Holiday ideas for February

Whether you are looking for snow or southern sunshine, we have some tempting ideas for you.

Let us inspire you...

  • Lying just a short distance behind the sunny Costa Blanca, the mountains of Alicante share the same benign winter climate, but that is the only similarity. This is another world entirely, beautiful and completely unspoiled. Craggy limestone peaks tower above dramatic ravines; there are reminders of the region’s Moorish past; and the fertile valleys are planted with avocado, carob and almond groves. Thanks to the delicate pink and white blossom of the latter, the region is particularly picturesque in February, and you will also find various species of orchid at this time of year.
  • Evoking the spirit of Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous carnival, the celebrations held in the capital of Madeira, Funchal, are considered to be some of the best in Europe. Samba music fills the air on the Saturday before Lent, as dancers in flamboyant costumes and headdresses make their way through the streets. A second parade, open to everyone, is held on the Tuesday. The atmosphere throughout both is electrifying.
  • If ‘Algarve’ came up in a game of word association, ‘beaches’, ‘sunshine’ and ‘resort’ would all be valid responses – if you were thinking of the area most tourists head to, that is. Head further west, however, and you won’t find any of the latter, just traditional fishing villages and sandy beaches, which you are likely to have more or less to yourselves at this time of year. We can’t make any promises about sunshine, but at this latitude the chances of fine, warm weather are good, even in February, when the average maximum temperature is 16°C, perfect for walking.
  • Whether you are looking to spend your holiday winter walking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or downhill skiing, hotels such as the Wiesenhof in Pertisau, the Kitzspitz in St Jakob, the Inntaler Hof in Mösern, and the Kristall in Weidach (all family-run, four-star hotels that receive consistently high praise from guests) are excellent choices, with direct airport transfers, a pool and sauna. Being on the quiet side of the mountain, these traditional villages feel worlds away from the big ski resorts – even the half-term break feels relaxed and tranquil in comparison. (If you're planning a family holiday, we’d recommend Pertisau or Mösern.)
  • The grandeur of Norway’s landscapes is at once awe-inspiring and humbling, from rugged wildernesses to serene fjords. Marvel at the wild beauty of the scenery that lies between Norway’s first and second cities on a journey by train and boat that starts in the capital, Oslo. From here, you head north-west by rail to Finse, a place so remote that it has served as a training ground for polar explorers such as Shackleton. You then continue via the famous Flåm Railway to the fjords, where you have the chance to join a boat safari before finishing in colourful Bergen.
  • Nothing can quite prepare you for the staggeringly beautiful natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis – ribbons of green, pink, yellow and blue that swirl across the night sky. The Lights are elusive and unpredictable, but this just makes seeing them in all their glory all the more thrilling. The Norwegian city of Tromsø affords some of the best opportunities to see them anywhere in mainland Europe, but that's not the only reason for choosing this historic island city – by day you can visit its small but fascinating museums, join a dog-sledding or ice-fishing excursion, or explore on snowshoes or cross-country skis, before seeking out the Northern Lights at nightfall.

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