For the winter lovers, planning a getaway should have three necessary things: gorgeous scenery, fluffy white stuff and plenty of outdoor activities. Snow Blower Source takes a look at where some of the best winter vacation spots are in the whole world, just in case you feel like giving your Toro or Ariens snow blower a little break.
Way up in the Arctic Circle — 217.48 miles inside the Arctic Circle, to be exact — is a Norwegian city dubbed the “Paris of the North“. It’s one of the most travel-friendly destinations for seeing a part of the world where the sun is always up in the summer and always down in the winter, but with one huge bonus: Tromsø consistently ranks as one of the best places in the world to catch the shimmering Northern Lights.
If you go: take in a dogsledding adventure, go on a cruise to look at the fjords and pop by the Arctic Cathedral.
All of Switzerland is incredibly gorgeous during the winter and it’d be too easy to just list the country as a top place to visit in the winter, but when it comes to the best, Zürich take the top spot by a hair. It’s situated on Lake Zürich with an amazing view of the Swiss Alps, with a bustling downtown core that gives the city a modern, metropolitan feel. If you’re there around Christmas, pop over to nearby Basel. It’s one of the top places in the world for Christmas markets and if you’re not impressed with the old-world charm, nothing in the world can amaze you.
If you go: forget about renting a car and take the train everywhere. It’s affordable, fast and offers the best views of Switzerland.
Sure, the more popular choices when visiting Japan are usually Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima, but the beauty of Hokkaido is it doesn’t feel touristy at all. You’ll get an authentic Japanese vibe with plenty of snow — Hokkaido is one of the snowiest places in the world, thanks to nearby Siberia — and can take in awesome winter activities like skiing, snowboarding and relaxing in an ice bar. Prices are also a lot more affordable than other Japanese vacation cities.
If you go: dress in layer to keep warm against the humid cold, and bring a pair of boots that can stay dry in several feet of snow.
South Island, New Zealand
Because it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll have to visit South Island in your winter to get a true cold weather vacation experience. It’s also about 2,800 miles away from Antarctica, in case you wanted to make a little side trip to the bottom of the world. But if you stay on South Island, make sure to visit Mount Cook. It’s not only South Island’s tallest mountain, but also where Sir Edmund Hillary cut his teeth mountaineering.
If you go: take plenty of pictures of the landscapes, which are among the most rugged, unspoiled and beautiful in the world.
Reykjavik‘s not very densely populated, so you’ll never have to battle huge crowds in the ski lines, lagoons or dog sled cabins. It’s also one of the top places in the world to see the Northern Lights, which are best seen in nearby Grindavik (just a 40-minute drive away). Plus, while you’re in Grindavik, stop by the famous Blue Lagoon and relax in a thermal bath while the chilly winter air has no effect on you whatsoever.
If you go: save a bit of feed for the reindeer, visit the Yoko Ono-designed Imagine Peace Tower and check out Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) for an amazing winter adventure.