10 Offbeat Destinations in India.

India is a land of charms, beauty, mystery and sophistication. The beauty of the land is blended everywhere and not just in iconic attractions. Yes, Taj Mahal, backwaters of Kerala, monasteries of Ladakh and statues of Mahabalipuram are the icons of Indian tourism.

1. Kalimpong

This is one of the important tourist destinations in North-East India. Kalimpong is an offbeat hill station, You can find lush valleys, unique birds, columns of pine trees and most importantly, the serenity of a Narnia paradise.

September to June is the prime time to visit Kalimpong.

The nearest airport to Kalimpong is located in Bagdogra. Fly to Bagdogra from Delhi and then choose rail or road route to reach Kalimpong. If you are choosing rail route from Delhi, the nearest railway station is located in New Jalpaiguri.

2. Yumthang Valley

This is the perfect picturesque and a romantic destination. This is also called as the ‘bowl of flowers’. Visit Zero Point, Pauhunri, Shundu Tsenpa and other serene destinations to enjoy a peacefulhttps://www.chalsafar.com/ time.

it is better to stick with summer and spring.Best time to visit this valley is from March to June.

fly to Bagdogra and take road transportation to reach Yumthang Valley. It would take 8 – 9 hours to reach the valley from Gangtok

3. Gurez Valley

he valley is quite beautiful with the breathtaking backdrops, surreal landscapes and most importantly, the mesmerizing freshness of nature. 

From May to September, the temperature will be pleasing and the land will be lush with thick grasses, wild fragrant flowers and flowing river.

Fly to Srinagar from Delhi. From Srinagar (150 km away from valley), it would take a couple of hours to reach the valley via road transportation.

4. Haflong

This is a small hill town located in Assam. This town is home to more than two lakh species of flowering plants. Thus, you are in for a colorful vacation here

Best time to visit is during summer and spring to spot as many flowers as possible. Visit between May and September to enjoy a colorful vacation.

The nearest airport to the town is located in Shillong, which is 252 km away. Either you can choose to reach Haflong from Shillong via car or bus or, you can choose rail route up to Lunding Junction and then travel for 60 km on road to reach the hill.

5. Sandakphu

It is hard to imagine that a destination in the romantic capital, Darjeeling is offbeat. Well, the main reason for this is that location of this paradise.

The nearest airport and railway station is located in Siliguri, which is 96 km away from Darjeeling. Once You can either trek for 12 hours or take a ride in land rover or jeep to reach this hill region.

6. Mawlynnong

The entire East India is an offbeat destination. Among those, Mawlynnong is a beauty that you should not miss. Located in Meghalaya, this destination is the cleanest village of the continent. 

The best time to visit this village is from March to June. The summer season is pleasing and lush with nature. 

From Delhi, you can fly to Guwahati and choose to travel via taxi, bus or train to reach the village. On the other hand, you can also find direct trains and cabs from Delhi to Mawlynnong village

7. Ziro

Among the beautiful places of Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro is the most exciting and pleasing one. Ziro is famous for tourist trails, rich green meadows, quaint and quiet hill regions and the culture-rich Apatani tribe.

This hill station is at prime beauty throughout the year.

The nearest airport to Ziro is located in Lilabari. You can find flights from Delhi to Lilabari. From Lilabari, it would take three hours to reach Ziro. Tourists usually reach Guwahati and then choose road transportation to Ziro for faster transit.

8. Varkala

the entire state of Kerala is a prime tourism spot. However, some sites are generally overlooked by most of the tourists and the best example is Varkala. Along the shores of Arabian Sea, this beach destination is famous for shrines, hills, lighthouses and of course, the beach.

 region is at prime beauty throughout the year, it is better to stick with the winter season, November to March.

From Delhi, fly to Kochi or Trivandrum. From these destinations, you can find buses and cabs, 

9. Champaner

ujarat is the state with the most numerous of hidden destinations. Even the luxury train has consolidated these offbeat destinations of Gujarat to create an itinerary.

Best time to visit this spiritual destination is during winter season, which starts in October and ends in March.

From Delhi, you can easily find flights to Vadodara or Ahmedabad. From Vadodara, the destination is just 42 km away and from Ahmedabad, Champaner is around 125 km away.

10. Khajjiar

In the laid-back region of Himachal Pradesh, Khajjiar is a romantic getaway spot. This region is called as the mini-Switzerland.

March to October is the right time to visit this hill station

From Delhi, you can find frequent flight to Jammu. From Jammu, you can choose rail or road transportation to reach Khajjiar. The nearest railway station is located in Pathankot.

Monsoon Destinations In India That’s Make You Dance In The Rain !!

Monsoon holidays in India are surely a lifetime experience as the exotic locations leave you spellbound with its beauty. The hills and mountains get carpeted with lush greenery, the lakes overflow with sparkling water, the waterfall sceneries become heavenly to make you fall in love with Incredible India.

1. Lonavala – Maharashtra

Lonavala! With the onset of monsoon, the Sahyadri mountain ranges and the ghats revive with alluring greenery, breath taking waterfalls and pleasant climate. For a quick escape from the bustling city, plan a trip to the quaint hill town of lonavala.

Things to do: Trekking, sightseeing, camping, horse ride

How to reach: It’s 1 hour 45 minutes (83.6 km) from Mumbai & 1 hour 26 minutes (67.1 km) from Pune by road.

2. Andaman and Nicobar islands

This exotic location has amazing wildlife, thrilling water sports, pristine silver sand beaches, mountains, breath taking natural beauty and tribal tour. This place will never seize to amaze you and you are sure to fall in love with its incredible beauty. it has to be a must on your list of best monsoon destinations in India.

Things to do: Jet skiing, sightseeing, scuba, snorkeling, trekking

How to reach: Regular passenger ship services are available from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam. There are direct or connecting flight to Port Blair airport which is the capital city.

3. Ladakh – Jammu And Kashmir

Ladakh Festival takes place from 17th to 27th September. It’s a spectacle of a show and a must visit! This cold desert of India is sure on the list of many travelers and it truly lives up to its expectations. With its numerous mountain passes, sparkling lakes with crystal clear water surrounded by snow covered mighty mountains, it is simply magical. This place is a must visit in summers and post-monsoons as the roads are clear for travel unlike in winters.

Things to do: Sightseeing, bike rides, monastery visit, wildlife viewing

How to reach: 12 hours (1262 km) from Delhi via road. The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi. The nearest airport is in Leh.

4. Udaipur – Rajasthan

This place truly reflects its glorious past of the maharajas with umpteen number of palaces and bazaars and beautiful lakes. It doesn’t leave a single chance to give you that royal feeling. During monsoons, this place revives with a hint of greenery around its pristine lakes and palaces to give you breathtaking views.

Things to do: Boating, sightseeing

How to reach: Udaipur has its own railway station. The nearest airport is the Maharana Pratap airport in Dabok which is at a distance of 22 km from the city of Udaipur.

5. Pushkar – Rajasthan

When it rains heavily in other parts of India, plan a wonderful trip to Pushkar not to let the sultry sun give you a tan, but to explore the beautiful and soothing side of Rajasthan. Imagine what is more romantic than an awakening peacock call, an early morning camel ride, a stroll around the market. Pushkar should definitely be on your bucket list of places to visit in monsoons in India.

Things to do: Camel safari, hot air ballooning, jeep safari, hiking, shopping, sightseeing

How to reach: You will need to take a train to Ajmer and then take a 30-minute drive to Pushkar.

6. Mount Abu- Rajasthan

Lovely destination when clouds cover up the sky and water drops come down to the earth. Mount Abu is the right choice for those who are looking for a perfect dose of nature, spirituality and adventure.

Ideal for: Honeymooners, nature lovers

How to reach: Mount Abu railway station is well-connected to different cities in India like New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The Abu Road railhead lies on the long Delhi-Ahmedabad railway line.

7. Kutch- Gujarat

Monsoon clouds over Dhinodhar hill in Kutch and many such sights await you at the salt lands of Rajasthan. The never-ending desert plains with surreal horizon in the monsoon give an enticing view. Kutch is even more dreamlike as it gets submerged in the water. This is one of the ideal places to plan your vacation in, as it is one of the best places to visit in India during July-August.

How to reach: Bhuj is the closest Airport. Kutch Express is available from Bombay via Ahmedabad upto Gandhidham. From here, one can reach this destination by road. State run bus service is efficient as well.

8. mahabaleshwar

Despite very heavy rainfall the hill station becomes extremely beautiful in this season and it can be visited to capture the greenery of the region. Mahabaleshwaris one of the popular hill stations in Maharashtra that is beautifully nestled in the vicinity of the Western Ghats.

It lies 120km south-west of Pune and at a distance of 260.6 km from Mumbai.

9. Jog falls- Karnataka

The four cascades merge to form the huge waterfall. The beauty of the waterfalls is enhanced by the lush green surroundings, which provides a scenic backdrop to the falls. A perfect place to drive to in the rainy season. This surely is one of the best places to visit in India during Monsoon.

Things to do: Nature walks, bird watching

How to reach: Jog falls are 430 Kms away from Bangalore, about 6 hours drive.

10. Alibaug- Maharashtra

Alibaug is a beautiful town and is located in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The tourist population in this town is growing because of its scenic beauty and the hinterland of the Israeli-Jews. Apart from being a popular tourist hub, the town is also well-known for its rich history, appetizing seafood and culture. Alibaug too is one of the most amazing places to visit in monsoon in Maharashtra.

Things to do: Jet skiing, banana ride, horse ride

How to reach: The nearest railway station is located at Pen. The railway station is connection to Panvel in Mumbai through the Central Railway station. One can then reach Alibaug by local transport (buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws).

Best Places for Solo Trips near Bangalore

Particularly if Bangalore is your starting point, you have plenty of options. You can go to the wonderful nearby city of Mysore or head out to the picturesque hills of Ooty. It’s your choice! Here are the top destinations from Bangalore for the solo traveler.

1. Nandi Hills

If you are a solo traveler looking to take a unique trip on the weekend, visiting a vineyard is quite a cool choice. Just off Bangalore’s city limits lies the Grover Vineyards in the famous Nandi Hills.

Here, you can go for a vineyard tour and learn how wine is made. You can also book a wine tasting session at a fairly reasonable price.

  • Distance from Bangalore: The vineyards are located about 45 kms from Bangalore.
  • Best Time to Visit: Any time of the year, though it can be pretty hot in the summer.

2. Lepakshi

Located in Andhra Pradesh, this place is blessed with resplendent temples whose architecture resemble those found in Hampi.

It is best to drive down to Lepakshi from Bangalore, but if one wants to use public transport, you can hail a bus to Hindupur and from there board an auto rickshaw or taxi. If you love shopping for traditional Indian attire, there are a few famous shops here that sell beautiful sarees.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Lepakshi is just a 125-kilometre drive from Bangalore.
  • Best time to Visit: The best time to visit is from November to February, when the weather is cool.

3. Mysore

Mysore is a great place for solo travellers who love architecture. A visit to the acclaimed Mysore Palace is a must for any tourist visiting the city of Mysore. If you get bored of exploring all the historic sites here, you can opt to go shopping in Mysore. Mysore has plenty of local stores that sell sandalwood products and silk clothing.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Mysore is 150 kilometres from Bangalore
  • Best time to Visit: It’s such a short ride away, you could visit all year round

4. Coorg

If you are a solo traveler looking to explore nature and indulge in some adventure sports, there’s no better place for you to travel to than Coorg. From trekking up to the waterfalls to river rafting, Coorg has a lot of things for you to do and explore. In Coorg, you’ll find a couple of mountains that are ideal for trekking. One such place is Kotebetta.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Coorg is around 260 kilometres away from Bangalore
  • Best time to Visit: With a lovely climate all year long, there is no one time that’s best to visit Coorg.

5. Ooty

Another great spot for solo travelers who love natural beauty, Ooty could remind you of the English countryside. For the real experience, head a little away from the main city centre. That’s where you’ll find beautiful tall pine trees and lovely green foliage.

For a memorable experience in Ooty, take a ride on the cozy mini train that takes you through beautiful and stunning scenery that you will normally only see in movies.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Around 280 kilometres from Bangalore.
  • Best time to Visit: The best time to visit Ooty is during the months of April to June, but, if you love the cold weather, head over between November and February.

6. Wayanad

For the solo traveler looking to tour the outdoors, Wayanad is the ideal destination for a short break. There’s plenty of outdoorsy stuff that one can enjoy in the land called the ‘Green Paradise’.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Wayanad is located about 285 kilometres away from Bangalore.
  • Best Time to Visit: To experience the cool weather of Wayanad, head to the hill station during the months of October to January.

7. Chikmagalur

Ideal for solo getaways, Chikmagalur presents solo travelers with plenty of things to do and explore. The town provides you with the chance to go trekking at the Hebbe Waterfalls, enjoy white-water rafting on the Bhadra River, and even take walks in one of the many coffee plantations.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Around 290 kilometres from Bangalore.
  • Best time to Visit: The weather is best during the months of September to March.

8. Munnar

Often called the Kashmir of South India, Munnar is a great place for the solo traveller who loves to bask in nature’s beautiful landscapes. Munnar is blessed with one of the most picturesque surroundings that you can ever find in South India.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Munnar is around 475 kilometres from Bangalore
  • Best time to Visit: All around the year, as the weather is always wonderful this high above sea level.

9. Gokarna

Also a pilgrimage site, Gokarna is the perfect getaway destination if you love the beach, but not the crowds of Goa. When compared to the beaches in Goa, the beaches here are less noisy, with less commercial activity, and are great for relaxing.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Gokarna is 500 kilometres away from Bangalore.
  • Best Time to Visit: To truly experience Gokarna, go here during the months of October to April when the climate is pleasant.

10. Alleppey

Situated in the South of India, Alleppey is a famous tourist destination in Kerala. Perfect for solo travelers who are looking to just get away from the noise and hustle of the city life, the sleepy town is just right for a quiet and peaceful getaway.

  • Distance from Bangalore: Around 590 kilometres away from Bangalore.
  • Best time to Visit: The winters (November to February) are the perfect months to visit Alleppey.

Unexplored Paradise with Uncountable Delights :North East India

North East India is an unexplored paradise with uncountable delights. Known as the ‘Seven Sisters’, the North Eastern frontiers of India is a treasure chest of culture, heritage, history, traditions, natural beauty, adventures and soulful experiences. Thus, a Northeast India tour offers an experience of a lifetime. Though previously seven, the eight states of North East, comprise of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, and Meghalaya.

Tourist Attractions in North East India

While you are amid in unexplored region, you will be obviously in awe of the natural beauty. Adding to its charm, tourist attractions in North East are abundant and quite exciting. There are beautiful treks, charming caves, wildlife sanctuaries, scenic lakes, waterfalls, picturesque villages, adventures and so much more. You will literally be blown away with the delights while on your trip to Northeast India

North East India Hill Stations

Stretching over the Himalayas, there are hill stations found quite in abundance.
Gangtok, Shillong, Darjeeling, Pelling, Aizawl, Cherrapunji, Tawang, Lachung, Ziro, Haflong, are the popular names. However, the list of best hill stations in India is truly extensive.

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

One of the world’s most diverse regions, the bio-diversity of North East India is amazing. The sight of endangered animals such as Tigers, One-horned Rhinoceros, Snow Leopard, Yaks, Musk Deer, Red Panda and Sambhar enthralls even the most experienced travelers. Besides wild mammals and a large variety of flora and fauna, avian population, reptiles, fishes, etc. call these wildlife sanctuaries home.

Monasteries in Northeast

Monasteries are an important aspect of North East India, owing to its shared roots with Tibet. Buddhism occupies a great place in the religious lives of the people.
Some of the famous monasteries in North East are Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Tashiding Monastery, Dubdi Monastery, Sinon Monastery, Ghoom Monastery, etc.

Places to go for honeymoon

A truly beautiful escape for couples, honeymoon places in North East India are among the most popular honeymoon destinations in India.
Darjeeling, Gangtok, Pelling, Shillong, Ravangla, Lachen, Yumthang, are some of the popular honeymoon destinations in Northeast India.

Things to do

To list all the possible things to do in North East India is quite a difficult task. The unexplored region has so much to offer. Incredibly unbelievable things to do include the following:

Stay on a floating island on a lake,Attending the colorful festivals is truly memorable, Think of adventures and the mountains offer enthralling ,
Walking through tea estates in Darjeeling opportunities. ,
Go for trekking, mountaineering, river rafting, rock climbing, etc .

The Best Destinations for Female Travellers

Travelling solo, especially as a woman, is the ultimate expression of empowerment. You leave your comfort zone and enter a realm of self-discovery, all while seeing new places. Which is why we have for you our list of the Best Destinations for female travellers. These incredible places have the holy trinity of female travel; beauty, history, and safety. So, get out there and get exploring.

Iceland

Northern Lights. The Blue Lagoon. Icecaps and nightcaps. The Land of Fire and Ice is perfect in every way. What’s not to love about Iceland?

Majestic waterfalls, the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, Northern Lights, volcano tours and whale watching excursions are just some of the fascinating attractions waiting in Iceland. Join the Golden Circle Classic tour which begins in Nesjavellir and moves to Ãžingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home of Iceland’s largest natural lake. Head on to Gullfoss, the most famous waterfall in Iceland, where visitors can see water fall 105 feet down into a canyon and stand so close to the edge that they will feel the mist of the falls.

The Netherlands

Home to some of the warmest people in the world, the Netherlands is the perfect destination for the female traveller. Explore the canals of Amsterdam and the windmills of Kinderdijk. Dig into some chocolate and stammpot. The country is yours for the taking.

Singapore

The Lion City, Singapore is one of the hottest destinations to visit this year. It offers a diverse mix of Asian cultures and cutting edge in modernity. Only in Singapore can you wander through a bazaar in Little India and end up in the swankiest casino in the Eastern Hemisphere. And the best part? Easy visarules. \

Australia

The Land Down Under has so much to offer for the intrepid lady traveller. Ayers Rock, the Opera House, vineyards and kangaroos; you’ll be spoilt for choice on your

Switzerland

Soul stirring nature beauty coupled with stunning architecture makes for an unforgettable vacation. The buildings in Berne, the slopes of St Moritz, the serene lakes of Interlaken and the peaks of the Alps; there’s beauty everywhere you look in Switzerland.

Japan

If you’re cool with phrasebooks and Google Translate, Japan is perfect for female travellers. Experience an ancient culture co-existing with futuristic cityscapes with a sprinkling of eccentricity on your solo Japanese holiday.

South India, a highly sought after tourist destination during the summers, is dotted with many popular summer tourist places in South India. History, architecture, beautiful scenery, blissful weather, adventures and incredible experiences add to the charm.The Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats are dotted with many picturesque hill stations. Enjoy beaches, backwaters, hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries, ancient temples, historical towns and so much more. This summer, pack your bags for South India, there is so much to explore.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu

The Queen of Hill Stations, Ooty is definitely one of the most popular tourist places in South India. Blessed with pleasant weather, it is an ideal choice for summer holidays. Located in the Nilgiri range of Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu, Ooty enjoys spectacular scenery. 

Explore the beautiful trekking trails, gardens, and lookouts. Boating and picnics by the lakes are equally amazing. 

Yercaud, Tamil Nadu

Yercaud, located in Tamil Nadu, is a popular hill station. It is one of best summer destinations in South India.The town has a number of waterfalls to explore. The Colonial Era survives in the architectural masterpieces. Explore the caves, the mysterious underbelly of the hills is exciting. Roam the coffee estates. Lastly, do miss to visit the silk farm, to learn the secrets of agriculture.

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS Yercaud Lake, Botanical Garden, Lady’s seat, Shevaroy Temple, Pagoda Point, Anna Farm, Kiliyur Falls, Silk Farm, Bear’s Cave.

Munnar, Kerala

Munnar is one of the most beautiful and popular hill stations in South India,
Settled in the Western Ghats, the hill town overlooks lush tea estates, scenic waterfalls, misty hills and dizzying lookouts. 

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS Tea Garden photo point, Tata Tea Museum, Mattupetty Dam, Carmelagiri Elephant Park, Eravikulam National Park, Echo Point, Anamudi Peak, etc.

Coorg, Karnataka

Coorg is a beautiful hill town of Karnataka, settled in the Western Ghats. Clouds rest on the mountain peaks. The roaring waterfalls coupled with the call of nature creates a soothing melody.

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS : Brahmagiri peak, Nagarhole National Park, Iruppu Falls, Abbey Falls, Dubare Elephant Camp

Alleppey ,KERALA

 

India’s Own Venice, Alleppey the land of backwaters in Kerala is a popular tourist place in South India. It is blissful throughout the year but it’s amazing in summer. Surrounded by waters in a unique ecology. Savior the mouthwatering cuisine. Go bird watching, paying a visit to hamlets on the backwater or exploring the incredible architectural marvels by the backwaters.

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: Alappuzha Beach, Krishnapuram Palace, Kumarakom bird sanctuary, Marari Beach, Revi Karunakaran Museum, Marari Beach, Punnamada Lake, Pathiramanal, and Sri Krishna Temple in Ambalappuzha.

Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu

 

Yelagiri is a cluster of 14 hamlets snuggled between four mountains in Tamil Nadu.
The highest point is the Swamimalai Hill, the manmade Punganur Lake, The Velavan Temple, Jalagamparai Waterfalls and Nature Park are popular tourist attractions

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: Swamimalai Hills, Punganur Lake, Palamathi Hills, Velavan Temples, Jalagamparai Waterfalls, Nature Park, etc.

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Kodaikanal is a scenic hill town in Tamil Nadu. Its name translates to ‘the Gift of the Forests’. Blessed with exquisite greenery, There are waterfalls to explore, lakes to enjoy boating and beautiful trails. 

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: Coaker’s Walk, Kodai Lake, Silver Cascade Waterfalls, Pillar Rocks, Dolmen Circle, Kurunji Andavar Temple, Berijam Lake, Sacred Heart Science Museum.

Wayanad, Kerala

Wayanad in Kerala is one of the best places for vacations in South India. A part of Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, it is blessed with waterfalls, lookouts, and scenic nature.
ature walks, trekking, hiking, bird watching, etc. are some of the pleasures. Stay at an eco-friendly lodging and learn to cohabit with nature. 

Popular Tourist Attractions : Chembra peak, Edakkal Cave, Wayanad Heritage museum, Pookode Lake, Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, Banasura Sagar Dam, Lakkidi view point, Meenmutty waterfalls, etc.

Kumarakom, Kerala

The backwater hub of India, Kumarakom is a popular tourist destination in South India. Imagine spending your summer surrounded by waters, enjoying a cruises on a houseboat. Go bird watching in the bird sanctuary. Opt for relaxing Ayurveda massages, try yoga or meditation. Pay a visit to the local hamlets for an authentic experience of Kerala.  

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: Kumarakom bird sanctuary, Bay Island Driftwood museum, Kumarakom beach, St Mary’s Church, Juma Masjid

Idukki, Kerala

Idukki is the perfect summer tourist destination in South India. Snuggled in the hills of the Western Ghats, the town enjoys a salubrious weather. 
many places can actually boast of forests, lakes, waterfalls, treks, picnic spots at one place? Trekking, backpacking, and camping are some of the things to do in Idukki. 

POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS : Periyar National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi, Mattupetty Dam, Malankara Dam, Mullaperiyar Dam, Thekkady, Parunthumpara, Meesapulimala, etc

Where to Go This Summer Vacation in India ?

As the sweltering summer approaches, students and teachers start rejoicing in the anticipation of the imminent vacations. At least the scorching sun brings good news for someone! With schools and colleges closed, you have a good opportunity to travel with your family to a place that has little to do with constantly rising temperature and is free from many constrains of city life.

Kashmir

YOU have never seen beauty so divine and perfect anywhere, but in Kashmir. The amiable people and the heartwarming hospitality add to the charm of the valley
snow-clad mountains.You can also enjoyed with family in Srinagar For sightseeing, you can go to Mughal Gardens namely, Chashma-e-Shahi, Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Garden, Hazratbal Shrine and Hari Parbat Fort. So, what to see in Kashmir?? Well, you have four great destinations for spending holidays in Kashmir.

  • Gulmarg
  • Sonmarg 
  • Srinagar
  • Pahalgam

Activity

  • River rafting
  • Skiing
  • Cable car ride
  • Camping
  • Tent-stays-trekking .
  • Fishing.
  • Shikara ride,
  • Houseboat.

Ladakh

Ladakh is beautiful, unique and incredible! It is something that you have never seen before! A perfect holiday destination in the state of Jammu & Kashmir
As beautiful as this place is, it is equally rigorous and challenging.
 during the summer season, the mercury remains steady at 30 degree Celsius, making it quiet a pleasant time to visit.


You would like to visit the 800 year old Kali Mandir, perched on top of a mountain; the Shanti Stupa situated right outside the city; and the 17th century Leh Palace. Thiksey and Hemis monasteries are other prime tourist attractions of Leh. If your health allows and your kids get well acclimatized , you can head out of Leh city and visit the beautiful Pangong Lake, Tso Moriri Lake and Nubra Valley.

Manali

Beauty of Himachal Pradesh is the Manali hill station, one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. The snow-covered mountains, the evening scarlet sky and the picture perfect Rohtang Pass,


Hadimba Temple, Solang Valley, Vashisht Village, Naggar, Rahala Falls and Rohtang Pass are some popular sightseeing places in Manali.

Shimla

Shimla is an ideal destination to spend your summer holiday in India.
climate is bearable in summers (neither too hot nor too cold), there are several avenues for dining (all cuisine are available), plentiful shopping and accommodation options, and the low-traffic.


 Linger around the Mall Road, eat, shop and visit the beautiful church located on the Ridge near the mall. Take out time for visiting Jakhu Temple, which is perched on top of a hill and has a huge statue of Hanuman. Kali Bari Temple is another attraction in Shimla; this temple is situated in the heart of the city and can be visited while going towards the Mall Road. 

Dharamshala

he mighty Dhauladhar does the magic for Dharamshala! A quiet valley that is overlooked by lofty snow-clad mountains, Dharamshala wears the costume of beauty and invites travel enthusiasts to experience the marvels of nature. 


a calm and composed hill station that allows a perfect holiday especially with family. Kangra Art museum at Kotwali bazar, War memorial, Kunal Pathri temple and tea gardens on the way to Kunal Pathri are places that can be visited in Dharamshala.

Darjeeling

Inarguably one of the most popular summer destinations in India, Darjeeling is dubbed as ‘Queen of the Hills’ a bit congested. However, the charm of this beautiful destination still remains young.


Darjeeling also has many ideal places for tourists to eat, stroll, and shop: The Mall Road or Chowrasta is one famous name that immediately comes to mind. Ghoom Monastery, Dali Monastery, Tamang Ghumba and Aloobari Monastery in Darjeeling can also be visited with family. The Ava Art Gallery, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Batasia Loop and the War Memorial, Botanical Garden, Scrubbery Park, Red Panda Breeding Farm, Himalayan Zoo and Dhirdham Temple are other attractions in Darjeeling.

Sikkim

One of the most beautiful northeastern states is Sikkim . Pelling, Ravangla and Gangtok are some of the best places to travel with family in North East. Situated in the West district of Sikkim, you can visit Pemayangste monastery, Sanga Choling monastery, rock garden at Rimbi, double-pronged Kanchenjungha Falls, Singshore Bridge, the Chhange Waterfalls and the Khechuperi Lake here. Kayaking, rafting and trekking options are other activities that add excitement in a family vacation in Pelling. Ravangla is a small yet picturesque town. Admired for its natural beauty, Ravangla offers a view of lofty peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu and Mt. Kabru.

Gangtok is the perfect holiday destination for a family. An urban destination of Sikkim, Gangtok promises all kinds of amenities to tourists. A chilled out destination, it has many places where you can take up recreational activities. Walk up to the forests, sit on the benches in the Titanic park, savour the taste of some delightful cuisine and stroll on the MG Marg. The natural beauty encounters you everywhere that you go in Gangtok.

Mussoorie

Situated at an elevation of 2000 m, Green rolling hills and varied flora
makes it no less than a fairyland. The Mall Road is quite the charmer as this place allows tourists to shop for various gifts
Another fun place to visit in Mussoorie is Kempty Falls,

where one can enjoy bathing under a giant waterfall to one’s heart’s content. Other than these Cloud End and Lal Tibba are some must visits in Mussoorie.

Nainital

Nainital is a small hill station, which is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,938 m above sea level. The centrally located lake is a major attraction in Nainital; boating is something that is enjoyed greatly by tourists here. There are many places to see around Nainital like Saattal, Bheemtal, Naukuchiyatal and Khurpatal. Naina Devi Temple, Tibetan Market, Snow View, Tiffin Top and China Peak are must see in Nainital.

Kalimpong

Neatly tucked in the northern part of West Bengal, Kalimpong is a piece of diamond. The ‘picture perfect’ factor of Kalimpong has made it a popular summer vacations destination in India. This destination quiet colourful while the scenic landscape has enhanced the grace of the place. Expect a peaceful stay against the backdrop of the lofty Mt. Khangchendzonga and other rolling hills. You can take up trekking in order to multiply the fun of your family holiday or simply go sightseeing and on a exploration tour of Kalimpong. Samthar is a good destination to trek.

it is situated at an elevation of 4,500 ft and the trekking trail passes through rich forest area that offers bird watching opportunity as well. Dr. Graham’s School, Rissisum, Lava and Jhandidara are other notable places to see in Kalimpong.

Ranikhet

Situated at a distance of about 63 kms from Nainital, Ranikhet is a quiet and picturesque hill station in North India. An ideal destination for a laid back holiday experience right in the lap of nature

Chaubatia Garden is an orchard, sprawling over an area of about 265 acres. Mamkhameshwar Temple, Tarikhet, Syalikhet and Bhalu Dam are popular places in Ranikhet that one can visit with family . you will enjoy your long leisure walks in the nearby forest areas. Also, one can enjoy the traditional Kumaoni delight in many of the restaurants situated in the market area here.

10 Paradisaical Honeymoon Places In India For Visiting In February and March 2019

With spring knocking on the door, colorful flowers replacing winter blooms, weather being pleasant, and sunsets more beautiful than ever before, a March honeymoon in India is an ideal deal for the newlyweds.Also, for most of the popular destinations, this is either the start or the end of the peak season, which ensures less crowdbest resorts, and of course the best deals.

While there’s a lot that you’ll have to figure out while planning your honeymoon, with our list of best places to visit in March for honeymoon, we make the destination an easy pick.


Go through the list and choose your March honeymoon haven!

While you’re still trying to make up your mind about visiting the famous country’s most charming places, take a look to know what all awaits you here on your next honeymoon trip. Make sure you know it all before you go! \

1. Sikkim

Sikkim is a Himalayan hideout where Tibetan and Hindu ethnicity coincide like music. There are lovely temples and monasteries to explore, natural beauty that mesmerises, culture that intrigues and adventures that allures. With so much to offer, it is certainly one of the best places to visit in March for honeymoon in India.

It is in March that the roads are cleared of snow and frozen flakes on the peaks make for a wonderful view. The onset of spring is also perfect for a honeymoon in Sikkim as it is the perfect time to indulge in activities like trekkingriver raftingcable car ride, and mountain biking.

Best honeymoon experiences in Sikkim in March: Visit the glacial lake Tsomgo and other lovely places to visit in Sikkim with your loved one; and go for a romantic leisurely stroll in Rinchenpong town.

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Pakyong Airport is the nearest airport from Gangtok, at a distance of 32 km. The airport is expected to begin its functioning from March 2018.
  • Nearest railway station: New Jalpaiguri Rail Station and Siliguri are two major railway stations in Sikkim.

Budget category: Mid budget and luxury

2. Jaipur

Intricately designed palaces, mighty forts, and opulent heritage hotels make Jaipur one of top honeymoon destinations in India. With Elephant Festival and Holi coming up, there is a lot of festivity in the air in March. This is the time to witness the vibrant colors of Jaipur, which becomes one of the best honeymoon places in India in March due to its festive spirit. The pleasant weather is a bonus.

Best honeymoon experiences in Jaipur in March: Romance the ruins of Amer Fort at dusk, enjoy a dinner date in one of the best resorts in Jaipur, and feast on the rich and spicy Rajasthani food. If you’re into adventure, take a cycling tour to reach Nahargarh Fort that is one of the top places to visit in Jaipur.

How to reach:

  • Nearest airport: Jaipur International Airport is one of the well-connected airports in India.
  • Nearest railway station: Jaipur Junction is the main railway station in the city, with connectivity across India.

Budget category: Mid-budget and luxury.

3. Auli

Auli is one of the most popular snowboarding and skiing destinations in India. For snow enthusiasts, the best time to visit Auli is during the winter months. But for a relaxed romantic vacation, March is the time. Among many beautiful honeymoon places in March, Auli is one that offers snow spotting along with uncrowded tourist spots.

Auli is flocked with tourists from December end to February end . It is only in March that the number of tourists goes down, but the white sheet of snow is still there. There’s beautyprivacy, and adventure along with utmost comfort and luxury that makes Auli perfect honeymoon destination for a March honeymoon.

Best honeymoon experiences in Auli in March: Gondola ride and skiing are must do things for couples visiting Auli. But watching the sun rise and set beyond the snow-capped peaks, especially during spring and fall, are among the most romantic things to do in any hill station – don’t miss them!

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Auli, located at a distance of 279 km. This one is connected well and you can take a cab or bus to reach Auli from the airport.
  • Nearest railway station: Located at a distance of 273 km, Haridwar Railway station is the nearest major rail head from Auli.

Budget category: Mid-budget

4. Ooty

Ooty, or Ootacamund, is one of the most romantic honeymoon places in Tamil Nadu. The landscape looks magnificent with cloud-kissed rolling hills. Botanical gardenslakes, and tea gardens beautify it for the love birds.

The reason it made it to our list of ‘best honeymoon destinations in March 2018 in India’ is that this is the time just before tourists flock to Ooty. An otherwise crowded hill station, Ooty is best visited in March when it welcomes spring start to spread greenery around and temperature stays around 20 degrees celsius – the perfect time for honeymooners.

Best honeymoon experiences in Ooty in March: Climb up to Doddabetta Peak – the highest one in Nilgiri with your loved one; enjoy boating on the glistening Ooty Lake; and walk hand-in-hand through the colorful botanical gardens and spice plantations.

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Coimbatore Airport is at a distance of 88 kilometers from Ooty and is well-connected to different cities across India.
  • Nearest railway station: Mettupalayam Railway Station is the nearest railway station from Ooty. From here you can take a toy train to reach Ooty.

Budget category: Mid-budget

5. Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is a honeymooner’s paradise because of a thousand reasons. Its scenic beauty adorned with hillsforests and waterfalls is just one of them. But this captivating landscape, becomes all the more beautiful in the refreshing weather of March. The princess of hills get covered in greenery, making the hill views absolutely stunning.

Sitting by the window of a luxurious honeymoon resort in lovely March weather is as romantic as it gets in the quaint South Indian city of Kodaikanal.

Best honeymoon experiences in Kodaikanal in March: Lose yourselves in the lap of nature as you both go  for a nature walk. If you’re into a little adventure, then you must go for horse-rides or cycling near the lake areas; Kodaikanal Lake and Berijam Lake are absolutely enchanting. Or if you’re here to relax, gaze at the gushing waterfalls like Cascade Falls and fall in love with the serenity of Kodaikanal.

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Madurai is the nearest airport from Kodaikanal, located at a distance of 120 km. Trichy Airport and Coimbatore Airport are other nearby options to consider, the distance is 150 km and 175 km respectively.
  • Nearest railway station: Kodaikanal has its own railway station called Kodaikanal Road railway station. This is well connected and you can easily get taxis and buses after exiting.

Budget category: Mid-budget

6. Munnar

Not just Kerala, Munnar is one of the leading picks among the best honeymoon destinations in South India. Famed for spice and tea plantations, it is one of the most beautiful places you could plan your honeymoon in. March is not the peak tourist season for Munnar, so the crowd is going to be less and managing a good accommodation would be much easier. Also, it is just before summer hits Kerala, so the weather is good too.

Pick from the best romantic resorts in Munnar, plan an itinerary with experts, and have a memorable March honeymoon in Munnar. This is best place to visit in march for honeymoon in India, as this month marks beginning of summer, the weather stays pleasant.

Best honeymoon experiences in Munnar in March: Stroll in the tea gardens of Munnar, take a romantic boat ride on Kundala Lake, take a sightseeing tour of the top places to visit in Munnar, hike to the Anamudi Peak that is the highest peak of Western Ghats, and live your childhood dreams of staying in a tree house.

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport is a major airport in India, located just 110 kilometers away from Munnar.
  • Nearest railway station: Aluva and  Ernakulam Railway Station are two railway stations near Munnar. The distance is 110 and 130 kilometers respectively.

Budget cateogry: Mid budget

7. Daman and Diu

An upcoming tourist place, Daman and Diu are among the less popular honeymoon places in India in March. The erstwhile Portuguese colony has some pristine beaches that offer great sunsets and relaxing options. Soft sands, coconut canopies, fantastic forts, and captivating churches are what define Diu.

And the movement of the sea-waves in the month of March are such that they lead to the formation of unique beaches in low tides. Also, with the peak season nearing its, one can expect low hotel fares. This is surely one of the best honeymoon destinations in March 2019 in India!

Best honeymoon experiences in Daman and Diu in March: Go beach hopping and cover beaches like Jampore Beach & Nagao Beach; watch the sunset; and peek into the history as you go on a heritage tour visiting St. Paul’s Church & Diu Fort among others.

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Diu has its own airport connected to Indian cities like Mumbai via Jet Airways flights.
  • Nearest railway station: Vapi Railway Station is located 12 km away from Daman and Diu

Budget category: Mid budget

8. Havelock Isla

There can be no place better than the most beautiful and serene island in the Andaman cluster for a perfect honeymoon in March. Havelock is a paradise for newlyweds who are looking for an ultimate escape. Being home to the popular Radhanagar Beach, this island has a lot of sweet experiences in store.

The temperature during the month of March stays mostly below 20 degrees and wraps the island with cool breezes throughout the day. And the gorgeous villas and serene resorts near the beach are what makes a romantic holiday here more memorable.

Best honeymoon experiences in Havelock in March: Taking a romantic stroll by the famous Radhanagar Beach is definitely the must-do thing for couples honeymooning in Havelock. Apart from that snorkeling, kayaking, and having a beach side candle light dinner are a few other top things to do here.

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair is a major airport in India, with flights connecting worldwide.
  • Nearest railway station: Since this is an archipelago, there is no railway connectivity here.

Budget caategory: Luxury (primarily due to flight cost)

9. Goa

While a lot may argue that Goa is not the best place for honeymoon in March in India, we would say it certainly is. This is the month right after February when this beach town witnesses the disappearance of all the tourist crowd, offers a good price drop in most of the hotels, and becomes an ideal place for experiencing the luxury and peace.

Newlyweds can rest assured about the weather as it isn’t too hot or humid during March, and look forward to the beach tan and romantic dates with excitement. And with so many attractions and activities, there is still a lot for witnessing the charm of Goa.

Best honeymoon experiences in Goa in March: Be a part of the Shigmo Festival, which is the town’s way of celebrating Holi, stay at a luxurious hotel or a homestay with a beach view, go for peaceful beach walks, and indulge in delicious seafood.

How to reach:

  • Nearest airport: Goa has its own airport with frequent connectivity worldwide
  • Nearest railway station: Margao and Vasco-da-Gama are two major railway stations located in Goa

Budget category: Luxury (if traveling in peak season)

10. Mount Abu

Of all the honeymoon places in India in March 2018, if there is one place that is both cool and calm, and is in the desert state, it is the gorgeous Mount Abu. Being the only hill station in Rajasthan, this destination offers an experience like none other to the couples celebrating their new lives.

Not just the breathtaking view around, but this place is also home to attractions like the Dilwara Jain Temples that were built almost a thousand years ago, the famous Nakki Lake, and more that enhance the old world charm of the town.

Best honeymoon experiences in Mount Abu in March: Boating at the beautiful Nakki Lake, visiting the spectacular Dilwara Temples, and admiring the gorgeous beauty of nature together from the top of Toad Rock are few of the best things to do here.

How to reach: 

  • Nearest airport: Udaipur Airport is the nearest airport from Mount Abu, at a distance of 210 km. There are flights that connects the airport with various cities across the country.
  • Nearest railway station: Mount Abu has its own railway head named Abu Road railway station. This one is well-connected.

Budget category: Mid budget

Reference – traveltriangle.com

Eco-friendly Tourism

  • KEY POINTS
    • A trend is underway, where environmentally sustainable outcomes are emphasized over mere ‘experience’ vacationing.
    • Places like Vail, Colorado and far-flung international destinations in Thailand and Iceland are also joining the push.
    • Sustainability “can improve our vacation and then affect us when we go home,”

Eco-friendly tourism is becoming a movement

The shift is disrupting some of the traditions associated with tourist hotspots, and given rise to a trend where environmentally sustainable outcomes are emphasized over mere ‘experience’ vacationing.

The dynamic is taking place against a backdrop of a very busy market for international tourism, which the World Tourism Organization expects to climb to 1.8 billion by 2030. Since 2000, worldwide destination seeking has jumped by more than 50 percent, the organization notes.

As part of a shift toward natural resource preservation, some major destinations — and the people who visit them — are becoming more attuned to the environmental impact of tourism.

Tourism — by itself a large source of growth — contributes to around 10 percent of the world’s economy, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Data from the Global Sustainability Dashboard reveal that nearly half of tourism’s economic impact is derived from only 10 destinations, with the natural resources of those locations increasingly strained.

With that in mind, tourist locations are becoming more eco-friendly, and more visitors are doing their part. It has gradually evolved into a movement that prioritizes local culture over mass tourism — with its impact being felt from the U.S. Midwest to Iceland.

In order for a destination to be certified as sustainable, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council outlines a list of criteria. It ranges from supporting local businesses, to conserving natural resources, and encouraging visitors to participate in the community.

Vail, Colorado, a popular mountain resort town, is in the process of becoming the first certified sustainable destination in the U.S. “We are doing a lot of great work, but we want to compare ourselves against the world – we wanted to be leaders,” environmental sustainability manager Kristen Bertuglia told CNBC recently.

For Vail, the achievement literally took a village. Hundreds of business, from high-end hotels to plumbing companies, collaborated to make the town more eco-friendly. The effort spanned the public transportation, waste and housing sectors.

Separately, places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park in Montana are following a similar path. Under the coordination of the Riverwind Foundation, Yellowstone has spent the last five years coordinating efforts between government entities, businesses and nonprofits to make the park more sustainable.

Both locations were recognized this year by Green Destinations, a nonprofit that annually recognizes the top 100 sustainable destinations across the globe.

Timothy O’Donoghue, Riverwind’s executive director, told CNBC the voluntary efforts help Yellowstone combat overcrowding, and educate the public.

The park’s 4.8 million yearly visitors can still immerse themselves in the pure mountain air and its natural beauty, but O’Donoghue and other conservationists hope the public will spread the message of sustainability.

This opportunity for tourism to do good is what Center for Responsible Tourism co-founder Martha Honey said is fundamentally what responsible tourism is about.

“I think what we find in this soft education is our mind being open and it can really have profound effects on us,” said Martha Honey, co-founder of the Center for Responsible Tourism, a policy organization that promotes environmentally friendly tourism.

Sustainability “can improve our vacation and then affect us when we go home,” she added.

Tourism as a ‘savior’

Originally, the vast barren lava fields of Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula were never a tourist destination for travelers seeking the idyllic green expanses of the Nordic country. Yet in the mid-2000′s, the citizens of Reykjanes, faced with a stagnant economy, turned the area into a destination for travelers seeking to enjoy nature in its purest form.

“Tourism has kind of been our savior in a way, because people have started to respect the area more,” said Thuridur Aradottir Braun, manager of Visit Reykjanes.

In the last few years, the area has become a UNESCO Global Geopark, a UN-based project that promotes global conservation, and launched a marketing campaign to promote Reykjanes’ virtues.

Now, tourism fuels job creation, and people are more willing to work and visit. Braun described the project as “building a baseline” for the area’s future. The Geopark partners with local businesses to spread its commitment to supporting conservation, and the proper use of local resources.

Tourists have led to new opportunities in the area, but Braun said the peninsula is not aiming to attracting large numbers. Instead, Reykjanes is targeting a specific subset of travelers, with the objective of escaping threats to the ecosystem, the likes of which Thailand and other scenic locations have struggled with recently.

In Thailand, the Surin Islands National Park’s rich ocean wildlife makes it a top diving destination for tourists worldwide. The increase in visitors to the lush tropical destination is proving disruptive to the traditional lifestyle of the Mokens, an indigenous nomadic seafaring tribe.

Volunteer group Andaman Discoveries has sought to blunt the negative impact of tourists on the Surin Islands. The organization worked with the Mokens to develop a unique tour group that focuses on their cultural heritage, and preserve the environment.

“This project enables the Moken to…generate benefits including job development, educational culture exchange, Andaman client relations manager Lindsey Reding told CNBC. By creating sustainable tourism, the Moken can “remain within their community and strengthens their cultural heritage,” Reding added.

The organization specializes in a community-based tourist model that includes facilitating experiences, volunteer services and service projects that give directly back to the locals.

Programs focus on nature conservation, but also human rights and sustainable development, in a way that spurs “meaningful, educational and memorable experiences for both the guest and the host,” Reding said.

Reding said most communities see income boosted by as much as 30 percent when they participate in the organization’s programs. Meanwhile, tourists are exposed to the traditional and authentic lifestyle of the cultures they visit.

Part of the growth of sustainable tourism movement is aided by the attitudes of travelers. Justin Francis, the founder and CEO of UK-based Responsible Travel, said that awareness among vacationers has “massively” changed.

“When we first started, people didn’t know what we were talking about,” Francis said.

Now, “there is an increase of consumers seeking experience and memories,” he noted. “This desire is more suited for supporting responsible travel rather than luxurious travel.”

Like with Andaman Discoveries, visitors who take part in these activities tend to learn more about the environment in which they vacation, while the respective communities can reap the economic benefits.

Economically, the sustainable approach can be profitable as well. A 2016 study by Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research revealed that eco-tourists tend to stay longer, spend more, and believe they have a responsibility to respect the destination.

Over the last three years, 60 percent of U.S. travelers reported taking a “sustainable” trip and say they have a responsibility to make sure their trips do not cause harm to a destination.

“Ten years ago, [sustainability] was more of an inconvenience, said Vail’s Bertuglia, “and now it is appreciated and ingrained,” Bertuglia from Vail said.

Samantha Kummerer, special to CNBC.com

Best Places to Spend Christmas: The World’s Most Festive Cities


We’re all for snow days and cuddling up with loved ones by the fire, but the month of December is also prime time for traveling—mainly to see how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas. These cities are worth a visit any time of year, sure, but they seem to be exceptionally magical during the holiday season. Whether they’re European classics with storybook Christmas markets, Asian cities where you can see twinkling lights from a rooftop pool, or ski paradises right here in the U.S., some celebrations are worth the price of a plane ticket. And let’s face it: You haven’t really seen Christmas lights until you’ve seen 26 million lights all at once (we’re looking at you, Colombia). From Cologne to Cape Town, here are the best places to spend Christmas this year.

Cape Town, South Africa


Cape Town, South Africa

Why we go: If you’re looking to escape winter this Christmas, you can’t do much better than Cape Town—it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere, after all. You can even visit one (or several) of the South African city’s holiday markets without having to wear a coat and scarf.

This one thing will really get you in the spirit: An outdoor screening of Home Alone at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on Christmas Day at 8:30 p.m.

Stay here: The ocean-side Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, which will be offering a special five-course Christmas dinner on December 24.

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA

Why we go: Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America, and its colonial French architecture gives it an unmistakably European feel. The cobbled streets of the Old Town are packed with quaint shops and delicious bistros, all merrily decorated for the holidays.

This one thing will really get you in the spirit:: The toboggan run at Château Frontenac (open from mid-December to March), one of the city’s oldest traditions—and quite the thrill. Zoom down icy tracks overlooking the city on a wooden sled reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

Stay here: You can’t go wrong with Auberge Saint-Antoine, especially with its lobby fireplace and heated bathroom floors.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Why we go: Hugging the Arctic Circle, Finland’s Lapland region is the birthplace and home of Santa Claus. In the city of Rovaniemi, Santa Claus Village amusement park and resort creates an unforgettable Christmas experience for children with snow-covered cottages, reindeer rides, and a friendly staff dressed as elves who refuse to break character.

This one thing will really get you in the spirit: An evening snowmobile trip to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights overhead (we recommend the Rovaniemi Adventureprogram through Off the Map Travel).

Stay here: One of the houses at Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, a truly once-in-a-lifetime accommodation with panoramic views and private saunas.

Sydney, Australia


Sydney, Australia

Why we go: You haven’t seen Christmas lights until you’ve seen Sydney’s Christmas lights. Plus, the holiday season lasts an entire month here (take that, 12 days of Christmas) with “Sydney Christmas,” an aptly-named festival taking place from November 24 through December 25. The citywide celebration kicked off this year with a tree lighting at Martin Place, and continues with Christmas markets and nightly concerts.

This one thing will really get you in the spirit: The 94,000 twinkling LEDs at the incredible Pitt Street Mall Boulevard of Light.

Stay here: The 2017-launched Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour hotel, where you can enjoy a Christmas Day buffet lunch followed by a nap by the rooftop pool (remember, it’s summertime Down Under).

Málaga, Spain

ahttps://www.chalsafar.com/

Why we go: Located in southern Spain, Málaga really goes all out for the holidays. Aside from the Christmas markets, massive nativity scenes, and free concerts at Plaza de la Constitución, the city holds its annual Verdiales Music Festival on December 28. All day, visitors can watch competing couples don extravagant costumes and practice different forms of verdiales, the regional flamenco dance. Now where can you get something like that in the States?

This one thing will really get you in the spirit: The lights along shopping street Calle Larios, lit in late November and kept on through December.

Stay here: Finca Cortesin, an RCA favorite complete with private villas and Mediterranean views.

Kennebunkport, Maine

Why we go: Every December, this tiny New England town bursts with holiday cheer during its annual Christmas Prelude, an 11-day bash that’s about as New England as it gets (I mean, one of the main attractions is a tree made of lobster traps). The lobster rolls at The Clam Shack—considered to be some of the best rolls in Maine—will make you forget about gingerbread and sugar plums altogether.

This one thing will really get you in the spirit: Santa Claus arriving to the Christmas Prelude on a lobster boat. (This year’s arrival already occurred on November 29, but the festival lasts until December 9.)

Stay here: Our readers love Cape Arundel Inn & Resort for its oceanside location and restaurant serving up fresh seafood (and, unlike a lot of Maine resorts, it’s actually open during the winter months).

Tokyo, Japan

Why we go: The city turns the voltage up each year with its winter illuminations, with different districts competing with each other to create some truly sensational displays. This year’s illuminations include over 100,000 twinkly blue and silver lights at Tokyo Midtown and a massive Baccarat crystal chandelier at Yebisu Garden Place. And don’t worry if you can’t get there before December 25—the winter illuminations have become so popular that most remain up until February.

This one thing will really get you in the spirit: The Blue Cavern (“Ao no Dokutsu“) illumination in Shibuya (pictured), an electric version of the blue grottos found in the Mediterranean.

by CAITLIN MORTON