If you fancy a break from northern Europe’s long and cold winter why not consider a winter walking or trekking holiday in the sunshine? There are plenty of options to choose from, some close to home and some further afield.
In the Americas the best time to hike in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is during their brief summer, which lasts from November to February. Likewise in Cuba the coolest, least humid months for walking are between October and March. The cooler, drier winter months are also ideal for trekking in South East Asia - in Burma, Thailand or Vietnam.
Perhaps the best region for serious trekkers to consider taking a winter break is the eastern Himalaya, to Nepal or Bhutan. Here the monsoon rains end in September, with optimal weather and crystal clear, mountain views from October through to April.
In Africa winter is the ideal time to trek in the dramatic Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, or in Morocco you could enjoy a winter hike through the rocky valleys and green oases of the Jebel Sahro, lying between the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and the vast expanse of the Sahara desert.
Closer to home you are likely to experience blue skies and winter sunshine on a walking holiday in Jordan. You could even enjoy winter hikes in parts of southern Europe where the spring season starts early and the autumn ends late – for example in Cyprus, southern Turkey, Andalucia in Spain or the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Or why not consider the Canary Islands or Madeira, where the mid-Atlantic winters are mild and walkers can enjoy beautiful off-season sunshine?
Winter snow walking and trekking
For a very different take on winter walking you could dig out the gloves and thermals for an exhilarating hike through pristine, snow covered landscapes. Why not try snow-shoeing amongst the majestic peaks of the Picos de Europa in Spain? Or in Morocco you could challenge yourself to hike with ice axe and crampons to the 4167 metre summit of Mount Toubkal in Morocco, from where on a clear day the panoramic views across the snow-swathed Atlas Range is simply breathtaking.