When it comes to winter travel ideas, the possibilities really are endless. Depending on what you want from your vacation, there is a stunning escape to suit every desire and cure every case of wanderlust. From bold cityscapes drizzled in Christmas lights to the comforting warmth of the Mediterranean, get lost in our pick of the best winter getaways.
Cold but Picture-Perfect
Be inspired by a mindful way of life in Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish have a word for enjoying life’s simple pleasures; hygge. Pronounced, “hue-gah” this is a word to group together family, friends, happiness, relaxation and over all — balance. There’s no place better to establish this deep, mindful connection with your surroundings than in Copenhagen. This stylish city is alive with sights and attractions over the Christmas period that are well worth a visit. Christmas in Tivoli Gardens is a sacred Christmas traditional amongst city-folk and tourists alike. The Christmas market will take over the streets of Tivoli during November and December, lighting up the city with market stalls selling decorations and foodie favorites, delicacies, hot drinks and arts and crafts. Ideal for adults and children to enjoy together, this spectacular light show set to music makes for a memorable way to get your Christmas shopping done. After shopping, why not head to Frederiksberg Runddel, a free admission ice-skating rink open from late November until Early January?
Get romantic on the streets of Paris, France
Although undoubtably chilly, there’s no getting away from the beauty of Paris — especially for a winter vacation. Not typically a time for tourists, the low season means that you can enjoy a romantic winter getaway like an authentic Parisian. Take in the sights and sounds of the city amongst the glow of the Christmas lights, or linger over a hot chocolate or a café creme after a morning stroll through the Louvre. The best winter vacations are often spent meandering through mysterious cities and finding hidden gems before stopping to enjoy hot cuisine over a glass of wine with a loved one. If you’re visiting over Christmas, the Champs-Elysées becomes a winter wonderland complete with a Christmas market in quaint wooden chalets and hot chestnuts roasting in the street. Had to the ice rink at the Champs-Elysées for something unforgettable, open until the 3rd of January. For something a little special, why not climb the steps of the towers inside the gothic Notre-Dame for an unbelievable view of Paris?
Revel in the beauty of winter in Vienna, Austria
Small but beautiful, Vienna is the perfect destination for your winter getaway. As sophisticated as it is stylish, this spirited capital will offer up irresistible crisp winter days, often with layers of snow. Chills can be quickly seen to thanks to a beautiful selection of cool bars and cafes, where you can enjoy a hot chocolate between sight-seeing. In January and February, Vienna’s ball season reaches its peak — that’s 2000 hours of dancing and more than 450 balls each year. From waltzes and iconic ball gowns to urban beats and discos, there’s a rhythm for everyone to enjoy on the streets of Vienna. This magical city lets you revel in winter, whether you’re visiting for the charm of the Christmas markets in December or the pull of the elegant balls in January. For European jet-setters, it’s the perfect place for a winter weekend getaway.
A Winter Escape Soaked in Sun
Indulge in luxury in the Seychelles
There’s nowhere on earth quite like the quiet, indulgent luxury of the Seychelles. With its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s the perfect way to escape the cold this winter. This picture-perfect collection of islands is as enchanting as it is relaxing. Whether you’re looking for a romantic winter getaway or a family retreat, you’ll find it in the Seychelles. Why choose one island when you can have the pick of them all? Island hopping is a fantastic way to see the best of the islands. The largest island, Mahé is an aurora of breathtaking scenery and a great place to base yourself. Catch a catamaran to stunning La Digue with a group of friends or seek out to explore the underwater wildlife with a trip to Curieuse Island, where you can stroll the sands with giant tortoises and get lost in the wonder of that pristine turquoise water.
Seek out adventure in Sri Lanka
If you are seeking a diverse landscape with as many rainforests as sandy beaches, then Sri Lanka is the perfect winter getaway for you. Whether you’re exploring the ancient buddhist ruins of Sigiriya, getting lost in legendary temples, trekking into the rainforest or reading on an untrodden sandy beach, Sri Lanka is an uncrowded gem that is just waiting to be explored. There are a myriad of luxurious resorts on the island, often with an eclectic mix of sandy beach and exciting excursions. For nature-lovers, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a heart-warming attraction. Unawatuna is popular amongst tourists for its picture-perfect beach. Visit from October - January for warm temperatures and low chances of rain-fall.
Soak up the sun in Limassol, Cyprus
Head to the southern coast of Cyprus this winter for endless stretches of sandy beaches, a cosmopolitan nightlife and a charming combination of culture and relaxation. Dasoudi Beach, on the east-side of Limassol, is a great place for visitors thanks to its exciting water-sports and eatery options. For an adventure seeped in tradition and charm, visit Omodos for a break from the beach— a popular destination for a day trip. Wander the atmospheric cobbled streets whilst sampling the fine cuisine of this pretty village or head to Zenon winery for a taste of their award-winning shiraz-marathef. Wine tastings are free and there is even a quaint wine museum to satisfy your cultural lust. Limassol is also home to the Roman ruins of Amathus, which features a fantastic amphitheater.
Somewhere Even Colder
Breathe the alpine air in Vorarlberg, Austria
An ever popular destination for unforgettable ski getaways, Austria’s legendary peaks make for a picturesque stay when you want to escape the everyday. There’s nothing like a refreshing alpine view to put things into perspective, especially if the resort boasts a heavenly spa to settle into after a day on the slopes. With the sheer number of exceptional, world-class ski resorts in Austria, as well as an abundance of beauty, it’s no wonder that ski enthusiasts return year after year. If you’re looking for a winter adventure like no other, the region of Vorarlberg is a favorite amongst royals and celebrities so you know you’ll be in for a treat. Arlberg is a mountain range between Vorarlberg and Tyrol, with its highest peak standing at 2,811 metres. With its incredible natural conditions suitable for beginners, intermediates and ski experts alike it’s no surprise that the Ski Club Arlberg is one of the most influential ski clubs in the world, totaling an impressive 54 Olympic and championship medals. The incredible Arlberg ski resort comprises of five alpine villages, 84 cable cars and 280 kilometers of ski slopes to indulge in.
Dream beneath the Northern Lights in Finland
Be part of nature’s most fascination phenomenon in Finland by heading for a cultural experience like no other. Whilst this is not a winter getaway for sun-seekers, it is definitely one that will stay with you forever. In Finland, the nights are dark between August and April, offering up the perfect conditions for viewing the Aurora Borealis. If snuggling up in a glass igloo beneath the enchanting skies isn't enough to convince you, then how about the thought of touring via dog sled, skiing or snowshoeing? If you want to add even more luxury, the village of Nellim by Lake Inari is home to the Wilderness Hotel Nellim, which offers its guests a heated pod for viewing the Northern Lights, not to mention breathtaking Lappish surroundings.
Wherever you choose to spend your winter vacation, we hope these dazzling destinations have inspired you to seek out the adventure you crave. Have you already booked your winter getaway? Perhaps you know exactly where you’ll be heading this winter. Let us know in the comments!