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File:Misty winter afternoon (5277611659).jpg

Not everyone is able or enjoys going on holiday during the summer. Prices often sky rocket, you’ll have to deal with big crowds and sometimes sweltering temperatures which can really put a damper on your holiday. If you prefer to take your trips a little later in the year to avoid crowds and to keep costs down, read on for our top picks ideal for an amazing winter getaway.

New York City

Winter in Central Park, from above, with macro lens (New York City)

Many people dream of visiting New York in winter. Central Park might be covered in snow, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center will be lit after Thanksgiving and Saks Fifth Avenue will have created their magnificent holiday shop windows for all to admire. Starbucks and similar shops go crazy with Eggnog Lattes and Peppermint Mochas. New York will be a wonderful place to visit.

Though snow is obviously not guaranteed, Central Park is still a must-see when in New York. The park is beautifully surrounded by skyscrapers and offers a bit of serenity away from hustle and bustle of the streets. There is a zoo located at the south end of the park if you want to some wildlife. This small zoo features monkeys, polar bears and even a gorgeous snow leopard. The park also includes a petting zoo with pigs, sheep and goats, and it’s open all year round.

The Canary Islands

Playa Mujeres, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Africa

Probably one of the easiest ways to soak up some sun during the cold and gloomy winter months is by scheduling a visit to one of the Canary Islands. The average temperatures will lay around 20°C, perfect to escape the dreary UK winter. Tickets for Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are all very similar if you are able to get direct flights. If you want to visit La Palma, take into account that flights are generally slightly more expensive than flying to Tenerife or Lanzarote.

All islands offer sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes. There are plenty of chances to get a little active during your holidays. Consider booking a scuba diving course, or take a beautiful hike and enjoy the islands’ beautiful flora and fauna. If you are in Tenerife, schedule a visit to Teide National Park, the island’s volcano.

The Alps

If you actually enjoy the cold, why not go for an amazing ski and snowboarding holiday in the famous Alps? There are some amazing resorts in France, Italy and Austria. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned skier or snowboarder, all areas include runs and slopes for all abilities. If you are new to winter sports, stick to the green and blue slopes. More experienced skiers can go wild on the red and black slopes. Be careful with going off-piste, there might be fines involved depending on the area you are visiting, not to mention it can be incredibly dangerous. Some amazing resorts in France include Tignes and Méribel, wheres as Austria has the famous Kitzbühel resort. If you preferred catered accommodation, consider booking through a tour operator as Mark Warner – www.markwarner.co.uk/ski-holidays. They have amazing arrangements for families traveling with kids to make your stay amazing. They also have adult-only chalet hotels if you don’t want to deal with someone else’s offspring.

Malta

Malta, Harbor, Sunset, Sky, Sea, Mediterranean, Bay

Malta is another great destination during the winter months. On average, Malta has a staggering 300 days of sunshine with very mild winters. Although you can enjoy a typical sun, beach, sea holiday by booking yourself into an amazing resort, this island offers amazing activities as well. How about a Segway tour around the Dingli Cliffs area? This tour is suitable from the ages 12 and up, so if you want something to keep the kids as well as the adults occupied, this is a great pick.

Visit Limestone Heritage Park & Gardens, an award-winning cultural attraction, for a great day out. The Park celebrates Maltese intricate history. There is also an onsite animal park, suitable for all ages, and make sure to stop at the Boutique for some amazing souvenirs.