The cure to January’s blue Monday is to have a trip to look forward to in February. For most, winter has become unbearable, and this usually means a winter escape is in order. If you are wondering where to travel in February, look no further! With the help of a few travel bloggers from around the world, I’ve compiled a list of best places to travel in February, and you are sure to find the perfect destination. Another great excuse to plan an escape in February is to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your significant other. Forget the jewelry and expensive dinners, the way to my heart is a plane ticket! And maybe dinner…
Where To Travel In February For Warm Weather
February is often referred to as being one of the best months to visit Raja Ampat, in Indonesia’s West Papua. Don’t get fooled by the fact that it’s an Indonesian archipelago, as the climate is very different than places such as Bali or Java Island.
The best season for exploring Raja Ampat is considered to be from October to April. However, historically speaking, has the least amount of precipitation and only seven days of rain. And trust me, you might enjoy some raindrops.
I spent two weeks on Gam Island, one of Raja Ampat’s islands, in mid-February, and had only a couple of hours of rain. Ask any local, and they will tell you that there is no such thing as a month without rain. But yes, there indeed are some months when it pours for hours on end.
Raja Ampat is the perfect paradise for any marine life lover. Snorkelling and diving in Raja feel like watching a National Geographic documentary right in front of your eyes. The coral is healthy and extremely colourful, you get to swim around turtles, reef sharks, tons of Nemo and Dory, manta rays and so much more.
I am not a beach person; I will always choose the mountains over a beach. But Raja Ampat is in a different league. I would go back there in a blink of an eye as it was the most peaceful exotic place that I’ve ever been to.
So next time you erase Indonesia off your February destination list, look up Raja Ampat, the hidden gem in West Papua, and I guarantee you won’t regret it. Read more about Raja Ampat…
Sukhothai is an ancient city in northern Thailand and was the Thai capital in the 13th and 14th centuries. It’s famous for its iconic ruins, temples, monuments and towering Buddha statues, which are scattered over a wide area known as Sukhothai Historical Park. It’s recognized as a World Heritage Site.
The best way to explore Sukhothai is by bicycle. But riding a bike through the far-flung park, or climbing stone steps to reach a Buddha statue on a hilltop, is hard work under the scorching Thai sun. That’s why the best time to visit Sukhothai is during the “cool,” dry season, between November and February. (Be aware that temperatures still easily top 30 degrees Celsius during the cool season).
I think February is an especially good time to visit Sukhothai because it’s approaching the end of peak season so the crowds will be thinner, and it’s possible to visit the ancient temples alone, or with only a couple of other travellers -- a vastly different experience to the far more crowded ruins of Siem Reap in Cambodia! Read more about Sukhothai…
Visiting Taiwan in February is a magical time. The annual Lantern Festival in Pingxi, Taiwan takes place just after Chinese New Year and less than an hour from bustling Taipei, Taiwan. This spectacular festival is a bucket list experience for many people coming to Taiwan seeking unique cultural experiences in Asia. As an expat living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, this festival was on my bucket list for years. The entire sky is lit up with glowing red lanterns painted with blessings and wishes for the new year.
The Pingxi Lantern Festival is the only place in Taiwan where huge paper lanterns can be released, making this a unique and special time of year to visit. Thousands of lanterns lift off of the old railway grounds dotting the sky from sunset through evening stars. Incredible fireworks crackle in the air over the famous bridge adding to the festivities. For a small fee, you can purchase your own paper lantern almost as big as an adult and paint it with calligraphy brushes. Try adding an image related to your Chinese zodiac sign! When ready, glowing lanterns are released into the sky signifying the start of a new year and blessings to come your way.
Photography is a popular activity during the festival because the night sky appears to glow with fire during the festival. Families and travellers will also enjoy the energy of the night market set up along the old railway yard and village streets. Taiwan delicacies like steamed soup dumplings, grilled sausages, pork buns and warm bowls of noodles are a treat for the senses and keep you warm on a cool evening in the mountains (18 C, 62 F).
Book your trip to Taiwan to coincide with the Lantern Festival, considered by many a top 20 in the world festival experience. The Lantern Festival typically takes place on the 15th day after the first month of the Lunar Calendar, usually in mid-February. It can't hurt to bring a little luck your way as an added bonus to your trip to Taiwan! You can read more here on what to do in Taiwan and things to do with kids.
February in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's beautiful coastal city, means Carnival! The Carnival in Rio occurs every year before Lent. The celebration dates back centuries before Brazil was even founded. In the early 1700s, the event evolved into a celebration to honour the gods and the ocean.
Today Carnaval is a massive celebration with millions of people attending and watching the event on TV around the world. About 200 specialized dancing troops called "samba schools" participate and compete for the coveted title of "Best Samba School," complete with its Samba Queens and Princesses. The celebration's parades go on for several days. The music is infectious, and the costumes are outrageous and elaborate. Some samba schools save money for the entire year to decorate their floats and purchase their costumes to increase their chances of being selected as a samba school winner.
Everyone participates. The city closes for business and the streets open to dance venues, contests, mini parades and food stalls. People wanting to participate can purchase Carnival packages at hotels and a guaranteed spot to view the Samba Schools as they strut down the city streets.
Malaysia is great! I don't get why so many travellers skip it or use it just as a flight hub. The people in Malaysia are lovely, the food is, and the scenery is beautiful and diverse.
The places that most of the people are visiting in Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi, are all situated on the West Coast of the country and February is a great time to explore them.
February in Malaysia is hot! It's considered to be low season, so that means fewer people and better offers.
There are many fun things to do and experience in Malaysia, and February is a good time for most of them. Plus, in February it is the Chinese New Year (date varies), which is a national holiday in Malaysia. I was in Tanah Rata, Malaysia on the Chinese New Year and there were not many celebrations on the streets - first, because it's a small town and second because they usually celebrate at home with their families.
The Coastal drive is fabulous in February once the summer holiday crowds have dispersed and kids are back at school. It is still lovely hot weather and just perfect for a seaside escape along one of Australia's best-known drives. It is over 500 km return from Melbourne and deserves a couple of days of your time to explore. Though it can be done in a day, it is a long and winding road.
It can still be quite busy, and the famous 12 Apostles region will continue to attract large numbers of visitors but, overall, it is easy to book accommodation as you go. The prices are lower for rooms, and there is definitely a more relaxed vibe along the beaches. Visitors can learn to surf, experience helicopter tours over the 12 Apostles, horse ride or climb a historic lighthouse.
Koalas in the wild can be seen easily, one of the best places in Australia to see them is near the little settlement of Kennett River, along with beautiful native birds and the occasional echidna too. Inland, you'll find the Otway National Park where we have some lovely waterfalls, treetop walks and some beautiful hikes. Well worth doing when driving along the coast. Read more about our beautiful coast…
In February, when the winter weather is getting to be too much, Costa Rica is the perfect place to escape to. The Christmas rush is over so the crowds have dispersed a bit and the prices have started to come down, yet the weather is still perfect. The rains have finished, the sun is out, and Costa Rica is the picture-perfect tropical green country that everyone imagines. Unlike later in the year the heat in February is pleasant, without being too stifling.
Costa Rica is famous for its wildlife, and there is no better time than February to see it. The monkeys and iguanas prefer to show their faces in the sunshine, and the Leatherback turtles are nesting along the Pacific Coast. In addition, you will find it easier to use your binoculars in the sunny weather!
The beaches of Costa Rica are also perfect in February. The sea is calm enough to swim in safely yet playful enough to test your surfing skills. Although you won’t find huge swells, the fun waves in February are perfect for beginner surfers.
If you're into music festivals, the famous Envision Festival happens in Uvita in February. If you’ve never been to a festival in a jungle, then this one is for you!
In February celebrate Chinese New Year – Kuala Lumpur style!
There’s nothing more striking to the senses than to experience Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur in February!
Fifteen days of food, festivities, fireworks and phenomenal parties will leave you breathless! Spending Chinese New Year in the multi-racial capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur enables you to enjoy Malaysian as well as Chinese, Indian and indigenous twists to the new year celebrations.
Most Chinese New Year celebrations in North America are only a day or two. Not so in Malaysia! In Kuala Lumpur, you will be treated to bright red decorations of lanterns hanging from every corner on the streets, the incredible flower decorations in Pavilion Mall, the hustle of Petaling street in Chinatown weeks before the official celebrations. Beautiful, large flowers pop up overnight along the boulevards and malls.
At Pavilion Mall, in the downtown core of Kuala Lumpur, you will be treated to impromptu lion dances, acrobatic feats of young children and traditional red packets for good luck and prosperity. Dragon dances and cherry blossoms, as well as fantastic fireworks throughout the city, make this celebration magical.
If you think you’ve had enough, wait!! The food is extraordinary. Within walking distance is the traditional food night market in Japan Alor where every night the street comes alive with street vendors as well as restaurants vying for you to sit. Dumplings, Thai chicken satay, Indian roti canai and Chinese Yee sang (a Cantonese raw fish salad) are begging to be sampled!!
Think about it- two weeks of sights, sounds and tastes all to celebrate a memorable Chinese New Year!! Who wouldn’t want to stay and indulge?!
This South African National Park is located near the Garden Route. Easily reached from Cape Town and even closer to Port Elizabeth, it’s accessible by car. The weather is perfect in February as it’s cool and dry. This brings the animals to the watering holes where you can observe them from your car.
Alternatively, sign up for a guided tour in a park vehicle (sunset and night drives available), or go horseback riding and get off the paved roads. You can even have a guide ride along in your own vehicle—the park offers many options. Accommodation is available both within and outside the park at all price points from hostel through luxury.
With thousands of animals in the park, namely the elephant, you may see anything. And, if the day is overcast and cool, stay around. That’s when animals emerge from the bush since they’re not avoiding the heat of the day. During my days at the park, I saw a zebra family, tortoise, giant lizard, cape buffalo, leopards feeding, various antelope, and more from my little rental car. And, I saw the mother and baby rhino on a night tour. Sadly, I missed the lion cubs despite the fantastic display of diversity.
Keep in mind that areas for exiting your vehicle are extremely limited. Toilets are available at the park entrance and in a specified area in the center of the park. If travelling with children, bring plenty of snacks and car-friendly activities. I saw many animals every day. You’ll want to check the chart at the park entrance showing the location of recent sightings of the most popular animals. Finally, don’t forget your binoculars, because off-roading is only permitted by the park’s tour vehicles.
Read more about this and Jess’ month-long road trip through South Africa and Lesotho on Longest Bus Rides
Best Places To Travel In February If You Don’t Mind A Little Cold
I've lived in London for many years, and I think that London in winter is amazing! The weather is not that cold, and winter is actually drier than spring and summer, and the wind blows the clouds away, making for amazing blue sky winter days. I usually recommend visiting in February because the days are longer than in December or January, and it also tends to be less busy - many tourists visit London during the Christmas period to go shopping, and after Christmas, the sales begin, but February is blissfully quiet.
There's so much to do in London in winter - first of all, it's the perfect time to enjoy delicious food since London is a food-obsessed city! Borough Market is always a safe bet and a must for food lovers, or you can join a food tour of the East End or visit one of London's many historical pubs for a hearty meal. If it is too cold and you don't feel like walking around, London has a ton of free museums, and interesting exhibitions are often held - I always recommend the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, which is also open in February!
Winter travel in Europe usually consists of closed shops, deep snow and locals nowhere to be seen, keeping warm at home. Not in Slovenia - Home to the Unesco Carnival for scaring away winter and welcoming in the prosperity of spring. Slovenia is full of tradition, you can find numerous events tied to the carnival all over the country that will wow you in the middle of winter. You won’t struggle to find things to do wherever you are in Slovenia during February. Head to Ptuj for the Kurentovanje Carnival where you will see the UNESCO listed Kurent carnival costumes or Cerkno for their first rite of spring to see the Pust sentenced during a mock trial. Make sure you try the hot chocolate while you are there. We love sLOVEnia and know you will too. Read more about Slovenia…
Time to start planning those February holidays!
What destination would you choose to travel in February out of the above recommendations?
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