Whenever winter sets in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing chilly winds, rain, and snow to keep everyone home, I want to spite it and open the swimming season before it ends. But, of course, someone is not averse to swimming in a cold hole – also a fun way to spend time. Here are the 7 best winter swimming destinations in December.
But for most people, the ideal place for swimming looks different: warm waves, hot sun, palm trees in pairs on the shore, and further along the text of the song by the brilliant group. So, you need to pack your suitcase and go to another hemisphere, where it’s summer, or closer to the equator, where it’s always summer.
It’s February and March in Moscow – the time of snow, rain, and cloudy days. And in the Bahamas, from November to May, there is the least rainfall, and the weather is most pleasant. So, it is not surprising that the Bahamas are full of tourists from countries with less favorable climates in winter. There is enough space for everyone — the beaches of the archipelago stretch for many kilometers, substituting their sides for the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.
Thanks to these current and abundant coral reefs, the Bahamas have become a paradise for fishing fans and divers. In the first, you’re guaranteed a catch, just like in the most fantastic fishing stories, while in the second, you can get up close with exotic marine life. The most restless are even invited to dive at night to view sleeping sharks.
On the shores of the Bahamas, tourists are delighted with landscapes with red flamingos and coconut palms. By the way, it is here, on Harbour Island, that the famous Pink Sands Beach is located, which tops the list of most desirable places for wealthy vacationers. You can infer from its name that this beach is renowned for its pale pink sand and clearest water. However, it has one drawback – few can afford to stay in luxury Harbour hotels.
It’s funny that you can find the bright sun and warm sea at any time of the year on the French mainland. After all, the Pacific Island of Tahiti (like its many neighbors – Moorea, Bora Bora, Tuamotu, the Marquesas Islands) belongs to French Polynesia, and a visa for a trip to it is issued at the French embassy.
Almost all the archipelago islands are volcanic, which explains their unrealistically scenic landscapes, including mountains, caves, waterfalls, lakes, and lagoons. No wonder Paul Gauguin fled here from civilization! He assured that it was challenging to come to Tahiti and almost impossible to leave there. Of course, it is much easier for current tourists to get to the islands than for Gauguin’s contemporaries, but it is still difficult to leave this fabulous place.
About the inhabitants of Goa, we can safely say that they live on the beach all year round – this tiniest Indian state stretches for 100 kilometers along the coast of the Arabian Sea, and the air temperature here, even in winter, is close to +30 ºC. There are only 40 beaches, but it is not always easy to understand where one ends, and the next begins.
Goa is usually divided into northern and southern parts – Fort Aguada is considered a conditional border. If hotels are expensive in the south, the beaches are clean and calm, and tourists are respectable and serious, then in the north, the service is more democratic, the public is noisy and fun, and nightlife is in full swing.
Once upon a time, hippies flocked here in search of exotic nature and affordable drugs, and the seven-kilometer sandy crescent of Calangute beach was especially popular with them. However, hippies have become an unknown rarity, and Calangute is still the most famous place for holidaymakers in North Goa. True, Anjuna, known for its beautiful white sand and flea market and crazy full moon parties, disputes its palm.
The respectable south has its own “stars” – Candolim, Fort Aguada with a preserved Portuguese bastion of the 17th century and Dona Paula Bay, famous for the romantic legend about a girl who died at sea because of fatal love. However, in Goa, there is enough entertainment besides communicating with the ghost of a drowned woman. In addition to traditional beach activities – surfing and kiting – tourists can do yoga and meditation here to calm their nerves before returning to the dank urban jungle.
Of this republic’s more than a hundred islands, only 33 are inhabited. Since they are located just south of the equator, their inhabitants are not particularly interested in the weather forecast: +26 … +28 ° С is a stable temperature throughout the year.
Europeans sailed to the Seychelles archipelago only in the 16th century, so they did not have time to trample on all the rare vegetation and catch valuable living creatures. Here, unique ones are still found and grow, which you will not find anywhere else, for example, giant Aldabra tortoises and coco de Mer palm trees, yielding 20-kilogram fruits.
There is a park of prolific coconut palms on the island of Praslin. Unfortunately, his neighbors have acquired their tourist baits. So, on an environmentally friendly La Digue, the only transport is oxen and bicycles. Aldabra is one of the world’s largest atolls. The frigate used to serve as a haven for pirates, and now it is chosen by the richest tourists.
To “try” all the local beach areas, you need a very long vacation: on the island of Mahe alone (where the capital of the republic is located), there are already 68 of them! Some are especially famous for their high waves – surfers try to ride them, and the rest of the holidaymakers contemplate this show from the shore.
The Republic of Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean on two dozen atolls, which include over 1000 coral islands. But there is only one city – the capital of Male on the same name island. The rest is villages, beaches, palm groves, banana thickets and, of course, hotels.
Most islands are uninhabited, and the resorts occupy less than a hundred. However, even this is sufficient to separate tourists from one another, ensuring peace and tranquilly for the locals who are sick of the commotion. And the weather is also good: here the whole year is +24… +30 ºC.
The Maldives is a great place for someone who wants to play Robinson. And to play: the islands look uninhabited, but their service is first-class, so you don’t have to make fire by friction and hunt goats unless you want to catch fish. Fishing and diving are the most popular pastimes among vacationers. Transparent ocean waters, coral thickets and sunken ships inhabited by colonies of colorful fish are the best bait for scuba diving fans. And for those who prefer to relax above rather than underwater, yacht trips are offered.
There are excellent SPA and massage parlous for the laziest in the Maldives, so relaxation is guaranteed. However, it would be best if you did not relax only when going through customs: you cannot import alcohol into the Republic of Maldives (the state is Islamic, so you can only drink on the hotel’s territory) and export corals from it.
In Thailand, neighboring Malaysia, the profession of a weather forecaster is also not in great demand: why worry about the weather if the temperature is always +25 °C and above? True, the rainy season begins in May-June, but November to March is the best time to relax in local resorts. And there are plenty of them in the Land of a thousand smiles. The choice depends on your preferences.
The city of Pattaya, which stretches along the bay of the same name, owes its popularity to its favorable geographical location: the mountains protect the bay from the wind, and even during the rainy season, it is usually dry and clear here so that tourists can lie in sun loungers on Wong beaches all year round. Amat and Jomtien. Koh Samui is attractive for its pristine landscapes: it is even forbidden to build buildings higher than palm trees so that the roofs of hotels sticking out of the tropical thickets do not remind vacationers of the fed-up industrial civilization.
Samet is attractive for its beaches: the sand here is so clean that it is sometimes used to make high-quality glass. Phuket, the largest island in Thailand, has beaches for every taste: from bustling Patong with an abundance of restaurants and nightly parties to the secluded and calm Panwa Cape. But on the twin islands of Phi Phi, there is a “movie star” beach, where the famous Hollywood blockbuster The Beach with DiCaprio was filmed.
The South China Sea divides Malaysia into two halves – western and eastern. There are resorts here and there, but “winter” tourists should not rush to the country’s eastern regions, where it rains, and strong winds occur in February. But on the northwestern coast, at this time of the year, it is just the swimming season: clear skies and +30 °C. In addition to the excellent weather, there is the traditional assortment of tourist delights: secluded bungalows among the lush tropical greenery, coral thickets in the sea and, of course, numerous diving schools.
There is also something exotic here. On Pulau Langkawi, the central island of the Langkawi archipelago, the world’s largest crocodile farm is set up, where those who wish can admire these cute reptiles. South of Langkawi is another famous resort area – the island of Penang. It is unique in its way: the influence of China, India, Portugal and Holland intertwined in the local culture. If in Pulau Langkawi, tourists are entertained by crocodiles, then in Penang, they are invited to join the beauty at the butterfly farm. And on the small island of Pangkor Laut, the entire territory of which belongs to the Pangkor Laut Resort, there is one of the most famous beaches in the world – the Emerald Bay.