Winter brings the best out of some locations: snow provides opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and adventure, while cities take on a certain magical quality over the Christmas season. However, the cold weather is not for everyone, many just want to escape to a warmer climate to shake off their seasonal blues. What is the best winter holiday destination? It depends on what you're into, but in this winter holiday guide, there is an inspirational winter destination for everyone...
Bruges - Belgium
When you're walking through the cobbled streets between the horses and carts you may think you’ve traveled back in time. Situated in North West Belgium, Bruges is the scene of a medieval fairytale. The public squares are full of food stalls where you can try the highest quality beer and chocolate. You can go to the famous Grote market which is home to the enormous 13th-century bell tower. If you are looking for some seasonal magic, Bruges is the ideal place to visit in winter.
Yellowstone National Park - The USA
Yellowstone is one of the most visited national parks in the world but is not so well known as a winter holiday destination. People who go at this time to see a different, more intermate side of Yellowstone. Blue skies contrast with the stark snow where it is easy to spot elks, bisons. Hot springs are dotted around Yellowstone in winter, from which you can see steam rising from the lucid green pools of water. There is also the unique opportunity witness this beautiful landscape on guided snowshoe and cross-country skiing tours.
Tenerife - The Canary Islands
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, all of which get their fair share of sunshine over the winter period, making them a popular winter holiday destination. Tenerife is home to some of the most beautiful white-washed beaches, however, it offers far more than just a winter sunbathing holiday. The volcanic mountains provide opportunities to hike through ancient forests and there are numerous vineyards which offer wine-tasting packages. The island also hosts numerous banana plantations and15th-century towns.
Nyoto Onsen - Japan
An ‘onsen’ is a Japanese hot spring which is used for bathing, not to be confused with ´sento’ which is simply a bath. Nyoto Onsen is located two hours from Akita airport and is home to a wide variety of onsens, both indoor and outdoor. The natural springs run under an enchanting beech forest which creates idyllic, picturesque scenery which you can enjoy while bathing and breathing in the crisp air. You can also enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine and see preserved samurai buildings while you stay in this mysterious, unique destination. It is important to learn the correct Japanese onsen etiquette before you go! Onsens are a popular winter destination in Japan, not only for tourists but also for Japanese nationals, so get yourself ready for a truly unique winter holiday.
Vienna - Austria
The locals do not stay at home during winter despite the chilly temperatures: the city is vibrant and lively. The clear blue sky, the layer of snow and the stunning architecture make Vienna one of the best places for a winter city break. It hosts an abundance of cafes and bars where you can warm up. The city is illuminated by Christmas lights and is home to cozy markets where you can smell roasted chestnuts, drink mulled wine and try delicious pastries such as schnitzels and strudels, all beneath the huge, gothic council building which lights up in the evening. This ideal winter holiday destination hosts vast numbers of art galleries and museums which are a must, including the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Imperial Palace.
Where to go on holiday at winter? If the cold weather is not for you and you like an adventure, Costa Rica is the ideal destination. The tropical, Latin-American paradise contains around 5% of the Earth’s biodiversity in its misty jungles, sandy beaches, and active volcanoes, giving you the chance to see a vast amount of different types of wildlife. What is there to do in Costa Rica? There are many activities which you can do while there, such as zip lining over the island's canyons, or surfing in the deep blue sea. It also the perfect place to relax, you can lie in a hammock and read a book while flocks of pelicans fly overhead. This variety makes Costa Rica a great winter family holiday destination.