As winter’s frosty embrace tightens its grip on our hemisphere, it’s a common reaction to lament this season as a lengthy journey through dull skies and sniffles. Yet, there exists a stunning facet of winter that frequently escapes notice—ranging from immaculate frozen lakes and the aurora-adorned skies of Lapland to English cottages that could outshine Norman Rockwell’s paintings.
Here are 12 destinations to visit in winter.
When you think of one of the most beautiful winter destinations, Lapland in the northernmost part of Finland comes to mind. It’s a snowy paradise perfect for seeing the magical Northern Lights, trying fun activities like dog sledding and snowmobiling, and even staying in an ice hotel. And don’t forget to meet Santa Claus in his official hometown of Rovaniemi!
Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park in Canada is a stunning place for winter lovers. With its snowy landscapes, Banff provides a range of activities like ice skating on Lake Louise, skiing, and exploring the beautiful forests on snowshoes during the winter months. The charming mountain towns of Banff and Jasper create an ideal winter escape.
Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, is a captivating winter destination. From soaking in the Blue Lagoon’s geothermal waters to exploring ice caves and witnessing the incredible Aurora Borealis, Iceland offers a unique winter experience. Embrace the chill with a visit to Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park, all just a short drive from Reykjavik.
Hallstatt, a charming village nestled between the Dachstein Alps and the Hallstätter See in Austria, is often considered one of the most beautiful places in the world. During winter, this postcard-perfect village turns into a snowy fairytale, offering idyllic scenes for photographers and travelers. Explore the charming town, take a boat ride on Lake Hallstatt, and be sure to visit the nearby salt mines.
Patagonia in Chile, renowned for its awe-inspiring scenery, is also an exceptional place to discover in the winter. The area boasts magnificent snow-draped mountains, tranquil lakes, and stunning glaciers. Hike through Torres del Paine National Park or take a scenic cruise along the icy fjords while admiring the rugged beauty of the region.
While cherry blossoms in spring draw crowds to Kyoto, visiting this Japanese gem in the winter offers a quieter and equally enchanting experience. Explore serene temples and traditional tea houses, and wander through bamboo forests and magical gardens covered in snow on your trip to Japan. Don’t forget to warm up with a bowl of steaming ramen or matcha tea in this culturally rich city.
New Zealand’s South Island is home to the Southern Alps, a majestic mountain range that becomes a winter playground for adventure seekers. From Queenstown to Wanaka, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports in stunning alpine settings. The crisp mountain air, pristine lakes, and breathtaking landscapes make it a dreamy winter destination.
Quebec City, the charming capital of the Canadian province of Quebec, is a true winter wonderland. Its historic Old Town, surrounded by fortified walls, takes on a magical quality when blanketed in snow. Experience the Quebec Winter Carnival, skate on the Plains of Abraham, and warm up with some authentic poutine in a local bistro.
For a truly dreamy winter experience, there’s nothing quite like the Swiss Alps. It is one of the dreamiest destinations to visit in winter. Zermatt, in particular, offers breathtaking vistas of the iconic Matterhorn mountain. Ski enthusiasts can take to the slopes while non-skiers can enjoy snowshoeing, sledding, and après-ski activities in the cozy mountain village.
Santorini, famous for its whitewashed buildings, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sunsets, is typically a summer hotspot. However, visiting this Greek island during the winter reveals a quieter, more authentic side. While it might be too chilly for swimming, you can still explore the charming villages, hike along the caldera, and enjoy a more intimate experience.
If you want to escape winter’s chill, Bora Bora in French Polynesia is the perfect tropical retreat. Known for its luxury stays, clear lagoons, and vibrant coral reefs full of marine life, Bora Bora is a dreamy island paradise. Snorkel, dive or simply relax on the powdery beaches.
These coral reefs offer luxurious overwater stays, private beaches, and incredibly clear waters. You can enjoy water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat trips, or simply relax with a good book on the beach. Enjoy water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat trips, or simply unwind with a good book on the beach.
Winter doesn’t have to be a season of hibernation. Instead, it can be a time to embark on magical journeys to dreamy destinations around the world. Whether you prefer snowy landscapes or tropical escapes, there’s a place that will capture your heart and provide unforgettable memories. In case you need to plan your winter vacation and need help, reach out to our experts and they’ll be at your disposal.
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