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Best Destinations for Winter Travel; In Iran, and Around the World

As winter’s chill and snow blanket the cities, turning them into white wonders, many defer their travel plans until the warmer, sunnier days. Yet, winter travel possesses a unique allure. Once you appreciate and experience it, you’ll find yourself eagerly planning your winter escapades well in advance. Whether relishing the snowy landscapes and cold in a winter resort or seeking out destinations with shining sun and warm climates, winter offers diverse travel joys.

 

Malta; Diving into the Remnants of the Knights Era

Best Destinations for Winter Travel
Malta

Selecting tropical destinations for vacations during the frigid winter months is a prudent choice, especially when your destination is amidst the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is an archipelago in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. While it may be modest in size, its history is rich and extensive. For centuries, it has changed among various rulers, each leaving its unique mark on the nation’s heritage, shaping it into the alluring tourist magnet it is today.

From a geographical perspective, Malta is in a section of the Mediterranean Sea that separates Italy from the African shores, specifically to the south of Sicily, north of Libya, and east of Tunisia. Winter is the ideal season for a trip to Malta when the average temperature reaches 10 degrees Celsius, offering the best weather conditions for outdoor exploration.

Rock climbing and hiking are among the most enjoyable activities you can experience in Malta. Watching the rural landscapes is the best travel experience in Malta, and immersing yourself in its rich culture and history completes the travel experience.

The Republic of Malta comprises three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, each with distinctive features. Rugged coastlines, bays, ports, sandy beaches, hills, and cliffs, turquoise lagoons, crystalline waters, water sports, biodiversity, and diving amid the remnants of ancient eras – these are all part of the experience one encounters in the Maltese archipelago.

Kish, Qeshm, and Hormuz; Experience Heavenly Bliss in a Freezing Winter

Best Destinations for Winter Travel
Qeshm

With the arrival of winter, the southern regions of Iran become more appealing to travelers. Kish, Qeshm, and Hormuz are three picturesque islands in the Persian Gulf and are considered the top travel destinations during the chilly winter months. Their splendid climate, aquatic leisure activities, natural landscapes, and rich local culture make them ideal choices.

You can experience these three islands as a complete destination or plan a trip that includes all three. The common denominator among all three islands is their pleasant warmth. However, the distinctive features of these islands create a different travel experience. So, Kish, as a luxurious destination, is relatively affordable compared to other modern cities on the Persian Gulf’s shores.

This island offers the highest oxygen compared to other cities in the Persian Gulf. Consequently, it is an excellent choice for a recuperative period. Kish has transformed into an exceptional winter destination due to its luxurious hotels, thrilling aquatic activities, modern shopping centers, diverse festivals, and high levels of security.

Qeshm is renowned for its pristine nature. This island is a beloved tourist destination thanks to its native culture and unique natural landscapes. Qeshm Global Geopark serves as a testament to the significance of this island as a destination with valuable natural heritage and rich indigenous culture.

Without exaggeration, Hormuz is the best destination in the Persian Gulf for exploring geological phenomena and experiencing the local community’s culture. You can encounter Iran’s unique tourist landscapes and savor the finest seafood from the south on this island.

Oman; Harmony of Tradition and Modernity

Best Destinations for Winter Travel
Oman

Oman is one of the best winter travel destinations, where cultural heritage blends seamlessly with natural wonders, making it a unique destination in the heart of the Middle East. Wherever you step into this land, you’ll feel the national pride of people who have preserved their cultural roots with care.

The history of Oman’s monarchy dates back ten thousand years. However, what sets Oman apart from other Arabic-speaking countries is its reverence for natural heritage and the harmonious coexistence of tradition and modernity.

The capital of Oman has many attractions, from historic houses transformed into museums to traditional restaurants with colorful courtyard gardens and delicious cuisine.

Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque to admire its arched passageways, intricate mosaic tiles, and ornate domes. Witness the contemporary architecture of the Royal Opera House. Meet the locals in the historic Mutrah Souq, where they sell colorful lanterns, traditional clothing, and handmade sandals. Explore the mythical Bahla Fort with its labyrinthine corridors, the Jabreen Castle with its latticed windows, and Nizwa Old Town with its rich cultural heritage and ancient irrigation structures.

After visiting historical sites, incorporate the natural wonders into your travel itinerary, the breathtaking vistas of the jagged peaks of the Al-Hajar Mountains rising from the Turquoise sea, hiking in the terraced fields, abseiling in the mountainous cliffs, desert trekking on dunes, and camping in the desert with the hospitality of indigenous communities are all gifts that Oman’s nature offers you.

Banff; The Endless Exploration

Best Destinations for Winter Travel
Banff

Banff National Park is one of the best winter destinations in the world. Located 140 kilometers from Calgary International Airport in southwestern Canada, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. Banff’s remarkable natural beauty provides an excellent opportunity for various exciting activities across its vast 1.6 million hectares of land.

In addition to classic skiing and snowboarding, mountain climbing, and hiking, you can also enjoy their unique hot springs and therapeutic properties while witnessing the mesmerizing sight of snowflakes falling into the steamy waters of the springs.

The hotel industry in this region is so thriving that there is no doubt left for accommodation. From various five-star hotels to modern lodges, everything is available for you. These hotels seem designed for kings and queens. Alongside luxurious hotels, there are also houses with a rural atmosphere and fewer embellishments, but they are comfortable and welcoming. The choice is yours whether to opt for the simplicity of these houses or the luxuries of those hotels.

The most stunning view is the emerald Lake Louise with its snow-covered peaks. Boating on the serene waters of this lake is so tranquil that it feels like time has stood still forever. The best way to enjoy Banff’s nature is through an extended stay and engaging with a local guide to explore the pristine biodiversity of the wilderness and the wildlife museum.

Hokkaido; Skiing, Festivals, Mineral Springs

Best Destinations for Winter Travel
Hokkaido

Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, is an ideal destination for skiing and snowboarding, thanks to its legendary snowfall. In Hokkaido, the natural landscapes and biodiversity captivate your attention more than anything else. Skiing and snowboarding are the primary activities that attract winter tourists to Hokkaido.
While all winter accommodations are available until spring, thanks to the Sapporo Winter Festival, the travel market to this island is warmer in winter than at any other time.

Luxurious accommodations in Hokkaido offer you the most amenities, and mountaineering in the snow-covered highlands of national parks is an excellent idea for a dreamy holiday.

It’s no wonder that the 1972 Winter Olympics took place on this island and remains one of the proposed choices for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

Bathing in the hot springs known as “Onsen,” which have unique characteristics and rejuvenating properties, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. The tradition of hot spring bathing in Hokkaido dates back so far that you can find historical temples around them. A population of native monkeys has mastered some of these hot springs. It seems they will never allow humans to intrude and take over the area.

While many travel to Hokkaido to escape urban life, Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido and the fifth-largest city in Japan, is an excellent place to experience delicious cuisine, shopping, and cityscape views.

Tabas Geopark; Starry Skies, Desert Exploration, Indigenous Culture

Best Destinations for Winter Travel
Tabas-Geopark

Situated in Iran’s South Khorasan Province, Tabas Geopark is more than a stunning desert expanse with a unique climate. It’s a blend of natural and cultural wonders, making it a perfect destination for winter travels.
The Geopark’s landscapes are truly mesmerizing. You’ll find the Morteza Ali Spring, where warm water bursts through rocks in certain places, offering a refreshing experience. The Azmighan Village welcomes visitors with the aroma of rice fields and the sight of tall palm trees. Additionally, the Kal Jeni Valley showcases unique natural walls shaped by erosion, and the tranquil Halvan Desert presents a clear, star-filled sky that is simply magical.

The Halvan Desert offers a range of activities like sand walking, off-roading, camel treks, and stargazing. For adventure lovers, camping under the stars is an unforgettable experience. But for those seeking comfort, the ecolodges in Halvan provide a cozy stay.

Among these wonders, the Golshan Garden in Tabas is a must-see. It’s a prime example of Iranian gardens, displaying architectural ingenuity and efficient resource use. This garden is a testament to the adaptability of desert inhabitants, living in harmony with the challenging environment.

 

Download the PDF version of FlySepehran magazine, NO. 25

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