Austria is a country of startling contrasts, from the Alps in the west to the Danube Basin in the east. One of the world’s premier skiing regions, it is also noted for its historical buildings, world-class museums and galleries, and breathtaking mountain scenery.

The country’s glorious architectural riches include reminders of the once-powerful Hapsburgs, who dominated central Europe for seven centuries. The capital, Vienna, is magnificent with its ornate Opera House and the imperial Hofburg. Austria’s other cities are similarly infused with historical magic, notably Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, with stunning baroque churches set before a backdrop of snow-covered peaks, and Innsbruck, in the centre of Austria’s Alps.

Austria has produced and inspired a catalogue of cultural figures. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria – and, in particular, Vienna – became a focal point of the cultural renaissance. Remnants of Mozart’s legacy are everywhere. However, Austria has also yielded people such as artists Klimt and Schiele, composers Mahler and Schubert, psychologists Freud and Rank, and philosophers such as Husserl and Wittgenstein.


Visiting Austria at any time of year is a great experience, but remember that the season will influence what you can do. Summer is the obvious time for hiking, mountain biking and lake swimming, but ski conditions also make Austria a fantastic place for winter breaks. Festivals take place year-round, but the majority of music festivals are held between May and October.

For warm weather, aim for the months between April and October, although these two months can be changeable

Canada is one of the most exciting travel destinations in the world. It has many interesting cities, like Toronto, North Vancouvr, Montreal or Halifax. But also some of the most impressive nature, which is great for outdoor activities, like hiking, skiing, rafting and fishing. Canada boasts a wide, diverse culture, which we celebrate with pride, and there is simply no way to see everything in one trip – or even in a lifetime. Full of surprises, Canada is simply the most astonishingly beautiful country in the world.


For those wanting to take advantage of the outdoors, best time is to visit in the summer. For those wanting to experience everything Canada has to offer, visit in the winter. Temperatures range from plus 40 C in summer to minus 40 C in the winter, so dress accordingly!

The typical Canadian might be an elusive concept, but you’ll find there’s a distinctive feel to the country. Some towns might seem a touch too well-regulated and unspontaneous, but against this there’s the overwhelming sense of Canadian pride in their history and pleasure in the beauty of their land. Canada embraces its own clichés with an energy that’s irresistible, promoting everything from the Calgary Stampede to maple-syrup festivals and lumberjacking contests with an extraordinary zeal and openness. As John Buchan, writer and Governor-General of Canada, said, “You have to know a man awfully well in Canada to know his surname.”

With Canada as your chosen holiday destination – the challenge is now where to go and what to see and do to make the most of your precious time in this vast Continent.

Eagerly assuming its place among the world’s top travel destinations, even more so since Beijing took centre stage at the 2008 Olympics, China is an epic adventure. From the wide open and empty panoramas of Tibet to the push and shove of Shànghai, from the volcanic dishes of Sìchuan to beer by the bag in seaside Qingdao, a journey through this colossus of a country is a mesmerising encounter with the most populous and perhaps most culturally idiosyncratic nation on earth.

The sheer diversity of China’s terrain takes you from noisy cities fizzing with energy to isolated mountain-top Ming-Dynasty villages where you can hear a pin drop. Pudong’s ambitious skyline is a triumphant statement, but it couldn’t be further from the worldly renunciation acted out in Tibet’s distant monasteries.

Curator of the world’s oldest continuous civilisation, China will have you bumping into history at every turn. But it’s not just a museum of imperial relics: the frisson of development that has left China’s coastline glittering with some of the world’s most up-to-the-minute cities propels the land on with a forward-thinking dynamism.

And it’s the people – unavoidable in their immense numbers – who provide the ceaseless drama and entertainment. Loud, garrulous and quick thinking, you’ll see the Chinese squeezing onto dangerous-looking buses, walking in pyjamas around Shànghai or inviting each other to sit down to some of the most varied cuisine in the world. Animated by a palpable sense of pride, the Chinese are reveling in their country’s ascendency. Everyone is talking about China, so why not find out what all the fuss is about?


China is characterized by a continental climate. The latitudes span nearly 50 degrees, its southern part is in the tropical and subtropical zones, and its northern part near the frigid zones. The northern part of Heilongjiang province has long winters but no summers; while Hainan Island has long summers but no winters. The Huaihe River valley is marked by distinctive seasonal changes, but it is spring all year round in the south of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. China’s high tundra zone is situated in Qinghai-Tibet, where the temperature is low in all four seasons.

France is the land of good food and wine, of royal chateaux and perfectly restored farmhouses, of landmarks known the world over and hidden landscapes few really know. Savour art and romance in the shining capital on the River Seine. See glorious pasts blaze forth at Versailles. Travel south for Roman civilisation and the sparkling blue Med; indulge your jet-set fantasies in balmy Nice and St-Tropez. Ski the Alps. Sense the subtle infusion of language, music and mythology in Brittany brought by 5th-century Celtic invaders. Smell ignominy on the beaches of Normandy and battlefields of Verdun and the Somme. And know that this is but the tip of that gargantuan iceberg the French call culture.

Yes, this is that timeless land whose people have a natural joie de vivre and savoir- faire – and have for centuries.


French pleasures can be indulged in any time, although many Francophiles swear spring is best. In the hot south sun-worshippers bake from June to early September (summer) while winter-sports enthusiasts soar down snow-covered mountains mid-December to late March (winter). Festivals and gastronomic temptations around which to plan a trip abound year-round.

School holidays – Christmas and New Year, mid-February to mid-March, Easter, July and August – see millions of French families descend on the coasts, mountains and other touristy areas. Traffic-clogged roads, sky-high accommodation prices and sardine-packed beaches and ski slopes are downside factors of these high-season periods. Many shops take their congé annuel (annual closure) in August; Sundays and public holidays are dead everywhere.

The French climate is temperate, although it gets nippy in mountainous areas and in Alsace and Lorraine. The northwest suffers from high humidity, rain and biting westerly winds, while the Mediterranean south enjoys hot summers and mild winters.

For visitors, the beauty of travel in England is the compact nature of the country. By spending less time going between places and more time in them, you can immerse yourself in the scenery, instead of just breezing through. Whether you’re strolling the undulating hills of Oxfordshire, cycling in Norfolk, surfing off Newquay or rock-climbing in the Peak District, England is perfect for activity and adventure. And with time on your side, you’ll get closer to understanding local sensibilities: relaxing with the locals in a country pub, enjoying a music festival or watching a cricket match.

The duty-free zone of Dubai is a shopper’s paradise, offering some of the most lavish malls on earth, as well as super-luxury hotels and miles of pristine beach.

Hospitality has been a tradition for centuries. Today, Dubai extends this welcome to holiday makers as well as business visitors, offering facilities of the highest international standards combined with the charm and adventure of Arabia – an exceptional blend of modern city and timeless desert.


The best time to visit the UAE is between October and November and then February and March, when temperatures hang around the mid-20s and the humidity is under control. While December and January are generally considered the best months to go, the weather over the last couple of ‘winters’ has been unpredictable with conditions often cloudy, rainy and bleak.

The Oriental Pearl, is simply amazing!

It would be hard to find a more exciting city than Hong Kong. Set among beautiful natural surroundings it has all the benefits of a thriving and vibrant commercial center. Here you can find the delights of modern living alongside an abundance of reminders of its historic past. Whether you visit the better known highlights like the stunning Ocean Park, the fantastic viewpoint of Victoria Peak or the beautiful Repulse Bay, Hong Kong is certain to exceed your expectations.

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of PRC, has grown from what was a simple fishing village into the world’s fourth largest banking and financial center and eighth largest trading economy. Situated in the southeast corner of China, Hong Kong occupies an area of 1,104 square kilometers (about 426 square miles) and is home to more than 6,970,000 people. Most people (about 97% of the population) are Chinese and speak Cantonese and English, although Mandarin is becoming more popular in Hong Kong now. Most tourism personnel and taxi drivers can communicate with tourists in English. The most common religions are Buddhism and Christianity.

Hong Kong is made up of four parts: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands. Hong Kong Island is the center of economy, politics, entertainment and shopping. Northern Hong Kong Island is the main commercial, shopping and entertainment area; the residential area is located in Eastern Hong Kong Island; and Southern Hong Kong Island known for its sea shores and bays. Kowloon is another flourishing part of Hong Kong. Above all, Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok are the most popular areas. These areas are busy day and night, and tourists can feel secure enjoying the lively nightlife, because Hong Kong is one of the most secure cities in the world. The New Territories and Outlying Islands are ideal places to experience a peaceful and natural Hong Kong.

An open city with a wonderful natural harbor, Hong Kong is the meeting place of various cultures that blend harmoniously with Chinese traditions and exotic influences. On one hand traces of British culture can be found everywhere as a result of former colonial rule. On the other hand, Hong Kong preserves traditional customs and the core values of Confucianism that have faded in Mainland China. This is reflected in its colorful festivals ranging from Spring Festival to Christmas. Nowhere else on earth do luxury restaurants, street side food-stalls known locally as dai pai dong, grand mansions and penthouses, tenements, office blocks, wooden boats and huge liners coupled with English in a variety of accents and multifarious Chinese dialects coexist peacefully.

It is the dynamic Hong Kong that provides the environment in which the richest Chinese listed in Forbes directory do business. The city also is the backdrop for modern movies and pop music that together enjoy worldwide recognition. Home of Kongfu heroes like the late Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Hong Kong continues to attract more and more ambitious would-be stars and entrepreneurs.

From Yum Cha (tea and dim sum) in the morning to a moon lit view from the top of Victoria Peak or stunning night time harbor cruise, mingling with shoppers in the numerous malls and markets around Tsim Sha Tsui, tasting delicacies at dai pai dong, taking a trip in a sampan or high speed ferry, Hong Kong will guarantee its visitors an unforgettable experience. There will always be something to enchant you and quite probably make you fall in love with this unique place, be it sightseeing, shopping, dining or simply exploring its many delights by day and night.

Perched at the very edge of Europe, Ireland is a land apart. Almost impossibly romantic, Its criss-crossed with fuchsia-filled hedges and ringed by towering sea cliffs.

Rambling through unspoilt countryside, there’s time for contemplation in Ireland. Even better, tailor-made places exist specially for the job. If you manage to visit the likes of Clonmacnoise monastic ruins as the dying sun sinks beyond the sweep of the Shannon, you might contemplate on how this place helped shape the Christian world. Ireland is waiting to be discovered.

The individual character of towns and villages is a very special feature of Ireland – locally -owned pubs, cafes and shops make shopping an enriching experience. International names are available too – Waterford Crystal, Belleek China, Guinness or Bushmills Whiskey are renowned throughout the world. And even if you don’t buy any souvenirs on your first visit, your memories will ensure that you still take home treasures.


Thanks to the moderating effect of the Atlantic Gulf Stream, Ireland’s climate is relatively mild for its latitude, with a mean annual temperature of around 10°C. The temperature drops below freezing only intermittently during winter, and snow is scarce – perhaps one or two brief flurries a year. The coldest months are January and February, when daily temperatures range from 4° to 8°C, with 7°C the average. In summer, temperatures during the day are a comfortable 15° to 20°C.

One thing you can be sure of about Irish weather is how little you can be sure of. It may be shirtsleeves and sunglasses in February, but winter woollies in March and even during the summer.

And then there’s the rain. Ireland receives a lot of rain, with certain areas getting a soaking as many as 270 days of the year. County Kerry is the worst affected. The southeast is the driest, enjoying a more continental climate.

In summer, from June to August, the days are reasonably warm and – most importantly – very long: at the height of summer you won’t need to turn on lights until after 10pm. It is also peak tourist season, which means there are far more people just about everywhere but the most remote corners of the island.

Italy, with her unrivalled beauty and baffling contradictions, continues to seduce and enchant those who are drawn to her.

Italy, like the sorceress Circe, tantalizing beautiful and at the same time treacherous, has attracted kings, scholars, saints, poets and curious travelers for centuries. With 44 sites, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage sites than any other country on earth. Its great città d’arte (cities of art), like Rome, Venice and Florence, have been attracting visitors for centuries, and with good reason.

With biodiversity to rival the Galapagos Islands, towns of colonial magnificence, beautiful beaches of golden sand and a remarkable culture influenced by Europe, Africa and the East, Madagascar’s rare riches are well worth discovering. Venture into national parks to experience profound moments in nature, mellow out on idyllic islands, stroll through heritage towns and spot quirky wildlife not found anywhere else on this earth – Madagascar showcases the very best of our wild, weird but oh so wonderful world.


With such a unique ecosystem and environment, going on holiday to Madagascar at different times of the year offers a variety of challenges and benefits. September to November is considered one of the best times to visit, as these months sit right in between the cool, dry winter and the hot, rainy season. This time is also considered the best time to view birdlife. July to August offers cooler temperatures and the best chances for whale watching on the coast. January to March is cyclone season, but this is also the best time to see flowering orchids.

Although it’s a small country-Jordan is a destination with a great deal of variety, including fascinating historical and biblical sites, vast and beautiful desert landscapes, the Dead Sea, the ancient city of Petra, and the famously warm Jordanian hospitality. It’s also extremely easy to get around, which means that a trip of a week or 10 days is enough to experience many of the country’s highlights.


For a small country, Jordan has an extraordinary range of climates. The best time to visit climate-wise is in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the daytime temperatures aren’t too extreme. April is probably the best month, when temperatures are warm and wildflowers are in bloom. March can be cold and rainy in the north but is balmy by the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. Average daytime maximum temperatures in Amman range from 12.6°C in January to 32.5°C in August.

Morocco has held the fascination of travellers for centuries making this exotic getaway one of the most popular in the world. From its culture, a wonderful amalgamation of Arabic and African influences, to its breathtakingly diverse terrain, Morocco certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the pearls of Africa.

There are a plethora of sites and historical attractions to hit. Visit the tombs of ancient royals at the Saadian tombs, observe local customs in Djemaa el Fna or appreciate the country’s many natural wonders at the amazing Todra and Dades Gorges in the Atlas mountain range. Whether it’s a blood pumping trek to the summit of High-Atlas Mountain, a stroll through the maze that is a Moroccan bazaar or a lesson in making the wonderful local cuisine, visitors will not be disappointed by the smorgasbord of things to do.

There is absolutely nothing boring about Morocco’s geography either. With deserts, mountains and beaches, each region has its own characteristics and appeal. Many areas even have their own microclimates which make for an interesting and varied journey through the country.

Moroccans are extremely hospitable people. Tourists, especially those traveling alone, will find that locals are eager to make friendly conversation, break bread and even invite you home for a traditional dinner of couscous and grilled meat. There is a wide range of accommodations available which will satisfy every budget and luxury level. Whether you’re in search of low cost hostels or five star hotels, everyone will find a place to rest their head.


The weather in Morocco is as varied as the country’s terrain. While coastal regions are characterized by a Mediterranean climate, inland is hotter and dryer. There is also a difference between the north and the south, with the south remaining generally warm except in winter when temperatures drop drastically. The northern and coastal areas are far more temperate and tend to display less erratic changes.

Summer runs from June through September with August being the hottest month of the year. In the warmer parts of the country, the mercury can get up to 108°F. Conditions all around Morocco are hot and dry, but are particularly unbearable in the south.

Winter occurs over the peak holiday period from December to April and can become extremely cold in the south, with the High Atlas Mountains displaying snow-capped peaks. The northern regions and the coast receive a great deal of rain and their temperatures drop lower than 50°F.

By far the best time to visit Morocco is in between the extreme summer and winter. Spring (March through May) is a pleasant time during which the landscapes are green and lush. Fall (September to December) is also ideal as the heat has subsided and the deep chill hasn’t yet set in.

In general it is a good idea to visit the south and the desert outside of the summer months as traveling through such hot, arid land can be quite intolerable.

New Zealand is a country of rare beauty and amazing contrasts. In land mass it is about the size of Great Britain but has a population of only 4.2 million people. Located in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand lies to the south of the Equator, about as far as Spain and the Mediterranean lie in the Northern Hemisphere. So, weather-wise, there is never a wrong time to visit New Zealand.

New Zealand is made up of two main islands, called the North and South Islands, and a third smaller island in the remote south, called Stewart Island. The scenery is magnificent.

In the South Island glacial mountains give birth to fast flowing rivers whose pristine alpine waters feed into crystal clear lakes. Temperate rainforests plunge into deep fiords in the southwest coast dominated by near vertical cloud piercing peaks that dwarf visiting ships and sightseeing aircraft.

The bulk of the population lives in the North Island. Cities such as Auckland and Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, boast a sophistication and style equal to any western metropolitan centre. Fun, fashion, and entertainment abound in these pulsating environments.

In the far north, sandy beaches and sundrenched coves are enjoyed by surfers and sunseekers while the offshore waters abound with gamefish. You can swim with dolphins, whalewatch, or fish for fat trout in mountain streams accessible only by four wheel drive vehicle or helicopter. Diving and fishing are as much a part of the North Island way of life as skiing and snow boarding are to the South.


New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.

Because New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature decreases as you travel south. The far north of the country has an average temperature of about 15°C, while the deep south has a cooler 9°C average. January and February are the warmest months of the year, and July is the coldest.
New Zealand’s summer months are December to February, bringing high temperatures and sunshine. Days are long and sunny, nights are mild. Summer is an excellent time for walking in the bush and a variety of other outdoor activities. New Zealand’s many gorgeous beaches are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, boating, and water sports during summer.

Denmark is one of the happiest nations on earth with some of the best quality of life. At idyllic Denmark, where the forest meets the sea and hippies meet each other, you can fish, surf or drop out for a while – who could blame you when there is a gorgeous coastline, rolling hills, magnificent forests and a creative artistic community.

Finland’s landscapes are a glorious variation on the themes of forest and water, where the comforts of modern life are never far away. Yet each region has its distinct character, from the wilds of Lapland to the inspiring lakes of the East and the archipelagos of the South-West. Finland is full of interesting contrasts, such as the four seasons, the midnight sun and the long winter nights and the different cultural heritages ot the Eastern and Western parts of the country.

Iceland is literally a country in the making, a vast volcanic laboratory where mighty forces shape the land and shrink you to an awestruck speck. Where else can you witness such marvels of Mother Nature as a tremendous icecap and several glaciers, spouting geysers and steaming solfataras, volcanoes, raging rivers and magnificent waterfalls, a multitude of birds, cavorting whales just offshore that are so cinematic that at times they seem unreal. Bathe in turquoise pools, stand behind a toppling cascade or walk across a glaring-white icecap to experience the full weirdness of Icelandic nature.

Norway is a country at a crossroads, although given Norway’s natural wonders and significant wealth, it’s a situation in which most countries in the world would love to find themselves.

Norway is, by any standards, one of the most beautiful countries on earth, for here is a people with an enduring love for the natural world that is profoundly etched into the national character.

The promise of clean air, beautiful landscapes and affordable travel lure visitors to Sweden. Downhill and cross-country skiing are popular at the resorts and ski centres, while hiking, swimming and diving are popular in the summer months. Stockholm is a city that can be discovered on foot to experience the waterways and parks or the many museums. From the cascading northern lights that illuminate the sky above the wilds of Swedish Lapland, to the white sandy beaches of the south – it’s all yours to enjoy.


Scandinavia Travel Weather

Scandinavia’s climate is quite complex. You probably won’t swelter in August in Scandinavia. Summers are usually quite pleasant. Expect some rain.

The weather in Denmark and southern Sweden is much like the north of Germany, a marine west coast climate. The center of Sweden is a humid continental climate becoming subarctic as you go north. The south of Sweden and the west coast of Norway offer a mild costal climate with lots of precipitation, especially in the winter.

Singapore is in fact one of the most enjoyable cities in Southeast Asia. As you zoom in from one of the world’s best airports along the lushly tree-shaded expressway or on the zippy MRT train line, you’ll quickly realise this is no traffic-snarled Bangkok. And as you stroll through the fashion emporiums of Orchard Road, poke around antique shops in Chinatown or take a walk around one of the dozens of beautiful city parks. Few cities in Southeast Asia can boast Singapore’s fascinating ethnic brew. Where else in the world can you dip into the cultures of China, India and Muslim Malaysia all in one day, against a backdrop of ultra-modern Western commerce? Not only has Singapore’s history of migration left a rich cultural and architectural legacy that makes wandering the streets an absorbing delight, it has created one of the world’s great eating capitals. Food is the national obsession – and it’s not difficult to see why. Sitting out under the stars at a bustling hawker centre with a few bottles of Tiger beer and diving into an enormous array of Asian dishes is one of the iconic Singaporean experiences. Sambal stingray, char kway teow, oyster omelette, chicken rice, clay-pot seafood, fish head curry, beef rendang…the list is as long as it is delicious. And, of course, if your credit card hasn’t already taken a battering in the shops, the city’s restaurants are some of the most stylish and innovative in the region. If there’s one thing more stylish than the bars and restaurants, it’s the boutiques that have made Singapore a byword in Asia for extravagant shopping. Away from the Gucci and Louis Vuitton onslaught of Orchard Rd, however, there are bargains to be found on everything from clothes to electronics – and a range of art and antique shops that few Asian cities can match. But Singapore is not all about shopping and eating. Nor is the notion of Singapore as completely urbanised anything more than popular myth. Adventure activities include diving with sharks at Underwater World on Sentosa, mountain biking around Bukit Timah, leopard-spotting at Singapore Zoo’s magical Night Safari, waterskiing or wakeboarding on the Kallang River, go-karting and rock climbing. And if you want to retreat from civilisation completely, the centre of the island retains large tracts of forest where the only sound you can hear is the monkeys swinging through the trees. In fact, Singapore is one of only two cities in the world that still retains a patch of primary rainforest, in the form of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.


Singapore is ‘HOT and WET. That’s nice if you’re with a lady, but ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle. Practically on the equator, Singapore’s temperature never drops below 20°C, usually climbing to 30°C during the day. Rainfall and humidity are steady year-round. Rain arrives in torrential downpours, but is soon replaced by sunshine. It may rain every day during the wet season, but it rarely rains all day. The wettest months are November to January, the driest May to July.

Australia! This is the best place to explore it and find everything Australian. We have some great destination and holiday guides, hotels deals, tours and upcoming events for hundreds of towns and cities all over Australia. If you are looking for accommodation, tours, experiences or local attractions we can help you find them. If you are planning a trip we can help you get there. Your Australian adventure starts here.

To get started try clicking on one of the states on the Australia map on the right of this page and drill down to where you want to explore. Australia is a big country and many visitors underestimate the distances between our popular destinations.

Queensland offers a wonderful tropical climate with amazing coastal beaches and lush rain forests.If you are looking for a warm climate or a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef Queensland is top of the list.

New South Wales also has wonderful coastal holiday destinations and some famous outback towns that are well worth a visit. Sydney of course is the place for spectacular city night life and great shopping.

Victoria is the cultural capital with (arguably) Australia’s best food and wine. Melbourne is a wonderful multicultural city and Victoria’s scenic destinations are also unique. South Australia is also famous for wine and a relaxed country lifestyle with a rich heritage.

A land with a great history and scenic landscapes. Thousands of acres of green stretch from the ragged coastline up hill to be replaced by scenic mountains, lakes, castles and churches. Scotland’s tourism industry is flourishing and still developing to the fullest. Enjoy a relaxing day at one of Scotland’s beautiful golf Courses. Discover landscape and historical attractions that will leave you breathless, listen to Scotland’s bagpipe music, explore castles and old monasteries, visit the lakes for a boat ride or go on a picture hunt for ‘Nessie’ at Loch Ness.


In summer, however, days are generally mild or warm and, most importantly, long, with daylight lingering until 9pm or later. August in Edinburgh is Festival-time, which dominates everything in the city and means accommodation is hard to come by. Elsewhere, events such as Highland Games, folk festivals or sporting events – most of which take place in the summer months – can tie up accommodation, though normally only in a fairly concentrated local area.

Commonly, May and September throw up weather every bit as good as, if not better than, the months of high summer. You’re less likely to encounter crowds or struggle to find somewhere to stay, and the mild temperatures combined with the changing colours of nature mean both are great for outdoor activities, particularly hiking. Note, however, that September is stalking season for deer, which can disrupt access over parts of the Highlands.

The spring and autumn months of April and October bracket the season for many parts of rural Scotland. A large number of attractions, tourist offices and guesthouses often open for business on Easter weekend and shut up shop after the school half-term in mid-October. If places do stay open through the winter it’s normally with reduced opening hours; this is the best time to pick up special offers at hotels and guesthouses. Note too that in more remote spots public transport will often operate on a reduced winter timetable.

Winter days, from November through to March, occasionally crisp and bright, are more often cold, gloomy and all too brief, although Hogmanay and New Year has traditionally been a time to visit Scotland for partying and warm hospitality – something which improves as the weather worsens. While even tourist hotspots such as Edinburgh are notably quieter during winter, a fall of snow in the Highlands will prompt plenty of activity around the ski resorts. Weather poor enough to block roads and seriously disrupt public transport normally occurs only twice or three times in a winter season.

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