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Best locations around the world to embrace or escape winter


The best place to escape winter this year is Langkawi, Malaysia with average temperatures in winter of 28°C, and an average of 10 sunshine hours a day. The most popular locations to escape winter, according to Instagram, are Dubai with 71, 117, 139 hashtags, Florida, USA with 39,299,915 hashtags, and Rio de Janeiro with 17, 797, 497 hashtags.

On The Go Tours have analysed the average temperatures in winter, average sunlight hours, and transfer time from London to reveal the best destinations around the world for you to either embrace or escape winter. Are you a sun-worshipper? Then why not escape winter and head to Sri Lanka, with average temperatures in winter of a warming 27°C. Love the snow and cooler climates? Embrace the winter season and head to the Snow Castle in Finland, or Johnston Canyon in Canada where average temperatures drop down to -9°C.

Winter is slowly creeping up on us, and whilst some of us can’t wait to be in our cosy jumpers by the fire, others are mourning the end of summer and the sunshine. But which one are you? And where, oh where, should you visit in order to get that vitamin D, or to embrace the winter season? On The Go Tours have analysed a total of 40 best destinations you can visit to soak up the sun - or if you’re a winter lover, to visit some beautiful snowy and cold climates.

The best places to escape winter
With average temperatures in winter of 28°C,  Langkawi, Malaysia tops the list as the best place to escape colder climates this winter - you’ll really feel like you’re escaping the UK too, with a transfer time from London of 15 hours and 25 minutes, Following closely behind, the Seychelles, Caribbean island St Lucia, Sri Lanka and Phuket, Thailand, are also some of the best places in the world to escape a UK winter, with average temperatures of 27°C.

Looking for an escape slightly closer to home? Then why not head to the Canary Islands to visit destinations such as Lanzarote (17th), Gran Canaria (18th) and Tenerife (19th), where transfer times are a mere 4-4.5 hours. The Canary Islands maintain an average temperature of 17-19°C over winter, making it significantly warmer than the 4°C average for UK in the winter months.

If you are seeking warmer climates and longer days of the warm weather, then head to 11th place destination Muscat, Oman, or Costa Rica (ranked 12th). Both of these locations boast an average winter temperature of over 22°C, and have average daylight lengths of 10 hours 25 minutes, and 11 hours 30 minutes, respectively, giving you plenty of time to catch some rays.

The best places to embrace winter
If you can’t wait to be all wrapped up and wandering through thick blankets of snow, then head to the Hakkoda Mountains in Japan for a winters break. The volcanic mountain range, which is covered in snow during winter, has average temperatures of a bitter -10°C , and is often scattered with hundreds of snowboarders and skiers in the winter seasons.

Looking for slightly warmer climates for your snowy escape? Alpeniglu, Austria and Hotel of Ice, Romania, both have average winter temperatures of 0-1°C, and both offer a unique way to stay in the snow. The Hotel of Ice in Romania, is rebuilt every year using four-feet long ice ‘bricks’, offering guests the opportunity to stay in one of its 12 cosy rooms for the night. Similarly, igloo village Alpeniglu, in Austria, offers visitors the opportunity to sleep in igloos for the night, ensuring you’ll get a real snow fix.

Want a quick winter break fix? Then why not travel the 1 hours 25 minutes transfer time (from London) up to Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, with average winter temperatures of an icy -5°C. The National Park is home to the highest mountains in the UK, with many ‘Snow Roads’ and trails to explore.

Here are the top 10 best destinations to ‘embrace’ or ‘escape’ winter:


Embrace destination

Escape destination


Hakkoda Mountains, Japan

Langkawi, Malaysia


Riisitunturi National Park, Finland

Phuket, Thailand


Snow Castle, Kemi, Finland

Sri Lanka


Heavenly Mountain Resort, Nevada, USA



Johnston Canyon, Canada

St Lucia, Caribbean


Grand Island Ice Caves, Michigan, USA



Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Rio, Brazil


Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA

Gambia, Africa


Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, USA

Maputo, Mozambique


Sandia Peak Tramway, New Mexico

Cape Verde

The most popular destinations according to Instagram
The most popular location overall is ‘escape’ destination Dubai, with a staggering 71 million (71,117,139) images posted on Instagram with the hashtag #dubai. Dubai has almost twice the amount of posts than the second most popular location Florida, USA, which is home to the very-instagrammable Walt Disney World.

The remaining top 5 most popular locations according to Instagram are also ‘Escape’ destinations: Rio, Brazil (17,797,497 hashtags), Muscat, Oman (12,040,948 hashtags), and Havana, Cuba (8,146,275 hashtags).

On The Go Tours Head of Marketing, Hollie Youlden comments: “Whether you love winter weather, or would prefer to be basking in the sun, there are a number of amazing destinations around the world that you can visit in order to embrace or escape winter. It’s great to see such a wide variety of destinations appearing in these top lists, from short haul destinations to further across the globe, so that each traveller can get the most out of their winter break. It’s also lovely to see some national parks and mountainous areas appearing in these top destinations, where travellers may have the opportunity to get involved in some fun activities, such as hiking or skiing, whilst enjoying the weather - whatever their preference may be!”

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