Unless you’re a skier or a snowboarder, travelling in winter is probably not at the top of your list of things to do. If considering it, you need to think about purchasing plenty of wet-weather gear, durable luggage sourced from an industry specialist such as Luggage Direct and full-length thermals that are going to keep you toasty. Yes, it may require a heavier suitcase, but when you reach winter wonderland, it will be well-worth it. To make your frosty dream a reality, consider heading to the three countries outlined below. You won’t regret it!
Canada has no shortage of beautiful landscapes, but the peaks of the Rocky Mountains have to be at the top of the list. During winter, the lakes surrounding the Rockies are just as marvellous as the snowy peaks themselves, and a train ride through the countryside is the best way to experience their splendour. The Canadians have truly embraced their chilly winters with spectacular events and popular activities such as skiing, ice hockey and snowshoeing. Ottawa holds the annual Winterlude festival, which includes a skate along the frozen 7.8 kilometre Rideau Canal. And Quebec City is another winter highlight with the Quebec Ice Hotel and the Quebec Winter Carnival.
As you enter what was once Viking territory, you’ll be struck by the mysterious allure that Norway still holds. Although it’s close to the centre of Europe, it manages to feel very separate from the world at the same time. Snow-covered peaks and jagged hills dominate this vast landscape as do the deep, blue-black fjords. Outside the major cities is where you want to go, as these are the best places to appreciate the true size of this country and the relatively untouched winter landscapes. All the usual snow activities are available, but for a completely different challenge, why not try your hand at steering a husky-drawn sled? The most famous drawcard of Norway in winter, though, is a chance to witness the spectacular Northern Lights – a sight that very few will ever get to see.
Japan is a country that needs to be experienced to be believed, no matter what time of the year you choose to visit. A mixture of ancient traditions and customs with futuristic fashions and ultra-modern technology both excite and confuse the senses. Two worlds are literally juxtaposed against each other in Japan, and adding the beauty of winter just makes it all the more enticing. The major cities mostly miss out on the bitter cold months, so head to the northern parts of the country to witness a magical Japanese winter. A rather unique activity that you can’t say no to is having a dip in an Onsen or hot spring. Hot baths surrounded by thick snow; this is an experience you’re not going to forget quickly! The Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido is another must, as are the illumination and snow events held across the country.
Winter is a truly magical time of year, especially in locations that have landscapes dotted with snow-capped mountains and icy lakes. So if you are after an extremely photogenic vacation, that will offer beauty unlike anything else you have ever seen, consider a snowy destination for your next big travel adventure.
What is your favourite part about winter travel? Discuss your answers in the space below.