We may be in the midst of Summer — and all the heat that comes with it — but it’s also the time of year to start thinking of your Winter travels, especially in November and December… and whether or not you want to escape the cold or embrace it. Here are five wonderful overseas destinations for cooking vacations in order of coldest to warmest. So either dust off your skis, or keep out your swimsuit for your next getaway this Winter!
The French Alps
No matter what the season, the French Alps are a gorgeous and relaxing getaway. Come Winter time, it’s also the perfect place for the outdoor adventurer. Our Cooking in the French Alps itinerary offers some wonderful cooking classes and accommodations in a luxurious French chalet, as well as a bit of time to spend outdoors — if you so wish! Or just cozy up by the fire.
Paris is known as the City of Light, and come the holiday season, it’s more light up that ever. Merry-go-rounds are set up throughout the city and brightly lit up; window shopping is encouraged; children can go on donkey rides at the Luxembourg garden, and perhaps most famously of all, shop the many Christmas markets on the streets of the city. And don’t forget to enjoy your fair share of Christmas pastries while you’re at it! (One way to do just that is through a Paris cooking vacation).
There are a lot of places to visit in southern Italy, where the weather is much milder than up north, but Puglia is a special place come Christmas time. While Puglia is on the cooler side, snow is rare, and it makes for wonderful weather for a stroll, both in the countryside and through cities like Bari. Speaking of Bari, it’s the home to the legend of Santa Claus, as the tomb and bones of San Nicolò (St. Nicholas) are buried there in the Basilica di San Nicola. As the legend goes, when San Nicolò lived in Turkey — where he spent most of his life — he tried to help three poor women by tossing bags of gold into their home. While the stories vary, some say that those bags landed in stockings next to the fire, or in shoes. Of course this is only one part of the Santa Claus legend — but for a piece of it, visit Puglia!
Southeast Asia can be very hot, and that’s just one of the reasons the Winter months — specifically October through December — are a great time to visit Vietnam and the Cambodia. The temps are milder, the rain falls much less, and to top it all off, the crowds aren’t nearly as big. So whether you’re traveling through Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, or going to see the famous temples in Cambodia, the Winter is one of the best times to go.
If it’s sunny beach weather you tend to crave in the Winter, there’s no better destination than Mexico, whether you’re thinking of the Yucatan, such as the Riviera Maya beach, or lesser known but no less beautiful places like the town of Tepoztlan. In addition to cooking, there’s time for exploring ancient ruins, and also some time to relax, whether by the pool or on the beach.
What sort of destination do you gravitate towards in the Winter?
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