There’s magic in the air- and the sound of laughter and music fills us with joy! A thick, beautiful blanket of snow covers the entire city, lulling it to sleep, making everybody crave a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Winters are amazing for those who wish to reconnect with their loved ones, and spend some quality time with family over Christmas break.
However, there are certain destinations that will make this time more memorable (and inspire the envy of all your friends and neighbors).
So, what special winter destinations should you be adding to your bucket list? Let’s take a look!
Prague (above image)
Prague is a city that always looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale. But go there during the winter months, and you will understand just how magical the place can be. The snow-capped cathedrals, bridges, and winding cobblestone roads add to the beauty of the place during the winter months. Recently, the city installed a number of gas-lights in the city center, so there is no better place to enjoy a romantic evening out! Moreover, Prague boasts one of the greatest Christmas markets in the entire world!
Recommended tours in Prague:
Iceland has suffered a lot because of its misleading name- it is actually not as cold as people make it out to be! During winter, you can enjoy an average weather of 32 degrees. Iceland’s snow-capped peaks, and domineering fjords look even more stunning during winter. But the piece-de-resistance is definitely the polar twilight. Between the months of November and March, the entire country is bathed in perpetual dusk! You could spend your time in Reykjavik, or for a more isolated experience, go up to Selfoss, where you can enjoy the polar twilight surrounding by dozens of active volcanoes!
Recommended tours in Iceland:
This Norwegian city is always a pleasure to visit, but the capital of the Arctic is best visited during the winter months. The Northern Lights are definitely one of the greatest miracles on the planet, and Tromso is the best place to spot them, especially in winter. You can satisfy the inner adventurer in you by going husky sledging, whale spotting, or even set off on a mini Arctic expedition! For the more culturally inclined traveler, the Polar Museum and Tromso Museum are a must-see. Oh, and no matter what you do, don’t forget to grab a hot cup of chocolate to keep you warm.
If you are seeking some warmth in the cold winter months, you could head to the maiden of the east, and spoil yourself in Hokkaido, Japan. This part of the Japanese countryside is littered with hundreds of hot springs (some of them are even red in color!) and active volcanoes. There is no experience better than taking a dip in a natural hot spring, while the snow falls gently on top of you. Do visit Noboribetsu and the Oyunama Brook for a traditional Japanese experience, and treat yourself to some wasabi-zuke and jasmine tea.
Amsterdam is the city of the free and the perpetually young. Visit it once during winter, and you’ll never want to leave! Winter is not a tourist season in Amsterdam, which means you get to enjoy the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum without having to fight a huge throng of people. Amsterdam’s Christmas Market is absolutely stunning, with some of the finest foods and drinks, and some of the heartiest performances around. The Christmas market and Royal Carre Theatre are huge hits with the children, so if you’re traveling with kids, this is your ideal winter destination.
Recommended tours in Amsterdam:
Not a lot of people associate Ottawa, Canada with “ideal travel destination”. But, during winter, the city comes to life, and revels in its own glory. Ottawa hosts the Winterlude Festival in the months of January and February each year. Visitors can enjoy wonderful food from across the world, outdoor concerts, and crazily enough, toboggan courses! Around Christmas time, the entire city gets lit up with Christmas lights, and it is definitely a sight to behold! Ottawa’s numerous parks and museums will keep you occupied, but if you want to do something more adventurous, you could take a shot at skating the length of the Rideau Canal, the largest natural ice rink in the world!
This heart shaped island in Vietnam is probably one of the coziest places you can visit during winter. If you hate the biting cold and darkness of winter, escape to this tropical paradise, with its sandy beaches, sky blue waters, and dense forests. The best part? The island is still pretty secluded, so you’ll get some time away from the hustle and bustle of your life! Relax, and enjoy a long swim at the beach, or explore the forests with a guide. Phu Quoc is famous for fish sauce (nuoc mam), and fresh seafood, so bon apetit!
Tanzania’s warm sun, and lush landscape will provide a welcome getaway for anybody adventurous enough to seek it. The country boasts of some of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the world, so you can have a different adventure every single day. Head down to the Serengeti National Park to spot lions, zebras, rhinos, and wildebeests in the wild. January is when you get to become a part of the Great Migration phenomenon! If you are there in February, you can also enjoy the Sauti za Busara music festival, a socially charged event celebrating the diversity of African music.
Recommended tours in Zanzibar:
What do you feel like doing this winter? Escaping the snow by relaxing in the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea? Exploring a dense forest, and discovering fascinating new species of animals? Exploring the ruins of an ancient culture? You can do all of this and more in the Yucatan Peninsula. Cancun has been the holiday destination for a long time, and for a good reason- who does not want to escape the cold of winter by basking in the sun, on the white sandy beaches! If you are in the mood for something more off-beat, you could explore the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Chichen Itza, or Coba!
The Canary Island is a welcome home for the weary traveler. It will greet you with open arms, and give you more opportunities to relax, unwind, and refuel than you’ll ever need. The warm weather is a gift for those from the cold lands. There is no end to what you can do in Canary Island- you can splurge at a resort in Costa Teguise or explore Spanish culture and art at Arrefice. For those more inclined to connect with nature, the Timanfaya National Park or Palmitos Park would be ideal destinations.
So, which one of these destinations have made it to your winter bucket list? Feel free to let us know in the comment below.