Best Winter Getaways for Snow Lovers (or Not)
A magic winter vacation will make you forget all about the cold…or inspire you to really indulge in it.
As winter comes, travel daydreams begin to fluctuate between two very different types of vacations: winter wonderlands and tropical beaches.
The following winter vacation ideas will provide you with the height of fun when the temperature hits new lows.
The Festival of Lights in Lyon is enough to make the trip to this lively French city. In winter the whole of France celebrates Mother Mary with the Lyonnaise tradition. People place candles on the outsides of their windows and create a unified glow across the city. The light shows of Basilica of Fourviere and the Place des Terreaux are worthy spectacles for travelers and natives alike.
Harbin City, China
Harbin, China, also known as “Ice City”, is famous for its long and cold winters. During prolonged winter (almost half a year) the city truly shines. In Harbin you can enjoy plenty of chilly activities, from skiing at their famous Yabuli Ski Resort to attending the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, which lasts for an entire month.
Both winter sports enthusiasts and snow lovers will find plenty to do in Bavaria, Germany. The snowy peaks of the area offer visitors the chance to ski, sled, snow tube, and ice climb. If you want a break from the cold, you can just head to the spa region for a little relaxation and pampering.
The northern lights appearing in the area anytime between September and April will deeply impress you. But the heart of winter offers the best chances of spotting them. Taking the Fjellheisen cable car to the top of the mountain will offer the best views.
The polar night period offers the best chances – a 48-day period between November and January when the sun never rises, and the northern lights could appear at any time of the day.
Vienna is famous for its breathtaking buildings, palaces, and neo-Gothic architecture that make a particularly stunning backdrop for Christmas lights.
Here you can find a number of great Christmas markets, with the Belvedere Christmas market topping the list. The market is distinguished by its elegance and thousands of little lights reflecting on a lake.
The market outside Schönbrunn Palace, the most elegant market in Vienna, sells high-quality items such as handmade glass and pottery. Gourmet food, including mountain cheeses and home-baked gingerbread is sold here, too. Besides, the largest Christmas tree in Vienna is here.
You will certainly like the Karlsplatz Christmas market which sells handmade and very unique products. The market at Michaelerplatz Square is also worth seeing. It is right by the entrance gate to the Hofburg and sells traditional holiday crafts and food.
You can admire spectacular views in Yosemite National Park throughout the year, but there’s never a more magical time to visit than in the winter. The huge granite cliffs and giant redwood trees are covered by bright white snow and there are plenty of activities to do during the day. You will enjoy skiing or boarding down Badger Pass or taking a walk along some of the Valley Loop Trail.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Big Bend National Park is in the far West corner of Texas. Here the winter temperatures are mild, topping out at around 70 degrees in January and February. This means that you can check off the park’s longer trails in a far more comfortable climate than midsummer’s 90-degree temps. Whereas nighttime temperatures can get below freezing, so pack accordingly.
New Eco Lodge in Todos Santos
Todos Santos is a small village that feels like a little slice of paradise. The town has a bohemian vibe, full of artists’ galleries, farm-to-table restaurants, and nearby surf breaks. This hotel offers tours of local farms, morning yoga, guided sunset bike rides and hikes, and taco tours of Todos Santos. At the end of the day you can relax with a massage at the hotel spa.
Lviv is located in the west of Ukraine. In winter, when its streets are dusted with snow, it becomes a true wonderland. In December you can admire the Christmas markets or catch a festive ballet performance at Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet. This is the perfect destination for anyone.
Wroclaw is a city in fairy-tale surroundings. It is filled with trendy bars, restaurants and cafés. Be sure, this young and vibrant Polish city will put a smile on your face. When you are in Wroclaw, don’t miss the chance to discover the local gnomes – pick up a map from the tourist office and discover the cheeky little scamps scattered throughout the city.
Malta is a winning destination for a cheap winter holiday because of its mild temperatures and budget-friendly prices. You will enjoy strolling the honey-coloured streets of Valletta, browsing the market stalls of Marsaxlokk and exploring ancient historic sites and the spectacular film set locations in Mdina.
No matter what time of year you visit, the Estonian capital is pretty as a picture. The city gains its cosy charm in the winter months. You can shop for festive goodies in the Christmas market on the medieval Town Hall Square. It’s not unusual to find Tallinn covered in snow in December, making it one of Europe’s most magical winter city break destinations.
Whitefish, Montana, USA
When you really want to get away from it all, this quaint ski town is a perfect option. The city has lots of bustling shops and a ski resort situated on Big Mountain. There’s plenty to do and see here. You can enjoy some scenic views of the mountain reflected in their state lake. There is an annual winter festival of the lesser-known sport of joring. A horse and rider should pull a skier along an 800-foot-long horseshoe-shaped course while the skier pulls off jumps and swerves around slalom gates.
These destinations will provide you with lots of outdoor fun in the coldest months of the year. They will give you unique exploration opportunities. Winter break is the time to relax and unwind from the constant pressure and stress. It is a valuable time for families to reconnect creating great memories together.
Does the thought of cooking up a huge meal make you feel more weary than excited? You might want to consider spending the weekend at one of these wonderful vacation spots.
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