4 of the Best Countries to Visit this Winter

Tempted to go on holiday this winter? Me too. Whether you’re in the mood for a beach break or adventure, you’re in the right place. These are my hot picks that will tantalise your mind and inspire you to take the plunge and book a trip of a life time.

Colombia

This wonderful country is on the Caribbean coast of South America and offers plenty of adventure or opportunities to relax as you see fit. The weather is pretty consistent year round (hot on the coast, spring like temperatures inland) with a rainy season that ends in November. Head to Tayrona national park for impossibly pristine beaches, or check out one of the buzzing cities like Cali or Medellin for culture and salsa. If you want some rugged adventure, try the coffee region of Salento for chilled out horseback riding and trekking. Many people have the misconception that this country is dangerous, but I can assure you the dark days are long gone, you just need to travel safe like you would in any other country. Colombia is rapidly progressing and people here are incredibly happy to welcome you with open arms. It won’t be like this forever though, people are catching on to just how wonderful it is here, visit now while it’s still an authentic gem.

Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Salento
Salento

Thailand

An oldie but a goodie, the best time of year to visit Thailand is October – February. Visit the blissful beaches in the south or the east, head inland to Chiang Mai or the National parks and explore the wild jungles, or check out some of the best temples in the world in Sukothai. If you’re after something less touristy, I’ve got you covered. Places like Nong Khai on the Mekong river in the North East or Prachuap Khiri Khan on the southern coast offer a taste of the real Thailand away from the crowds. This is a country well set up for tourists which makes it easy to travel around and get off the beaten track, with plenty of excellent accommodation to suit every budget, and wonderful street food that is less likely to make you sick. Perfect holiday material!

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Temples in Sukothai
Temples in Sukothai

Myanmar

Just next door to Thailand, Myanmar is growing in popularity every year especially as the political situation is looking brighter. The lush jungles, beaches and temples offer many similarities to Thailand, but with fewer visitors and a more rustic charm. It’s more expensive to visit than Thailand especially if you’re heading for the beach, but for your money you get more seclusion. The temples of Bagan are probably the best in the world, I think they’re even better than Angkor Wat, but you can read more about that in my temple hopping in Asia post. The food here is unique blend of Thai, Chinese and Indian, all the neighbouring countries of course! It’s less healthy than Thai food but very delicious, you never knew sweet and sour chicken could be this good. The people are charming and there’s intriguing colonial cities dotted around the whole country. There’s truly something for everyone here.

Temples of Bagan
Temples of Bagan
Sadden Cave, Hpa An by James Antrobus on Flikr
Sadden Cave, Hpa An by James Antrobus on Flikr
Ngapali Beach by Stefan Fussan, Flikr
Ngapali Beach by Stefan Fussan, Flikr

India

October – April is generally the best time to visit India, and in such a vast country you’ve got plenty of areas to choose from depending on what you’re looking for this winter. Visit Goa and Kerala for a blissed out beach holiday, Rajasthan for incredible palaces and desert adventures or Uttarakhand for the mighty Ganges River, delightfully chilled out hill stations and fresh himalayan air. National parks can be found in all these areas to experience the unique wildlife of this country, and some tigers if you’re lucky.

Agra Fort, Rajasthan
Agra Fort, Rajasthan
Keolado National Park, Rajasthan
Keolado National Park, Rajasthan
Varkala, Kerala
Varkala, Kerala
Rishikesh, The Ganges
Rishikesh, The Ganges

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