27 December 2018
Are you seeking snow or sun for your holidays in 2019? To help you decide, we shed light on some of the world’s hottest snowy and sunny destinations this year.
There’s so many things to do in South Africa in the summertime. Tour the vineyards of Franschhoek Wine Valley and sample varietals like Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir. Soak up the sun on glorious stretches of sand like Trafalgar Beach on the South Coast – a popular surfing spot – or Kelly’s Beach in Port Alfred – which has a special swimming area for young children. Go for the ride of your life at theme park Gold Reef City in Johannesburg, delve into the nation’s past by visiting sites like the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria or see floral displays at parks and gardens in sunny Cape Town. While here visit spots like Kruger National Park and see the ‘big five’ animals on a thrilling safari!
Whisk yourself off to a sun-kissed secluded island paradise – Sri Lanka. Try water sports in places such as Hikkaduwa – known for its scuba diving facilities and Kithulgala – where white water rafting adventures can be found. Stroll across soft golden sands at Mirissa Beach – a big whale watching spot and Uppuveli Beach, an unspoiled swathe of shore. Speed up the pace with a trip to national capital Colombo, known for its shopping, nightlife, colonial buildings and ancient temples. You could even take a tuk tuk into downtown Colombo where you can check out street ice cream vendors and traditional stalls.
New Zealand’s sweeping landscapes never fail to take your breath away. Those jagged mountain peaks rise out from the ground dramatically. The hills are swathed in bright green, rolling across the skyline for miles. Pristine lakes sparkle endlessly. Renowned for its spectacular scenery, New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor-lovers yet its cities and culture are just as engaging. From exploring Māori artefacts at the Auckland Museum to discovering exquisite Art Deco architecture and New Zealand’s only castle, there are plenty of things to delight.
Indulge your inner adventurer with a trip to distant Iceland. Trek up glacier-capped Snæfellsjökull Mountain, tour the ice caves that form each winter in the Vatnajökull glacier or go dog sledding on snowy plains. Take in Iceland’s natural glory by heading to its cascading Gullfoss waterfall, bathing in the mineral rich waters of the famous Blue Lagoon or by watching its Great Geysir shoot out jets of water. Stop by the capital Reykjavik, known for attractions like the striking Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral, as well as for its quaint wooden houses and chic bars, to appreciate everything Iceland offers.
Fly to state capital Juneau and enjoy a standout winter break in Alaska. Go ice climbing or moose spotting in scenic Kenai Fjords National Park. Climb its Denali Mountain – North America’s highest peak, where you can enjoy activities like snowshoe hiking. Turn your hand to ice fishing in frozen spots like Caribou Lake. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a good attraction for families, as kids can learn about conservation and see wildlife like brown bears. For culture enthusiasts there’s Sitka National Historical Park known for its indigenous totem poles.
Japan is a popular holiday destination year-round, but you can beat the crowds if you go in winter. Hike up peaks such as Toyko’s sacred Mount Fuji and gain panoramic views of scenic snow-covered landscapes. Tackle the slopes in popular ski resorts such as Niseko, known for its night skiing. Travel to Kyoto where you can sink into soothing ‘onsen’ hot springs and visit ancient temples. Sample Japanese winter delicacies such as soy-stew oden. Top tip – visit Sapporo in February for the annual Snow Festival – a spectacle featuring intricate ice sculptures which attracts two million visitors.