Cold weather, delicious comfort food, family time, and holiday celebrations. These are all the feelings that a winter vacation evokes for most people. However, with so many exciting places to travel to, choosing a destination can be intimidating at times.
So if you are ready for an exotic adventure but have no idea where to go this season, look no further: from snowy ski resorts to warm and sunny beaches, here is a list of 15 must-visit winter vacation spots in the world that you should definitely consider:
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is a western United States national park located primarily on the northwestern side of Wyoming and expanding into Montana and Idaho. The park is well-known for its biodiversity and geothermal features, particularly the Old Faithful geyser.
The park is home to nearly 60 species of mammals, such as the Rocky Mountain wolf, grizzly bears, coyotes, cougars, and the Canadian lynx.
Trekking, camping, kayaking, catching fish, and backpacking are all popular recreational activities in Yellowstone. During the winter season, visitors frequently enter the park via guided tours on snowmobiles or snow coaches.
- Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is located in the Julian Alps of Slovenia’s Upper Carniolan region, near the town of Bled.
The lake has a small island and is of combined glacial and tectonic origin. It has a total depth of 29.5 m (97 ft). The lake is set in a beautiful setting, encircled by forests and mountains. The museum at Medieval Bled Castle exists just above the lake on the north side.
A small wooden boat known as a pletna, which can seat up to 20 passengers, is the traditional mode of transportation to Bled Island.
Trek to Mala Osojnica for one of the amazing sights of Lake Bled. It’s a short, slightly strenuous hike, but the reward is an iconic bird’s eye view of Lake Bled.
- Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is the Czech Republic’s capital and largest city, as well as the cultural capital of Bohemia. The climate in the city is temperate oceanic, with comparatively warm summers and cold winters.
Prague is a central European political, social, and economic hub with a rich heritage. Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, and Petn Hill are among the main attractions of Prague. The historic centre of Prague has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1992.
There are over ten major museums in the city, as well as numerous theatres, art installations, movie theatres, and other biblical exhibits.
- Cape Town
Cape Town is one of three capital cities in South Africa. Cape Town has gained popularity among outbound tourists visiting South Africa because of its well-developed infrastructure, scenic views, and moderate climate.
The city has many well-known natural attractions that draw tourists, the most notable of which is Table Mountain. Many visitors also try driving along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a slender road that connects Noordhoek and Hout Bay, to enjoy the scenery of the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains nearby.
With Cape Town’s unique topography, you can enjoy several beaches with completely different atmospheres yet within proximity to each other. This makes it possible to visit many of them on a single day of your tour.
- Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country lying in Central America, with the Pacific Ocean on its southwest and the Caribbean Sea on the northeast.
Costa Rica is the most visited country in Central America, drawing many tourists to its extensive network of national parks and other protected areas.
The Camino de Costa Rica trail, which allows travellers to walk all across the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, is the most popular destination among tourists. Tamarindo, Liberia, San José, and Manuel Antonio are also popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica.
- Kirkjufell, Iceland
Kirkjufell, located on the northern coast of Iceland’s Snaefellsnes peninsula, close to the town of Grundarfjörur, is perhaps the most photographed mountain in Iceland.
It is a former nunatak, meaning a hill that split open above the glaciers that surrounded it during the Ice Age and were previously part of the area’s strata.
Kirkjufell is very approachable. Furthermore, both Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfalls are within walking distance of the town of Grundarfjörur.
Almost every tourist comes to this location to pick the ideal viewpoint for the mountain and waterfall’s aesthetic composition, the most renowned being the Aurora Borealis activity on the upper end of the Kirkjufell mountain.
Mauritius is an island country in the Indian Ocean, roughly 2,000 kilometres off the African continent’s southeast coast, east of Madagascar.
The island country has a tropical climate with clear and pleasant sea waters, a coastline, tropical fauna and flora, and a multi-ethnic and social population. Mauritius’ environment is typically tropical along the coast, with forest areas in the mountains.
Mauritius, like some other Mascarene Islands, is known for its diverse flora and fauna. Many of the island’s species are unique. The island has been the only known home of the Dodo, which is now extinct, along with many other avian species found only on this island.
- Bergen, Norway
Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen, is also widely recognized as the “city of seven mountains” by tourists. The Bergen region, known as the Gateway to the Fjords and a UNESCO World Heritage City, offers the ideal mix of nature, culture, and thrilling urban life all year round.
The must-visit attractions in Bergen include the Bergen Aquarium, Flibanen Funicular, Fish Market, and lastly, Bryggen.
- Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is a charming small town that has everything travellers need to make bucket-list memories, including stunning views, world-class arts and entertainment, distinct cultural experiences, and native signature flavours.
Stowe is situated at the base of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, and it is famous for many adventurous winter activities like snowboarding and skiing, skyrides, zipline tours, etc.
Vermont’s historic Long Trail (LT) is among the most popular routes that cross Mt. Mansfield and continue into Smugglers’ Notch and beyond.
- Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan
The park is home to Japanese Macaques, also referred to as Snow Monkeys. It is situated in the monkey’s native habitat, in the forests of Yamanouchi’s Jigokudani valley, close to the towns of Shibu and Yudanaka.
The park has a man-made pool where the monkeys congregate, which is situated a few minutes’ stroll from the park entrance. The macaques live in big social groups, and observing their interactions can be quite entertaining. Here these macaques can also be spotted taking a bath in a natural hot spring.
For good reasons, touching or feeding the monkeys is prohibited.
- Harbin City, China
Harbin is a big, open city that has been heavily influenced by Russia, Japan, and Europe in terms of culture, architecture, and way of life. Harbin, also known as “the Ice City,” is a popular winter tour destination, hosting the world’s largest snow and ice festival.
Harbin is well-known for hosting the world’s largest snow and ice festival. The most popular attraction is the Harbin Ice and Snow World, which is similar to a frozen Disneyland, with large snow and ice castles, cartoon sculptures, and the world’s largest variety of snow sports and activities.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
With beautiful nature perfectly combined with Lanna culture and contemporary colours, Chiang Mai is a province that attracts millions of tourists each year, both Thai and foreign.
As a tourist, you can visit the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden as well as Rajapruek Royal Park to see various plant species. Praying to the Phra That Doi Suthep, an important Chiang Mai landmark, is also a popular tourist activity in Chiang Mai.
At Doi Ang Khang, you can enjoy walking through the rice fields, feeling the cold wind, and lastly, you can try the Nimmanhaemin Road’s art products, local cuisine, and culture.
- St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz is an elevated Alpine resort town in Switzerland’s Engadine, situated at an elevation of approximately 1,800 metres (5,910 ft) above ocean level.
St. Moritz has more than 300 sunny days per year. Every winter, it organizes the “White Turf” horse race on the iced Lake St. Moritz, which people from all over the world attend.
Skiing, snowboarding, and hiking are popular activities, and the well known Cresta Run toboggan run is nearby.
The Segantini Museum, the bobsled run, a very unusual all-natural venue, traditionally open by mid-December, the Morteratsch glacier landscape, and Piz Corvatsch, with its ice caves, are among the main attractions in St. Moritz.
- Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico (Spanish for “rich port”) is an archipelago comprised of the main island of Puerto Rico as well as several other islands: Vieques, Culebra, Mona, and numerous islets.
Puerto Rico provides an incredible range of experiences. From gorgeous beaches to dense rain forests, there are tourist destinations to suit all tastes. Also, there is a wealth of cultural heritage that cannot be found anywhere else.
- Alta Badia, Italian Alps
Alta Badia is situated on the southern side of the Val Badia valley, just at the foot of remarkable Dolomite summits, immersed in a large, sunny valley encircled by pristine nature, and consists of six small villages.
These villages of Alta Badia offer a diverse range of sporting and vacation activities, including skiing and snowboarding, hiking and cycling, rock climbing and horseback riding, and, of course, recreation in a stunning natural setting.