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Top 5 places to go during the upcoming Winter season

With the summer well and truly behind us and the smell of mulled wine popping up from every corner it’s time to shift our focus on the upcoming winter and where we’ll spend our well earned holidays. Of course there’s the mandatory snow-trip to Courchevel, Aspen or even the Lofoten, but if that wonderful natural white frosting isn’t really high up your wish-list, where would be a good place to go? Well, let’s quickly list up my 5 favourite destinations for the upcoming season and see if any of them appeal to you.

1. Torres del Paine, Chile

Having been named the 8th Wonder of the World, it’s a hiker’s paradise but even those that don’t want to go on these long treks will be happy to spend time in this amazing landscape where the snow capped massif is omnipresent. Glaciers, lakes, rivers, forests,….it’s all there. The fact that it’s still not overrun by mass-tourism just adds to the overall experience and the sense of being alone among these mountain cathedrals.

And of course the best way to enjoy this natural wonder is to stay in one of the luxurious lodges and hotels. One of my favourites is the Tierra Patagonia which has such a unique layout that the property on its own is already worth the effort of visiting.

2. Maldives

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I include this slice of paradise as for those who’ve already been it’ll be a given, for all others it should really be on your “to-do” list as soon as possible. There’s really no excuse not to visit this tropical archipelago and our winter time is the perfect time to do so.

The Maldives is literally a resort galore and there are countless options for every budget. That being said, I like some of the old faithful like the One & Only Reethi Rah which is located a mere 30 minutes speedboat trip from the international airport of Malé and has everything you could wish for to have an unforgettable stay. Being located on one of the most beautiful private islands does help along of course.

3. South Africa

A well-known destination which has so much to offer for any type of traveller. From the wildlife to the amazing gastronomy, there is literally no reason not to like the  rainbow nation and while the whole world loves Cape Town (for good reason by the way) and believes the best time to go on a safari is from June to August, it’s actually an amazing experience which can be enjoyed year round.

Because of that our winter season is the perfect time to enjoy the wildlife in all its abundance and seeing the big 5 is for most of course the pinnacle of a successful safari. One of my favourite areas to spot all these stunning animals is at the Sabi Sand Game reserve which is known worldwide as one of the best. And the &Beyond Tengile River Lodge is the perfect place to enhance the overall experience even more with luxurious suites that make your jaw drop, superb views over the Sand River and world-class service. A no-brainer in my books.

4. Oman

The Sultanate of Oman has long been in the shadow of it’s immensely popular neighbour and while their location on the Arabian Peninsula might make you believe they are very similar, you couldn’t be more wrong. Oman is much more understated yet offers the same luxuries and thanks to the larger footprint on the peninsula it’s also able to offer more space and has a vast variety of natural and historical importance.

One of the most unique places to stay is the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort which is situated right above a massive canyon that provides a dramatical background to many room and gives you the opportunity to even dine right on the edge of this natural marvel. It’s really unique and even the late Princess Diana came here to enjoy the views and everything Oman had to offer.

5. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia

If there’s one tropical island paradise that makes people dream away from the moment they hear its name, it’s Bora Bora. Often it’s compared to the Maldives but with the clear differentiation of having the massive Mount Otemanu  that is towering over the whole atoll and is providing for multiple experiences which can be enjoyed by the guests of the resorts located around it.

You can’t go wrong when it comes to accommodation in this slice of paradise but if I had to make a choice I wouldn’t doubt going for the St-Regis with its beautiful villas (both on land and overwater), superb f&b outlets and amazing experiences for both the adults and the children.

As you can see, there’s a plethora of options outside of the usual winter destinations so it’s just a matter of aligning your travel desires with the right destination.

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  1. Even before I scrolled down I knew that the Maldives was going to be in this Top 5. It’s such a great escape for winter that it was always going to make this shortlist.

  2. Thank you for this. Brought a few rays of sunshine to brighten up my Monday morning commute on a dark November day. A nice reminder that I go to work to pay for my escapes to glorious places like these.

    1. Glad I could shine some light over your morning commute. Just remember, without this commute it would be hard to get to the end goal, being on a holiday to one of these destinations!

    2. Once you’ve been to the Maldives the islands keep on calling to you, luring you back.

      I often think that the final speed boat transfer is one of the best bits. Even though it’s at the end of a long, long journey for me there’s a brilliant buzz of exhilaration as I finally bounce through the waves.

    1. Of course it will always be a debate and in my opinion everyone should make their own top 7 (or 8) of world wonders cause we all like different things.
      But I’m not going to lie, I visited Torres del Paine earlier this year on the back of an expedition cruise to Antarctica and it still makes my top 8 so I do believe it deserves its place.

  3. Bora Bora wasn’t even a blip on my radar. And I probably couldn’t even point out where it is on a world globe within about 5,000 miles. Suddenly it’s become my number one place to go.

    1. You will not regret it for a single moment. Just book the tickets and the hotel(s) and let the pilots guide you there. No need to be able to pinpoint it on the map when others can do it for you :)

    1. While it might sound hard to believe at this moment (during the dark, grey, cold and wet months), having seasons is really something to enjoy! I’ve lived in many places but the worst ones are those without any seasons where the sun always sets at the same time and where you can’ enjoy those colder winter evenings around the fire place or the long summer bbq’s which never seem to end with daylight into the wee hours!
      Nonetheless, any of these destinations will certainly make you forget the early sunset these days!

  4. Torres del Paine would be my choice. Although I’ve been to around 70 countries, Chile is one of those that has somehow got away. Glaciers and all it seems that I’ve missed out on a lot.

    1. I’m more or less at the same spot when it comes to places I’ve been, and I couldn’t ignore the call of the ice anymore. Hence why I combined Antarctica, Chile and Argentina to make sure I had my glacier and mountain fix :) You will certainly not be disappointed!

  5. From Muscat I’ve done a day trip up through the Hagar Mountains and onto the Gorge close to Anantara Al Jabar Al Akhdar. It really is Oman’s answer to the Grand Canyon.

    Although it’s obviously a lot smaller than the Grand Canyon you still get some very panoramic views. When I visited it was just me, my husband and our driver and no else around for miles.

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