Winter holiday destinations fall into two categories: hot and sunny locations that help you get away from the cold, and places that embrace the magical and cool wonders of the season. We say: when winter comes around, you should enjoy it to the max. So, here are five holiday-destinations we are sure you will love visiting in the colder months.
Visit Oslo for Fun Outdoor Winter Activities
Surrounded by mountains and the sea, Norway’s capital is a beautiful and vibrant city to visit at any time of year, but it is truly magical in the wintertime. In addition to a cracking nightlife and culinary delights, Oslo offers many fun winter activities and attractions. For example, you can ski at the fabulous Winter Park, which has 18 slopes and 11 chairlifts. Or if ice skating is more your thing, you can glide on the ice at the outdoor ice-skating rink at Frogner Stadium or the Spikersuppa Ice Skating Rink. But surely the most fun winter activity to do in Oslo on a winter’s day is tobogganing at the city’s most popular run that starts at Frognerseteren metro station and ends at Midtstuen station. At the end of the 2,000-meter-long toboggan ride, you can take the 16-minute journey back on the metro to have another go.
Once evening time comes around, you will find many fabulous bars and clubs in the heart of Oslo city center. About the only thing missing in Oslo is a casino. But you can always play a wide variety of slots and table games at an online casino like Casumo.com instead.
Visit Churchill for Breathtaking Natural Wonders
Canada is undoubtedly one of the best destinations in the world to soak up everything wintery. Outdoor enthusiasts who want to have fun in the snow can visit the world-renowned ski destinations in Whistler, British Columbia. And in Ottawa, you can skate on the Rideau Canal when it freezes over. Meanwhile, Quebec City is full of Christmas charm and home to the magnificent Quebec Winter Carnival and Bonhomme.
But if you want to engage with the natural world during wintertime, there is perhaps a no better place on earth than Churchill. The town is situated in Manitoba, on the west shore of Hudson Bay. It is most famous for the huge number of polar bears that head toward the shore during the fall and winter months. Off the coast of Churchill, you can also see beluga whales and a wide variety of bird species. But what makes Churchill so magical in winter is it is one of the various places where the Aurora Borealis are visible. Seeing the dancing, illuminating Northern Lights from Churchill’s winter wilderness is a moment you will treasure for the rest of your life.
Visit Reykjavik and the Surrounding Natural Winter Wonderland
Nowhere in the world says winter like Iceland. Why even the name of the country conjures up thoughts of the season’s coldness. If you want to discover majestic natural winter landscapes, Iceland will not disappoint. The country features clear waters, hot springs, sprawling mountains, and vast volcanic terrain. And toward the end of winter, in February or March, if you are lucky, you could see the Aurora Borealis.
If you only visit one place in Iceland, ensure it is the bustling and beautiful city of Reykjavik. There are numerous fabulous bars, restaurants, and attractions to visit. And for a truly wintery vacation, you can stay at a hotel made out of ice or a cozy igloo underneath the stars. After a good night’s rest inside probably the strangest place you will have ever spent the night, you can take a trip a few hours outside of the capital city to explore the glaciers of Solheimajokull.
Visit Berlin to Get in the Christmas Spirit
Germany’s Christmas markets have become world-renowned. So, for a truly festive winter destination, there is no better place on the planet than Berlin. You can usually visit more than 70 Christmas markets in Berlin, including both indoor and outdoor ones. Many of the markets include funfairs and rides, so children will especially have a magical and fun time. You will also find Christmas markets with different historical themes. The nostalgic market at the Opernpalais has an impressive selection of artisan crafts, as well as amusement rides and delicious snacks like roasted almonds. And at the Domäne Dahlem Advent market, which used to be a manor, you can see potters, smiths, weavers, and makers of musical instruments skillfully creating their products.
The largest Christmas market in Berlin, the Gendarmenmarkt market, is usually held in the Old Town of Spandau. In addition to being the largest, it is also the best. You will come across winter delicacies, origami art, glassblowers, and even a small tent city that boasts over 1,000 fairy lights. If you want to get into the wintery, Christmassy mood, the markets of Berlin will do the trick.
Visit Bruges to Indulge in Wintery and Tasty Delights
If there is one place that feels more Christmassy during winter than Berlin’s markets, it has to be the magical city of Bruges in Belgium. Its beautiful lakes have earned Bruges the name of Venice of the North, but the city’s medieval architecture, historical monuments, quaint shops, and cute cafés are just as much of a pull for tourists. During the winter, Bruges is home to numerous world-class music festivals and carnivals, and endearing Christmas markets.
You will not be short of winter wonderland activities to engage with. For example, you could take a magical horse and carriage ride through the snowy streets or climb the Bell Tower to get a 360-degree view of the incredible city. But it is perhaps the food that you will enjoy the most. No trip to Bruges is complete without sampling its world-famous chocolates, and at the markets, you can buy to-die-for local plum cakes. The bars and restaurants of Bruges also provide some tasty delights and amazingly good beers.