Amazing Winter Wonderlands
Santa’s season brings with it softly drifting snow, icicles sparkling in the sun and adrenalin-pumping winter sports. If your idea of holiday heaven is carving up the slopes, drinking hot toddies by a crackling fire and ice-skating on pristine frozen lakes, these amazing winter wonderlands will have you packing your bags before you can say, “ho, ho, ho”.
Winter smiles on the swoon-worthy, snowy playground of Grindelward. One of Switzerland’s oldest ski resorts, there are beginner runs, intermediate runs and the challenging Black Rock run for experts, in the surrounding areas.
Mountaineers can admire the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains, you can take a ride on the Jungfraujoch railway or get cosy in an Alpine chalet surrounded by lush valleys. The ski season runs from December until April.
New York, USA
Heading to 59th street and gazing at Bloomingdales Holiday Window Displays is part of New York’s winter magic. With room to walk on the sidewalks, Christmas trees the size of small high-rises and fantastic deals on hotels, it might just be the best season to visit the famous city.
Ice skate at Wollman Rink in Central Park for romantic views of Midtown and check out the rink at Rockefeller centre too. Indulge in hot chocolate, cheap Broadway tickets and don your scarf, beanie and boots to stroll the fairy-lit streets on a snowy evening.
To have your very own fairy-tale winter, look no further than Lake Bled, in Slovenia. In the foothills of the Julian Alps, Bled is a winter resort complete with a snow-covered medieval castle perched high above the lake.
You can revive in thermal spring waters, Finnish and Turkish saunas or simply stroll around the lake and visit the cafes. The Pokljuka plateau offers fantastic cross-country skiing and the ski slope at Straza is located just a small walk from the centre of Bled, with a double-chair lift, a rope tow and night skiing available.
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Mihael Grmek)
Yosemite National Park, USA
It can be hard to get a patch of snow to yourself in the world’s most stunning winter regions, however in Yosemite National Park, you might just get lucky. Winter is the quietest season and one of the most beautiful, with nature’s finest assets on display under a blanket of snow.
You can hang out at the Badger Pass Ski Area, which is California’s oldest ski resort and offers winter sports, a ski school, rental equipment, a ski shop and dining.
The legendary Matterhorn is the jewel in the crown of Switzerland’s best all-round ski resort. The area is a car-free zone, filled with Swiss tradition and chock-full of winter sport opportunities.
You can ski until you drop from November until April; If you can manage to focus on something other than the awe-inspiring scenery of some of the highest mountains in Europe. Coast over glacial fields, glide through gaping chasms and zoom over untouched, powder snow.
From the 21st of November to the 21st of January, visit Tromso during the Polar Nights for festivals, cultural events and lively nightlife. It’s also one of the best places to see nature’s theatrical production of the Northern Lights, in the months of December, January, February and March. Go skiing, dog sledding and party with the locals in town, all smack-bang in the midst of dramatic, snow-topped scenery.