Whether you’re wrapping up warm to experience wintry activities like dog-sledging and snowshoeing in Canada or escaping the colder temperatures at home with a cruise along the Nile under sunny skies, February can make an excellent time to travel. For example, a safari in Tanzania gives you a chance to see newborn antelope take their first wobbly steps. At the same time, warm temperatures in Argentina make it an ideal time for trekking in Patagonia.
I have shared some of the most popular destinations to visit in February below, as well as a few countries that you may not have considered, where you can visit key sights without the crowds.
1. Canada - Visited
If you’re prepared to wrap up warm against the unquestionably cold temperatures, Canada can be an excellent destination for a wintry break in February. You’ll have a good chance of seeing the northern lights throb across the inky night sky at this time of year — we can arrange for you to stay in the best places to see them.
The thick layer of snow across most of the country opens up the opportunity for activities such as snowshoeing, dog-sledging, ice-climbing and cross-country skiing, or keep cosy with a fondue dinner in a mountainside cabin.
Don't miss: Get active in Canada's winter Rockies
Flight time: Between 5½ and 11 hours
Time difference: UTC -3:30 to UTC -8
February Temperature (Day): -5 to 9°C, depending on the region
February rainfall: 11 to 358mm, varies by region
2. Tanzania - Visited
While many flock to Tanzania during its dry season between July and October, we also recommend visiting during February. It’s hot and humid, with a slight chance of showers, but with fewer visitors, you’ll have some wildlife sightings all to yourself.
With the landscape at its lushest, plains game such as wildebeest, zebra and various antelope give birth to their young at this time of year — look out for newborn calves teetering on skinny legs and practising their jumps. These, in turn, attract predators like lion and cheetah, so you might witness some dramatic action unfold.
Don't miss: Tanzania safaris: north vs south
Flight time: 11¾ hours (via Nairobi)
Time difference: UTC +3
February Temperature (Day): 19 to 30°C, depending on the region
February rainfall: 0 to 67mm, varies by region
3. Italy - Visited
With few visitors, good-value hotels and a calendar full of festivals, February can be a great time to visit Italy if you don’t mind lower temperatures. There’s more chance of rainfall than in later months, but sunshine is still possible, and you’ll be able to visit places that visitors flock to in summer without the crowds (though some attractions may have limited opening hours).
Carnevale is celebrated across the country at the beginning of Lent with vibrant pageants, masquerades and confetti. At the same time, the two-week Carnival of Venice takes place at the start of the month when people don masks and costumes for a mass party in St Mark’s Square.
Don't miss Italy’s art cities: Venice, Florence and Rome.
Flight time: 2 hours 30 upwards depending on the airline (London to Rome)
Time difference: UTC +1
February Temperature (Day): 3 to 16°C, depending on the region
February rainfall: 2 to 100mm, varies by region
4. Egypt - Visited
When you’ve had your fill of winter chill, heading to Egypt during February almost guarantees you warm temperatures and sunny blue skies. Without the stifling heat of the summer months, you’ll be comfortable exploring Cairo’s frenetic streets and lively markets, visiting Ancient Egyptian pyramids and tombs while cruising the Nile, and relaxing on the country’s sandy beaches.
February can be one of Egypt’s busiest months, but we can share ways to avoid the crowds, arrange for you to visit lesser-known sites and secure your preferred hotels early.
Don't miss: What to do in Egypt: our highlights guide
Flight time: 4¾ hours (Cairo)
Time difference: UTC +2 to UTC +3
February Temperature (Day): 18 to 26°C, depending on the region
February rainfall: 0 to 28mm, varies by region
5. Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast is at its driest and brightest during February, and while tropical showers are always possible, prolonged rainfall is unlikely at this time of year. It means you’ll enjoy ideal conditions for viewing wildlife, whether you’re trekking through the jungle with a guide in search of sloths and toucans or cruising the Rio Frío on the lookout for monkeys and turtles. It’s also an excellent time for relaxing on the forest-fringed sand beaches that line the coast — while the best-known stretches can be busy at this time of year, our specialists can help guide you to quieter spots.
Don't miss: Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Flight time: Approx. 11 hours
Time difference: UTC -6
February Temperature (Day): 24 to 32°C, depending on the region
February rainfall: 128 to 537mm, varies by region
6. French Polynesia
While many plan their French Polynesia trips for the driest months of June to August, February is a more peaceful time to go. There’s a wider choice of hotels offering excellent value, and rain showers are interspersed with periods of sunshine.
Conditions can be humid, but with an air-conditioned hotel and the refreshing waters of the Pacific Ocean to cool off in, it’s easy to stay comfortable. Your visit might also coincide with Chinese New Year, when the islands celebrate vibrant parades, live music and dancing.
Don't miss: Sunset Cruise by Catamaran
Flight time: 23¼ (Papeete, via Los Angeles)
Time difference: UTC -10
February Temperature (Day): 23 to 28°C, depending on the region
February rainfall: 72 to 158mm, varies by region