Looking at a short break this February half-term? Here’s what you can expect in 2022
Many of us continue to see our family holiday plans crumble one after the other as the result of the pandemic, but could February half-term school break finally see a change in fortunes? Scrapping of the 2-day test from 11 February for fully vaccinated UK arrivals has certainly opened the door to some short hop travel opportunities to escape this month.
However, there is no escaping the fact that everywhere in Europe is pretty chilly still in February! If a family-friendly ski vacation in Europe isn’t your idea of fun, then perhaps you want to check out some of our city break or winter sun destinations?
Let’s jump into some of the great reasons to plan your European family escape in February.
This post is part of our Discover Europe series – destination inspiration and reviews for family travellers
Things to know before heading to Europe in late Winter
- Much of Europe continues to be hard-hit by COVID-19; plans can still change last minute and there will most likely be vaccine and testing requirements anywhere you choose to go beyond the UK.
- February half-term dates in the UK are dependent on your local council or Borough but for most, it will fall the week of 14 to 18 February 2022.
- We use resources such as 12Go to plot whether its best to travel by train, plane or bus across Europe. Often we can spot deals and destinations we may not have thought of before and February is definitely MUCH cheaper than mid summer to travel Europe!
- Always take out travel insurance! It should go without saying from cancellations and delays to lost luggage; all international travellers should take out travel insurance.
Where to Visit During February Term Break
So the question is, will you embrace the cold or escape it?! Here are our top suggestions to find both.
Best February Ski Holidays in Europe
Conditions can be at their powdery best come February; the Top 3 we’d recommend families try:
- Zermatt, Switzerland – incredible any time of year but at its powdery best in February. A great place to learn to ski, kids will love Wolli’s Park for beginners at Sunnegga with five magic carpets and a huge range of kid-friendly activities. The fun doesn’t end with skiing, you can also enjoy sledging ice skating and winter family excursions.
- Les Deux Alpes, France – a wonderful beginner-friendly resort in the Alps, there are plenty of ski schools and easy slopes with long green runs. Family-friendly accommodation is plentiful around the easy to navigate town with free shuttles running to the slopes and family lift passes. The snowpark at La Toura is a great addition with dedicated sledging slopes and families will enjoy the relatively short transfer time from Grenoble or Geneva.
- St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria – your pound often stretches a little further in Austria without compromising on skiing quality. In this picturesque winter wonderland, you’ll find over 300 kms of slopes in addition to ski schools and plenty of action off the slopes too with a Ferris Wheel, multifunction sports centre and trampoline Hall among the region’s attractions.
Best February Family City Breaks in Europe
If you don’t fancy embracing the cold and snow quite that much, why not enjoy some of Europe’s best cities without the crowds?
- London, UK – You don’t necessarily even need to leave the UK in winter, February can be a wonderful time to enjoy a family trip to the capital. As well as all the classic museums in Kensington, enjoy the Imagine Children’s Festival at Southbank Centre, catch a Westend show such as Frozen the Musical or with older kids and teens in London, try Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia at the Royal Albert Hall.
- Athens, Greece – Can be a wonderful educational experience to explore during February half term. Still a little chilly with average temperatures around 14C, but this can be perfect for getting out and exploring on foot. Visit the Acropolis Museum and venture to the top of the Acropolis. Apokeras – Carnival Season starts from mid February this year, a wonderful colourful festive feeling falls over the city.
- Lisbon, Portugal – another city that can still be easily explore on foot even in the winter months – though who can resist catching the 28 tram (without the queues!) or exploring the funiculars and lifts that dot the city? Castelo Sao Jorge and Oceanario Lisboa are great indoor escapes if it does rain, but you should almost certainly catch some sun heading to Belem or Sintra.
- Venice, Italy -another city that can often shine at it’s best in the winter. Carnevale di Venezia is the star of the show and masks are a must to play the part in February, all the way through until Shrove Tuesday. Weekends can be crowded so half-term week makes the perfect time to enjoy this unique experience.
A Little Beyond Europe in February
If its beach weather you are craving, you’re still going to have to fly just that little bit further in February! We suggest:
- Dubai or Abu Dhabi – you are almost guaranteed sunshine during February on the Arabian Gulf. Enjoy mid to high 20’s, this year being extra special with Expo 2020 Dubai. Waterparks tend to re-open from their mid-winter maintenance – try staying at the new Lego Hotel in Dubai or the new Warner Bros Hotel, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for a great fun novelty experience for the kids.
- The Canary Islands – OK, still technically part of Europe but certainly a little further afield! Year round sunshine is also the massive draw card of the Canaries. Maspalomas on the southern coast of Gran Canaria is always popular with families as is Los Cristianos, Tenerife.
More before you go!
Still plotting a European Vacation and not sure where to head? You may also be interested in:
- Spring Break in Europe – If you’re still holding out until March, here are the best destinations for late seasons skiing, early beach action and where to catch the most vivid flower and nature displays in Europe from March to May.
- October half-term in Europe – If you’re only looking at a short school break then these are the perfect destinations you can reach within just a few hours of the UK for a magical autumn escape.
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