So work is back underway, we’ve eaten all the leftover holiday cake and chocolate – now is about the time we start daydreaming of the perfect winter escapes.
We thought we’d share some of our favourite holiday destinations as we fantasise about being far, far away from our desks and plan ahead for the next holiday break.
Our top winter escapes
From cosy cottages, to far flung beaches!
The City Break – Holly
Budapest is a great destination if you are looking for a city break somewhere warm to get over those January blues. There is so much to see in this amazing city and you won’t be stuck for something to do. From the amazing New York Café (the most beautiful café in the world with amazing murals painted on the ceilings) to a cruise up the Danube river, you won’t leave Hungary disappointed. It’s not the warmest place to visit this time of year, but that definitely won’t take any of the beauty away. I went in July and it was over 30 degrees, which in a city with no through breeze, can be too hot. You can always cool down (or warm up) in one of the city’s outdoor thermal spas.
Chasing the Aussie Sun – Sophie BB
It may be the other side of the world, but it’s sure worth it at this time of the year as the Aussie Summer sun hits it’s high. It’s Barbies, bevies and beaches galore.
Base yourself in Sydney for a super chic city vibe; brunch at Opera Bar, prosecco in the Botantical Gardens, shopping in Double Bay and evening cocktails at Bondi beach. Head north to Byron Bay for superb scuba diving with sea turtles, surf lessons with the pros and wonder the glistening waterfalls! Melbourne will get your creative juices flowing and a camping trip to the Blue Mountains will blow your mind in beauty.
Australia is massive so make sure you don’t cram too much in and enjoy the relaxed sunshine vibes. Remember, “no worries!”
A cosy cottage break – Nell
A frosty walk along the beach with my dog, and then seeking refuge from the cold for the afternoon in a cosy village pub is my idea of heaven right now. A cottage break in the north of England is a great break at this time of year. Although it’s not an escape from the cold, a little cosy cottage with the people I love most is certainly a way to combat those winter blues. Family and friends, a glass of wine and a good book in front of a fire – can it get any better?
Embracing winter: skiing – Sophie Bennett
Planning a holiday for February is one of the best ways to combat January blues as you’ve got something to look forward to rather than counting down the days until summer (168 at my last count). Last year, I embraced the winter and went skiing in France. We were on a budget (I slept on a bunkbed where the ceiling was genuinely 6 inches above my head – OUCH). But it was worth it – the views were stunning and it was great doing a holiday where I got lots of exercise. Andorra is a great place for beginners. If you’re less bothered about the apres ski aspect and aren’t a beginner, try less touristy spots in France like Les Sept Laux. Quiet, some great runs and stunning. Just be warned you’ll need to learn some French if you fancy eating, drinking and skiing.
Lake Bled, Slovenia – Jessie
If I could escape anywhere right now it would be beautiful and tranquil Lake Bled in Slovenia. Not your typical tropical destination, but I visited this hidden gem on an inter-rail through Europe. Compared tothe bustling cities, Lake Bled was scenic and peaceful. The cinematic views are enough to win anyone over. We went white water rafting, rented bikes and cycled all around the area, hiked through the forest and of course went swimming in the lake! For someone who isn’t exactly the ‘outdoorsy type’, I really did enjoy myself. We found a lovely little Mexican restaurant just five minutes from where we were staying.There is even a little sand area at one side of the lake with deck chairs where you can lie and sip a cocktail in the sun. I can’t think of anywhere better to kick back and completely switch off.
Tignes, France – Rhian
If you can’t beat the cold, why not join it! I’m getting increasingly jealous of everyone’s ski holiday pictures at the moment. They reminds me of my first ski holiday last year, where I started my week as a complete beginner by stepping off the chairlift and immediately crashing into an Italian family, which led to some angry stares, but also my confidence in absolute tatters. However, by the end of the week, I was able to navigate the slopes with some conviction and I finally understood what all ski lovers were addicted to: the freedom, the views, the breaks every couple of runs for hot chocolate, beers and chips. What more could you ask for? Another huge benefit of a ski holiday, is that you can cover up that post-Christmas gut under layers of clothes and no one will care how many pigs in blankets you consumed. I can’t wait to plan another trip soon.
Which winter escapes are you dreaming of heading to? Share with us – @tweetjanes.