It can be tempting to save up our holidays for the summer, but sun-times a festive break is just the antidote to our long winter nights. Taking time off from the pitch black commute should be a welcome treat for anyone whether that’s to sample some bright-white snow, find off-peak bargains or just a place where you can take your gloves and scarf off.
And should you need any more reasons take a winter trip, here are 5 of our top tips for winter travel.
1. See some sunlight on the Canary Islands
T-shirt weather from November to March? Well just about in Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Tenerife. Averaging 17°C and up to 4 times as much sunlight as in Leeds, the Canary Islands will feel a world away from de-icing windows and wind-chill.
2. Find a festive celebration
Maybe it’s because we all want something to look forward to in the winter months but around Europe we do like to have a big celebration. Madeira is full of sparkle with a grand New Year’s firework display, the Carnaval de Santa Cruz in Tenerife brings in January with a party and Amsterdam says “let there be light” with installations everywhere from the end of November.
3. Hit the slopes or try out some winter sports
Turin is your way in to the white stuff on the Italian & French Alps with connections to 214 ski resorts. Or you could fly direct to Geneva and head on to resorts like Praz de Lys and Le Grand Bornand just an hour away.
But it doesn’t just have to be a dedicated ski holiday. For beginners, snow centres outside Vilnius in Latvia or Krakow in Poland let you sample skiing without the chalet stay.
4. Enjoy some wrapped up romance
Cosy European short breaks in winter often afford you a special hotel you might not have plumped for in the peak season. So not only do they make for a lovely Christmas or Valentines gift idea, you shouldn’t have to choose between romance and finance!
You could enjoy fine dining in Paris, the spas of Budapest or the culture in Vienna. Maybe even a Christmas Market in Düsseldorf.
5. Avoid the crowds
First of all check your favourite landmark is open. Second of all get yourself there whilst it’s empty! The Colosseum in Rome only closes on Christmas and New Year’s Day whilst the Eiffel Tower is open all year. Head to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona any time too but we can’t promise it won’t still be a work in progress…
And if we really can’t convince you with anything local, how does the Caribbean sound? Connected flights with KLM could help take you somewhere truly tropical.
Wherever you go, it beats going cold Turkey this winter: