Discover where to travel in February – whether you’re after winter sun or some carnival action!
Christmas feels like a lifetime ago and Spring’s still just out of reach. This makes February perfect time to blow off the cobwebs of winter and escape to somewhere new. Depending on what takes your fancy there’s great skiing in Northern Italy, winter sunshine around the equator and exciting carnivals taking place all over the globe.
Check out our guide to the best places to travel in February, covering everything from warm climates and relaxing beaches through to winter sports destinations and cultural events!
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Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, India
February’s warm, dry weather is perfect for taking in Agra’s majestic Mughul architecture and the monument of all monuments – the Taj Mahal.
Lucy Richard, a Project Editor for DK Eyewitness Travel, recommends watching sunrise over the stately tomb before driving on an hour to the little-visited – and arguably just as breathtaking – abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri.
Lucy Richards will be speaking at Stanfords’ Travel Writers Festival at Destinations: the Holiday and Travel Show 30th January – 2nd February 2019 at Olympia London. To book tickets visit: https://destlondon.seetickets.com
We’re big fans of Brighton here at Ladies What Travel and are happy to visit any time of the year, however vegan readers may want to pencil in a February trip as this is when the city’s Vegan Festival takes place.
This year (2020) it’s being held of Saturday 22nd February and there’s everything on offer from trying the newest vegan foods through to checking out the latest vegan toiletries and clothing. Enjoy a spot of yoga or head over to one of the many talks taking place, covering everything from nutrition to embracing the vegan lifestyle.
But even if you’re a life-long meat eater, Brighton in February is still well worth a visit as there’s lots to see and do. There’s the Royal Pavilion, surrounded by its beautiful tropical gardens, the North Laines and its many indie stores and coffee shops (check out Lou’s Brighton Coffee Guide) and why not blow away the winter cobwebs with a walk along the Brighton Pier – the perfect spot to enjoy a cheeky bag of chips (if the seagulls don’t get to them first!).
Brighton’s also a great place to base yourself to explore more of the local area – take a short drive out of the city and immerse yourself in nature at Beachy Head or the Seven Sisters Country Park, for example.
Looking for somewhere to stay in Brighton? We recommend Artist Residence or Hotel Pelirocco.
If you’re looking for warm places to visit in February then you might want to consider Cape Verde, which has on average nine hours of sunshine each day this month, and a top temperature of 25 degrees. (We also recommend it for a sunshine break in January too!).
It’s particularly worth visiting Cape Verde in February though, as this is when the Creole Festival takes place, inspired by the carnival festivities and costumes of Brazil with a Portuguese flavour mixed in. Sure, it might not be the same scale as Rio, but it’s still a great show with festivities running all the way to the main event, which is held every Shrove Tuesday – which is February 25th in 2020.
Dana Point, USA
Situated on the Pacific coastline, Dana Point, California has a big surfing heritage – the state’s first surf was opened here back in 1954.
But the reason for visiting in February isn’t related to the quality of the surf, it’s the animals you might see. This month is slap bang in the middle of grey whale season, so it’s the perfect time to go whale watching!
Palma de Mallorca
February is one of the best months to visit Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, and as it’s just a two-hour flight from the UK, it’s perfect for a long weekend and a bit of winter sun.
Throughout the month Palma is hosting Mallorca live nights; a series of concerts in the centre of the city including gigs from Spanish groups.
Stay at the new Ocho Hotel & Kitchen, which opened last September and boasts eight suites in one of Palma’s century-old Mediterranean-style townhouses. Situated between the impressive Gothic cathedral, La Seu, ancient merchant house and district La Lonja, and the seafront, the property is perfectly located to explore the old town district. The hotel features a restaurant and bar and offers a menu based on locally produced ingredients. Double rooms are available £120, inclusive of breakfast.
Palma is easily accessible with a two hour flight from the UK. Easy jet offers return flights from London Gatwick to Palma priced from £110 per person. www.easyjet.com
Palm Springs, USA
2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the Palm Springs’ famous Modernism Week festival and this February visitors can see the city’s design heritage and modernist culture showcased through a number of special tours. Highlights include the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus tour and and a visit to Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate.
This desert oasis is famed for not only its huge collection of mid-century modern architecture, but also its Hollywood legacy and Native American heritage. If the chance to stay in the former homes of Elvis or Marilyn Monroe just isn’t your thing though, why not head out into the great outdoors for a spot of hiking.
Rio de Janeiro
Do we really need to explain why Rio should be on your February travel hit list? It’s carnival baby!!!
The Rio de Janeiro carnival is known as the biggest in the world, with on average two million visitors watching the parades each day of the event. Held every February, this year (2020) the carnival begins on February 21st and ends on the 26th.
Believe it or not this epic event has been taking place since 1723 and is made up of parades and balls all over the city. Head to the official Rio de Janeiro Carnival website for all the latest information and advice and if you want to get a feel for what Rio Carnival is really like check out Brian – The Points Guy – Kelly’s video of him experiencing carnival for the very first time…
February is the perfect month to travel to Tenerife too, as it’s when the island holds its Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife – the second biggest carnival in the world (I had no idea!).
Carnival in the Canary Islands is an explosion of fun, music and colour. All over the archipelago parades, dance troupes and outdoor parties fill the air with the joyous atmosphere of a carnival with a long history. But what really makes Canarian carnival celebrations stand out is the pleasant temperature of this winter tradition – on average the February temperature for Tenerife is a comfortable 20 degrees.
The Dolomites, Italy
Those looking for ski resorts can’t go wrong with a trip to the Dolomites in north Italy. During my visit I based myself in Cortina, where I spent a snowy weekend surrounded by ski mountains!
Neither Justin or I are outdoorsy people, but we quickly discovered you don’t have to enjoy skiing to visit a place like this. We adored simply driving along the winding roads up the mountains or taking the ski-lifts to restaurants where we’d stop for lunch or hot chocolate or two before going for a short walk in the untouched snow.
UK National Parks
Another of the UK’s beauty spots that well worth a visit throughout the year, why not head the South Downs, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks to take part in their their annual Dark Skies Festival events throughout February.
Over 100 different events are going to be run, including stargazing safaris using powerful telescopes, after-dark walks, runs and yoga sessions, meals under the stars and photography lessons. Wrap up tight and hope for a cloud free night!
As one of the most beautiful of Italy’s cities, Venice attracts a huge number of visitors each year. Its famous waterways, gondolas and exquisite architecture make it a unique place to visit, and you will be able to see highlights such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, the Bridge of Sighs and Piazza San Marco.
However, a visit in February can be even more spectacular as this is when the renowned Venice Carnival takes place (for 2020, it runs from February 8th-25th). I’ve wanted to experience this for years, but the cost has put me off, as prices for the masquerade balls run into the hundreds of Euros. But, for something super special, this is one event I believe you’d never forget!
To get a feel of the grandiose of the event, check out the opening ceremony from last year….