Follow the sunshine to beat the “Winter Blues”
Follow the sunshine and tranquility to these destinations. There are ample destinations to travel to that’ll boost your spirits and beat those winter blues without breaking the bank.
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, looked at what was being searched for the most in January, and came up with a list of destinations that fulfilled all of the top-searched passions in January: beach, culture, mountains, relaxation and tranquility.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, the city of Salalah is a far cry from a cold, blustery winter. It’s a warm representation of Middle Eastern culture with markets showcasing a rich selection of local artisanship and is famed for the frankincense trees that grow just outside it. Also all around the city are the wadis (river valleys); oases which have sprouted up in the desert with sage-green waters, cascades and forests.
For sunshine and serenity, travel to the alluring lakeside setting of Toscolano-Maderno, Italy. On the shores of Lago di Garda, you could happily spend your entire stay here just taking in the view. While the weather may not be warm enough for a swim in the lake, you can enjoy an espresso al fresco outside the terracotta- and pastel-coloured buildings that are laid out around the town’s harbour.
According to Greek travellers last year, Naxos Chora is the best destination in Greece when it comes to sandy beaches.**** There are some sublime stretches of white sand nearby for a spot of sunbathing or a stroll. Luckily, this is a place that doesn’t close down in winter and the mild climate and stunning surroundings will provide welcome respite from typical winter weather back home.
Miyajima Island is less than an hour’s train and ferry journey from Hiroshima but couldn’t feel further removed from city life. The Great Torii (a free-standing archway planted in the middle of the sea) is one of the island’s – and the country’s – most photographed sites, best viewed at high tide when it appears to be floating in the water. It’s part of a larger shrine and represents the place where the spirit and the human worlds meet. The whole island has a spiritual feel and is a haven of natural beauty – hike to the top to take in sweeping views of forest with temples and pagodas dotted in between.
Oman is trending as a travel destination at the moment, and Khasab clearly demonstrates why. The colour palette of welcoming, sparkling green sea against stark, dusty orange cliffs is striking. You can take a trip on a dhow (a traditional wooden-hulled Arabian boat) to appreciate the shoreline in all its splendour.
Though January is the coldest month of the year in Cyprus, it’s still pleasant and mild with maximum daytime temperatures averaging 17 degrees Celsius. And well outside the peak summer season, prices are substantially lower. For a revitalizing winter’s day, walk along the lovely natural harbour and explore the town’s sights including a Byzantine castle. Or take a more challenging cross-country hike in the surrounding area to reconnect with nature.