Best places to travel in February
6 holiday destinations for anyone suffering from those holiday blues.
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The last vestiges of summer are upon us and for those of us not quite ready to say farewell to the summer holidays, you have plenty of places to go where the sun shines in February.
For romantics, we've thrown in a few luxe getaways to share with your loved one on Valentine's Day, while for festival fiends we've also thrown in a few popular places to celebrate Chinese New Year.
You're welcome, fellow travellers.
Best places to travel in February
Best budget destination: Gold Coast
Catch those last days of summer in the Sunshine State.
Basking in some 245 days of sunshine and boasting over 30 golden beaches, the Gold Coast is one of your best options for a relaxing beach getaway or romantic sunrise – whatever time of year you plan to visit.
By February, the water babies have moved off leaving you with enough space on the beach to put down your towel and then some.
Aim to be on the beach in early February though as the rains start to fall closer to March.
- February weather: 21–28°C, summer.
- Top February events: Night Markets at NightQuarter, Valentine's Day at Cavill Lane, Carnivale at SeaWorld, Good Love Festival and Summer of Surf.
- Best for: Unwinding, beach escapes, weekend breaks.
Best city to go to: Adelaide
Discover Adelaide, the country's only capital city surrounded by parklands.
South Australia's capital heats up in many ways in February. For starters, this is the city's hottest month, though if you play your dates right and travel later in the month you could relish in warm mid-20 degree weather. It's also a hub of arts and sporting activities, with the Adelaide Fringe landing this month.
- February weather: 18-28°C, summer.
- Top February events: Adelaide Fringe, Brighton Jetty Classic, Adelaide International Comedy Gala and Lunar New Year Celebrations at Rundle Mall.
- Best for: Food and wine escapes, weekend and city breaks.
Best local escape: Hobart
While the rest of the nation is sweating it out, Hobart's looking pleasantly warm this February.
Hobart has so much going for it this month it's not funny. Summers are mild with top temperatures of 17–26°C throughout the month and while days are cloudy, the chance of rainfall is minimal. For those searching out that perfect Valentine's getaway, it's also the type of destination that can be experienced over a short weekend. You can surprise your significant other with a trip without cashing in on your annual leave.
- February weather: 17–26°C, summer.
- Top February events: Tasmanian Wine Festival, Koonya Garlic Festival and Evandale Village Fair
- Best for: Unwinding, weekend breaks, wineries.
Best for events: Sydney
Colour your February at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
From 18 February to 6 March 2022, Australia's largest city will be overrun with song, dance and celebration as the Mardi Gras comes to town.
If you can only be in town for a short period, see if you can delay your plans until 5 March 2022 for the iconic parade and party.
Don't forget your sparkles.
- February weather: 19–26°C, autumn.
- Other events: Sydney Lunar Festival, Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race, Open Air Cinemas and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
- Best for: Culture, shopping, city break.
Best Valentine's Day destination: Venice
Since it's winter, Venice might not be on your radar for February, but it should be.
One of the biggest dates on the Venetian calendar is Carnevale. It's a 2.5-weeks-long festival of colour, masks and parades through the pedestrianised streets and gondola-filled canals of the city. This year it runs from 12 February to 1 March. You can double-down and surprise your other half for Valentine's Day with this chance to wander cobblestoned streets in spectacular fashion in one of the most romantic cities in the world.
- February weather: 7–9°C, winter.
- Top February events: Venice Carnevale
- Best for: Fun, festivals, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, romance.
Best Western Australian destination: Denmark
Stuck in WA? Make the most of the beauty in your own backyard.
It's Scandinavian only in name but this part of Western Australia is well worth a visit. A typical stay looks like mornings on nearby beaches, drives along the Scotsdale Scenic Drive and visits to the wineries of the Great Southern region.
- February weather: 13–25°C, summer
- Best for: Wineries, beach days and scenic drives
When is the best time in February to take a holiday?
February is the low season for many destinations as it's outside the December/January holiday season.
That being said, large celebrations such as Valentine's Day and Chinese/Lunar New Year tend to occur in February, so if you'd prefer to avoid the crowds and peak prices, give these cities a miss or drop in outside the event dates.
What's on in Australia in February?
Events, events, events. Even if you're not headed anywhere but around your own city, this February these festivities are bound to keep you busy.
- Lunar New Year, 1 February: Major cities around the world will be celebrating the Lunar New Year with dance, song, food and firecrackers. Asia is the best place to go for this but if you're sticking around Australia, most major cities will be celebrating this week.
- Valentine's Day, 14 February: The most loved up day of the year and one where romantics can capitalise on. Scope out our Valentine's Day guide if you're stuck for ideas.
- Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, 18 February–6 March: Head to Sydney to catch Australia's largest celebration of LGBTQI+ pride which takes over the city halfway through February with a range of shows and parties.
- Adelaide Fringe, 18 February–20 March: The largest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere is back again this year. With over a thousand shows, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
The best of the rest:
Now that you can finally leave Australia after nearly 2 years, here are some major inspirations for international February trips.
Best places to visit in February in Europe
- St Petersburg, Russia. If you're willing to rug up a bit, St Petersburg offers up some truly beautiful winter scenery in February minus the hordes of tourists. Join the locals outside for ice-skating or in the much warmer bathhouses. Make sure you're there in the last week of the month for Maslenitsa, famous for its blini (pancakes), singing, dancing and bonfires.
- Canary Islands, Spain. Looking for some sun? Make a beeline for this Spanish archipelago which boasts highs of 22°C and 9 hours of sun a day. The islands have also got their fair share of festivals this month including Carnival and a festival to celebrate the coming of spring and the blossoming of the almond trees.
Best places to go in Japan in February
- Hokkaido. If you're looking for some winter fun, then Hokkaido is an obvious choice. Besides the varied selection of snow sports, you'll also get to enjoy the largest winter festival in Japan, the Sapporo Snow Festival (pictured). Expect snow and ice sculptures, bob sliding and heaps of amazing street food and drinks. Further north is Asahikawa with its adorable show of marching penguins.
- Okinawa. Believe it or not, cherry blossoms actually reach their peak in early to mid-February in the south of Japan. Time it right and not only will you get to enjoy gorgeous spring-time temperatures but also see these beauties in full bloom.
- Gero. Located on rich underground currents of thermal waters, Gero is best known for its onsen (hot springs) and one of the best experiences is to soak up all that warm mineral goodness in an open-air onsen during winter.
Best places to visit in Thailand in February
- Ko Chang (pictured). If you're looking to avoid the crowds then Ko Chang is a pretty safe bet. Its peak season has passed so prices will start to get back to normal. It takes a bit of effort to get here but once you do you'll be rewarded with jungle-covered peaks and sweeping bays.
- Bangkok. This will be your last really cool month until winter comes around again so it's time to get outdoors and get sightseeing. If you're into hiking, schedule in time to venture outside of the city and visit Khao Sam Lan National Park and Khao Yai National Park.
- Ko Kradan. This small island is thought by many to have one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. It's ideal for travellers who want to just get away from it all for a few days of sun, sand and sea as there is neither village nor road here. Just a spattering of accommodation options and the Haad Chao Mai National Park that covers most of the island.
Best places to visit in Vietnam in February
- Hanoi. A vibrant capital city with mouthwatering cuisine options, Hanoi's weather in February is mild and comfortable, perfect for sightseeing. Take a day trip to nearby Lim Hill for the annual Lim Festival, when traditional songs are performed from boats and the Lim Pagoda.
- Hoi An (pictured). Enjoying relatively warm weather compared to further north, this ancient town is a delight in February. Head to a nearby beach for some sunbathing, indulge in some shrimp dumplings and wander through the grand architecture, tea houses and Chinese temples.
- Phu Quoc Island. For those looking for that postcard-perfect island getaway in Vietnam, Phu Quoc offers soft, white-sand beaches, low humidity and an average temperature of 27.5°C in February.
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