As much as we adore the colours of fall and the crisp leaves as they crunch beneath our boots each day, we can’t stop dreaming about escaping for a winter vacation.
That feeling of setting your out-of-office message and knowing you don’t have to check emails for a week (or more) is something we all love. Couple this with the thrill of exploring somewhere you’ve never been before, and you’re all set to have the time of your life.
There are a ton of destinations around the world that are amazing to visit during the summer months: the vibrant markets of Morocco, hiking to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu in Peru, and swimming at Tayrona National Park in Colombia, to name a few. But what you might not know is that these destinations each offer something incredible during winter, too.
With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with Contiki to highlight seven destinations that get even better in the winter.
Rich in culture, both ancient and contemporary, Japan is one of our favourite places to visit during winter. After all, it’s famous for being home to world-class ski runs!
Combine the amazing ski culture with some of Japan’s best cities and you have the recipe for the perfect winter trip. Explore places like Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Hakuba, and Hakone, with plenty of time to ski, eat sushi, explore temples, and drink local sake. Do it all with Contiki on this 13-day trip.
We don’t know about you, but we spend a lot of time scrolling through Instagram looking at photos of the beautiful destinations we plan to visit. Peru is high on our bucket list with its ancient Inca culture, jaw-dropping 19th-century architecture, and the lush jungles of the Amazon. Plus, Peru is south of the equator and our wintertime is actually summertime there, making it an ideal warm getaway when things get cold at home.
Besides hiking the Inca Trail, visit places that will change your perception of travel (and Pisco Sours) forever like Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes, and Puerto Maldonado on Contiki’s two-week Peru trip.
A true highlight of South America, Colombia is somewhere everyone needs to experience at least once. This amazing country is a hidden gem that makes for the perfect place to head south for the winter without the huge holiday crowds of countries like Mexico and Cuba. Break out of your comfort zone and explore bustling cities, then visit the Salt Cathedral and coffee plantation towns. Just don’t forget to soak up the sunshine on Palomino’s Caribbean coastlines!
Colombia offers a great mix of beach time and culture, and you can experience all of the highlights on Contiki’s 18-day trip through Bogota, San Gil, Salento, Medellin, Cartagena, Palomino Beach, Tayrona National Park, and more!
Let’s face it, the weather is going to get much colder in Canada this winter. But wouldn’t it be nice to escape the chill and head to Costa Rica instead? This beautiful rainforest-covered country has beach towns you may never want to leave, with opportunities to go snorkelling and scuba diving in the coral reefs and take on river rapids while white water rafting.
During a nine-day trip with Contiki, you can visit San José, Arenal, Playa Tamarindo, Monteverde, Jaco, Sarapiqui, and Manuel Antonio. Highlights include having dinner with a local family and a decadent chocolate demonstration.
Located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a hot spot for travellers for many reasons, including its abundance of national parks where wildlife roam. The winter is an ideal time to explore this country, especially with wonderfully hot and dry days and great weather in the south.
Travelling to Sri Lanka with Contiki gives you a little bit of everything: walk along sandy beaches, visit an elephant transit home, explore a tea plantation, take a city tour of Colombo, and so much more in just 10 days. Destinations on the itinerary include Negombo, Kandy, Ella, Udawalawe National Park, and Unawatuna.
A capital of African culture, everything from Morocco’s mountainscapes to its kaleidoscope of coloured carpets, gorgeous palaces, busy squares, and diverse food scene make it a place of dreams. Morocco is always on our bucket list but the winter is the ideal time for mild temps without the scorching heat of the desert you’d experience in the summer.
During a five-day trip with Contiki, travellers can visit Fez and Marrakesh, including taking a locally guided tour of the Medina of Fez, visiting Bahia Palace, and discovering where intricate handmade carpets come to life.
Iceland fits the bill for a winter wonderland vacation with its natural beauty, erupting geysers, canyons, volcanoes, and cascading waterfalls. Let’s not forget about the Blue Lagoon where you can soak in a geothermal pool and reap the rewards of natural mineral water.
On top of all that, winter is also the ideal time to try and see the elusive Northern Lights for yourself. Travelling to Iceland with Contiki lets you experience visiting Reykjavik, Vik, Skaftafell, and Selfoss, in just six days.