High season for east and west coast beaches. Low prices, lovely people, fascinating culture, exquisite food and of course magnificent beaches to suit all budgets from Phuket to Pattaya and Phi Phi; see Thai beaches map and beach pictures.
Egypt‘s Red Sea beach resorts as well as Israel‘s rather tired Eilat are competitively priced, the sun is endless, the coral is a blooming joy, the sea’s at it’s coldest but still 20°C and day trips to Luxor are sensational if you can handle crowds or go it alone.
The Red Sea’s average air temperature is 20°C in February (16°C at night) and water temperature will be around 20°C, with low humidity and little chance of rain.
– Bondi or Manly, near Sydney for convenience, style and surf.
– Byron Bay, between Sydney and Brisbane, for a neo-hippie ‘alternative’ beach scene.
– North Stradbroke Island, near Brisbane, for wildlife walks, quiet beaches and good surf.
– Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast, a tranquil, dispersed town with great, soft beaches, parks and surf.
– Fraser Island’s Lake McKenzie, with clear freshwatersurrounded by tropical rainforest and the purest white sand. See also Beach Hazards.
Florida and especially down south in Miami or the Florida Keys it should be very warm and sunny in February, with highs generally around 77F (25C) and lows around 63F (17C), so very comfortable. However, sea waters will still be chilly for swimming and some rain may fall.
Southern California also runs to very warm day time temperatures with occasional rain showers during February. Long Beach averages highs of 66F (19C) in February.
Beaches services and facilities may be limited and seaweed evident, depending on the area.
– The Canary Islands, enjoy a climate of perpetual summer with sunshine as standard and temperatures between 18C (64F) and the upper 30Cs; there are beaches of all types available, activities, nudist, family, surfing, wild town sand, back-to-nature coves.
The southern sections of islands tend to be the warmest and Fuerteventura and Lanzarote the sunniest. La Palma is the wettest island. Water temperatures are not very high, ranging from 18C in winter to 22º C in summer.
– South Africa, Camps Bay, with stunning views and easy access from lovely, low-cost Capetown but cold water.
– Datai Beach, Langkawi Island. One of the world’s most secluded and picture-perfect hideaways.
– Pantai Teluk Belanga (Emerald Bay), Pangkor Laut. A luxury resort on a perfect crescent bay of a tiny private island.
Fine beaches on both Pacific side such as Cabo San Lucas and Caribbean coasts such as Cancun, should be getting highs of around 82F (28C) and lows of 66F (19C) with occasional showers. Mexico is not too busy in February and the Yucatan peninsula is scattered with magnificent ancient sites a day trip from Maya Riviera beaches, such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal, great snorkelling and diving, fantastic food, exotic drinks and all at bargain prices.
Beaches along the Bay of Bengal such as Ngapali Beach, Chaung Tha Beach and Ngwe Sau.
– Honda Bay, Palawan, Philippines. An area of outstanding natural beauty.
– Malapascua Island, Cebu. Relatively unknown but highly rated on the world’s best beach/dive.
– Muelle Bay, Puerto Galera, Mindoro Island. An ideal place to do island-hopping on to pristine beaches.
– White Beach, Boracay Island (picture above right). The sand is exceptionally white, soft and never gets hot, with a huge variety of small, friendly accommodation.
– Mui Ne, near Phan Thiet, is a resort area known for its spectacular sand dunes and low prices.
– Hon Chong Beach, Ha Tien; a seductive beach near the Cambodian border.
– Bai Tam (Long Beach), Phu Quoc Island. The secret jewel of Southeast Asia.
– Palau, the Rock Islands known for their coral rock formations, colourful underwater life and stunning beaches. It is a great destination for snorkelling and diving.
Beaches that are not a good idea in February
The worst time for much of the Pacific but there are bright spots. e. g. SE Australia, Mexico and California (see above); the Rock Islands, Palau are good in December but south Pacific such as the Cook Islands, Fiji and Samoas are going through a wet patch. Check Pacific beaches for more information.
Generally south Bali is where the best beaches are, including the huge stretches of Kuta and Legian and the newer, classy resorts on the Bukit Peninsula, though from December to Feburary is not an ieal time to go due to heavy rain.
No chance! The weather’s cold, beach services are non-existant – even in southern Spain or Greece – and the sea is colder.
Ile Sainte Marie. An idyllic island resort fringed by peaceful beaches, though the cyclone season is from February to March.