There is nothing more wonderful out there than a winter vacation in a dreamy, picturesque destination. City breaks or ski holidays both make perfect choices for winter enthusiasts. In spite of the low temperatures registered in most parts of the world during this period, certain travel destinations have a particular charm when powdered with snow and filled with mulled wine boutiques. For those who prefer to feel the fresh, crisp winter air in their lungs instead of enjoying a beach-side vacation during the Christmas holidays, below is our top of the best winter vacation ideas that will thrill you this year.
Bergen, Norway City Break
Searching for a real winter experience? Then head to Bergen, the charming Norwegian city and enjoy a handful of trips that will allow you to experience the destination in all its particularities and beauty. The city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list and it truly offers a veritable Christmas experience. The narrow streets and alleyways host in the winter a plethora of winter boutiques, where wine is skilfully prepared by the friendly locals. What is the most impressive aspect of this city is how colourful it is, with houses painted in different colours. This way, in the gloomy and cold environment, something truly beautiful can be witnessed. The city has a charm similar to Amsterdam, as many tourists claim.
Since the Middle Ages, when the city was one of the most important ports in the world, the city developed forcefully, but successfully maintained a similar style and architecture. Tourists choosing Bergen as their winter holiday destination can enjoy small and intimate cafes, boutiques and restaurants in the old quarter of the city. Besides, the city has some impressive galleries and museums, for when you want to find the comfort of a heated indoor space.
If Norway’s natural beauty is what tempted you in the first place, choose a Fjord tour. These tours are usually organized by both local and international travel agencies and include a stop at the Flåm Railway, also part of the UNESCO World Heritage list, but also a cruise along the stunning Norwegian fjords. These cruises usually last approximately three hours and they are worth every penny.
Val d’Isere Ski Resort, France Ski Vacation
If you want to spice up your lazy winter days, then a ski vacation in the Val d’Isere Ski Resort might be the perfect choice for you. The French Alps are notorious for their perfect skiing slopes but also for the animated nightlife in resorts. To this, add the impressive cuisine and some French wine, and you have a recipe for the perfect Winter holiday. For skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, there are several peaks and slopes that will certainly make their delight.
Bellevarde might be one of the most famous slopes in Val d’Isere. The black run in Bellevarde is one of the most famous in the French Alps, while the back-run stays secured at more than 2,800 meters above the ground. Getting there is quite easy, thanks to a high-tech cable. The ride is quite of a short one, as well. The whole ride lasts a bit more than five minutes.
Le Solaise is the heartbeat of the skiing area, being conveniently located in the resort’s centre. While the first slope is ideal for experienced skiers and snowboarders, this little gem is just perfect for those who want to get a grip of this talent. Because of this reason, it is one of the busiest slopes in the resort. However, you will also find intermediate areas on the La Solaise.
Le Fornet is the perfect place to hide from the busy areas in the resort. This is a bit quieter and calmer and it is usually used by those who want a different skiing or hiking experience.
Luckily, there are plenty of ski schools in Val d’Isere, so even those without the slightest idea what skiing or snowboarding means can get a better grip on this talent.
Besides skiing, visitors can enjoy a cup of mulled wine and an extraordinary meal in one of the amazing restaurants and bars in the resort.
Berlin, Germany City Break
Germany is notorious for the Christmas markets that are yearly organized in every city across the country, even in the smallest, most secluded ones. The best parts about a winter vacation spent in Germany? Mulled wine, gingerbread, intricate decorations and a jolly winter spirit.
Berlin, while being a special travel destination throughout the year, becomes especially wonderful during the Christmas time. Once the lakes in the city freeze, the locals take advantage and ice skiing becomes a regular occurrence in city parks all over Berlin. The shops, restaurants and museums are all transformed by the incredibly enthusiastic Berliners. When your hands start freezing and you get over your cup of mulled wine, find an intimate restaurant to enjoy some traditional Christmas meals. Café am Neuen See is a local jewellery, so make sure that you stop by. Curry wursts, although not part of the German tradition, became over the time the go-to lunch for all social categories. Try a portion yourself after a session of ice-skating. Operas and museums are also great if you want to escape the outdoors winter air, but make sure that you wear plenty of layers. The indoor temperatures vary enormously from what you will experience outdoors.
Movie enthusiasts, prepare to warm yourselves up at midnight in the Babylon movie theatre, where every Saturday at midnight, there is a silent movie rolling for free! If your schedule allows, you have to experience this on your own skin!
These are three of the best winter holiday ideas that will completely transform the way in which you experience your winter holidays! Friendly locals, plenty of adrenaline, if you choose a skiing vacation and a variety of winter traditional meals is what you should expect from either of the destinations above. While some people dread the short winter days and the cold that cuts right through the bone, we say it is the perfect interval for an incredible vacation!