Now that the sun seems to have disappeared, it’s enough to make you want to book a quick getaway in February. Get cosy in a cottage or a ski chalet, or go long haul for some proper sunshine.
And if you’re planning ahead for a May holiday, take a look at some of these ideas.
Before the half-term holidays send prices shooting upwards, steal away to Austria and enjoy some top-class skiing in St Anton. There’s been lots of lovely snow recently, and St Anton’s party atmosphere will banish those winter blues. Alpine Elements has late availability at Chalet Rathia, which has its own sauna and is near the Nassereinbahn ski lift. A week’s chalet board costs from £595pp, departing 9 February, and includes flights, transfers, breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner on six nights.
Watch the sun set over the Atlantic from the beach at Kotu after a day spent lazing in the water or spotting birdlife in Kotu Stream. The Gambia Experience has a deal on a week’s holiday at the Kombo Beach Hotel, which is just a few yards away from the soft sandy beach and has a pool as well as three restaurants. Seven nights’ B&B cost from £699pp, down from £933pp, departing 18 February and including flights and transfers.
Explore the craggy south-eastern coast of Thailand and the islands scattered around the Andaman Sea from the Ginger Chic Resort in Krabi. You’ve got several beaches nearby, as well as a pool and bike hire. Teletext Holidays has a week’s B&B from £653pp, including flights.
Hole up in the Scottish Highlands for a Valentine’s treat when you book East Craigdhu Cow Byre with Sykes Cottages. Surrounded by the tranquillity of the Highlands, this converted one-bedroom outbuilding has views of the River Beauly and Strathglass, as well as log burner and large deck. It has three nights’ availability from 14 February for £309, a saving of £117.
Book now for May
Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s hotspots, particularly for hikers, but it’s easy to enjoy its beauty in May before the season really gets going. Headwater has a six-night self-guided walking holiday based in Sestri Levante and lets you explore the five coastal villages of Cinque Terre as well as Portofino. Prices start at £1,025pp and include flights, transfers, maps, notes and three evening meals, for Saturday departures throughout May.
Enjoy warm sunny days in the small Dodecanese island of Tilos, which turned its back on mass tourism and has gone for the environmentally friendly approach. Go for long walks along its quiet beaches and on scenic mountain trails, looking out for the Byzantine monastery along the way. Overlooking the bay at Livadia are the simply furnished but comfortable Marina Studios, where you can take in sea views from the balcony. Sunvil has seven nights’ self-catering from £791pp, including flights and transfers, for departures throughout May.
For true relaxation, it’s hard to resist the lure of the long white beaches that cover the east coast of Mauritius. At the adults-only Solana Beach Hotel, you’ll be on the sands within seconds, ready for a day of doing very little. Tropical Sky has a week’s half board from £929pp if you book before 29 February. The price includes flights and transfers, and is for a 27 May departure.
Mary Novakovich is editor at large at 101holidays.co.uk