Best Places To Visit In February
There’s plenty to celebrate in February as colourful carnivals dance their way across the globe, from Venice to Trinidad and Tobago. Winter sun holidays are in full swing south of the equator, or you could choose to surround yourself with snow instead. Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of the month. From charming cities to romantic beach settings, February provides an array of enchanting options.
Bianca Ohannessian is a travel and fashion writer and social media specialist. When she’s not writing for various websites and for her own travel blog, Rockskippers, she’s out exploring the globe.
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The New Orleans Mardi Gras is a bucket list essential. This street party, held on Shrove Tuesday, has been going strong for a couple of centuries now. An intoxicating party atmosphere is accompanied by parading performers in colourful costumes and on extravagantly decorated floats. Live jazz music sets the pace for the festivities.
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Save some time to explore this unique city in the US state of Louisiana. Wander around the pretty architecture of the French Quarter. You’ll find plenty of restaurants here where you can sample the Cajun cuisine. Be sure to visit lush Jackson Square, watched over by the 18th century St. Louis Cathedral, where you’ll also find a selection of museums nearby.
Trinidad And Tobago
The highlight of the month has got to be Carnival. An alternative to the famous festivals in Rio de Janeiro or New Orleans, Trinidad and Tobago celebrates the start of Lent in true Caribbean style. The sound of steel drums beating out joyful calypso rhythms fills the air as dancers in vibrant costumes shimmy through the streets. Several cultural events and fiestas lead up to the two-day extravaganza so you won’t be short of things to do and see around this time of year.
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Take some time out from the action to unwind on the picturesque beaches. Or explore the underwater world with a snorkelling or scuba diving tour of Bucco reef, with its hawksbill turtles and other colourful inhabitants. Or check out the beautiful Nylon Pool lagoon.
One of the oldest carnivals in the world, the historic Venice Carnival originally dates back to the 11th century. The floating city comes alive with around 10 days of celebrations. Although many of these take place behind closed doors at lavish masked balls, you can catch a glimpse of locals wearing traditional dress and elaborate masks.
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With a reputation for being one of Europe’s most romantic cities, Venice is also a popular destination for a Valentine’s Day break. Visit San Marco square where you’ll find grand buildings such as the historic Doge Palace. Then enjoy an Italian coffee break at the opulent 18th century Caffè Florian which doubles as an art gallery. Or hop in a gondola and glide through the canals, and under the Bridge of Sighs for a picture-perfect moment.
The city of love is an obvious choice for a classically romantic Valentine’s Day visit. Although the main tourist attractions are a must-see, there are countless other activities to discover in this picturesque city. Heading to the Notre Dame? Take some time to explore the surrounding cobbled streets and traditional cafés of Ile St-Louis. Seeing the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre? Seek out the Dali Museum tucked away on a side street.
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February may be a little chilly but if weather permits, wrap up warm and visit the street food market at Rue Cler. Then enjoy the local delicacies with a picnic in Champ de Mars, giving you unrivalled views of the Eiffel Tower. Or stop off at Angelina patisserie to warm up after seeing the sights with its world-renown hot chocolate and macarons.
The magnificent island of Mauritius is also a much-loved Valentine’s Day destination. This tropical haven is particularly popular for honeymoons and weddings. Discover dreamy stretches of soft platinum sand and tropical vegetation. Each beach is just as delightful as the next.
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The transparent waters of the Indian Ocean are great for snorkelling or scuba diving. For fantastic views, head to Black River Gorges National Park where you’ll also find exotic local wildlife. Or try the museums of Port Louis for a bit of culture.
Boa Vista, Cape Verde
Just off the coast of Africa, you’ll find the paradise islands of Cape Verde. With year-round sunshine and temperatures reaching to 25°C in February, winter is a great time to visit. The island of Boa Vista, which translates as “Good View”, has all the beautiful scenery that its name suggests. Pristine beaches sparkle with dazzlingly white sands leading into incredibly clear waters.
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February falls within windsurfing season, so head to the west coast beaches to spend a day kite-surfing or windsurfing. See the sand dunes at Deserto de Viana and explore the island’s lunar-like interior. Just remember to stop off at the stunning sands of Cabo de Santa Maria to see its striking beached shipwreck.
Costa Rica is a great choice for a tropical adventure. Although this Central American country encompasses several different microclimates, February is generally hot and dry. Eco-tourism is in full bloom here so you’ll find multiple protected nature reserves to explore, offering captivating jungle views and a chance of spotting a sloth or monkey. Monte Verde’s Cloud Forest is one such example, where you can walk through the treetops of the ancient rainforest on a network of hanging bridges.
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The waves that roll into the blissful west coast beaches are fantastic for surfing. You’ll find laid-back coastal towns here as well as livelier resorts, such as Jaco. Or check out Porto Viejo on the Caribbean side. Hire a bicycle to explore the sensational seaside scenery and stop off at the easy-going local eateries.
Winter ski breaks are still a good bet in February in terms of snowfall. However, you may need to book early if you’re planning to visit during the half term holidays as resorts can get busy during this week. The Austrian section of the Alps offers ski resorts to suit all skill levels. Westendorf and St Wolfgang are ideal for first-time skiers and snowboarders. Whereas Galtur and St Anton provide more advanced runs.
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Most ski resorts come with a lively après-ski scene too. Wherever you choose to speed down the slopes, you’ll be met with breath-taking mountain views of crisp white peaks, snow-covered trees and traditional alpine villages.