Top 10 holidays in February

Ah February, that time when the New Year has become something less exciting, sparkly and, well, new anymore. But we have the solution to an otherwise humdrum month Ė escape and reenergise with exciting adventures and destinations around the world, from Lapland to Sri Lanka, Tasmania to Thailand. Youíll be watching the Northern Lights, marvelling at Rajasthanís regal splendour or hitting the dancefloor in Havana. Hold onto your hats for Responsible Travelís top 10 holidays in February.

1. Northern Lights watching

The Aurora Borealis, the Fire Fox, the Dawn Goddess… Call them what you will, but seeing the Northern Lights dance across the Arctic sky is an experience that will write itself into your soul. Travel to Finnish Lapland for husky safaris, reindeer sleigh rides and Sami tradition, or to Iceland to combine evening lightshows with expert photography tuition and jaw-dropping glacial landscapes.

Our top trip: Northern Lights family holiday, tailor made
See all our trips: Northern Lights watching holidays
Read more: Northern Lights travel guide

2. Costa Rica

February is one of the best, and driest times to visit this pristine Central American adventure playground. You’ll be blown away by cloud forests filled with monkeys, iridescent macaws and baby turtles hatching on remote beaches. You can hike up volcanoes, cycle winding coastal roads and zip-wire through the canopy. All in a country that values pura vida, pure living, and the wellbeing of its unique nature.

Our top trip: Costa Rica wildlife holiday
See all our trips: Costa Rica holidays
Read more: Costa Rica travel guide

3. Tasmania

Tiny Tasmania’s share of pristine wilderness and forests, unique wildlife and astounding landscapes boggles the mind. Travel at your own pace, staying in locally run B&Bs or enjoy tours with expert guides to discover panoramic mountain views, dramatic waterfalls and pockets of tangled rainforest. It’s summer in Oz now, too, so bring your sunscreen. Keep your eyes peeled for elusive platypus, Tasmanian Devils and kangaroos.

Our top trip: B&B self-drive tour of Tasmania
See all our trips: Holidays in Tasmania
Read more: Tasmania travel guide

4. Cuba

Salsa your way through a heady Havana evening, cycle through the steep, limestone mogotes lining the Viñales Valley and snorkel off perfect Caribbean beaches. Cuba sizzles with energy, its unique culture underwritten by years of isolation, rationing and embargos. Stay with local families in Casas Particulares, Cuba’s network of homestays, for a congenial and fascinating insight into daily life.

Our top trip: Cuba tours
See all our trips: Cuba holidays
Read more: Cuba travel guide

5. India

From the bustle of bazaars in regal Rajasthan to laid-back cruising on Kerala’s backwaters, India is a wildly diverse, utterly vast melting pot of cultures and communities, people and wildlife. Choose to hike in the Himalayas, watch the sunrise over the Taj Mahal or be spellbound by tigers in the morning mists at Bandhavgarh or Kanha National Parks. February blues be gone.

Our top trip: Kerala tailor made holiday, 11 days
See all our trips: India holidays
Read more: India travel guide and Tiger safaris travel guide

6. South East Asia

October to February is, in general, South East Asia’s drier season, so you’ll enjoy cooler, less humid days perfect for adventures. Chill on Thailand’s beaches, hike with Vietnamese hill tribes or visit some excellent elephant sanctuaries. Cambodia and Laos offer more off-the-beaten track community experiences and Angkor Wat’s ancient temples are, of course, a highlight. Alternatively, discover untouched islands, home to sea gypsies, sailing around Burma’s Mergui Archipelago.

Our top trip: Burma sailing holiday, the Mergui Archipelago
See all our trips: South East Asia holidays
Read more: South East Asia (Indochina) travel guide

7. Sri Lanka

It may be the teardrop falling from the tip of the Indian subcontinent, but travel to Sri Lanka in February and you’ll miss the monsoon downpours. This is an excellent time to spot whales breaching off the gorgeous southwest beaches, as well as Asian elephants and, if you’re lucky, elusive leopards in Yala National Park. Perfect for intrepid families, activities can all be customised to suit the tallest teens and tiniest tots.

Our top trip: Wildlife holiday in Sri Lanka, private departure
See all our trips: Sri Lanka holidays
Read more: Sri Lanka travel guide

8. The Alps

Swerve ski resorts reliant on environmentally disastrous fake snow in favour of an alternative ski holiday in February. Head to the Achen Valley in the Austrian Tyrol for excellent cross country ski trails through pristine forests and dramatic valleys, in the company of an expert guide and ski instructor. Alternatively enjoy ice-climbing, snow shoeing and mountaineering on skis in the southern French Alps.

Our top trips: Cross country skiing in Austria
See all our trips: Austria winter holidays
Read more: Austria winter travel guide, French Alps travel guide and Saying no to fake snow

9. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Thanks to an equatorial climate that varies very little throughout the year, there’s no bad time to visit Darwin’s wildlife filled islands. February, however, is particularly special. There is some rain, but you’ll enjoy warm, calm seas with excellent underwater visibility, perfect for snorkelling. Love is in the air for birds, tortoises and sea lions and green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs on the islands’ beaches.

Our top trip: Galapagos cruises
See all our trips: Galapagos Islands holidays
Read more: Galapagos Islands travel guide

10. Safaris, East Africa

The short rains have ended in the Serengeti, the grass is lush across the savannah and baby animals skip across the landscape. While the classic scenes of wildebeest crossing the Mara River in the Great Migration happen later in the year, February is a lovely time to enjoy a safari in Tanzania or Kenya. Outside the high season (and school summer holidays), rates at this time can also be lower.

Our top trip: Serengeti safari holiday, Tanzania
See all our trips: Tanzania safari holidays and Kenya safari holidays
Read more: Tanzania safaris travel guide and Kenya travel guide
Written by Sarah Faith
Photo credits: [Page banner: Rafal Cichawa] [Northern Lights watching: Joshua Earle] [Cuba: Augustin de Montesquiou] [Sri Lanka: Supriya S] [Safaris, East Africa: Chen Hu]
Convert currencies