by travel bloggers
Puglia, Italy – by Cris Puscas at Looknwalk
I’ve discovered Puglia back in March 2012. After leaving a still snowy Romania, I landed in Rome. 20C. A bus ride later and I was on the Gargano Coast, enjoying 20C. In t-shirt. Surely, that was until I got used to the weather and went back to the jacket.
But ever since then, I’ve been dreaming of living in Puglia for a while during winter. The weather was a good enough reason to make me pack my bag – and work -, find a rental, and deal with the internet situation. Which I did in the winter of 2016-2017. I’ve found 2 euros flights to Bari for right after my birthday in early December and found a place to stay at a reasonable price for 5 weeks in a resort up the coast (Vieste).
As expected, I was in love with the sunny weather. I’ve spent days walking on the beach in a long-sleeve shirt. Of course, it took about a week to get used to the weather and the layers were back.
Did I mention the beach? My lunch break was most often a long walk on the long beach. Or just a walk to The Little Harbor. I could spend hours listening to the waves.
I’m also in love with the cuisine (minus the pasta). At that time I was pescatarian so eating cheese and fresh fish was amazing. The small market close to the accommodation was a good excuse for some exercise in the morning. And speaking of it, those many, many, many stairs kept me fit while I was there.
Krabi, Thailand – by Carmen at VeniVidiAmo
This region will simply blow your mind. Be it with friends or in a romantic getaway, there is so much you can do: snorkeling into the most pristine waters in Asia, kayaking, river-rafting, ziplining. Take a few extra days and spend them in Railay rock climbing, enjoying a great spa or simply getting to know the locals and tasting their amazing dishes. You’ll return home happier and definitely transformed into a better version of yourself.
Singapore – by Carmen at VeniVidiAmo
This incredible city from the future will lure you with award-winning architecture. You’ll feel refreshed after spending an evening among the lighting trees at Gardens by the Bay or at a pool party on top of Marina Bay Sands. Don’t forget to take the evening cruise on their river, for some first-class skyscraper gazing. After my first day in Singapore, I somewhat left behind all of this for an afternoon in their Indian and Chinese towns, indulging myself some tasty sweets and beautiful temples, and then for an entire day on their Sentosa island.
I mostly enjoyed three attractions there: their Underwater World, an amazing aquarium (no other aquarium in Europe or Asia was able to beat this one so far), the Wings of Time show and the Skyline Luge, for my inner child.
Tenerife, Canary Islands – by Helene at Flight to Somewhere
Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa. It is the largest island in the group and also my favorite go-to place for escaping the cold winter weather. Even though in the grand scheme of things Tenerife is a small island, it has several micro-climatic weather zones and due to Teide volcano catching the rain clouds in the North of the island, the South coast gets remarkably good and stable weather all year round.
Of course, even in the sunny South nobody can guarantee that every day is going to be a beach day, but it will definitely be shorts and T-shirt kind of weather. I got to know Tenerife while working there as a travel rep and one of the reasons I love this island so much is the variety of things it has to offer – if you don’t want to spend all your time at the beach, you can go hiking, visit the island’s capital Santa Cruz for a spot of shopping, view a flamenco show or entertain your adventurous side in the massive Siam water park.
An absolute Tenerife must-see for me is taking the cable car up to the height of 3555 meters in the volcanic Teide National Park – you will be rewarded with some stunning views! The cable car only works in good weather conditions, so make sure it’s open before you drive all the way to the national park. If you apply for a license in advance (online here, spaces are limited), you can also hike from the cable car to the crater of the volcano for an extra-special experience.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala – by Megan at Red Around the World
My winter escape would be Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. This is the perfect little getaway from the bustling streets of Antigua with stellar volcanic views. This is a wonderful place to escape the winter as the weather is literally perfect. It’s hot during the day, but not too hot, just the perfect temperature and the lake is great for cooling off. The evenings get a little chilly, but it’s a great respite from the heat of the day. I love it for that as well as the diversity of the lake.
The lakeshore is dotted with little villages that all have their own personality. There is something for everyone, from yoga and crystals in San Marcos to partying and Spanish school in San Pedro, there is a place for you. It’s beautiful and easy to navigate around the lake on your own. One thing you must do there is go village-hopping and kayaking. If you like hiking, climb Volcan San Pedro or Indian Nose for sunrise. Some people go for two days and end up staying for months. It’s an unexpected little slice of paradise.
Myanmar – by Eliza at Elizaland
If you asked any traveler about a warm destination during the European winter, anybody would say: vamos a la playa, baby! Lying on a paradisiac beach with a cocktail made of tropical fruits in your hand is the absolute dream of all Europeans when they start putting on the raincoat and the umbrella becomes a sort of a damn fetish.
Last year, I was tempted by the beaches of southern Thailand, but I ended up in Myanmar, running away from the cold weather and warming up my body and soul.
I gathered so many rich moments and memories of people, faces, monks, children, temples, Bagan’s pagodas with that memorable view of the air balloons rising to the sky at sunrise and Buddhist attitude, that I came back home with the feeling that this trip to Myanmar left a sign like a printed pattern that will never be deleted from my heart because it means much more than a cocktail under a palm tree, a Full Moon party or any other beach place that I could ever take during my winter escapes to sunny destinations.
Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic – by Izabella at Be Free Be Zen
Dominican Republic’s beaches are open and waiting for visitors, especially in Punta Cana, one of the island’s most popular resort areas. It is a place that truly must be experienced at least once in a lifetime and the weather is a big part of the reason – making this winter the best time to visit Punta Cana.
Known best for its endless stretches of white sandy beaches, world-class golf and vast array of all-inclusive resorts, Punta Cana is often referred to as the Coconut Coast. No resort in Punta Cana is higher than the highest palm tree, and there is no shortage of palms-on its forty miles of white sand beaches. But Punta Cana is far more than an incredible beach destination. You’ll find great restaurants, casinos, world-class spas, and twenty-eight amazing golf courses. Be sure to visit nearby Cap Cana, featuring the Caribbean’s largest inland yacht marina and world-class golf.
Gran Canaria – by Mady at Around My Dream
Gran Canaria is my soul destination. In one word I would say that this place is Magical. Imagine having in one single place: mountains, ocean, and big but really big sand dunes.
The place is gonna make you feel like you are in a fairytale. Having spent 3 months in Maspalomas, I would say this is the most beautiful place in Gran Canaria. It’s situated in the south of the island where you will find a lot of nice hotels, good restaurants and one of the most interesting adventure parks, Palmitos Park – also the 3rd of its kind in Europe.
Also if you live in one part of the world where winters are very cold, this island is the perfect escape for you. In November-February you will enjoy a lot of suns, with temperatures around 25-30 degrees.
My favorite thing to do on the island during the 3 months I was there, were trips on the ocean. One of the most interesting ones was the one in which we got the chance to go in the middle of the ocean, on a boat, waiting for the amazing creatures such as whales and dolphins, to appear around us. I was very lucky to see them in their natural environment. If you are an adventurer this island is for you.
Zanzibar Island – by me 🙂
Yes, I’m still in love with this place and everything it has in store, al the incredible places and people you’ll meet here, not to mention the perfect weather for a winter getaway. Read more about what you can do on the island here and everything you need to know when planning a trip here.
One of my favorite destinations for some winter sun! We have spent some great moments during our 3 weeks in Sri Lanka and have seen some of the most beautiful beaches and tea plantations out there.
The island is simply amazing and you can easily spend much more than that exploring every corner of it. From stupendous tropical beaches to the most picturesque train ride between mountains and tea plantations, to climbing mountains and getting some breathtaking views along the way.
Not to mention seeing dolphins, whales, and turtles in their habitat. Or spending time in one of the most amazing resorts in the middle of Yala National Park.
There isn’t pretty much anything you can’t do in Sri Lanka and the best time to go is between November and March.
Check out these travel tips for visiting Sri Lanka!
Koh Yao Noi – Thailand
Another paradise island reserved for those looking for some peace and quiet, but also for some cool activities under the sun.
We spent one perfect week in January in Koh Yao Noi and could have stayed there forever. The island is so remote and you can only get there by a small boat. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do especially when you love nature activities.
We took the boat to another island, rented a kayak and explored more secluded beached, took a Thai cooking class, had plenty of Thai massages, and relaxing yoga sessions on the beach.
Da Nang – Vietnam
Vietnam is top of the list when it comes to tropical destinations and running from the cold. It was our first Asia destination and we hold it dear in our hearts.
Ever since our first vacation in Vietnam, we knew we wanted to come back and explore the central part and especially get to see Hoi An and Hue cities.
That’s why we chose Da Nang – long strips of beaches, delicious fresh seafood, great hotel prices, and in between Hoi An and Hue.