Seven destinations that are perfect for winter exploration

Seven destinations that are perfect for winter exploration

It’s not too late to book a winter escape

This winter, imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin as you discover the stunning cultural treasures of India, Sri Lanka or Oman. Sitting in short sleeves on a Nile cruise as the glorious scenery of Upper Egypt passes effortlessly by. Or perhaps waking to the magical sound of waves breaking on a tropical beach. There is still time to book a luxury holiday that could have you escaping the winter blues!

As the season moves steadily from autumn to winter, the prospect of a holiday becomes ever more appealing. We have identified seven fabulous destinations where you can bask in the sunshine, enrich your mind, relax your body, and escape the blues this winter.

Egypt

Few journeys can equal the magic of a holiday in Egypt, and our private tailor-made itineraries showcase the most breathtaking sites in this extraordinary destination. Whether you are looking for a classic Nile adventure or a luxury dahabiya cruise; wish to escape the crowds and explore Egypt off the beaten track; or prefer an exclusive tour led by a private Egyptologist, there are a surprising number of possibilities. When it comes to personalising your journey, we encourage you to take advantage of our in-depth knowledge and passion for Egypt by chatting through the options with us directly. 

When to go… Egypt in the winter offers the ideal climate for a sightseeing holiday. The best time to visit is from October to March when the sun’s temperature is pleasantly warm and the skies are blue.

Cairo. Classic view of pyramids in Egypt 3171475
The pyramids at Giza, near Cairo

South India

A holiday to South India opens the gateway to a balmy tropical land home to an ancient Dravidian culture where pearls, silk, spices, temples, beaches and wildlife combine to provide an eclectic mix of culture, history and leisure. On the south-western Malabar Coast, Kerala is the region’s main draw with its palm-lined backwaters, spice port of Cochin and lush tea plantations. The bordering states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are teeming with ancient Hoysala Temples, coffee plantations and a rich colonial heritage. These highlights barely touch on possibilities for a South India holiday, and it would be our pleasure to discuss these in more detail. 

When to go… The optimum time of year to visit India’s southern states is from late November to March. The climate in the south is more tropical than in the north, and the weather is typically warm and dry at this time of year. 

Kerala in South India - perfect for winter exploration 1346592
Kerala backwaters at sunset

Oman

A holiday to Oman will reveal one of the most spectacular parts of Arabia – a wild but hospitable land where tradition, legend and adventure still walk hand in hand. Oman is richly-endowed with natural beauty, ancient traditions, and opportunities for adventure. Its diverse offerings include exploring the deserts of Oman’s Empty Quarter, discovering the rich history, or relaxing in style on the beaches of Muscat and Salalah. One of the pleasures of a holiday to Oman is enjoying the outstanding choice of accommodation which includes luxury coastal resorts, mountain retreats and glamping in the sand dunes. We would be delighted to discuss our favourite places to stay with you.

When to go… The best time to visit Oman is typically from October to April making the Sultanate an exceptional choice for a winter break.

Oman - perfect for winter exploration DT36902884
Sand dunes in Oman

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is arguably the greatest travel destination in the Middle East yet it is also perhaps the most misunderstood. Highlights include the two-thousand-year-old Nabataean tombs at Madain Saleh (known as the second Petra), breathtaking desert landscapes and ancient rock formations. Saudi also boasts five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and pristine sub-tropical atolls known by many as the Saudi Maldives. Despite opening to western tourists a relatively short time ago, Saudi Arabia is a destination we know well. If you have any doubts or questions about a holiday in the Kingdom, get in touch and we will lift the veil on this highly underrated gem.

When to go… Saudi Arabia’s arid desert climate means that, generally, the most comfortable time to visit the Kingdom is from November to February. 

Hegra (Madain Saleh) - one of the must-see things to do in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia
Stunning landscapes and ancient history rolled into one in Saudi Arabia

Nepal

Nepal is a Himalayan nation with snow-clad peaks, fluttering prayer flags, subtropical plains teeming with wildlife, and a rich culture dating back to the time of the Buddha. Nepal is most associated with hiking but it’s a well-rounded destination and a holiday there doesn’t have to involve strenuous trekking. An easy-paced gentle walking holiday, staying in comfortable lodges with a delicious meal and a hot shower at the end of the day, is our favourite way to enjoy the mountain peaks and traditional villages of the Annapurna mountain range.  

When to go… The best time to visit Nepal is generally from October through to early December, and in Spring, when the temperatures are pleasant with clear skies. Although cold at high elevations, January or February can be a good time to visit, depending on where in the country you are exploring.

Walking in Nepal
A walking trail in Nepal

North India

Whether you have dreamt of luxuriating in Rajasthan’s fabulous forts and Maharaja’s palaces; finding your soul on the banks of the sacred River Ganges; or searching for a tiger in the teeming jungles of Madhya Pradesh, a holiday to North India offers limitless options. In fact, the choices can feel so overwhelming that we invite you to allow us to let our knowledge of the destination shine and take the pressure off every step of your travel-planning journey. Get in touch with our experts today!

When to go… October to March, when the climate is cool, dry and sunny, is the best time to travel to the plains of north India. It is worth noting that parts of northern India can be a little chilly in January and February (a marked difference from the tropical south) although temperatures are mild combined with the UK so, if you prefer to avoid extreme heat, it’s a good time to visit.

Rajasthan in India - ideal for winter exploration 40470098
The palaces of Rajasthan are ideal for winter exploration

The Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is largely associated with Dubai’s glittering resorts, but those who choose a more immersive experience will be rewarded with diverse scenic beauty and a rich cultural heritage. The United Arab Emirates consists of seven sheikhdoms and a holiday that takes you beyond Abu Dhabi and Dubai opens up opportunities to discover the UAE off the beaten path. The desert wadis, mangrove-lined lagoons. date palm oases, hill-top forts, traditional villages, spice markets and jewellery-laden gold souqs make up the Emirates we want to share with you. 

When to go… There is no defined rainy season in the United Arab Emirates but the summer’s soaring mercury levels mean that the winter months from October through to March are the most pleasant time to explore.

UAE lanscapes are perfect for winter exploration 10379760
UAE landscapes

In other news…

Nepal & Bhutan - The Celestial Himalaya

Bhutan is back!

After 2½ years of being closed to tourists, Bhutan has re-opened and is ready to welcome the first wave of post-pandemic visitors. This tiny Himalayan Kingdom is teeming with luxury hotels so if Bhutan has long been on your bucket list, now is the time to start planning…

Browse Bhutan holidays

One hundred years since the discovery of King Tut’s Tomb in Egypt

In 1922, Howard Carter made what many consider the world’s greatest archaeological find when he unearthed the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in Egypt. This year marks a significant milestone for Egyptology as we celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of discovering King Tut’s treasures. On 4 November 1922, Carter’s team unearthed Tutankhamun’s tomb – our recent blog post digs (pun intended!) into the events surrounding this momentous occasion, the ripple of excitement it caused around the world, and the lasting legacy of Tutankhamun.

The highly anticipated new Grand Egyptian Museum is due to finally open in November 2022. It’s been over twenty years since the project was launched and, when complete, it will be the largest archaeological museum complex in the world. Just one more reason to book a luxury holiday to Egypt as part of your winter exploration!


.

Additional images © Kathmandu & Beyond