When people think of vacation, they usually think about the sun, the warm weather, the sand beneath their feet and the cooling breeze of the ocean. But vacation doesn’t have to be in warm tropical climates. There are countless number of cold weather destinations that are amazing in their own right. We have compiled the top 9 cold weather destinations for vacation.
Alaska has a natural, lovely landscape that seems at times untouched by humanity. Anchorage, the state’s largest city, has the quintessential Iditarod Dog Race, which alone is worth a trip to see. Head over to the city of Fairbanks, to witness the amazing spectacle of Northern Lights and to take a dogsled tour. Don’t forget to explore the incredible Mendenhall Ice Caves, located near the capital of Alaska, Juneau for a truly memorable vacation.
This small, European country is beautiful at any given time, but winter adds a nuance of mystic. Skoftafell Ice Cave is truly one of nature’s most beautiful creations. Skogarfoss and Seljalandsfoss are two of the biggest and most famous waterfalls in Iceland. Not to mention the ice blue glaciers and the black sanded beaches, Iceland is truly unique and breathtaking.
3. Lake Baikal, Siberia
Lake Baikal holds the distinction of being the world’s deepest lake and also for being labeled one of the clearest and oldest lakes known to man. The serenity experienced here during the winter is priceless. Combined with breathtaking views of the frozen lake and sunny skies, especially during February and March, Lake Baikal is a hidden gem unknown to many tourists and foreigners. Ice fishing and ice-skating are popular activities here.
4. Missoula, Montana
One might think this an unusual place for an outstanding cold weather- vacation, but it happens to be a perfectly well suited place for endless winter fun! It’s ideal for families and couples alike. There’s unlimited access to winter sports, with skiing just being one of them. With several hot springs, fantastic local cuisine and a huge selection of home-brewed beer, this is the perfect place for you and your significant other to enjoy together.
The perfect winter destination! The best way to explore the Norwegian fjords and see the Northern lights firsthand is by taking a boat or cruise up the Norwegian coast. You won’t be disappointed! Don’t forget to catch the midnight sun between May and July. With plenty of wilderness untouched and kept intact, Norway is the place to go for those who love the outdoors and nature.
Who would have thought Japan would be thought of as an idyllic winter retreat? Well, is sure is! It offers excellent skiing in Niseko, which is very popular with foreigners. The “Furano Kan Kan Mura”, a winter village/event is held every year at a ski resort in Furano City. It features a full snow-made café and bar that will provide you with a highly interesting après-ski time! Japan also hosts many celebrated festivals during the winter, the most astonishing being the Sapporo Snow Festival, a 7 day festival held in February. The festival features hundreds of ice sculptures and snow statues.
7. Mt. Cayambe, Ecuador
This magical place lies almost on the equator and is one of the most interesting places in South America during the winter. Mt. Cayambe is actually a volcano with a permanent snow cap. Interestingly, it is the only point on the equator that is snow covered. The place is filled with mountainous hiking trails and lakes along the way, which gives you stunning and close-up views of these gigantic snow-covered mountains.
Taking a luxurious Antarctic cruise is a once in a lifetime experience (unless you’re a scientist stationed in one of the research centers in the Antarctica, which means you spent most of your time there!). For the average Joe, like you and me, it gives us a unique insight into the fauna located in this coldest of weathers, as well as witnessing the great glaciers and animals like penguins and seals. The sight can’t be compared to any other place and one must see it to believe it. Just remember to wear a heavy goose down parka as temperatures can reach as low as -120 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Western Newfoundland, Canada
Canada consists of many great places during the winter (Toronto, British Columbia and Montreal among them), but Newfoundland easily deserves the number one spot, due to its perfection of natural beauty and the choices of thrilling snow activities, such as snowboarding and even zip-line excursions! Take a boat out and see the floating glaciers or if you’re lucky, perhaps you can catch a glimpse of a humpback whale swimming by. Western Newfoundland gives you a healthy balance between relaxation, solitude away from the crowds, and adventure. The perfect place for excitement and serenity.