7 Awesome Winter Vacations
Who says you need to hibernate in the winter when there are ski slopes, winter sports, warm beaches and exciting festivals to discover? Many of these destinations are at their best in winter, so pack those bags and don't forget your passport.
Almond Blossom Season in Mallorca, Spain
White-sand Mediterranean beaches line the 1,405 sq. ft. mile island of Mallorca, where the mountainous island’s highest peaks are covered in brilliant white snow by November, and are at its most dazzling white and pale pink. This is when Mallorca's million almond trees come into full blossom, blanketing the valleys, hills and plains with a layer of delicate blossoms.
Winter Festivals in Miami, Florida
From South Beach to Coconut Grove, greater Miami and its endless miles of beaches tick all the right boxes for a white-hot winter getaway. Soak up the sun, surf, dine, shop and join in the festivals like the Food Network South Beach Food and Wine Fest, Carnival on the Mile, and Calle Ocho that celebrate the region's Latin and Caribbean-inspired flavours and rhythms.
Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia
Gold Coast is the second largest city in Queensland, best known for its beaches just south of Brisbane. But the combination of sun-drenched coastline and rainforest-shrouded hinterland are what make the Gold Coast truly spectacular. Watch the surfers at Snapper Rocks, or picnic at O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards, and after sunset, remember to stop by the Natural Bridge cave in Springbok National Park where thousands of glow-worms put on a nightly bioluminescence light show.
Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, USA
When white snow blankets Lamar Valley, head to Yellowstone. This is the perfect time to spot Yellowstone's elusive wolves, and their bison and elk prey. Winter visitors to this remote wolf territory are always rewarded with multiple wildlife sightings of these exquisite creatures in their natural habitat.
Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia
Known to the locals as the "sacred sea" Lake Baikal is the world's deepest and oldest existing freshwater lake - dated between 20-25 million years. Intrepid adventurers can go for a Siberian deep freeze in midwinter, in a crystal ice rink that is roughly 12,200 sq. miles. There are dogsledding and snowmobiles that glide across this glassy lake, as well as ice diving, rafting, skating and fishing.
Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan
Jigokudani is at its most dramatic in winter, when the resident Japanese macaques or snow monkeys bathe in the steaming hot springs. Although we should warn you - it takes a lot of willpower not to strip down and dive in yourself!
The tiny lakeside village and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hallstatt in Austria is at its most glorious when blanketed in snow. Often voted the prettiest village in the world, we challenge you to disagree when you see it in person.
Fund your winter holiday
If you’re worried about how to fund your travels, put those thoughts to rest today. Banks and financial institutions like Axis Bank and Bajaj Finserv provide vacation loans of up to Rs 25 lakh that are collateral-free. A simple online submission of forms in case of Bajaj Finserv can get you a loan that is repayable in equated monthly instalments (EMIs).