Where to travel in February


By Francesca Syz for High Life magazine

Photography by Adobe Stock.

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November 2017

Whether it’s dancing in the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife during carnival time, watching humpback whales in the Dominican Republic, or simply getting away from it all in the Maldives, here are the must-visit destinations for February.

Dominican Republic

The lowdown

A growing number of upmarket resorts are opening in and around Punta Cana on the easternmost tip. There’s also plenty to keep you occupied, from close encounters with migrating humpback whales and cave diving, to off-road driving in dune buggies. December to February is the best time to visit the Dominican Republic – February being nicest of all, as it’s also carnival month. For an unspoilt wilderness hit, hop on a ferry from Punta Cana to Isla Saona for the day. It’s a protected nature reserve with swaying palm trees and sandy beaches.

Eat

La Yola was designed to feel like you’re dining on a fishing boat (a rather upmarket one in this case) – unsurprisingly, expect exceptional fresh seafood with a Mediterranean influence.

Stay

Friendly Alsol Luxury Village & Club is a swanky marina-front resort located in the exclusive Cap Cana area of Punta Cana. From here, hike to the Hoyo Azul (a freshwater cenote) with a guide, for a dip in its spectacularly clear water.

  • Take to the water in the Dominican Republic © Adobe Stock.
  • Dine under the sea at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives.

    Under the sea

    Ithaa Undersea Restaurant opens daily from 11.00 until midnight, serving mid-morning cocktails, through to six-course set dinner menus.

    Discover the Maldives
  • Get active in Tenerife with a hike down the Masca trail © Adobe Stock.

    No cars allowed

    Masca beach is only accessible by hiking down through the barranco (ravine), or by boat from the next cove. Book return flights from London to Tenerife plus a seven-night hotel stay from:£393 pp

    Book now

Tenerife

The lowdown

The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife also attracts the greatest number of tourists. It’s not hard to lose the crowds though – just head north to a land of jagged mountains, plunging ravines, tiny villages, ruined farmhouses and charming little restaurants. Despite being one of the island’s two coldest months, February still enjoys an average of eight hours of sunshine per day and is generally warm enough for T-shirts. The capital, Santa Cruz, is home to a knockout carnival in February – reportedly, the biggest outside Rio de Janeiro.

It’s not hard to lose the crowds though – just head north to a land of jagged mountains, plunging ravines, tiny villages, ruined farmhouses and charming little restaurants.

Eat

Book in advance for the excellent El Calderito de la Abuela in Santa Ursula on the northwest coast and try to blag a table in the window to enjoy the panoramic views of the north coast. For something a little more rustic, hunt down a guachinche, a pop-up restaurant of sorts housed in garages, sheds, barns etc. They’re often attached to vineyards where you’ll be served wine made on the premises accompanied by grilled meat and vegetables.

Stay

Hotel San Roque is a converted 18th-century manor house in the historic village of Garachico. There is no beach as such, so bathe like the locals in its amazing lava rock pools, created during a devastating 1706 eruption.

  • Get away from it all on Punta Cana beach, Dominican Republic © Adobe Stock.

    The beaches of Punta Cana are lined with palm trees, leading them to have the nickname of La Costa del Coco, the Coconut Coast. Book return flights from London to the Dominican Republic plus a seven-night all-inclusive hotel stay from:£1141 pp

    Book now

Maldives

The lowdown

Few countries can claim to inhabit 1,200 islands. But few places are like the Maldives – where a mosaic of tiny palm-fringed sandbars are set within coral atolls surrounded by impossibly turquoise waters. There are two seasons here: one from May to October that produces quite a lot of wind and rain, and another from November until April, which is predominantly hot and dry. February is the driest and sunniest of them all and offers great visibility for snorkelling and diving, which of course are some of the best reasons for visiting.

Eat

Voted ‘the most beautiful restaurant in the world’ by the New York Daily Post, and as it’s name suggests, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, allows you to dine five metres below sea level with 180-degree views of the Indian Ocean seascape.

Stay

For a new level of laid-back island luxury, Lux* South Ari Atoll is a resort with a beach-house feel, alfresco cinema nights, beach yoga, and trips aboard the resort’s traditional dhoni fishing boat with a marine biologist, to swim with whale sharks.