I always thought that I was a summer girl through and through but on our recent trip to Switzerland I fell head over heels in love with winter, powdery white snow and mountains. I think there is something truly magical about winter and everything looks that little bit more beautiful covered with snow. Here is our list of 10 of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe this winter.
1. Hallstat, Austria
This iconic photo is of Hallstat, a peaceful, beautiful village in Austria that hugs the shoreline of the Lake Hallstat at its feet. Surrounded by mountains, the region is also known for its winter sports with more than 60km of ski slopes! It is picture perfect and embodies a true European winter wonderland and all the magic that comes with it!
2. Bruges, Belgium
In North West Belgium you will find Bruges, the capital of West Flanders. Known for its beautiful canals, car less, cobblestoned streets and medieval buildings, winter is truly a perfect time to visit this magical town. At this time of the year Bruges is particularly famous for its Christmas market which is centered around a twinkling ice rink with mulled wine, beer and chocolate readily available, along with plenty of Christmas shopping!
3. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Germany is a true fairytale castle. Whilst it would be incredible to visit any time of the year I think it is even more beautiful in winter! What do you think?
4. Grindelwald, Switzerland
Grindelwald is a most magical village located high in the Bernese Alps and literally looks like it is from a Christmas Card! The whole time we were there I couldn’t stop telling Dan how I felt like we were living in a real life snow globe! We both fell head over heels in love with Grindelwald, from exploring the Jungfraujoch on the most scenic train ride ever to strolling the snow covered streets and lounging in our outdoor hot tub in a snow storm… Grindelwald won us over instantly with its magic. It truly comes to life during winter with skiiers and snowboarders ready to take on the Jungfrau region.
You can see more photos from our visit to Grindelwald here.
5. Lapland, Finland
Finnish Lapland is pretty much as close as it gets to a perfect winter wonderland. Located in the northernmost region of Finland, it is famous for its snow, ski resorts, the Northern Lights and vast wilderness. The capital of Finnish Lapland is Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus! It really does not get more magical and beautiful that Lapland!
6. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Slovenia’s Lake Bled sees swarms of tourists through most of the year but during winter it slows down and those who choose to visit during this time will truly be able to experience the natural beauty and peace of this stunning region. Visiting Lake Bled in winter you will find the beautiful lake surrounded by imposing, snow capped mountains and fall in love with this stunning, fairytale like destination.
7. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is another destination which you will find to be quieter at this time of year. Prague is a beautiful city and looks even more wonderful with its stunning churches and architecture covered in snow. Like many cities in Europe you will also find Christmas markets that sparkle all day and night! Prague is a ideal city to visit for a European city break during winter!
8. Colmar, France
Colmar is a town in the Alsace region of North Eastern France, close to the German border. It is a picturesque cobblestoned town lined with a mixture of medieval and Renaissance buildings. In winter, and especially during Christmas Colmar particularly comes to life with non stop events and a wonderful Christmas market! I think it looks like it is straight out of a fairytale storybook!
9. Zermatt, Switzerland
Located below the iconic, snowcapped Matterhorn peak is the Swiss town of Zermatt. It is famous for its skiing, climbing and stunning vistas and people flock here year after year. One of the biggest charms is that it is car free allowing you to stroll freely among the typically Swiss chalets and luxurious hotels. Switzerland is a true paradise for winter lovers and Zermatt is high on our list!
10. Cotswolds, England
The Cotswolds are a rural area in England and encompass some of the most beautiful parts of the country. Despite my constant complaints about the English weather, I think I could handle it a lot better if I lived somewhere as charming as the Cotswolds. They are a magical mix of thatched medieval villages, churches, rolling hills and beautiful countryside and look divine covered with a blanket of powder white snow.