February is one of our favourite months to go travelling. With the UK still firmly in the grip of winter, we love the idea of swapping the ice scraper for a sun lounger. From long weekend to long haul, here’s our rundown of the top destinations to beat the winter blues this February.
Paris – Best For Romantics
We’ll give you plenty of notice here: February 14th is Valentine’s Day – now there’s no excuse to forget! What better way to treat that special someone than a trip to the City of Love?
Paris is full of world-famous landmarks on almost every corner with the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and Arc de Triomphe all in the city centre. Once you’ve finished taking those essential holiday snaps, a walk down the Champs-Élysées is a must. You’ll find an almost endless stream of premium boutiques for a spot of retail therapy and quintessential Parisian cafés to keep your energy up with crepes, croissants, coffee and croque monsieur.
The Louvre is undeniably another must-see on any trip to Paris. With its instantly recognisable glass pyramid, the museum holds regular exhibitions that explore the ages and is, of course, the home of the Mona Lisa. The grounds of the museum are also well worth exploring with beautiful gardens and no fewer than 15 cafés and restaurants located throughout.
As night falls, take a trip along the Seine by boat to see the city light up – the perfect end to a romantic getaway.
Egypt – Best For History Lovers
Think of Egypt and you instantly think of its vast wealth of ancient history. From the pyramids and Great Sphinx to the Valley of the Kings, Egypt is brimming with millennia-old monuments that take you back to the time of the pharaohs. Why February? You’ll miss the uncomfortable heatwave that hits Egypt during summer – and avoid the enormous influx of tourists too.
A trip to Giza is an absolute must if you want to see the pyramids and Great Sphinx – probably the most symbolic remnants of Ancient Egypt. Top tip: make sure your camera has plenty of battery life in it.
From there, the Valley of the Kings should be next on your agenda. During the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties of Egypt, the Luxor valley became a royal burial ground for pharaohs – including Tutankhamun and Rameses II – queens, high priests and other elite Egyptians. Myth and mystery surround the valley, with new tombs regularly unearthed. Keep an eye out and you never know what you might find…
Rich history aside, Egypt is also home to some incredible beaches and sun-kissed shores. Sharm El Sheikh, a gorgeous resort town located on the southernmost coast of the Sinai Peninsula, is known for its crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches. There, you’ll also find the Ras Mohammed National Park which holds the accolade of being one of the best diving sites in the world. Grab your scuba gear and explore the fantastic coral reefs of the Red Sea or stay above water to spot some dolphins.
New Orleans – Best For Party People
Two words: Mardi Gras.
The party of all parties, Mardi Gras celebrations start on Twelfth Night in January and continue right up to March, but February is when the carnival kicks off. With a schedule packed full of parades, the streets of the Big Easy transform themselves into a riot of colour and costumes, with great food, drink and king cake on the menu – and all obligatory.
Central to the celebrations is Bourbon Street. Located right in the heart of the city’s historic French Quarter, Bourbon Street is famed for its vibrant nightlife and equally-vibrant buildings. You’ll find jazz clubs, authentic Cajun restaurants and raucous bars serving classic cocktails at every turn, giving you an authentic taste of what New Orleans is all about.
When you’ve had your fill, head street-side to join in the carnival atmosphere as elaborate floats and costumed parades make their way through the city. Look out for riders dispensing beads and try to catch a ‘throw’ – a signature keepsake launched into the crowds by individual ‘krewes’.
Mardi Gras aside, New Orleans is one big melting pot of culture, encompassing French, African and American influences. Every element of the city speaks of its rich past, from the ornate architecture of the French Quarter to the Creole-centric cuisine. A big bowl of gumbo is an absolute must (especially the morning after the night before).
Article adapted from the online feature at paulinatwarog.notjusttravel.com
Ready to find out more or book your next trip? Give Paulina a ring on 07824 378 885.