Everyone loves a summer holiday. The sand between your toes on some exotic beach in Asia, or doing a stunning hike in Africa. Winter on the other hand, can have a bit of a bad reputation for being wet and gloomy. Have a scroll through some of the adventures the world has to offer, and we’re sure you will change your thoughts on the cold forever.
1. Hunt for the Northern Lights – Norway
We head off to a small cluster of islands in the Arctic Circle, to witness, what has been described as, the most beautiful thing on Earth. Svalbard, is fast becoming a well-known tourist spot in their polar winter (zero sunlight) months, as more and more people want to experience the Aurora Borealis (scientific name!) in action. The phenomenon caused by colliding electrically charged particles from the Sun, as they enter the atmosphere, is the main attraction, but far from the only one. Frozen glaciers, warm outdoor baths, wild animals, sled rides. There are plenty of activities to make you forget that you haven’t seen the sun in a while. The adventure of a life time, and we’re just getting started.
Watch out for polar bears, and don’t forget to pack a jersey!
2. Pop in at Count Dracula’s House – Romania
Perched on a hill overlooking the city of Transylvania, lies the mysterious Bran Castle. Home to the most famous of all vampires, Count Dracula, this castle is steeped in history. Now, a privately owned museum, freshly refurbished, is a tourist hotspot. During the summer months, the tower is swarmed by people travelling from all over, itching to perhaps find a secret room, or passageway. We, however, suggest heading to Romania during the cold months. Peering up at the castle as it stares back at you only heightens the possibilities and mystery it holds. With no crowds to navigate, you are able to fall into the world of Bram Stroker’s, ‘Dracula’, and see just why some say the myth is, well… not a myth!
3. A Frosty Reception – Sweden
If you’re looking for a warm reception, you’re at the wrong hotel. An art exhibition that turns into the coldest room you will ever stay in, the Ice Hotel is the first of its kind. Open to the public until 6pm at night, your room has a bed head made of ice. A bedside table made of ice. In fact, everything is ice; everything except the sleeping bag and blankets provided for you. The management team advise visitors to only spend one night in their cold rooms, as it really is a difficult night’s rest. Not to worry though, there are warm rooms provided for after your adventure into the freezing cold, and these rooms might even have a Jacuzzi to recover in. If you ask nicely that is!
And don’t forget to check another weirdo hostel that you can find in Sweden!
4. Arctic Diamond Sculpting
5. Let Loose at the Winter Lights Festival – Iceland
“The Festival celebrates both the winter world and the growing sun light after a long period of darkness. The program is a mixture of art and industry, environment and history, sports and culture and provides entertainment for Reykjavík’s locals and guests alike.” It’s almost impossible to make a better statement on what the Winter Lights Festival is all about than the one offered by the official website quoted above. A combination of tradition, and fun, that is hard to beat in the cold months. On the last day of the festival (held on the first weekend of February every year) the thermal pools across the city are opened up to the public, and plenty of fun is had.
This festival is a perfect example on how to keep reminding locals and tourists alike on what has happened, and what is yet to come!
6. Good Old Skiing – Switzerland
A list of things to do in the cold months, without a skiing section? NEVER. Our pick for your next ski trip is St. Moritz. The oldest winter resort (more like town) in the world. This place is so luxurious that you don’t even have to be a fan of skiing to have an amazing time. The hotels and restaurants are out of this world, with visitors only having positive things to say. The ski slopes cater for all skill levels. The climate, though cold, is refreshingly beautiful. We may have left our ski trip for last, but it is definitely our first pick for comfort.
BONUS: Antarctica, Antarctica