If you are unfortunate enough to live in a region with a bitterly cold winter climate like Murmansk, Russia, you are probably bracing yourself for several months of bundling up whenever you head outside and staying indoors as much as possible. Why not break with the routine and whisk yourself off to a place where sunny, warm weather can be yours even during the winter months? We’ve compiled a list of 10 places where your winter wonderland can consist of tropical beaches and exotic cultural life.
10. Koh Samui, Thailand
An island off the East coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand, the beaches and resorts truly offer paradise on earth. For most of the year, the humidity on the island is practical unbearable, but during the winter time the temperatures are warm, sunny and comfortable. The landscapes are amazing and there are plenty of tourist activities to take part in. Whether you are on your honeymoon, in search of tranquility, or going on vacation with your family, Koh Samui has something for everyone.
9. Goa, India
A former colony of Portugal, Goa’s cultural distinctness really sticks out from the rest of India in terms of food and traditions. When you aren’t relaxing on the coastal beaches, make your way inland and explore the ancient temples and spice markets. While the 5-star resort hotels are nice, staying at a luxury villa is a truly cool alternative, especially if you are looking to detox yourself.
8. St. Lucia
What sets St. Lucia apart from other Caribbean islands is its unique culture and amazing sites. There are street festivals every Friday evening where you can soak in the traditions and delicious Caribbean meals, which are a fusion of African, Creole, Cajun, Amerindian, European, East Indian, Arab, Chinese and Javanese/Indonesian cuisine. There are natural hot springs and mud baths if those kinds of things float your boat. Looking for a hike that really tests your physical limits? Then the jungle-covered mountains are calling your name!
7. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Once a backwater fishing village, Dubai has exploded into one of the most impressive desert cities in the world. There are plenty of beaches to relax on, the city features the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa), and you can shop to your heart’s content at Dubai Mall, one of the largest in the world. You can also explore the sand dunes and experience a belly dancing show. The weather in the summer can reach 120 degree F (50C) or more, but during the winter months it is comfortably in the mid-70s (24C).
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