Most tourists prefer locations with picture-perfect scenery and clear skies. Whether it be endless rain or treacherous snow, these five destinations have terrible weather, but are surprisingly well-worth weathering the storm to see.
1. Oymyakon, Russia
Any brave traveler venturing into Russia must be prepared to handle the cold. Russia is a huge mass of a country, covering one-eighth of the planet’s inhabited land. Located in the northeast region of Russia, within the Sakha Republic, Oymyakon is one of the coldest places on Earth.
The average temperature here falls well below freezing between October and April, and the climate becomes only slightly more tolerable in the summer. It’s best to visit in June or July if you don’t want to suffer the extremest cold, and the reindeer and thermal springs are the main attractions.
Don’t bother trying to check the temperature either; an electronic thermometer was installed as a tourist attraction but it broke as a result of the cold shortly after! Visit in January or February if you are looking to see how much cold your body can take – but don’t say we didn’t warn you!
2. Kauai, Hawaii
There is no bigger tourist hotspot than the Aloha State. Hawaii is renowned for its sunny skies and impeccable beaches. Although the lush greenery is something to behold, Hawaii maintains this beautiful landscape through the necessity of great rains. Not all parts of Hawaii enjoy constant beach weather.
The island of Kauai is definitely the exception to the sunny skies rule. The island’s Mt. Wai’ale’ale is known to be the rainiest place on the planet, with around 350 rainy days every single year, leaving little time for fun in the sun. Kauai has between 15 and 24 rainy days per month, but the mountain accumulates the majority of it.
Visit between December and February for fewer rainy days, and savor all of the natural delights the island has to offer. Admire the greenery, rent a kayak, or visit the numerous waterfalls – just don’t forget to bring a poncho for everyone in your party. The chances of the skies opening up are high on this vacation.
3. The Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
An unexpected place for an impromptu trip, the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is equal parts breathtaking and extreme. As is so often the case, the stunning landscape comes with a price.
This part of the world is the hottest area you can possibly visit, with the average temperature hovering under 100 degrees and barely a drop of rainfall to cool you down. The Danakil Depression isn’t exactly bustling with tourists, but it is definitely a sight to see if you can withstand the heat. The variety of colorful salt and crater lakes are visually stunning, and unlike anything you will find anywhere else in the world.
Visit between December and February for slightly lower temperatures, but still be ready to sweat it out. Due to the amazing volcanoes and lava fields, this enclave of Ethiopia worth seeing despite the overpowering sun. Don’t forget to stay hydrated – on top of everything else, Danakil is also humid.
4. Barrow, Alaska
One of the most common opinions on the state of Alaska is that it is dark, cold, and overwhelmingly dreary. Despite the bitter cold, Alaska is the perfect location for nature-lovers who want to take in the most miraculous sights the environment has to offer.
The city of Barrow is approximately 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle, making it a less popular destination compared to areas such as Glacier Bay. Nonetheless, Barrow’s isolation means it provides some of the best views of the Northern Lights. With around 4,000 residents, the area is freezing and desolate, with people living in total darkness between November and January.
These light-less months are the ideal time to visit and view the Northern Lights, but be prepared for excruciating cold. Temperatures usually fall below -20 degrees Fahrenheit – making it important to bundle up before you go anywhere. Never underestimate the Alaskan winter!
5. Meghalaya, India
India is attractive for many travelers looking to get a taste of the culture and the irresistible cuisine.
Tucked away in the northeast portion of the country, Meghalaya – which means “abode of the clouds” in Sanskrit – sees its fair share of rainfall. The monsoon season between June and September is especially wet, and this lures a wide range of tourists. The rain is so extreme that some travelers actually want to see it for themselves. The main attraction during this time is the Nohkalikai Falls, which flow especially powerfully during a heavy rainstorm. Make sure to visit during the monsoon season to really see this waterfall in action.
The weather can literally make or break your vacation, but it’s also sometimes about what you make of it.