Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of you might think that snowy areas are just so grim, dull, and rigid. But some others find that absolutely beautiful. Here are some of the best places to go to when the weather is cold and the snowflakes keep falling on your head.
1. Scottish Highlands, Scotland
The breadth of lush greenery in Scotland has its charms, without a doubt. But did you know that the peaks of the highlands get an average of 100 days of snow every year? If you’re snow hunting, then this place is perfect. In winter, the highlands turn into a sub-Arctic territory. You can see the wildlife like red deer, ptarmigan, and mountain hare if you’re lucky.
You can also go to a lot of places like snow-capped mountains, valleys, and coastline. Scotland is a beautiful outdoor destination. There are many things you can do and enjoy here and it’s impossible to get bored.
Once you’re done with the wildlife and sightseeing, it’s time to experience the unique Scottish culture. You can also warm up by the fire while enjoying some great alcoholic drinks in the pubs. And pubs in Scottish Highlands have a reputation of being the coziest in the world.
2. Jackson, USA
In New Hampshire there’s a pretty town near the White Mountains called Jackson. This town is really different from all villages in New England because it’s at the center of a network of ski and snowshoe hiking trails. Sounds like a perfect winter getaway, right?
Jackson’s trails will lead you through forests, streams, and bridges. If you want to get cozied up along the way, especially if you’re skiers, then you can drop by warming houses in villages. What’s great about this area is that there’s a mountain scenery which will be your “background image” during your journey here.
3. Ladakh, India
When you want to experience India’s wondrous nature, you should go to the northern part of the country. And in Ladakh, natural beauty will encircle you in every season. Here, you can see Tibetan culture in the city of Leh, enjoy the frozen lakes and waterfalls, and trek through remote areas.
If you’re up for a challenge, you should journey through the Chadar Trek. It gives you around 10 days to three week journey over frozen rivers. It will be worth it, though. You get to see the rare snow leopard in Hemis National Park as well as remote temples and villages.
It’s important to note that the highways of Ladakh are closed in winter. However, the airport remains open, so you can reach this place with airplanes.
4. Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park and Tokyo, Japan
Have you ever seen pictures or videos of monkeys taking a hot bath? Well, you can see them directly in Jigokudani, in fact you can only see them here. The monkeys (red-faced macaques) retreat to the natural hot springs so they can cope with the harsh weather in winter. There are pathways that lead you to the springs and you can see those monkeys from up close.
If you prefer enjoying the snow in the city, there’s always Tokyo for you. You’ll be surprised that despite the cold weather, this big city is still so alive, with bright displays and glimmering lights surrounding you. Sometimes, nothing is better than an urban winter experience, right?
5. San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
Ever felt that you’ll never enjoy winter holiday abroad because you’ll be working? That’s not the case for destinations which are located in the southern hemisphere like Australia or Argentina. Theses countries have their winter seasons during northern hemisphere’s vacation months such as June, July, and August.
Now, Bariloche is in the foothills of the Andes Mountains surrounded by Nahuel Huapi National Park. There are forests and lakes in Challhuaco Valley that you can enjoy during the day. Tourists usually go here for sightseeing, skiing, and snowshoe hiking during winter.
6. Abruzzo National Park, Italy
Visiting Italy, particularly Rome, during summer or spring sounds like a great idea. But for chionophiles, it’ll sound more exciting to go to the wild side of Apennine mountains where this national park is located. People rarely go to this area in winter, so when you want to escape, be one with nature, and feel isolated, this place is a good choice.
In Abruzzo you can go for a snowshoe hike. When you’re here, you might find endangered Marsican bears, golden eagles, lynxes, and Italian wolves. In fact, you might easily spot their tracks and hear wolves’ howls from afar. Pretty exciting, huh?
7. Riisitunturi National Park, Finland
I think people who love cold and snow are quite rare, and that’s one of the reasons why this national park doesn’t have a lot of visitors. Riisitunturi is a remote place and there are no crowds, so you can definitely enjoy your alone time here. Some hikers and photographers may be around, but that’s about it.
The highlight of this place is the frozen trees (called snow ghosts). They’re actually spruce trees which are completely frosted with snow. In reality, they’re like pillars of fluffy clouds that you should take a picture of just because it’s so unique.
Don’t think that because Riisitunturi is a remote national park, it’s hard to get there. There are cabins and huts available for hikers as well as trails which lead you to the national park’s mesmerizing areas.
Paris is beautiful in the rain, Venice is romantic at both day and night. But when you’re looking for something that looks like a fairy tale book, Moscow in the snow is the absolute destination. There are snow on the roof of cathedrals, the lake is frozen, and snow falls on you. It’s like you’re inside a snow globe.
There’s a catch, though. If you can’t stand the cold (even though you love the scenery) then you have to be ready for the drop of temperatures (up to -15C). So make sure to have something warm on your body.
Do you chionophiles know where to go next holiday? Comment down below about your plans and other suggestions! Be sure to read this article for another holiday-related reading.