Winter may be almost here, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider an extended break away. In fact, winter is the ideal time to book a trip away as there will be less crowds and many places are very different to how they are in the hotter months.
During the winter, the waters of the Gullfoss Waterfall and Hvítá River turn to vibrant hues of blue and turquoise, with the Hvítá partly frozen due to the season’s extreme cold. Gullfoss Waterfall, of course, is the undisputed centre of attraction, offering visitors the rare opportunity to gawk at nature untouched. Take note, though, that for winter visits to the falls, travellers Terrence and Victoria of Follow Me Away recommend that you wear crampons. The various viewpoints around the falls tend to be lined with ice this time of the year, and moving about can be difficult, unless you have crampons on your feet.
This little mining town is situated in the far north or Norway, which means it is a prime location to catch the spectacular Northern Lights. Spitsbergen, the largest among the Svalbard islands, is a particularly attractive destination, with dog-sledding, skiing, and glacier-adjacent kayaking. There are also seasonal offerings that include “the world’s northernmost jazz festival” which is called the Polarjazz and a Blues festival. Plus, you might get chance encounters with polar bears!
Abisko is another great spot to catch the Northern Lights. Aside from that, Abisko is also home to the Abisko National Park, where you can witness first-hand Nordic wildlife. That means reindeer sightings! A wintertime hike along the Kungsleden hiking trail is an option for adventure seekers, while those who prefer the usual winter activities can enjoy dog-sledding, downhill skiing, and ice fishing.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Winter is considered as St. Petersburg’s natural season, and that couldn’t be any truer. It is a city of majestic beauty, but it is arguably most stunning during the colder months. You can’t let the biting cold freeze you indoors, though, as there are plenty of things to do in St. Petersburg, like exploring the Russian aristocracy via visits to the majestic palaces, watching high-level hockey in indoor arenas, sledding, and cross-country skiing. The city was recently in the spotlight as one of the top venues for the 2018 World Cup. Alongside the classic architecture, many visitors now come to see the Saint Petersburg Stadium that was designed by renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. A trip to St. Petersburg is a must, no matter what time of year, but coming in the winter will show the city’s true natural beauty, and you will also beat the big crowds.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
One of the few glaciers in the world that is actually advancing rather than retreating, the Perito Moreno Glacier is a popular and important tourist attraction in Argentina. It is found in the Los Glaciares National Park, measures three miles wide, and goes approximately 558 feet under water. Tourists can explore this massive glacier via trekking or boat tours, with the latter offering tourists a better view of the glacier’s deep blue ice.
Guest post by Katie Fulton.
Which is your favourite winter destination?