The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

The best last-minute holiday ideas for February 2023

The last true month of winter brings a diverse range of travel options. Whether you’re after early-year sunshine, a Valentine’s break or a half-term escape with the kids, Mary Novakovich picks the best of the bunch

Thursday 02 February 2023 11:47 GMT
<p>Fowey, Cornwall, is a pleasure to explore off-season</p>

Fowey, Cornwall, is a pleasure to explore off-season

A cold January usually brings thoughts of warm days spent on a beach, making February an appealing time for a break in the sunshine. At the same time, snow has finally arrived in the Alps, and if you avoid the half-term holidays, you can book a bargain ski holiday. It’s also a good time to snuggle up in a cosy cottage in the British countryside; wherever you plan to have a holiday in February, here are some ideas to inspire you.

The Gambia

Beautiful Atlantic sandy beaches, captivating wildlife and no jetlag make The Gambia an attractive place to unwind in the sun. Near the mouth of the River Gambia is the Kombo Beach Hotel, which, along with a pool and beach access, has a resident birdwatching guide to show you the wondrous birdlife that’s all around you. The Gambia Experience has a week’s holiday at the Kombo Beach Hotel from £899pp, a saving of £140pp, including flights, transfers and breakfast.


Tons of Austrian charm, quiet slopes and no queues await in the village of Filzmoos, one of the many ski resorts within the vast Ski Amade domain. Free ski buses connect the village to other parts of the domain if you fancy a change of scenery. Stay at the friendly four-star Hotel Hammerhof, where a week’s holiday with Sno costs from £599pp, down from £818pp, departing 25 February. The price includes flights, transfers and breakfast.

The Gambia has off-the-beaten-track beaches


Hole up in the countryside between the beaches of Costa Adeje and the mountainous landscapes of Teide National Park when you stay at Hotel Rural La Correa del Almendro. This laidback boutique hotel has colourful gardens surrounding its swimming pool from where you can take in lovely sea views. Eliza Was Here has a seven-night break in this rural retreat from £496pp, including flights and car hire, departing 28 February.

Sri Lanka

Head to the southern coast of Sri Lanka for a week of pure relaxation on one of its most attractive beaches. As its name implies, Koggala Beach Hotel faces this wonderfully long stretch of sandy beach, where you can flop after you’ve tried out the hotel’s swimming pool and played a game of tennis. Six nights with Mercury Holidays cost from £941pp for a 22 February departure, and includes flights and breakfast. Half-board and all-inclusive options from £957pp and £1,002pp, respectively.

Drop into Marrakech from your luxury villa outside the city


If you’ve been thinking about a group holiday in the sun, grab 11 of your friends or family and enjoy the luxurious ambience of Villa Shamsum, about 15 minutes south of Marrakech. Set in lush gardens and with views of the Atlas Mountains, the villa run by CV Villas has four bedrooms in the main house and two bedrooms in a canvas lodge, as well as a pool and extensive outdoor dining and relaxation areas. There’s also a cook service if you want a break from the kitchen. Seven nights from 16 February cost from £806pp, based on 12 sharing, including flights.


If you fancy a break for Valentine’s Day and want to have plenty of walking trails on your doorstep, book the Old Sunday School deep in the Cornish countryside not far from Fowey. You’re also only a few miles from the coves at Lantic Bay. The stone cottage has two bedrooms, a wood-burning stove and far-reaching views of the valley. Booked through Cornish Horizons, it’s available from 14 February for five nights for £486. One dog is welcome at an additional cost of £25.

Mary Novakovich is editor at large at

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in