Sunny beaches, enticing blue water and tropical islands are often considered the ultimate holiday combination. As much as we love summer holidays, we also love winter getaways! There’s nothing like exploring a city in the snow, hitting the slopes or drinking mulled wine to warm you up. Here’s a roundup of some of our favourite European Winter Holiday Destinations.
Prague, Czech Republic
With its dreamy spires and meandering cobbled streets, it’s not surprising that Prague has recently been named the 35th most Instagrammable place in the world. While tourists pack the city in the summer months, it is magical to visit in winter when the temperature drops and the snow falls making Prague even more beautiful.
Visit the Christmas Markets and slurp up a delicious hot chocolate in one of the many cafés before trying your hand at ice skating on the outdoor rinks.
I first visited Prague on a Contiki tour in 2009 which was during winter and fell in love with this magical Eastern European city. We even got to celebrate Australia Day in Prague which was my first ever Australia Day overseas and it was wild!
Slovenia is another place that you can work on your ice skating skills! Lake Bled sits at the base of the snow-covered Julian Alps and freezes over in the colder months, making it a popular destination for winter sports.
Another popular activity in Lake Bled is snow-shoeing and tours run through the enchanting Pokljuka forest.
When you think of Norway, winter holidays are sure to be one of the first thing that come to mind. With the winter months of December through to February being particularly snowy and the mountains hanging onto the snow as late as May, this is a prime location for skiers.
Even if you’re new to skiing, you can try your hand at some of the smaller slopes or embark on an adventurous cross-country trip around Venabygd which takes in the majestic views on offer.
We’d also recommend visiting some of the other Scandinavian countries whilst you’re in the region! We’ve travelled through Sweden, Denmark and Finland and loved all of these destinations in winter. There are less crowds in winter, it is very festive and you’re guaranteed to see plenty of snow. Our favourite experience was visiting Finnish Lapland where we stayed in a snow hotel, went husky sledding and visited Santa’s Village!
Vatnajökull is where you’ll find the largest ice cap in Europe. If you are a Game of Thrones fan as well, you might recognise it as where the Night’s Watch trudged in season two of the series!
The highlight of our Iceland trip was the crystal ice cave tour on Vatnajokull Glacier that we took with Extreme Iceland. Exploring the ice caves, surrounded by the bluest of blue ice is a once in a lifetime experience and one that we will never forget.
All of Iceland is stunning, however if you visit in winter then you will be able to do an ice cave tour on the glacier, something you can’t do at other times of the year.
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, located on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It has a walled, cobblestoned Old Town with a 15th century defensive tower and a 13th century town hall and Church.
Tallinn is ridiculously picture-perfect with cobblestoned streets, colourful buildings and medieval vibes everywhere you look! It is a must-visit place in the Baltic Region and you can even visit on a 2 hour ferry from Helsinki!
Tallinn is a busy destination all year round, thanks to budget airlines, cheap prices and its medieval allure. It’s less busy in winter and it’s streets are so charming with a coating of snow and a cup of steaming mulled wine (or glogg) in hand.
Grindelwald is the most magical village located high in the Swiss 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!
From exploring the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe on the most scenic train ride ever to strolling the snow covered streets, hitting the slopes and lounging in outdoor hot tubs… Grindelwald was absolutely magical.
Switzerland deserves it spot among the top European Winter Holiday Destinations!
Do you like travelling in winter? x
This post was written in collaboration with Headwater.
All opinions and words are our own.