Where to go in February 2022? France and the northern hemisphere are plunged into winter. During school holidays, the conditions are optimal for skiing. For sun destinations, the choice is wide between the southern hemisphere and the tropics, with the promise of warm seas. February is also the month of major carnivals in Europe and on the other side of the Atlantic.
Where to go in February, for a weekend or a longer stay, when the winter holidays start? At the heart of the cold season in France, the climatic conditions are combined to take advantage of optimal snow cover on the ski slopes of the Alps, Quebec or the Rockies, in the United States. Those who suffer from seeing the Arctic winter drag on will fly to sunny winter destinations, near Central America, South America in the middle of the austral summer, or South Asia. February is also the period of the carnivals: we celebrate under various latitudes and various skies in this second month of the year.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, access conditions vary by destination. Our interactive map of countries open to tourism, details the restrictions updated regularly.
Top 5 best destinations in February
- Savoie Mont Blanc, for its generously snow-covered ski slopes
- The Côte d’Azur, for the Nice carnival and the flowering of the mimosas
- Brazil, for the Rio carnival, among the biggest shows on the planet (postponed to April this year 2022)
- Thailand, to taste the tropical paradise on beaches with crystal clear waters
- Costa Rica, for a natural bath in the heart of great biodiversity
Where to go in February in the sun?
If Europe is plunged into the pangs of winter, it is possible to warm up around the Mediterranean basin, where pleasant city breaks foreshadow spring.
Further still from the cold and grayness of the metropolis in winter, the West Indies have everything from a corner of paradise (Guadeloupe, Martinique, etc.). In the middle of the dry season, the sky is often clear, and the temperatures are pleasant. Winter usually promises its festival of festivities and events. In the mildness of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, as far as Guatemala and Mexico, the crystal clear waters fulfill all winter bathing dreams.
Lovers of eternal temples and other charms of Asia will fly to the south of the continent. Between the autumn monsoons and the great heat of the hot season, the winter months prove to be propitious. February is the perfect time for Southeast Asia: Burma, Thailand (except North and East), Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam (especially Central and South), Indonesia, Philippines…
We will also head for the Indian subcontinent: India, Sri Lanka and its coastal cities (especially the west coast and the far north). In the Maldives, the weather conditions lend themselves to the practice of a range of nautical activities. In Nepal, if the cold remains harsh in the high mountains, the Terai plain and the Kathmandu valley are sunny, and it is pleasantly mild for trekkers.
In the southern hemisphere, the austral summer distils its sweetness. Sun-seeking travelers will look with particular interest to Latin America. Between December and April, the region is in the middle of the dry season, and temperatures fluctuate between 25 and 30°C. In Central America, Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala are recommended. In South America, preference will be given to Chile (particularly the Pacific coast, the North and the Andes), and southern South America, from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, via the Valdés Peninsula. In Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, rain and wind are possible, but the austral summer remains the mildest season.
In Africa, we prefer the Atlantic coast of West Africa, and the South of the continent. In the south of South Africa, coastal cities like Cape Town, but also inland benefit from the favors of the climate, pleasantly warm and sunny days. We should also mention Kenya and the Atlantic coast of Namibia. In Egypt, the circumference of the Red Sea and the banks of the Nile are under the sun.
In Oceania, Australia and New Zealand invite you to take advantage of the austral summer. South Australia, benefiting from pleasantly sunny days, is to be preferred, with Sydney and Melbourne.
SEE ALSO – Sun destination in winter: the Gulf of Tadjourah, in Djibouti, a confidential paradise.
Where to go skiing in February?
It’s time to go with the family to winter sports. France, with nearly 350 resorts listed across seven mountain ranges, is one of the most promising destinations. In February, all ski lifts are open. Snow piled up, and temperatures stabilized at very low levels, with averages of -10 to 0°C. All the conditions are met for maximum snow cover. The climate varies according to the exposure of the slopes and the altitude.
In Savoy Mont Blanc, slopes at altitude guarantee a good level of snow cover. The ski area of 3 Valleys (Méribel, Val Thorens, Courchevel…) is the largest in France, and one of the largest in the world, downhill skiing is practiced there as well as cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ski touring… Prancing too among the largest ski areas in the world, the Portes du Soleil (Avoriaz, Morzine, etc.) connect 12 resorts between France and Switzerland. The Tignes/Val d’Isère area pampers families and beginners. In the Tarentaise, Paradiski connects La Plagne to Les Arcs for a capital pleasure.
To enjoy the terraces after skiing, head for the Southern Alps. They offer a better guarantee of sunshine, and milder temperatures. Montgenèvre and Serre Chevalier (Hautes-Alpes), Auron or Isola 2000 (Alpes-Maritimes)… The choice is wide. Nordic domains extend in the valleys of Queyras, Briançonnais or Gapençais.
At lower altitudes than their alpine cousins, the resorts of Jura see their snow cover sometimes more limited. But they play the charm card, established in authentic mid-mountain villages. In addition to downhill skiing, the Jura is a white paradise for Nordic activities.
In the The Massif Central, the peaks are lower, but snowfall remains abundant in friendly resorts. In the preserved landscapes of Pyreneesresorts on a human scale like Peyragudes or Saint-Lary often turn out to be family-friendly. Andorra hides the sunniest ski resorts in Europe, such as Grandvalira.
The choice of resort can be made on the basis of various criteria: type of resort (family or sports), number and difficulty of the slopes, snow cover, prices for packages and accommodation, associated leisure activities. Our interactive guide to French ski resorts helps you find your ideal resort, according to your own desires.
On the other side of the Alps, theItaly has nearly 200 ski resorts in the Dolomites, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta. The Swiss is famous for its high altitude ski areas and upmarket resorts like Zermatt. Austrian resorts in Tyrol and Vorarlberg are more affordable, set in chalet settings.
In northern Europe, we enjoy the icy heart of winter in the extreme cold of the Arctic Circle. Lapland (straddling Norway, Sweden and Finland) and Iceland offer a range of Nordic activities, with the key being the possibility of observing the Northern Lights during this period.
For long-distance skiers, in Quebec, the Charlevoix massif, the Laurentians and the Appalachians offer their alpine and cross-country ski resorts, as well as their snowshoeing, snowmobiling and dog sledding options. Extreme temperatures guarantee exceptional snow cover. Elsewhere in Canada, you ski in the Rockies, where you can also find the largest resorts in the United States, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
Winter sports are also possible in the Far East. Japan’s resorts are less extensive than European ski areas, but have the clear advantage of being less crowded. In Hokkaido, the most northern island of the Archipelago, Niseko is considered the world’s powder paradise. Other stations are hidden in the heart of Honshu, in the Japanese Alps. Hakuba in Nagano is one of the most popular.
SEE ALSO – Aletsch Arena (Switzerland): full view of the largest glacier in the Alps
Where to go in February for the carnivals?
It’s time to vibrate to the rhythm of the greatest bacchanalia on the planet. In many parts of the world, Carnival gives rise to some of the biggest and most colorful parties of the year.
The France of carnivals is experienced from north to south of France, from Dunkirk to Nice via Annecy, Chalon-sur-Saône, Paris or Granville. Carnival-goers will take advantage of a stay in Nice to criss-cross the Côte d’Azur dotted with flowering mimosas. This yellow flowering is duly celebrated in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. The lemon festival in Menton can add acidity to your stay.
In terms of giant carnivals, the carnival of Venice is one of the most illustrious in the world with that of Rio. Fascinating masked creatures move along the eternally charming canals in relatively cool temperatures. Only downside: the Serenissima is sometimes subject to the phenomena ofacqua-alta.
In Germany, Mardi Gras is widely celebrated in Cologne, with its “crazy days” with sometimes surprising traditions, always ritualized. In Belgium, the costumed “Gilles” walk around dancing in Binche, in Hainaut.
Elsewhere in the world, we no longer present the carnivals of Brazil. That of Rio is one of the largest in the world, with its parade of samba schools, while that of Salvador de Bahia is renowned for the carnival of the people, and for its processions to the sound of orchestras.
In North America, the carnival sets the streets of Quebec alight, in the Far North version. On the program: ice canoe race on the frozen waters of the St. Lawrence River, snow sculptures, dog sled race. Other latitudes, another style: in New Orleans, the carnival vibrates to the rhythm of jazz. This is an opportunity to combine the visit to Louisiana with a tour of Florida.
Mixing pagan and Christian beliefs, the carnival of Oruro, in Bolivia, reserves its share of shimmering costumes and wild dances. A fusion of indigenous, Caribbean, African and European influences, the one in Barranquilla, Colombia, is renowned for its battle of flowers, its repertoire of dances, its allegorical costumes and masks.
SEE ALSO – Rio Carnival: this is what the parade of samba schools looks like