When you think of the perfect vacation, you might think of lounging in the sun on some tropical beach far away from home. But have you considered the wonders of vacationing in a snowy mountain somewhere where you can see the northern lights every night, ski every morning, and stay curled up by the fire in as many blankets as possible?
There are plenty of locations across the world offering a one of a kind experience, enjoying the ski slopes during the day and indulging yourself with fine dining by the evening. These snowy locations also provide plenty to do. From sightseeing tours to seeing magnificent natural beauty to watching the wildlife adapt to the extreme temperatures, there’s something for everyone.
We’ve rounded up some of our top winter locations for the next time you’re looking to escape.
1. Quebec – Canada
Quebec is a great destination for those looking for the best of both worlds. Quebec City and Montreal are beautiful places with an old-world charm and the surrounding area is home to some of the best ski resorts in Canada. Skiing, not your thing? There’s still plenty of wintery activities for you to get involved in. Just head over to the Laurentian mountains for some dog-sledding.
If you’re looking for a more cosmopolitan vacation then you have two cities to choose from, Montreal and Quebec City. Montreal is a laid-back city with hip neighbourhoods and full of beautiful street art and murals. But if you’re there in January or February make sure to check out the outdoor rave Igloofest.
Quebec City is smaller and more sedate than Montreal, but it looks straight out of a fairytale – just look at the Le Château Frontenac with its striking green roof and dramatic turrets. Quebec City is also home to a toboggan slide, North America’s first ice hotel, and one of the biggest winter Carnival’s in the world.
Both cities sound so good that you may as well visit both!
2. Northern Lights and Reindeer – Lapland, Finland
Lapland isn’t something you just read about in kid’s stories. This magical place is situated in the arctic circle and is the perfect location for any family to enjoy. After all, it’s the ultimate snowy winter wonderland!
Why not rent a cabin or igloo for the family to stay in and take a reindeer sled ride through the snow, and at night you can see the marvellous Northern lights in all their glory.
The best time to visit has to be between November and March, and this is when you’ll find the perfect weather for your stay.
3. Wilderness of Antarctica
Antarctica is the ultimate cold-weather holiday. It didn’t get the nickname ‘white continent’ for nothing. Spend your days watching the penguins, exploring the icebergs, and dabbling in some whale watching. You’ll be able to feel like a true explorer whose ship has just docked at possibly the most remote and beautiful place on earth.
4. Treehotel in Sweden
If you’re looking for something more ‘unique,’ look no further than Sweden and its whimsical Treehotel experience. You’ll sleep high up in the canopy of the trees in a magnificent room with a breathtaking view. Each room has its own theme and offers stunning views across the frozen rivers or forests. What more could you ask for?
5. Norway’s Northern Lights
Travelling around Norway with BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood is just one of the many ways to experience all the beauty that the country has to offer. She will take you on a guided tour where you’ll see the Northern Lights while enjoying a fantastic cruise across the North Cape, Alesund, Tromso, and Lofoten Islands.
Carol is not the only tour guide available, but she is the only one who has appeared on the BBC. She’ll answer any questions you have as you all search for the Aurora Borealis.
6. Big Bear Lake – California
If you want a break from the city, then Big Bear Lake is the place for you. You can stay at the Bear Mountain ski resort or the more family-friendly Snow Summit ski resort. The village has plenty of local shops, boutiques, and restaurants, making it the perfect spot for a quiet ski vacation with the family.
7. St. Moritz – Switzerland
Alpine tourism’s original birthplace, St. Moritz, is more than just a luxury alpine resort town. You’re able to ski all through the night at this dream location, built around the art of skiing. Play polo on the frozen lakes and enjoy the charms of the village people and their offerings. You’ll be sure to fall in love with this snow paradise in ‘snow’ time.
8. Lyon – France
A significant attraction in Lyon during the winter month is the spectacular Festival of Lights. The French city is located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The festival revolves around the Lyonnaise tradition, where every household places candles outside their place and celebrates the unified glow across the city, bringing everyone together.
9. Condon – Montana
This dreamy retreat is best enjoyed when started and finished at the one of a kind Holland Peak Ranch. It offers up to 3 luxurious residences with over 1000 acres of scenic lands. No matter what season you visit, this place is beautiful and breath-taking. The area is peaceful, making it the perfect spot for an escape from the city.
10. Harbin City – China
Harbin city or ‘Ice City’ is the perfect winter destination in China as it shows off the beauty of a Chinese winter. Many know China for its long and cold winter months, which are ideal conditions for places such as Harbin City. Suppose you’re not there to attend the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. In that case, you can always enjoy one of the many other inter-fun activities such as skiing at the famous Yabuli Ski Resort.
11. Camping in Leh Ladakh – India
There’s nothing better than camping under the stars on your holiday in Ladakh. The unmatched landscape of barren mountains makes a perfect background, and the alpine lakes create the ideal views for enjoying the best camping experience in India.
This unusual choice is best enjoyed slightly later in the winter season.
12. New Paltz – New York
Take yourself back in time by visiting the spectacular Victorian castle known as the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. This location looks like a movie set. This castle built-in 1869 is the perfect spot for adventurers and skiers.
Try Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and ice skating in all the picturesque locations; you’ll run out of time to do all the things you want to do. Relax in the evenings at the spa and dine at the many superb farm-to-table restaurants.
So when the world finally decides to open up again, why not try something new and go for a relaxing winter holiday? There’s something for everyone, whether you be family or a solo traveler, and plenty to do.
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