Winter is coming! And while the traditional image of winter might be of perfect picture snow-dusted landscapes, cosy cabins, and thrilling pursuits in crisp, cold air, the truth for us UK dwellers is often a bit bleaker. But what if you could exchange your rain-drenched surroundings for an actual winter wonderland?
Generally speaking, embracing winter holidays means seeking out snow. Why chase the sun when you can enjoy the winter and have all sorts of frosty fun? Sure, winter can feel cold, gloomy, and endless, but there’s something undeniably magical about the snow—the sparkle as it catches the light, the thriller-like hush that accompanies a fresh fall, and the joyous squeals on the sledging hills.
So, winter holiday lovers, let’s pack up our down jackets and waterproof boots, throw in a hot cocoa mix, and jet off to the world’s most captivating winter holiday destinations.
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Best Snow Holiday Destinations from Around the Globe
1. Whistler, Canada
In the heart of British Columbia, Whistler is a sacred mecca for snow sports enthusiasts. Skiing, snowboarding, and backcountry tours—the endless Pacific ranges are a winter holiday with snow just as you’d wish. Don’t forget the charcuterie at Bearfoot Bistro, coupled with their award-winning vodka ice room experience!
2. St. Moritz, Switzerland
A haven for winter glamour and world-class skiing, St. Moritz’s glistening snow-capped Alps offer a quintessential taste of a European snow holiday. Upscale resorts and the famous Cresta Run are paired with gourmet dining offerings and elaborate wellness centres.
3. Hakuba, Japan
Embrace the snow in the tranquil landscapes of Hakuba—one of the best winter holiday destinations. Skiers will appreciate the reliable powder that Japan’s famous for, while the onsen (hot springs) and unique Japanese cuisine add to the charm.
4. Kiruna, Sweden
Ever dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights or staying in an ice hotel? Kiruna, boasting Europe’s last wilderness, is a winter holiday with snow you’ll always remember. Experience Sami culture, join a husky safari, or try ice fishing amidst this Arctic wonderland.
5. Queenstown, New Zealand
Snow doesn’t only belong to the Northern Hemisphere. Queenstown is one such place down south where you can enjoy a snow holiday during UK summer months. Ski the Remarkables, indulge in a vibrant après-ski scene, and relish the stunning Southern Alps’ views.
6. Aspen, USA
Aspen is not just another ski town—it’s a top-grade winter holiday destination. Beyond its luxury resorts and vibrant night-life, the American ski mecca offers pristine slopes, vibrant cultural scenes, and a plethora of gourmet dining experiences.
7. Zermatt, Switzerland
Untouched by cars, Zermatt promises the iconic Matterhorn backdrop and excellent skiing suited to all skill levels. Enjoy the mountain cuisine, experience a spot of night skiing, or relax in the wellness centres, and see why it is everyone’s preferred snow holiday destination.
8. Tromsø, Norway
Revelling under the Northern Lights, Tromsø offers more than just a polar night. Go reindeer sledding, embark on a whale safari, or savour a Michelin meal. Certainly, one of the most distinctive winter holiday destinations you’ll come across.
9. Chamonix, France
Hold the thrill of conquering the “Death Sport Capital of the World” while you glide down Europe’s highest peak. Chamonix is not just a favourite winter destination for adrenalin junkies, but it also offers charming chalets, an animated après-ski scene, and the ubiquitous French gastronomy.
10. Lake Tahoe, USA
Lake Tahoe’s staggeringly beautiful lakeside views offer more than just skiing. This winter holiday with snow includes snow-tubing, snowmobiling, and gondola rides. Moreover, the area’s food scene and casinos keep the spirit alive off the slopes.
11. Bansko, Bulgaria
Venture beyond the traditional Alps and Rockies for your next snow holiday to Bulgaria’s Bansko. Affordable, family-friendly, and boasting an enduring heritage—it’s a snow-laden Balkan charm waiting to be discovered.
12. Oulanka National Park, Finland
For a wilderness winter holiday with snow, venture north to Finland’s Oulanka National Park. Marked by ancient snow-laden forests, frozen waterfalls, and a chance to spy the elusive wolves, it’s a perfect mix of tranquillity and adventure.
13. Rovaniemi, Finland
Another Finnish destination making the list is Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus. A dreamlike setting for a snow holiday, enjoy reindeer rides, ice fishing, and a jovial Christmas spirit all year round.
14. Schladming, Austria
Offering 760 km of ski slopes, its après-ski tradition and the lively Winter Nights Festival make Schladming a top-tier snow holiday destination. Its rustic mountain huts serve delicious Austrian cuisine—an absolute must-try!
15. Reykjavik, Iceland
The world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik, provides a remarkable winter holiday with snow. Take a dip in geothermal heated pools, explore the Terra-formed Mars-like landscapes, or journey into the heart of a glacier—it’s a chilly Icelandic paradise.
16. Gstaad, Switzerland
Luxury meets tradition in Gstaad. This charming Swiss village offers high altitude skiing, panoramic tobogganing paths, and a vibrant après-ski scene, making it an alluring winter holiday destination.
17. Lake Bled, Slovenia
With its medieval castle, emerald-green lake, and impressive Julian Alps backdrop, Lake Bled is straight out from a fairy-tale. Winter adds a stunning crystalline charm to it, making your snow holiday awe-inspiring. And you can even enjoy a Slovenia ski holiday too!
18. Bariloche, Argentina
Patagonia’s crown jewel, Bariloche, offers a unique winter holiday with snow. Savour the Argentine parilla, explore the Nahuel Huapi National Park, or ride a snowmobile—it’s an irresistible South American snow charm!
19. Bozeman, USA
From skiing through Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort to ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon, Bozeman offers a flurry of wintry activities. Add Montana hospitality and western culture, and your winter holiday will be truly unforgettable.
20. Levi, Finland
Levi’s groomed cross-country ski trails, alpine slopes, and snow-laden Lappish landscapes will make any snow-lover’s heart flutter. End your day in a glass igloo, gazing at the ethereal Northern Lights. An exemplary winter holiday with snow, indeed!
21. Carpathian Mountains, Romania
Venture to the stunning landscapes of Romania’s carpathian mountains for some affordable winter snow experiences. From the castles of Transylvania to the snow capped ski slopes in Romania, we think this is a great option for an adventure in a Winter Wonderland.
Preparing for the cold!
Seize the snowballs, and get ready for your cool, crispy and unforgettable winter journey! And if you’re looking for budget ski package deals, check out our partner site uGOsnow.
Of course if you’re heading into the cold, you’ll need to be prepared with warm winter gear. Read out guide to finding cheap ski gear in the UK.