Adventure Pending is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Top 7 locations for a stunning winter break
If you’re looking for the best place to experience a winter break in all its icy splendour, then look no further.
Here at Adventure Pending, we love a winter break as much as we enjoy lounging in the sun. Here, we’ve rounded up our top destinations for you to experience the most festive season of all at its very best.
From Christmas markets to ski holidays, we’ve found a winter destination for everyone.
Here are our Top 7 Winter Breaks for when travel is back on the cards again. Start adding these to your bucket list now, and dream of your next winter vacation.
1. Prague, Czech Republic
The first destination on our list of winter breaks has to be Prague. Why, you ask?
The clear and obvious answer is easily summed up: the Christmas markets. Prague is the ultimate winter wonderland for anyone whose idea of a good time involves downing mulled wine and meandering through aisles of sparkly, festive holiday merchandise.
Even if you’re not into shopping, the Christmas markets are also a veritable paradise of delicious eats and treats. Make sure to follow the smell of the Pražská Šunka, a boneless ham cooked over a large open spit. If a huge chunk of juicy meat isn’t really your jam, then be sure to try the trdelnik, which is essentially a large piece of dough, grilled and coated in sugar and cinnamon. Originally from Slovakia, the trdelnik has become a staple at the Prague Christmas markets.
If a foodie and festive holiday is your idea of heaven, make sure to visit Prague on your next winter city break.
2. Tromsø, Norway – our favourite winter break
Tromsø is the epitome of all things winter. Think dog sledding, reindeer sleighing, whale watching, ice fishing…the number of activities available in this winter break destination is endless.
If those options sound a little bit too adventurous (or cold) for you, then cosy up and eat some world-class seafood at one of Tromsø’s many waterfront restaurants. After you’ve eaten all the lobster and sea bass you can handle, wash it all down with a beer at Mack’s, the northernmost brewery in the world.
While these are all good reasons to visit Norway, one of its biggest draws for tourism is the opportunity to see the northern lights. Be sure to do your homework and book a reputable tour, so as not to miss out on this breathtaking experience.
3. Zermatt, Switzerland
Our next winter break destination is Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn. Zermatt lies at the base of the Swiss Alps, making it a premier winter vacation destination.
While a highlight of visiting Zermatt is obviously hitting the slopes, there are plenty of activities for the indoor-enthusiast as well. The town itself is car-free, but the village is small enough that everything is within walking distance. If necessary, you will find a number of electric buses and taxis available.
Options for non-skiers include the Matterhorn Museum, taking the train to Gornergrat (which offers incredible views of the Matterhorn), and eating All. Of. The. Cheese. Zermatt is home to some of the best cheese in Switzerland, which is served melted with all the delicious accompaniments. Make sure to get your passport ready for 2021 travel first with our helpful tips!
4. Venice, Italy
Venice is home to one of the most famous celebrations in the world – The Carnival of Venice.
Almost everyone is familiar with the iconic Venetian masks, which have been produced in the city for centuries.
Dating back to the year 1296, the Carnival of Venice is based around the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating before Lent. During the weeks of carnival, there are parades, plays, and even exclusive masked balls.
People in beautiful costumes fill the streets, with markets set up to showcase classic Venetian wares such as masks, glass, and laces. If culture, history and celebration are what you look for on your winter city break, then look no further than Venice.
5. Lapland, Finland
Lapland is THE destination for any Christmas enthusiast, mainly because it happens to be the home of Santa Claus himself.
That’s right, in 1985 the Santa Claus Village opened in Lapland, and the province was officially declared “Santa Claus land”.
Famous for its twenty-four hours of winter darkness, Lapland is another winter break destination that offers up regular views of the northern lights.
Rovaniemi is the closest city to the Christmas village, and it’s filled with every kind of festive activity you could dream of. From reindeer sleigh rides to meeting the big man himself, Lapland will make all your Christmas wishes come true. If you decide to take the trip out, you might want to invest in a pair of great winter gloves, as temperatures in winter range from -30°C to 0°C!
6. Whistler, BC, Canada
Whistler, a world-class ski resort located only hours from Vancouver, is a Mecca for winter enthusiasts.
The sea-to-sky highway that takes you from the city to the slopes offers impressive views of the Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast, appearing as emerald islands against a sea of blue.
While skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the benefits of having two mountains to choose from – Whistler and Blackcomb – there are plenty of options for those who prefer relaxation over adventure.
Hit up one of the Scandinavian spas to steam, sauna, and pamper yourself before relaxing in one of the Nordic-themed relaxation rooms. At night hit the Irish bar for some live music, or try a craft cocktail from one of the many high-end restaurants and bars.
7. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
The Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains is famous for having some of the best snow conditions in the country, and features terrain suitable for any level of skier.
If hitting the slopes feels a bit ambitious but you still crave adventure, try your hand at snowmobiling – followed by a steamy dip in one of Jackson Hole’s many hot springs.
This area is teeming with wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, elk, bighorn sheep and even wolves while getting outdoors and enjoying everything JH has to offer.
The search for the best winter break
We’re loving all of the winter break destinations that appear on this list, and can’t wait to start ticking them off again once travel opens up.
Have you been to any of the destinations above, or do you plan to in the future? Let us know in the comments!
Searching in a hurry?
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Tromsø, Norway
- Zermatt, Switzerland
- Venice, Italy
- Lapland, Finland
- Whistler, BC, Canada
- Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA