Top 10 Destinations For A Cozy Winter Getaway

Filippo Cesarini

If visions of snow flurries warm your heart while the rest of the world dreams of sunny skies and tropical beaches: I feel you. There's no reason that the change of seasons should stop you from entering vacation mode—and cooler weather is often best embraced, not escaped. After all, if you can’t beat the cold weather….you get the point.
Here is my list for the Top 10 Destinations winter vacation ideas for the height of fun when the temperature hits new lows.

1. St. Moritz, Switzerland

This luxury alpine resort town is more than just a ski destination. It's long history (it was the birthplace of Alpine tourism) gives the area its old-world charm, while the constantly evolving town is the perfect landing spot for a dream-like vacation. Think polo on the frozen lakes, skiing all the way into the night (2:00a.m. ski-sesh, anyone?) and apres-ski amenities like no other.


Situated within Slovenia's Julian Alps is Lake Bled, an idyllic body of water that surrounds the Bled Island. While picturesque year-round, it's during the winter that the lake becomes a true spectacle, with skiing and other attractions include the Vintgar gorge, waterfalls, and caves.

3. Harbin City, China

Nicknamed the “Ice City,” Harbin, China is known for its long and cold winters (snow season can last almost half a year); a time when the city truly shines. Because of the prolonged colder weather, there are plenty of chilly activities to enjoy, from skiing at their famous Yabuli Ski Resort to attending the annual Harbin International Ice and Show Festival, which lasts for an entire month.

4. Bergen, Norway

Stock up on Norwegian sweaters at the Oleana textile factory, fly up the Fløibanen funicular bullet railway for the best views of the city, then ski down one of the seven famous mountains. Or stay at sea level—or fjord level—and Instagram the adorable fishing town to your heart's content.

5. Banff, Canada

This postcard-perfect resort town nestled between Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade in Banff National Park is home to Lake Louise, an alpine lake famed for hue of the water. Depending on the light, it can lean turquoise, lapis, or sapphire. Go for the skiing, the hot springs, and the cleanest, crispest mountain air.

6. Lapland, Finland

The primary attraction in this northern Finland hamlet is the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, where you can stay in one of dozens of glass igloos with unprecedented views of the Northern Lights. Log cabins are available for those who want a more traditional cozy take; snow igloos for those who want to get even more Olaf.

7. Dolomites, Italy

Vacationing in the six villages of Alta Badia is best for those who want to build up an appetite skiing, then gorge themselves on South Tyrolean specialities and wines in cozy restaurants and mountain huts.

8. Nagano, Japan

Nagano is a wintry mix of good things: a hot spring reosrt with cobblestone lanes and traditional wooden inns, an annual snow festival, renowned skiing, and—best of all—the famous Jigokudani Monkey Park, where Japanese macaques chill out in the steaming hot springs.

9. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen in Colorado, is one of the most quintessential wintery towns in America, so it's no surprise that it plays host to a number of cold weather-friendly activities. Visitors can enjoy the snow and brisk air with sleigh rides, snowmobiles and outdoor ice skating.

10. Reykjavik, Iceland

After serving as the backdrop for several integral parts of the Game of Thrones series, Reykjavik, Iceland is on many travelers's bucket list. Beyond its Hollywood connection, the town offers visitors the chance to hike glaciers and escape the cold with a visit to natural hot springs.

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My name is Filippo and I'm a travel photographer. My mission is to help you plan your next trip or even better, find the best photography spots!


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