Sure sweltering beside the pool and sipping cocktails in beach cabanas may be the epitome of vacation but let’s not overlook the charm of cold-weather places. Steamy saunas, hot chocolate so thick your spoon gets stuck, chic country cabins and lashings of snow – what’s not to love? We have picked out our favourite cold-weather destinations so you don’t have to fight the seasonal change…
Stand beneath the flashing gold and greens of the Aurora Borealis, watch polar bears pick their way across an ice field, and take a husky sled out to cross a frozen land of pure white. Svalbard sits in Norway’s high arctic, as far you can possibly get from everything you think you know. But despite its far-flung nature, the areas tight-knit community are content with living the dream. Visitors are sure to be smitten by the expanse of the tundra, the dominating aura of the Northern Lights, and the bucket list opportunities for witnessing wildlife, ice caves, and feeling like a pure pioneer.
Is there anything as beautiful as the wintertime in Banff? Seriously, Banff is a scene straight from a Christmas card with its glistening alpine lakes looking impossibly blue when set against a landscape of pure powder and with the soaring peaks of Mt Rundle and Mt Cascade glowering in the background. The town of Banff is also super cute with twinkling lights, boutique shops, and charming places to stay. Step out of town and the wilderness envelops you with wolf cries, fragrant pine forests, and hot springs for soothing wind chilled skin.
Come Christmastime and the city of Munich turns into a glittering fairytale of yuletide fun. The German Christmas markets are one of the most enchanting things to see in Europe. Expect charming wooden stalls selling unique handicrafts, sizzling sausages and other such delicacies and warming mugs of steaming Gluhwein. Of course, there are fairy lights at every turn, live music spilling out of the gorgeously dressed town halls, and gooey raclette for when you need your cheese fondue fix.
The ski capital of the USA needs little introduction. One of the most famous spots for swishing down the mountains, renting glorious five-star condos, and indulging in the après ski lifestyle – Colorado remains one of our faves for a chic winter break. Even if you don’t feel comfortable on skis you will find plenty of keep you rosy-cheeked and charmed. Sleigh rides are waiting to ferry you through silent forests and for an added edge of romance, try ice-skating and moonlit snowmobile safaris.
Wild and untamed and seemingly perched at the ends of the earth, Alaska entices you to tumble into mother natures lap. While the spring and summer months see wildflowers blaze, it’s the winter that inspires ethereal awe. Fairbanks is the only city to be stashed deep inside the interior and makes for a fascinating visit. From watching the dancing patterns of the northern lights to participating in community dog sled races, plunging into hot springs, and taking the aurora winter train from Anchorage – life is rarely this wholesome.
Which winter destinations are capturing your attention? Share your cold-weather travel inspiration in the comments.