TRAVA'S BEST OF
Written by Julian Luca and Aicha Wardine for TRAVA Travel
It's the shortest month of the year but it's one of the BIGGEST when it comes to travel.
Depending on where you are it's either hot or it's cold and probably nowhere in between. That means that somewhere out there there are slopes waiting to be shredded or beaches waiting to be cocktailed on. The massive crowds and inflated prices of new years are a distant memory and you might be lucky enough to catch some of the most iconic festivals in the world. Pair that with a sneaky valentines day trip and you have all the excuses you need to travel this (or next) February.
CAPE TOWN 🇿🇦
Avg Min. 17° C / 63°F
2 Days / 15 mm
South Africa's oldest city is great to visit in February, you can expect blue skies and long, warm days, which are complimented perfectly by Cape Towns famous sea breezes. Chill out on a pristine, uncrowded beach or make use of the wind and waves by doing some water activities in one of the best wind and kite surfing spots in the world. If you're feeling really adventurous you can also head to False Bay and go cage diving with some Great Whites. If you don't feel like getting wet, get high instead! Check out Table Mountain, once listed as one of the wonders of the world, you can get a cable car to the top and take in the breath taking views of the city and the beaches. The V and A Harbour is a popular place to check out filled with restaurants, shops, galleries and an aquarium which dates back to the 1700s. Cape Town is also home to some beautiful wine regions and delicious wines. There are over 200 producers in the region and in February you can find wine festivals in the popular areas of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
While Cape Town isn't renowned for its Safaris, it still has some amazing nature reserves on its doorsteps. You can find elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards and much more at the Buffelssfontein, Aquila and Iverdoorn Reserves, all within 2 hours drive of Cape Town.
Speaking of driving, make sure while you're here you check out The Garden Route, widely recognised as one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. Be prepared to fall in love with the epic landscapes, lush vegetation and incredible sea-nery as you make your way across the South Eastern Coast of South Africa.
RIO DE JANEIRO 🇧🇷
Avg Min. 25° C / 77°F
8 Days / 129 mm
When's not a great time to go to Rio?
Year round the city is an amazing dish of beautiful beaches amazing nature escapes good beer and good fun. However this year from February 21 - 26 Rio is all about one thing, Carnival!
Carnival is celebrated all around the world, but there's a reason that Rio is the most famous for it. The colour, the sound, the moves and the magic are unrivalled and while some festivals can be overrun with tourists, the carnival in Rio is at the very heart of Carioca's (Rio de Janeiro Locals) and Brazilians from all around the country. While the big parades at the Sambadrome are famous, it's the epic street parties that build up from January that you will have the most fun.
While you're in Rio make sure you enjoy an açaí bowl on one of the world famous beaches (we recommend Leblon over Copacobana and Ipanema), take a hike up the incredible Morro Dois Irmãos, share a beer and a bolinha at the Santa Theresa district and before you party the night away in Lapa watch the sun go down on this magical city alongside the sugarloaf mountain.
Avg Min. -5° C / 23°F
Whistler's mix of Sunshine + Snow makes it one of the best spots in the world to go skiing in February. Just 120km's (75 miles) North of Vancouver, Whistler is a fun town to enjoy yourself on and off the slopes. Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America with 200 runs, 38 chairs and 16 alpine bowls. If skiings not your thing, you can try snow mobiling or dog sledding or try your hand on the bobsled treks that were actually used for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
While you're in Whistler, you might as well pamper yourself. Check out some of the amazing Spa and Relaxation packages available at the beautiful hotels and Spa Retreats. Keep yourself warm with a hot chocolate or a cocktail or two and enjoy the view of freshly falling snow at one of the many fine restaurants available at this Winter Wonderland.
THE MALDIVES 🇲🇻
Avg Min. 26° C / 79°F
5 Days / 50 mm
The Maldives refers to itself as
'The Sunny Side of Life'
Do we need to say anymore...
Probably not but we will anyway. So The Maldives experiences its best weather between November and April, making February the perfect time to venture to this paradise. You can get local ferries to cheaply take you from the Maldivian capital of Malé to almost any of the 1,100 + islands and Atolls that make up the Maldives. Most of the islands are very chilled as it has been seen as a Honey moon hotspot, but you can find bars and clubs on the bigger islands too, if you feel like letting your hair down.
The Maldives are surrounded by the clearest of clear blue waters. You can kick back and appreciate the view, indulging at the many gorgeous hotels or enjoy the numerous water activities available. The water is warm and visibility is great for diving or snorkelling where you will see lots of fish, turtles, sharks and rays. You can also try your hand at kayaking, parasailing or kite surfing. Try the local dishes and check out the underwater restaurants/bars ath the Anantare Kihayah Villas or Per Aquum.
Avg Min. 3° C / 37°F
13 Days / 44mm
Ahh Paris... La Ville de L'amour
If you're wondering why we're suggesting to go to The French Capital in one of the coldest, wettest months... then maybe you need to go the most! On the 14th of February, couples around the world celebrate their love on Valentines day, and what better place than the City of Love to do it?
The weather might be a little drab, but Paris and Rain go together like French Wine and Cheese. While crowds and lines will be much lower than the peak summer periods, we'd suggest not to do the touristy things for this Rendezvous. Leave the churches and museums for another time and instead indulge your senses. Waste a day in Montmartre drinking wine and eating delicious French Cuisine. Visit the wall of love, take a river cruise along the Seine and as cliche as it sounds, share a sunset with the Eiffel Tower.
There is one problem you might encounter though....
Living up to these high expectations for the following year
TAYRONA NAT. PARK 🇨🇴
Avg Min. 24° C / 75°F
1 Day / 3 mm
Tayrona National Park in Colombia's north is one of our favourite places in the world! The area is hot all year round but unlike many other places along the Caribean Coast, there is virtually no rain in the area in February. The lack of rain brings along with it a nice cool breeze, perfect for making the most of the tremendous treks and immaculate surrounds. Most of the park visitors head towards the dreamy Piscina Beach. This can be done through a picturesque 2.5 hour trek through the jungle and sandy beaches or if a trek isn't your thing, you can take a horse through trail instead. There are camping grounds within the park if you feel like waking up in paradise, but mosquitoes can be a problem. There are numerous hotels / hostels in the area but we recommend the newly furbished Viajero Hostel and Ecohabs.
While you're in the area make sure you check out the breathtakingly beautiful Valencia Brooks Waterfall. You may also want to check out the lazy surf town of Palomino, the lush mountains of Minca or if you're feeling really adventurous have a go at the epic 4 day Lost City Trek - an ancient city that was only rediscovered in the 1970's.
Avg Min. 24° C / 75°F
12 Days / 27 mm
Boracay is an enigma - it's unique mix of laid back + party energies and tourism + culture charm make it stick out as The Crown Jewel of Philippino Islands and islands throughout the world. Coming off a 6 month cleaning closure in 2018, the island is again open to please you and there has never been a better time to visit.
Nearly all the accomodation is within a one minute stroll from the beach so even the cheapest travellers can enjoy a beautiful slice of paradise.
Enjoy a day at the beach or enjoy the numerous water activities available on the pristine waters. You can swim with the local marine life, go cliff diving, or even hire a mermaid suit if you really want to.
Spend your day sailing the surrounding islands and dine with the sunset at one of the many beach clubs on the island. Then be boring and go to bed early or immerse yourself in Boracay's world famous night life.
Avg Min. -2° C / 28°F
13 Days / 38 mm
Tourism in Iceland is booming and it's easy to see why.
Tourists are flocking to the Small Scandinavian Country and February is one of the best months to experience all the hype. While definitely being cold, it's not as cold as you might think, The Icelandic Capital turns into a picture perfect postcard when it and it's surrounding mountains are covered in snow.
Make sure you pack plenty of warm clothes as the beauty of the surrounding nature is too good to pass up. Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. You may struggle to see the lights in Reykjavik, but you should be able to see the phenomenon at the nearby towns of Grótta, Miklatún or Hljómskálagarður.
February is also the best time to check out the ice caves and frozen waterfalls in the area. It's a pretty popular activity this time of year so make sure you book in advance. To top your Icelandic adventure off, head on down to the Blue Lagoons. These Thermal Baths are killing the internet for a reason - they're beautiful, they're fun and they're warm!
Avg Min. 26° C / 79°F
7 Days / 56 mm
Zanzibar... it's funny to say and fun to stay
The island off the east coast of Tanzania used to be an important trade center and you can feel it's Islamic influence through it's mosques and winding lanes and yummy food. It's nickname is the Spice Island and is unsuprisingly it's an up and coming food destination famous for its seafood and pastries, February can be a little humid but is also a great time to visit Zanzibar to see the Sauti za Busara Music Festival. A celebration of African Jazz and local music it's held in front of the picturesque fort in the Old Quarter of Zanzibar
While you're in Zanzibar, go sailing in a dhow - a traditional sailing boat used. You should also make time for a day trip to the Chumbe Islands - a protected snorkelling reef and see the giant tortoises at Prison Island.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to travel in February