Vacation Ideas for the Sand or Snow Lover

By November 10, 2016Travel
Snowmobiling is the perfect vacation for snow lovers!

Winter is coming. Whether you’re looking to escape the cold or embrace it, these vacations offer unique adventures.

Vacations for Snow Lovers

You don’t mind the cold.  You’re one of those lucky people who naturally run warmer so December to March is no sweat. Check out these vacation spots – perfect for polar-bear wannabees such as yourself:

Vilnius, Lithuania

The Baltics are one of the most beautiful and least crowded places in Europe.  If you’re looking to get away from the crowds while still enjoying the powder, forget Breckenridge. Lithuania is where it’s at. Oh, and if you’re thinking “Where is Lithuania?” It’s north of Poland and east of Sweden, across the Baltic Sea.

Neris Regional Park: Take a hike. No seriously, you should check this place out. There are several observation decks that overlook the mountains and rivers.

Snow Safari: Never heard of it, right? Turns out, safaris are not just for the African savannahs. Tour companies will let you rent snowmobiles for the day so you can hit the wintery trails.


Galway, Ireland

Galway is almost directly west across the Emerald Isle from Dublin. But unlike Dublin, it’s not as populated. And thanks to the North Atlantic Current, being on the west coast of Ireland keeps Galway a few degrees warmer. However, it’s much windier. So, you may not need a jacket, but you may feel like Winnie the Pooh on that blustery day.

Cliffs of Moher: These cliffs are breathtaking in more ways than one. At 390ft high, these 300-million-year-old cliffs an unparalleled view of the Atlantic. They also can be very windy and make it difficult to traverse the path along the coast. Make sure to bring a good pair of hiking shoes or other footwear you won’t mind getting dirty. The path can be muddy and the wind will push you.

 The Pub Scene: Galway has a whole slew of pubs brimming with good food, local beer, and live music. Check out Taaffes Bar, Tig Cóilí, and Murphys Bar. You’ll find them in the city center where Mainguard Street, Church Yard Street, and High Street Converge.

Note: Most pubs in Ireland close at 11:00 or 11:30 pm on weeknights and 12:30am on Saturdays. Enjoy your pub crawl, but don’t expect to be up til 2:00am like you would stateside.

View from the trail at the top of the Cliffs of Moher. Photo credit: By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen - Own work by uploader, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19782818

View from the trail at the top of the Cliffs of Moher. (photo – By Bjorn Christian Torrissen)


Quebec City

Quebec is one of the oldest cities in North America. Founded in 1608, its “Old Quebec” neighborhood is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As for Quebec being a good destination for snow lovers, the Quebecois have a saying that pretty well sums up their feelings on the matter: Quebec has two seasons: Winter and July. Enjoy the charms of Europe and the snow of North America.

Winter Carnival: January 27 to February 12, 2017 marks the celebration of this event held almost every year since the 1800s. Many streets are closed down for the festivities, which involves music, food, and a shared love of winter.

Basilica de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré: This cathedral is credited with many miracles. In fact, you’ll find a collection of crutches, wheelchairs, and other evidence left by those who claim to have been miraculously healed. Completed in 1934, the interior is done in the Baroque style while the exterior is done in a Norman-Gothic style.


Patagonia, Chile

The Patagonia region extends through both Chile and Argentina.  This unique place is characterized by temperate rainforests, mountains, fjords, and glaciers. It’s a dash of the Pacific Northwest and a pinch of New Zealand.

Cueva de las Manos: Spanish for “Cave of the Hands,” this is one of the most incredible prehistoric sites on Earth. Dated between 9,000 – 13,000 years old, the cave features stencils of human hands, hunting scenes, and other animals.

Alberto de Agostini National Park: This biosphere reserve is protected by UNESCO and features a variety of classic Patagonia natural wonders. The Marinelli Glacier is found here as are beautiful fjords.

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Vacations for Beach Combers

If you’re idea of “Winter Break” doesn’t involve winter at all, these sun-soaked spots are perfect for you!

Cape Town, South Africa

The second most populous urban area in South Africa, Cape Town has a lot to offer and is ideally situated near many nature and wildlife reserves as well as beaches.

Kogelberg Nature Reserve: Enjoy a coastal tour on the R44 where whales and dolphins are frequently spotted. Great for hiking, family outings, and wild life spotting.

Camps Bay Beach: Stretch out on this white sand beach and listen to the waves of the Atlantic gently crash on shore.

 

Kogelberg Nature Reserve Photo Credit: http://www.whalecoast.info/kogelberg-nature-reserve/

Kogelberg Nature Reserve (photo – By Whale Coast)


 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai has grown exponentially in the last 20 years and risen to one of the hottest destinations. No pun intended, though summer temps can easily get over 100 degrees. Winter temps, though, stay in the high 80s which makes it perfect for those escaping snowy weather back home.

Mall of the Emirates: One of the largest malls in the world, the Mall of the Emirates has over 700 stores, a movie theater, and even an indoor ski-rink.

Jumeirah Public Beach: You’ll be hard pressed to find a more pristine beach in the Middle East. And the view is great from every angle. On one side: The Persian Gulf and its vibrant, blue waters. On the other: The Dubai skyline and its resplendent new skyscrapers.

 

Inside the Mall of the Emirates. Photo Credit: By Peter Gronemann from Switzerland - Mall of the Emirates, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29335851

Inside the Mall of the Emirates. (photo – By Peter Gronemann)


Belize City, Belize

Belize was settled by the British so unlike most Central and South American countries, the official language is English. So enjoying a tropical vacation is easier when there isn’t a language barrier.

 

The Great Blue Hole: This dark blue circle that lurks beneath the waves is actually a marine sinkhole formed over 15,000 years ago. At 354 ft. deep, this spot is popular with scuba divers and curious tourists alike.

Lamanai: This Mayan site is unique because unlike most ancient Mayan cities, it was not abandoned in the 10th century AD. Instead, it was occupied until the 1700s. Iconic sights here include a large carving of a head, the Temple of the Jaguar Masks, and the High Temple.

 

Aerial view of the Great Blue Hole Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - Source: [1], fetched September 2006. Caption on this USGS web page was, "Blue Hole: Aerial view of the 400-ft-deep oceanic blue hole (Lighthouse Reef Atoll Blue Hole) located east of Belize.", Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1813649

Aerial view of the Great Blue Hole
(photo – U.S. Geological Survey)


Sydney, Australia

Kanangra-Boyd National Park: Just shy of three hours west of Sydney, this park has over 40 species of mammals, including several threatened species. Hiking and mountain biking are popular activities, as are bushwalking and fishing. Those who thoroughly explore the trails will be treated to amazing cliff formations, lush forests, and marshes.

Sea Life Aquarium: Over 700 species and 13,000 individual fish, most from Australian habitats, are found here. Don’t forget to check out the sharks, stingrays, and penguins.

Sun streams through a canyon in Kanangra-Boyd National Park. Photo Credit: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/KanangraBoyd-National-Park

Sun streams through a canyon in Kanangra-Boyd National Park.
(photo – www.nationaparks.nsw.gov.au)

 

Those vacation days aren’t going to take themselves. Call Jaya Travel & Tours today!

 

 

 

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