February is often the coldest month in the northern hemisphere so if you’re looking for a winter holiday get-away and sunshine in February, we’ve listed these ten countries across four continents for guaranteed hot places in February and for those winter sun quenchers looking for sunshine holiday inspiration.
Sri Lanka is one of the most unique and fascinating countries in Asia. Sri Lanka is the perfect place to travel as a family and has amazing weather in February.
In the past, Sri Lanka was a colonised country, famous for making tea, especially for the UK. The colonial infrastructure still exists and it’s fascinating to see. Many former colonial buildings have been turned into tourist hideaways. Sri Lanka is also the perfect place for a budget trip. Low-cost guesthouses and beach retreats have sprung up everywhere, and street food is very cheap and delicious!
One of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka for families is the southern coast, starting at the large town of Matara and making your way to Hikkaduwa. Unawatuna has a long, sandy beach and small shopping street with plenty of independent shops and food outlets. Unawatuna is the perfect place to base yourself as a family. I recommend SURF CITY Guesthouse (click to see photos) set right on Unawatuna beach where you can have all the facilities your family needs with the luxury of being able to go on a morning swim. At the far end of Unawatuna beach is a small temple that you can look around. If you meet the monk, you’ll receive a blessing.
Buses run from Unawantuna all over the south coast as well as plenty of tuk-tuks. Just along the coast is Galle, a former colonial town with Dutch architecture. Visitors can walk around the city walls if you want to visit somewhere with a non-touristy atmosphere, head Ambalangonda where you’ll find amazing street food and non-touristy shops. Just down the road is Hikkaduwa where you can visit the Tsunami museum and learn about the boxing day Tsunami and how Hikkaduwa was one of the worst-affected places.
Head inland in Sri Lanka and you’ll find plenty of wildlife. One of the best things to do for families is a Safari where you can watch elephants roam free. Climbing Sigiriya is also very popular. Hundreds of steps up, you’ll find the remains of a fortress- a UNESCO world heritage site set up on the rocks.
By far the most famous thing to do in Sri Lanka is to ride the train from Ella to the city of Kandy where in 7 hours you can watch the countryside whizz past and see tea plantations and fantastic mountain scenery. Once in Kandy, you can visit the temple of Tooth, one of the most important Buddhist shrines in the world. Make sure you take a walk around Kandy Lake, at the heart of Kandy and take in the amazing scenery.
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The Maldives is the picture-perfect, dream destination for so many travellers. It is an absolutely stunning country made up of tiny islands surrounded by the most outrageously blue water. The great thing about the Maldives is that there is much more to explore here than the typical expensive resorts with overwater bungalows. You can actually travel here on a relatively tight budget and still get to experience this amazing place.
February is probably the best month to visit as it has warm, dry days averaging around 29° C and it is also traditionally the sunniest month of the year. To get a bit more off the beaten path and enjoy the Maldives on a budget you will need to stay on one of the local islands. I recommend Fulidhoo as my top pick, closely followed by Gulhi island. These islands are both quite small, have beautiful beaches and you can stay here from around $35 USD per night.
One of the highlights of our entire trip was actually the local boat that took us from Male to Fulidhoo. It cost $2.50 USD per person and the trip took us past so many different islands and sandbars, we had dolphins swimming under the boat and even saw some whales in the distance. It was a special journey and this was just the transport to get to the island.
Snorkelling right off of the beach is one of the best things to do here. There are lots of reefs accessible from most islands and the water here is home to tropical fish, rays, sharks, colourful coral and so much more.
Day trips by boat are another great way to enjoy your time here. There are lots of excursions to choose from but swimming with dolphins and swimming with sharks were two of our favourites. It’s awesome to swim right in amongst these animals in their natural habitat.
The Maldives really is one of the most amazing places I have ever been and I spent 9 days here on a relatively tight budget but still managed to have the time of my life. It has become so much more accessible and I highly recommend visiting one of the most unique and beautiful countries in the world.
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Haiti has a reputation as a dirty and dangerous destination, full of poverty and crime. While this is certainly true of some parts of the country (and every other country in the world) (and Haiti is a country where you do need to take traveller safety precautions) Haiti has some great destinations for travellers of all sorts; including families.
Top of the list and the most famous sight in Haiti is the Citadel Laferrière and Sans Souci palace at the town of Milot. These two sites are right next to each other and make an easy day trip from Cap-Haitien which is approximately 45 minutes away.
The Citadel was built to ward off a French invasion in the early 19th century and is an imposing site. It’s still in good condition and incredibly fun to explore with over 100 cannons still on the site (although not all mounted) and an estimated 50,000 cannonballs neatly piled just as they were when the fortress was abandoned.
Being built upon a large and steep hill it’s quite a walk (or motorcycle or mule ride) up which makes it hard to take kids but if you can get them up it’s something kids (well, my kids at least) love.
The San Souci palace is easier to reach but is now just ruins. It’s probably not something to go to in and of itself but makes an interesting accompaniment to the Citadel.
While you are in the area, Cap-Haitien, in the north of Haiti, was for a long time Haiti’s premier city. Until the establishment of Port-au-Prince as the capital after the revolution, Cap-Haitien was the major port and centre of commerce. Largely unaffected by the major earthquake in 2012 and generally much safer than the larger capital, it’s home to a lot of historic sites and makes a great place to visit.
Being the former capital and less damaged than other parts of Haiti, it features some of Haiti’s best colonial and old architecture and man-made attractions. Easy to wander around, Cap-Haitien allows you to see contemporary Haitian life up close.
In the south, the city of Jacmel is another great place to go in Haiti. Not far from Port-au-Prince but very separate, it’s a beautiful town. The town lies on a sheltered 3km wide bay and is close to some of Haiti’s best beaches. The town is best known for Haiti’s most colourful Carnival celebrations held in February or March each year. Being smaller than Port-au-Prince, it’s much more relaxed and much safer to be around.
It’s not a traditional family destination, however, beyond the stereotypes, Haiti is a beautiful and less-visited destination that’s doable for families and February is a great time to visit with sunny weather outside the wet season.
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Botswana is an absolutely must-visit destination for nature and wildlife lovers. It was one of the first countries in Africa to preserve wildlife and support ecotourism, and as a result, it’s one of the best places to see animals.
There are two main kinds of people who visit to Botswana – luxury and adventure travellers. The country is very well set up for both kinds of tourists, with some stunning luxury lodges and charter planes, but also an equal amount of eco campsites and muddy overland jeeps. Many adventure travellers visiting Botswana do so as part of an overland tour also including other countries – for instance, starting in South Africa and Namibia, then continuing all the way to Victoria Falls or even Kenya and Tanzania.
The best-known place to visit in Botswana is the Okawango Delta, a sprawling inland delta flooding periodically, acting as a magnet for all sorts of wildlife. The Moremi Nature Reserve within the Delta is a truly spectacular place for wildlife-spotting, giving you great chances to spot not only the Big 5, but also rarer animals like the wild dog, cheetah and hyena.
The second ‘big ticket’ attraction in Botswana is Chobe National Park, located right along the Zambezi River, marking the border with Zimbabwe. Chobe is another wonderful place to spot wildlife, especially large mammals such as hippos and elephants, often spotted swimming across the river in search of grazing lands. While you’re at Chobe, it’s very easy to plan a trip to Victoria Falls, located right across the border – but make sure you double-check the Zimbabwe visa situation, as rules change all the time.
A lesser-known thing to do in Botswana is visiting the Kalahari desert and spending time with the San people, also known as the Bushmen. There are community-run campsites like Dqae Qare in Ghanzi, offering tours led by the San people providing a glimpse into their culture. It’s a great opportunity to support and empower the San people, giving them a chance to keep living in their ancestral homeland.
Written by Margherita from The Crowded Planet. See more from Margherita on Facebook.
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One of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean is St. Lucia. The island is the place to visit to experience breathtaking hikes, lush rainforests, pristine beaches, water sports, exceptional cuisine and so much more. There’s so much to do that you’d need a few days to rest after your vacation.
Let’s start off with the most photographed landmark on the island, The Pitons. These are two mountainous volcanic spires that rise up over 2,600 feet out of the blue Caribbean Sea. They were formed about 40 million years ago after a volcanic eruption and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. While it looks totally inaccessible, visitors can make it to the top after a pretty intense hike to experience some epic views of the island and its surrounding waters.
Another reason why St. Lucia should be on your list of Caribbean islands you have to visit is that it boasts of having the world’s only drive-in volcano. Visitors can literally drive or walk to the middle of a dormant volcano and see scalding water and sulphur bubbling up from below the earth’s surface. This area is called The Sulphur Springs. While it’s too hot to swim at the source, a few hundred yards away the water cools enough for visitors to enter and have a mud bath. The mud baths are believed to have medicinal properties and are said to help cure skin ailments.
Over its history, St. Lucia changed hands between a few countries before finally becoming part of the British empire. Like many Caribbean islands the food in St. Lucia reflects its history with many restaurants serving up a combination of French, African and Creole dishes. Some of the more popular dishes on the island include callaloo, lambi, bouyon, green fig and saltfish, pepper pots, and spiny lobster. Of course visitors can find typical North American fare but why not explore the local culinary scene, since there are so many fresh fruits and vegetables to discover.
While in St Lucia visitors need to get out of their hotels and party with the locals. Every Friday night in the town of Gros Islet, the streets are closed off for the weekly Jump Up. Huge speakers line the street and calypso, reggae, and zouk are blasted out all night long. Bars and food stalls are set up serving up some mouth-watering local dishes that are washed down with local beer and strong rum. A word of advice, do not show up before sunset because that’s way too early, the party doesn’t get going till a couple of hours after the sun goes down.
Written by Davindra from Goat Roti Chronicles. See more Davindra on Instagram.
A Caribbean Holiday; Yes Please
Sunshine In February? What Could You Do In St Lucia?
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Antigua (And Barbuda)
If you are looking for a place in the sun in February, when most of the northern hemisphere is freezing cold and waiting for spring, consider heating to Antigua, one of the nicest Caribbean islands. Easily reached from London Gatwick Airport and from the United States via direct flights, this small island is famous for the beautiful, white sand beaches, the warm waters and the laid back atmosphere – and thus a fabulous holiday destination.
But if you think that the only thing to do in Antigua is spending time in all-inclusive resorts, relaxing in the sun, swimming in its calm waters, and then eating and drinking, you are mistaken! This small island is packed with things to do, and even the most active travellers will enjoy it.
One of the best things to do in Antigua is indeed wind and kite surfing, and there are some excellent beaches for that. If that is not your thing, you may want to try snorkelling and diving – there are some fantastic spots. Are you looking for great vistas? Then make sure to hike all the way from English Harbor to Shirley Heights, which (incidentally) is where you’ll catch the best sunset views on the island.
Another great way to enjoy Antigua is on a road trip. It’s such a small island anyway that in a day you will be able to explore all of it! Among the must-sees, there are Devil’s Bridge – a unique rock formation; Betty’s Hope – a site with windmills witnessing the sugar plantations and slave labour on the island; the Donkey Sanctuary – home of many rescued donkeys. You should also make it a point to visit St. John’s – Antigua’s capital, which is incredibly laidback and packed with Caribbean charm, and where you’ll have a chance to try some truly local food.
If you decide to opt for a road trip, remember that you need to drive on the left side!
Written by Claudia from My Adventures Across The World. See more from Claudia on Instagram.
Looking For Things To Do In Antigua? Sunshine In February Could Look This Good
February is the last perfect month to catch some friendly sun and lovely sceneries in Myanmar before the dry season begins. While it is still possible to explore the country during spring, the sun becomes too harsh, drying out the lands, which then leads to clouds of dust blurring out the landscapes. For destinations like beautiful Inle Lake or magical Bagan, this is critical as the locations immediately lose half of their charm.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Myanmar. One of them is its locals – some of the friendliest people that one will get to meet on the road. Another reason to pay a visit to the country is its rawness – Myanmar has not yet adjusted to thousands of visitors, and its sights are not yet polished or staged for mass tourism. So, many jaw-dropping historic landmarks are neighbouring with the hectic and charming local life, which is a jackpot for any wanderlust.
What’s also great about Myanmar is that each of its popular locations is unique and this makes the journey across the country truly diverse. Many travellers start their route in Yangon – a huge and very-much-alive city, home to the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda and lots of narrow streets with small shops and cafes. Yangon is also the only city free of motorbikes. The rumour is, one of the former rulers hated them and banned them from the streets completely.
Unlike Yangon, Myanmar is flooded with bikes. Despite their constant noise, however, it is a very intimate city inviting to enjoy the old wooden pagodas with quiet parks and curious locals, as well as the iconic U Bein Bridge.
Another recommended stop on the Myanmar itinerary is Inle Lake, which despite its popularity among travellers still maintains a very authentic atmosphere. Only a few things can be as relaxing as a day on a boat, travelling between the floating houses, or to the Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda, its thousands of tiny bells filling the air with the gentle chime and driving an electric bike across Bagan.
While the location has quite a few big and popular pagodas, these take only a day to explore. The rest is about driving through the deserted small roads towards older and smaller pagodas and maybe, finding at least one roof not yet locked from the tourists. There is nothing like climbing such small roofs and enjoying the majestic panoramas of the Ancient City.
Written by Inessa from Through a Travel Lens. See more from Inessa on Facebook.
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With a deep, centuries-long history, high-end hotels, and exquisite hospitality, Portugal is definitely worth the visit. Overflowing with energetic and vibrant energy, Portugal is quickly becoming Europe’s most fascinating country as it emerges into the travel spotlight.
The pleasant weather ensures your visit to Portugal will be sunny, exciting, and active. The ruggedly dramatic coastlines of Portugal are perfect for a scenic hike or family picnic on your vacation. Thanks to Portugal’s location in the southeastern region of Europe, temperatures are rarely below 60º Fahrenheit, with reliably sunny days.
A great place to start your adventure in Portugal is the capital, Lisbon. As one of Europe’s most captivating cities, this vibrant Atlantic capital hosts breathtaking attractions for you to explore. Explore Lisbon’s rich history in the city’s oldest region at the Castelo de São Jorge and Alfama. After, discover Lisbon’s breathtaking tree-lined squares, stroll along the riverfront esplanades, and take in panoramic views from the city’s miradouros (lookout points).
Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Lisbon, Marvão is the perfect, off-the-beaten-path escape to escape the crowded tourist attractions. This tiny Alentejan village sits on a rocky hill next to the country’s border with Spain. Surrounded by nearly-intact seventeenth-century walls, this remote village’s initial design functioned as a strategic point for the Moors in the eighth century. Today, Marvão’s primary purpose is to provide its guests with impressive panoramic views of the expansive plains sitting below.
Another great city to visit in Portugal is Sintra. This fascinating historic town deserves a couple of your vacation days for exploration. Perched under the Serra da Sintra hills, Sintra is well-known for Palácio Nacional—a Portuguese landmark famous for its twin chimneys towering over a square hedge painted in a light pink and yellow hue.
Mondego river valley is a great spot to explore the country via kayak. Starting at Penacova, you can paddle for 25 km along a stunning tree and vineyard-lined river, watching for kingfishers and other wildlife along your journey. The river is generally calm year-round, home to numerous small beaches perfect for a quick swim and picnic.
Sunshine In February? Visit Portugal
Fancy This Winter Sun Destination And Visiting Portugal In February? Here’s What You Could Get Up To
If you’re looking for sunshine in February, Barbados is the perfect place to be! With toasty temperatures year-round and some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun on this bright Caribbean island.
When you visit Barbados in February, you’ll be there during the dry season. Usually, this means temperatures are in the high 20’s (C) and few rainy days.
Barbados is known for having excellent snorkelling and SCUBA diving. Both beginner and experienced divers will love spending time in water that’s so clear you can see straight to the bottom. In Carlisle Bay, you can explore several shipwrecks that have been reclaimed as reefs. Today, the waters around the island are home to colourful fish and even a large population of sea turtles.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, take surfing lessons in Freights Bay or watch the pros ride terrifying-looking waves on the east coast. You can also try kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing in the calmer waters on the west coast. Sunset SUP sessions at Pebbles Beach in Bridgetown can’t be missed!
Want to get back to nature? Head up north to Animal Flower Cave where you can swim in a tranquil natural pool while watching the waves crash below. You can also check out Hunte’s Gardens, a tropical botanical garden with outstanding Bajan biodiversity on display.
Just want to relax on the beach? Barbados certainly has you covered! All beaches in Barbados are free to the public. Some popular beaches like Folkestone Beach on the west coast have amenities like picnic tables, beach loungers, restrooms, and playgrounds for guests to enjoy. Other spots like Bottom Beach on the south coast will make you feel like you’re on a deserted island, albeit the most beautiful deserted island imaginable!
Whether you’re looking for an adventure or some time to relax, Barbados offers it all with a healthy dose of winter sunshine.
Barbados In February? I Think So!
Activities In Barbados For You To Do
Just 600km off the western coast of Africa lies an archipelago filled with natural beauty and vibrant culture. This group of 10 volcanic islands is Cape Verde, an island nation made popular by explorers and traders en route between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. It is now known as one of the world’s top travel destinations. Dramatic landscapes blend with pristine beaches and colourful seaside villages creating a complete and visual experience.
Cape Verde is characterized by a rich Kriolu culture where west African roots are blended with a mix of Portuguese, Brazilian, and even French influences resulting in a purely unique culture not found anywhere else. It is well known for its diverse forms of music and traditional dance including the soft Morna, the upbeat Funaná and the polyrhythmic Batuque. The sounds of music fill the streets, along beaches, and even inside public transportation inviting visitors to hear and take part in their music.
Perhaps what makes Cape Verde such an appealing destination is the variety of things to do. Each island can sometimes feel independent of one another with a climate, landscape, and culture uniquely distinct from the next. Sal and Boa Vista are known for their immaculate white beaches, water sports and luxury resorts. Santo Antão is the westernmost island attracting outdoor enthusiasts from around the world to its seaside cliffs and dramatic hiking trails.
The island of Fogo, in the south, centres around a 9,000 ft active volcano. Having erupted as recently as 2014, visitors are lured to this destination in the hopes of climbing the mighty volcano, marvelling at the famous black sanded beaches, and tasting the local wine made from grapes harvested from the rich volcanic soil. No matter which island you visit, Cape Verdeans are eager to show morabeza, a Kriolu term meaning “hospitality” toward visitors welcoming all to see, taste, and experience the beauty of their homeland.
While some islands are accessible by international airports, others can only be reached by boat. The remote nature of these islands has helped to establish Cape Verde as a destination where you can truly get away from it all.
Written by Cecilia from Lovicarious.com. See more from Cecilia on Instagram.
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Lord Howe Island
A tiny island just 11km long and 2km wide, Lord Howe Island is an ecological wonder. Surprisingly unspoilt, the island is just a two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane, although getting there is quite expensive. Once there, you can lose yourself in tropical forests and a turquoise lagoon in isolated peace – visitor numbers are capped to 400 tourists at a time.
What you won’t see on Lord Howe Island is much development. It’s not a place for chain resorts or hotels. Instead, it’s a laidback spot where you can take some time to relax and enjoy a slower pace of life. Visiting here is an opportunity to learn more about the rare plants on the islands, giggle at the running birds and stare in wonder at the volcanic landscape. Spend your time snorkelling or diving with brightly-coloured fish, take a walk through the rainforest and kayaking through the calm lagoon. The island is almost surrounded by reefs and you can even feed wild fish by hand at Ned’s Beach. Other activities available include mountain biking, surfing and golf.
Hiking up Mount Gower is worth doing if you have time and inclination, as it can be hot and humid in the summer months. It’s a full-day hike up to the forest summit where you’ll find ferns and even the odd orchid. Going with a guide is a fascinating experience as you’ll learn more about the history of the place and the diversity of its plants and birds. If you’re interested in learning more about the island, be sure to visit the Lord Howe Island Museum which has an impressive amount of information on the local history and heritage.
The easiest way to get around the island is by bicycle. There’s a small town with a handful of shops, a community theatre and a Government House. Food arrives by boat every couple of weeks so it can be expensive, aside from fish and the vegetables and fruit which are grown locally.
Being on Lord Howe Island makes you feel like you’ve gone back to a different time. A beautiful and magical time, where the pace of life is slower, you have pristine beaches to yourself and marvel at how much the animals seem to trust you.
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Looking For Sunshine In Different Months?
If you’re looking for sunshine in different months, check out this ever-growing series on places to chase down that sunshine.