Planning a getaway to escape the last weeks of winter? We’ve rounded up some of the best places to travel to in February and March to help you feel inspired.
Whether you’re looking to get away from the winter blues with some far-off sunshine, or you want treat a loved one to a romantic Valentine’s getaway, we have you covered with some wanderlust-inducing holiday ideas.
Dates to be aware of:
Half term often runs the mid-end of February. This often means busier resorts and higher prices, so avoid these dates where you can if you’re not travelling with children.
Valentine’s Day falls on 14 February and St Patrick’s Day is 17 March. These can both be busier times to travel, with hotel prices going up.
For Valentine’s Day romance:
Nothing says romance quite like the City of Love. Paris is the ideal city for a Valentine’s Day minibreak. Wander through the frosty Jardins du Luxembourg, share a bottle of wine at a café overlooking the Seine, and don’t forget a trip to the stunning Sacré Coeur.
Although the weather may not be perfect, February and March are great times to visit Paris. With less visitors, you’ll find rates are lower and the tourist hotspots are much less crowded. Since many of the best things to do are indoors, you can escape the cold inside cosy cafes and art galleries.
An idyllic corner of Southern England, the Cotswolds make an excellent Valentine’s Day trip. Rent a countryside cottage for your own private escape, or book into any of the picturesque boutique hotels and B&Bs that can be found in villages.
Brave the elements with a leisurely walk in the gentle countryside, before cosying up alongside a roaring log fire at a local pub. The perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day!
For St Patrick’s Day:
Naturally, Ireland’s capital is the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The city fills with a riot of colour, as a parade of spectacular floats weaves its way through the streets. This falls on the final day of a four-day-long celebration, featuring beer and whiskey festivals, funfairs, and free live music.
Understandably, this is one of the busiest times to visit Dublin. But if you can brave the crowds, with up to 500,000 people attending the parade, this is truly the most exciting time to see the city.
Chicago is one of the best cities in the USA to join in with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. In a tradition dating from 1961, every year the Chicago River is turned into a sparkling emerald stream in celebration of the city’s Irish heritage. Over 40lbs of green dye are used in the transformation, which really is a sight to see. Chicago’s Downtown Parade, which lasts for three hours, is one of the biggest in the USA.
Irish celebrations aside, March is also a great time to visit Chicago. The weather, though cold, is beginning to improve, so conditions are good for exploring Chicago’s stunning architecture on foot, as summer can be too hot for a walking tour!
As February and March are both low season in Chicago (with the exception of St Patrick’s Day), so you should find that flight and hotel prices are more affordable.
For winter sun:
February and early March could be the perfect time to visit the Bahamas. The weather is dry and sunny, with highs of 25°C in February. This is the almost-shoulder-season between the busy festive period and raucous spring break, so prices are generally lower and resorts are quieter.
This is a wonderful place to lap up the sunshine and relax on a white sandy beach. For some more unique experiences, take a stroll on the stunning Pink Sand Beach, or watch the famous swimming pigs at Big Major Cay.
Gran Canaria, Spain
Just off the coast of North Africa, the Spanish Canary Islands are one of the best places in Europe to enjoy some winter sunshine. In February, temperatures on Gran Canaria reach highs of 17°C in February, edging up to 21°C by March. If you’re in search of sunshine and beaches any of the Canaries makes an ideal pre-spring getaway.
With its black lava sand beaches, dramatic coastline, and stunning interior mountain scenery, Gran Canaria is a winner for nature lovers. Road trip around the island, calling at picturesque villages and family-run vineyards along the way, and making the most of the incredible seafood at harbourside towns like Puerto de las Nieves.
For embracing winter:
Finnish Lapland, Finland
With temperatures ranging from -13°C to -6°C, winter in northern Finland is certainly chilly! But if you feel like embracing the frosty side of winter, this is the place to do it. A magical snowy landscape awaits in Lapland – and in February, there’s also a pretty good chance of seeing the elusive Northern Lights.
Keep warm with the Finnish tradition of saunas. You’ll even find the world’s only sauna cable car gondola in Ylläs Ski Resort! Plenty of snowy scenery, cosy log fires, and thrilling dog sled rides offer the ideal way to enjoy winter.