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Where is hot in February

Hot holidays in February in AntiguaDubai is hot in FebruaryGambia holidays in February

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays

Where’s hot in February? It’s peak season in the Caribbean and Mexico, and summer in South Africa (11 hours of daily sunshine). The best short-haul weather can be found in the Canary Islands (22ºC). You should also consider South East Asia, including Thailand, for perfect weather and cheap prices.

February offers a perfect opportunity to escape the cold of winter at home in search of warmer climes. It’s only four hours flying time to the Canary Islands where you’ll typically find temperatures of 22ºC. Seven hours gets you to the Arabian Gulf where the weather is genuinely hot. It’s also the time for Valentine’s Day breaks and half term holidays, so if you’re looking for bargains it’s usually best to avoid 14 February and the second-to-last week in the month.

If you’re travelling with children, check out Mark Frary’s tips for the best family holidays in February half term. If you’re travelling solo, see Cathy Winston’s guide to singles holidays in February. Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.

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CaribbeanMore long haulShort haul holidays – Mid haul holidays

Caribbean beach in February

The Caribbean in February

February is high season in the Caribbean where you’ll find warm sunshine and very little chance of rain. Temperatures consistently hover around 28°C and seldom dip below 22°C, and you can expect an average of 9 hours sunshine a day.

Of the larger Caribbean islands, Barbados ranks among the best for luxury hotels, while Jamaica has lots of character, history and sights. Of the smaller islands, Tobago and Grenada both have pretty beaches and oodles of charm. If you’re a real beach bum, craving miles of white sands, I recommend the Cayman Islands or tiny Anguilla.

My favourite hotels include Round Hill in Jamaica, Coral Reef Club in Barbados and – for families – Beaches Turks & Caicos.

Cuba will soon start changing rapidly following the renewal of diplomatic relations with the US. Get there before McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts arrive! I recommend a stay at the Hotel Saratoga in the capital Havana, followed by the pristine beaches at Cayo Leviso.

There are some great deals to Mexico, where you’ll find endless beaches, guaranteed sun and plenty of culture as well as good food and nightlife. Check out this selection of all-inclusive hotels.

See our full selection of the best Caribbean holidays and details of the Caribbean weather in February.

Other long haul holidays in February

Over in Asia, Rajasthan in Northern India is perfect in February with stunning temples, vibrant culture and low-season hotel rates. Agra – home to the Taj Mahal – and the capital Delhi both enjoy temperatures of around 25°C and 8 hours of sunshine a day. Goa and Kerala further south on India’s west coast are even warmer, with temperatures reaching 32°C. You can also see India on one of these luxury rail journeys.

February is also a good time to visit Southeast Asia before the hot season begins. Temperatures hit 30°C in Malaysia and Vietnam although humidity is not uncomfortably high at this time of year.

Other options in February include Thailand – where the west coast beaches such as Phuket and Ko Phi Phi experience the best of the weather. At this time of year it’s best to avoid the east coast resorts such as Ko Samui, which is still in its rainy season. This is a cheap destination because of the continued weakness of the Thai baht.

If you want to go beyond the beach in Thailand in search of culture and adventures, check out these great ideas from Experience Travel Group including bespoke food tours.

Bali has temperatures of 31°C and 8 hours of sunshine – and it’s relatively cheap. You could combine the island with a short tour of Indonesia, one of Asia’s most exciting destinations. See the cultural treasures of Java and the dragons on KomodoCambodia is also a fabulous destination with welcoming people and world-class sights such as Angkor Wat.

This is a wonderful time of year to be in Costa Rica where you can expect 7 hours of sunshine, temperatures of 25°C and low rainfall. British Airways now flies direct and there are some good value tours including this 12-day tour, Costa Rica Highlights, visiting jungles, cloud forest, volcanoes and beaches.

It’s the height of summer in Cape Town where you can look forward to temperatures of 27°C and 11 hours of daily sunshine. Enjoy the summer festivals and take a trip into the gorgeous Winelands.

Other options in Africa in February include gorilla tracking in Rwanda and the mass wildlife migration from Tanzania to Kenya, a truly amazing sight.

There are some great things to do in America at this time of year. It’s always warm in Las Vegas and you can combine Vegas with New York. Florida is a great bet for sunshine in February.

Egypt is getting hot in FebruaryMarrakech in February

Short haul holidays in February

If you want hot weather in February – but you don’t fancy flying long haul – there are several options within just a few hours flying time of the UK, and some are great value.

The Canary Islands is the most obvious destination with direct flights from airports across the UK taking around 4 hours. Of the larger, more popular islands we recommend Tenerife (for hotels) and Lanzarote (for villas), both of which offer temperatures of around 22ºC. If you want somewhere more remote, you can hop on a ferry from Tenerife to beautiful La Gomera, or to tiny La Graciosa which lies north of Lanzarote.

Further east you could fly to Egypt in about 5 hours. In Cairo you’ll find 8 hours of sunshine and temperatures of about 22°C, which is perfect for visiting the Pyramids.

Elsewhere in Europe, you might get lucky in February – for example, I’ve enjoyed a long week of warm sunshine in the Algarve – I would recommend one of these boutique hideaways. Another option is Malta and Gozo – they are far enough south in the Med for a chance of sunshine.

A better option is Morocco which offers cheap airfares and flying times of less than four hours from the UK. In the city of Marrakech you can expect 20°C and an average seven hours of daily sunshine. Again, perfect weather for sightseeing.

See more information on where’s hot in Europe in February.

BeachesSophisticated hotels

Mid haul destinations in February

February is a great month to visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the Arabian Gulf. Flying time is seven hours and you can expect highs of 25ºC with guaranteed sunshine. Both destinations offer stunning hotels, white sand beaches and desert safaris. Dubai has mega malls, ice rinks, ski domes and an exciting restaurant scene, while Abu Dhabi has the Al Ain Oasis, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Yas Island which is home to Ferrari World, a waterpark, Formula 1 race track and the world’s fastest roller coaster.

If you are put off by the glitzy side of the Gulf, head instead to neighbouring Oman which enjoys the same fabulous weather, but has spectacular mountains and beaches, authentic villages, desert camps, turtle nesting spots and 5,000 years of Arabian history. You should spend some time in the capital, Muscat – best place to stay is The Chedi – and perhaps head out to the Musandam Peninsula and stay at Six Senses Zighy Bay,

For cheap hot holidays in February, it’s hard to beat The Gambia, a friendly, safe, English-speaking country on the West Coast of Africa. It’s just a six-hour flight from London or Manchester, with no jet lag, temperatures of 34°C and nine hours of daily sunshine. See the latest special offers.

Last updated: 27 September 2018

>> See more expert recommendations for where to go on holiday in February and honeymoons in February. Also see my colleague Annabelle Thorpe’s tips for city breaks in February.

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