Best places to travel in winter 2021
Winter is coming. Do you want to escape it or embrace it?
If you’re the type who gleefully looks forward to your ski vacation all year long, you might be in the market for a snow-filled holiday. Or maybe you’d rather dodge the whole cold weather situation and enjoy a cocktail on a sunny beach.
Either way, we’ve picked out the best places to go this winter factoring in the best weather and cultural events around the world.
The best places to travel in winter
1. Best for the beachy keen: Hawaii
The Hawaiian islands have one of the most pleasant climates in the world where you can expect consistently warm weather year-round.
The drier months fall during the Aussie winter, seeing the least amount of rainfall in Hawaii. During this time the ocean temperatures reach a glorious 27°C, perfect for snorkelling, diving and even swimming with dolphins.
The perfect weather does tend to attract more holiday-goers so spend less time in hot spots like Honolulu and you’re still likely to find your island paradise.
What's on: King Kamehameha Day (11 June), Ukulele Festival (15 July), Prince Lot Hula Festival (mid-July), Koloa Plantation Days (20-28 July)
2. Best for the adventurous: South Africa
If you’ve ever wanted to go on safari then chances are South Africa has been at the top of your must-see list. It might be winter but the days are usually sunny and warm and you’re up for superb conditions for viewing The Big Five.
Recently included in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Best Countries, you’ll find a whole lot more than just lions and giraffes.
July is also the start of the whale-watching season where you’ll be able to spot southern right whales as they swim close to the shores to give birth. August marks the beginning of spring and flowers start to bloom across the Western and Northern Cape.
What's on: Comrades Ultra-Marathon (10 June) Eid-al-Fitr (15 June), National Arts Festival (28 June – 8 July), Knysna Oyster Festival (29 June – 8 July), Nelson Mandela Day (18 July), Cape Town Funny Festival (9 July – 5 August)
3. Best for the snow bunny: Snowy Mountains
Australia’s iconic ski region is located in the breathtaking Kosciuszko National Park and is where you’ll find resorts like Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snow Resort.
You can drive there in under three hours from Canberra and Melbourne or take a short flight from most Aussie cities.
July and August are the best months to go skiing or you can choose to just take in the scenic beauty from your cozy cabin. For you’re wanting a bit of adventure try your hand at snow-tubing, snow-shoeing or tobogganing.
What's on: Peak Festival (9 June), Redlands Cup (8 July), G.H Mumm Top to Bottom Race (12 August), Tumut Valley Fly-In (25 August)
4. Best for events: Spain
Ever felt like throwing a tomato at someone? How about running with the bulls? Or the lesser known wine battle where you get to dress up in white, climb a mountain in La Rioja and play in the sweet red liquid.
Summertime in Europe is filled with some of the best music and cultural festivals in the world and Spain arguably boasts the most unique and varied of the bunch.
When it comes to cool sounds and fiestas where the sun never sets Spain has it all so if you’re planning to visit then this is the perfect time to couple your sightseeing with some bucket list-worthy events.
What's on: Sónar Festival (14-16 June), Bonfires of San Juan (20-23 June), Battle of Wine (29 June), Running of the Bulls (6-14 July), Bilbao BBK Live (12-14 July), Benicàssim (19-22 July), Assumption Day (15 August), Gràcia Festival (15-20 August), Tomatina Festival (29 August)
5. Best for the avid cruiser: Alaska
The Alaska cruising season is from May to September as this is the warmest time of year. June and July have the longest days making them ideal for cruising and shore excursions.
Summer is also the best time to spot wildlife due to increased visibility and activity. Keep your eyes out for grizzly bears, moose, eagles, puffins and whales.
If you’re up looking for some time off the ship then this is also peak hiking and fishing season. The snow has melted, making excursions easier and you can find five species of salmon if you’re lucky.
What's on: Mayor’s Marathon (23 June), 4th of July, Girdwood Forest Fair (6-8 July), Seward Silver Salmon Derby (11-19 August), Anchorage RunFest (18-19 August), Alaska State Fair (25 August – 5 September)