If money and time were no object here are the five places and experiences I have been dreaming about for this coming winter. Although I love summer and the beach I also enjoy embracing winter and making the most of it. When I visited New Zealand during winter in 2013 I had a blast and it taught me that you don’t just have to travel to sunny destinations, winter ones can be fun too!
So here are 5 places I want to visit this winter…
Norway/Finland to see the Northern Lights
They have already begun, the dancing Aurora Borealis across the skies of the northern hemisphere. Having been on my bucket list for forever and despite spending last winter in Scotland I’m still yet to see them. Although they are visible from an array of countries in the northern hemisphere my top two picks would be Finland or Norway. Finland has the dreamiest accommodation for the experience called Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – it always makes the list for best places to see the northern lights and it’s easy to understand why! (You just need to win the lottery before you can afford to stay there)
Norway on the other hand boast amazing landscape and some of the most beautiful Scandinavian towns. It is also the first place I think to head when someone mentions the northern lights.
Christmas Market in Germany
Ever been to a German market? Yes, me too, but was that German market in the UK? All my visits sure have been and although Edinburgh might do a really good German Christmas market I cannot imagine it is anywhere near as good as one in Germany. Strasbourg (although technically in France because it sits right on the border), Dresden, Cologne and Berlin all seem to come top in the listings I’ve found. This would be a perfect weekend away in the build up to Christmas where you could enjoying some mulled wine, German beer and possibly get some Christmas shopping done.
Ice Hotel in Sweden
Spending the night in a room that is in minus temperature probably doesn’t sound like the best idea. However once you’ve taken a look at how magical these rooms are you might just change your mind. I have always liked the idea of spending a night in an ice hotel, especially since I visited the ice bar in Queenstown. They might be cold but they are a fun way to make the most of winter, Sweden boast some of the best rooms around. Open from late December until April you have to time your visit right, but I couldn’t think of a better place to escape from the January blues. Unfortunately the price is another whopper at around £500 per a night, hey we can all dream…
Snowboarding in Switzerland
Last year I had my first ever experience of snowboarding and I properly sucked, so much that I spent the afternoon in the medical centre. Luckily when I decided to give it a second go this year in Scotland I got the hang of it much better and even found myself going down red slopes! I however am yet to ski in the major Europe destinations: France, Austria or Switzerland. Although I have been to Switzerland before climbing mountains and enjoying the scenery in what they call ‘summer’ – it rained for nearly two weeks constantly! Switzerland is a breathtaking country and I would love to go back to enjoy some snow fun. In one of those fancy resorts where you board all the way to your chalet door and jump in the hot tub after cold morning session.
Spend Christmas in New York City
Wandering around the streets of New York city in the snow with Christmas cheer in the air seems like the perfect way to embrace winter. It also happens to be the option that I have booked for later this year! I will be lapping up the Christmas spirit for a few days before the 25th and cannot wait. Ice skating in Central Park or at the Rockefeller, holiday markets, shop window displays, Christmas decorations on Sixth Avenue and more! It is completely touristy, iconic and over the top but I feel like it is the sort of thing you can do once and it be okay. I also really hope it snows.