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Six adventures to book in to escape the winter

4 May 2017

Six adventures to book in to escape the winter

For those of us in the southern hemisphere, winter is looming. As midyear approaches, brains start ticking over travel ideas. Looking for ways to escape the long winter. Inventing last minute reasons to leave town.

Depending on your taste in adventures (and weather), here's a line up of ideas to get you thinking about your perfect winter escape.

Get hip in cosmopolitan Scandinavia

Are you feeling the need for some mid-century furniture and chunky-rimmed spectacles in your life? Perhaps what you're feeling is the call of Scandinavia.

Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo are quite a line up of cosmopolitan cities with an abundance of design stores, museums, boutiques and homewares – it's mildly outrageous how darn cool everything is. Mid year the weather will be low twenties and pleasant – perfect for waterfront cafe sitting.

As well as coolness, there is so much on offer in this part of the world – there are historical centres, remote fishing villages, vast tracts of wilderness and dramatic fjords to explore. Spectacular scenery and uber hip everything – #scandimagic.

Wildlife watch in Kruger National Park

It's winter in South Africa in the middle of the year – but that is a great time to go on safari. The weather is sunny and low to mid 20s, so there's no midday searing heat.

Kruger National Park is the perfect safari escape – it's easily accessible from the major international airport at Johannesburg and it holds an absolute abundance of African wildlife. The Big 5 are here – in fact, Kruger has more species of large mammal than any other African game reserve. Game drive through the day, spotting rhino and lion, then relax in the evening with a sundowner and watch the African sunset.

Get outdoors in USA's wild west

The Colorado Plateau in the southwestern states of the US has created some spectacular scenery. The Grand Canyon is just for starters. There's plenty more where that came from – Zion Canyon with its sheer vertical walls, Bryce Canyon with its bizarre rock formations and Arches National Park with its – you guessed it – rock arches.

Sight see, hike, river raft, camp and generally be at one with nature in one of the most spectacular regions on earth. And the weather? July and August at the Grand Canyon are sunny and hovering around 30 degrees. You'll need to pack your sunscreen.

Swim at the Dalmatian Coast

You don't have to love beaches to love Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. But it helps. The beaches are sublime – rocky coves with tiny bays of clear aqua water. And right next to the beach, perched on an old city wall, you might find a restaurant serving fresh seafood with a glass of locally-made Malvazija. Heaven.

As well as beach life, you'll find the history of the coastal towns fascinating. There's Dubrovnik's stunning city walls. The enormous palace that sprawls across the town of Split. The quaint cobbled laneways of Rovinj. And with weather in the high twenties, we're tipping you'll be giving those clear aqua waters a visit.

Hit up Mexico's travel trifecta

Mexico has an ideal trifecta for adventure travel. First up, there's great cities – the happening capital of Mexico City and the colonial towns of Puebla and Oaxaca are highlights. It's got the incredible beaches of the Caribbean coast – Playa del Carmen is a quintessential palm-trees-turquoise-water-white-sand stunner.

Rounding out the trifecta are the ancient ruins of the Mayan civilisation scattered across the landscape. We're talking ruins set deep in thick jungles, waiting to be explored by Lara Croft. The middle of the year sees the weather hovering in the mid twenties, so you can hit up the trifecta in comfort.

Get amongst the castles and cathedrals of Central Europe

Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Krakow. Four beautiful cities of Central Europe that are just dripping with culture, castles and cathedrals. These cities are best explored on foot, so pull on your comfy shoes and take to the streets. Poke your nose into lavish pastry shops. Head up cobbled laneways to see what's there. And feel awed by the absolute grandeur of the music halls and palaces that stud these gorgeous cities. The opulence is simply mind-blowing.

With weather in the high twenties, you might need to retreat into the cool castle courtyards in the middle of the day. And in the evening you can rest your weary feet as you kick back in a beer hall with some pork dumplings and a sturdy glass of Europe's finest pilsner.