It’s that time of year again, the leaves have started falling, Jack Frost has reappeared and the only thing that’s keeping your fingers warm is that spiced latte that you’re hugging for dear life! There’s a whole multitude of things to love about winter and it really is a beautiful season to travel, especially if you’re wanting to embrace that festive spirit!
Winter holidays can often be a time when we try to escape the biting winter cold, from places like Barbados, the Maldives, and Morocco – there’s a ton of beautiful winter sun spots that will guarantee you some sunshine and some epic sights to discover! Though these are idyllic, I find it’s just as good to embrace the winter and to take the cold in your stride.
Take a look at some of my ver favourite Wintry places to truly embrace the festive season.
1.) Vik, Iceland
Iceland is an incredible country to visit, with so many unique experiences to have and beautiful natural sights to see! One place to truly see the beauty of this country is in (and around) Vik – a small community 3 hours east of Reykjavik with one of the country’s most impressive volcanic beaches.
As the nights get longer in winter, make sure to stick around to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights too – a truly magical experience.
Take a look at our full list of unique experiences to have in Iceland here.
2.) Zell am See, Austria
Looking for roaring fires, toasty lodges and enough hot chocolate to shake a stick at… Zell Am See is the perfect winter destination to rock out in your very own cabin, head up the slopes to ski or to just chill out by the lake. It’s a beautiful Austrian gem.
See more from our time (learning to ski) in Zell am See, here.
3.) Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are only 2 hours from London (by air) and one of the most idyllic countries in all of Europe. Although it’s so close, the Faroe Islands feels like it’s a million miles away. Its small population and stunning scenery make this a very special place to experience. Perfect to get those festive juices flowing!
4.) Alesund, Norway
No winter holiday suggestion would be complete without a mention of Alesund, this beautiful west coast town will be a little frosty in winter, but I assure you the town and it’s people are not! For the perfect festive break, make sure to discover the quaint little shops, antique stores and the gorgeous coastline that surrounds this stunning place.
See more from our road-trip around the west coast of Norway, here.
5.) Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen knows exactly how to bring out that festive spirit! With craft markets galore, beautiful seasonal grub in areas such as the Meat Packing District and the magical charm of Tivoli, this beautiful city is the perfect place to enjoy a wintry city break in Europe.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline fuelled winter break, then consider heading to Pulpit Rock near Stavanger. The hike to the top takes around 2-3 hours (4 if you like to take quite a few pit-stops) and is well worth the ramble for the stunning views across the fjords. A beautiful place to explore the natural beauty of Norway.
See how to visit Pulpit Rock, in our post here.
In winter, make sure to listen to local safety advice on hiking this route – no one likes a reckless rambler! 😉
7.) Dublin, Ireland
If you’re looking to experience a little taste of that Irish charm, then look no further than Dublin. The festive cheer is all around in Ireland’s capital, with loads of places to sit back, relax and enjoy its wonderful festive atmosphere. Make sure to head to beautiful The Long Room and grab a bite to eat at Klaw.
8.) Bratislava, Slovakia
For a truly wintry wonderland, head over to the snowy city of Bratislava, this relatively small European capital is a great place to discover some delicious Slovak food, Bratislava Castle, and the fairytale-like Devin Castle.
9.) Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk is often overshadowed by the other big cities in Poland, but this small coastal city is beautiful. Head through its picturesque cobbled streets, grab yourself some hot gluhwein and even head to the promenade of Sopot for a wintry walk across the pier.
10.) Flam, Norway
If you want to experience one of the most magical train journeys in Europe, then make sure you head to Flåm. Jump onboard the historic Flåm Line that literally climbs the mountains to get you into the small town of Flåm. The journey is incredible and the perfect way to get those festive feelings flowing.
See more from our time in Flåm, and how to visit, right here.
11.) Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Probably one of the most famous geothermal bathing spots in all the world, the Blue Lagoon is incredible. Head out into the bitter Icelandic cold and immerse yourself in the piping hot water of the lagoon. It’s a magical place that’s well worth a visit when in Iceland.
See more of what you should do in Iceland in our post, here.
12.) Cotswolds, England
England has many incredible spots to see that aren’t just special in summer. Make sure to visit the Cotswolds (around 2-hours west of London), it’s the perfect place to discover an old slice of English charm (that’s even more magical with a dusting of snow).
Take a look at our complete guide to planning your trip to the Cotswolds, right here.