Thrill in the Chill

Winter has come and the celebratory spirit is in the air. Many of us may agree that the last quarter of the year is the most exciting, for it brings chilly breezes, lots of festivals and holidays, and the desire to travel long and far. So for all those globetrotters who “travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape them”, this is the perfect time to head over to offbeat destinations with your family and friends! Whether you dream of sandy shores, city streets, tropical forests or snow-clad hills and mountains, we’ve got you covered. Check out the list of unusual family-oriented places we’ve put together that you can visit this winter season, and be ready to be amazed by the sea of offerings at each of these destinations!         --- Niharika

The Maldives

Are you a water baby just like us? Are sun and sand your criteria when choosing a holiday destination? Then there’s no place better than the Maldives for your winter travel! The smallest country in Asia, the Maldives is a coveted vacation spot known as the “Necklace Islands” or “Garland of Islands”. It consists of a cluster of over 1,190 small islands in the Indian Ocean, out of which around 100 are developed as tourist hotels and resorts. It’s known for its double chain of atolls that are spread over the islands, each of which features vibrant coral reefs with teeming underwater life. You can spot a variety of fish, sea turtles, stingray, whales, sharks, dolphins, and other marine life here. It is one of the best destinations for snorkelling, diving, and other forms of water sports. The fabulous lagoons here have stunning beaches and sparkling water that make a perfect setting for a family holiday or romantic getaway.

Best time to visit: Since the Maldives is a tropical country, it has two main seasons: dry (December to April) and wet (May to November). The former is associated with little rain and lower humidity, and the latter generally has stronger winds and rain. Also, the visibility during the dry season is great and hence it’s the preferred time to visit.

How to get there: The only international airport in the Maldives is Male International Airport, located on Huhule Island, a few kilometres from the capital. From here, you can take a seaplane to your island, which is the fastest way to reach. Otherwise, choose the ferry for a more economical, relaxed journey.