Feel the sea breeze on your face or stroll in unknown cities while soaking in abundant sunshine, these December travel destinations will help you evade the biting winters. By Ritika Dixit
The winters can be overwhelming and freezing, making the thought of the warm sun on the skin feel irresistible. It becomes almost impossible to resist the wish to spend a day by the beach, soaking in all the vitamin D. Such is the alluring thought of travelling to warm countries and quenching the thirst for wanderlust. Take a look at this list of December travel destinations in other parts of the world that are still warm when India is enjoying its winters.
1. South Africa
Known for its natural beauty all year round, South Africa has something delightful to offer in every season. Elephant sighting during the day in the Addo Elephant National Park can prove to be a much-needed respite from the bitterly cold winters. One can also opt to attend the Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival held in December at the Huguenot gardens in the appealing wine lands of Franschhoek. The adventure enthusiast can pick between cage diving with white sharks or kayaking through river St Lucia among 1,200 crocodiles and 900 hippos. The leisurely tourists can take a tour inside the famous Cango caves or take a wildlife safari on a horse to experience animal watching in a closer and better way. There is something in South Africa for everyone.
Do Not Miss: Shopping in Cape Town, The Lindfield Victorian House Museum in Johannesburg and the Kruger National Park that is home to the ‘Big Five’- Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino.
Despite the set in of the dark and cold winters, clear sunny days in Greece can be delightful, thanks to the sea-blue skies and mild temperatures. One can experience Greece with the locals in this season as there are not many tourists around. The nature lovers, gourmands and the skiers will find it delightful to be in Greece during this month. If you are a hiking and exploration enthusiast, December in Greece is your perfect getaway. Picturesque mountain villages, hiking trails through forests, gorgeous lakes, lively cities, roomy archaeological sites, peppy nightlife and even snow – Greece is home to it all.
Do Not Miss: Experiencing a natural thermal spa at Lake Vouliagmeni, being a part of Ragoutsaria inspired by the Dionysian rituals, skiing at the Elatochóri Ski Center perched at the lofty altitude of 1,450 meters and immerse in the Christmas spirit at the Christmas-themed park, Oneiroúpoli at the city of Drama in northeastern Greece.
This Central American and Caribbean country has turned into a traveller hotspot in recent years. One can expect lots of cheerful sunshine and mild temperatures in Belize in December. Belize is an adventurers retreat. Be it swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers or wildlife-seekers. The climate in Belize calls for daredevil activities like snorkelling, swimming, hiking and sailing. The culture enthusiasts can indulge in explorations of the archaeological sites of the Mayan ruins in Altun Ha, Corozal and Lamanai. Belize can be your fix for escaping the biting cold and experiencing a traditional yet different Christmas this winter season. Belize has to be on your list of December travel destinations.
Do Not Miss: Exploring Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Great Blue Hole for paradisiacal spots along the barrier reef, marvelling at the zoological diversity at the Belize zoo, becoming a part of the End of the World Marathon or one of the boat parades and relishing in a carambola by the beach.
4. Costa Rica
Late December marks the dry season in Costa Rica. Bountiful sunshine and balmy temperatures make an ideal setting for a day by the beach or exploring the lush rainforests. Costa Rica is gifted with a substantial percentage of the earth’s biodiversity with dense rainforests outlined by sandy beaches, mischievous volcano and large conservation areas. Once in Costa Rica, one finds oneself helpless in indulging with the mind-blowing landscapes and the dynamic Costa Rican culture. Get a massage on the beach with a nice cold pipa fria or surf the Costa Rican waves which are said to be the some of the best in Latin America. A day cruise on Tortuga Island can be an unwinding experience with spectacular views of the incredible white sand beach.
Do Not Miss: going on a guided night walk to the jungle, grabbing a meal of Chifrijo and a local Imperial Beer, taking a ride on a ram or water-sliding through the rainforest and zip-lining in places like Guanacaste, Monteverde and La Fortuna or in one of the adventure parks which are scattered throughout Costa Rica.
Known to be the ‘Egyptian Paradise’, Aswan has risen from shadows to the notice of the travel community in recent years. One of the most special things about the city is the warm Egyptian winter sun. Being home to ancient temples ageing back to more than 4000 years makes Aswan a haven for the history and culture enthusiasts. One will be awe-struck by the drawings which have been kept intact over thousands of years. The beauty of Aswan is in its diversity, with its Middle Eastern culture and a pleasant mix of African elements to it. Located on the eastern bank of river Nile, Aswan can prove to be a feast for your eyes if you are on a cruise from Luxor to Aswan with breathtaking views of a mix of sand and green lands.
Do Not Miss: traversing through the Elephantine Island in the middle of river Nile, visiting authentic Nubian museums for a look into the Nubian culture and lifestyle, visiting the Unfinished Obelisk to understand the history of stonemasonry in the ancient civilization of Egypt, riding a hot air balloon over an open museum at sunrise and devouring exotic Egyptian flavors with a platter of kebabs and koftas.