As the temperature is starting to drop, it is the perfect time to plan a holiday filled with ice and snow. The winter holidays offer all the magic and thrill to enjoy nature to the fullest. From gorgeous scenery to cosy places to snuggle. With thick snow to stomp through to majestic peaks to ski. The winter season seems to make places shine at their brightest, and that is why we take a look at nine of the best international places that are more beautiful once winter is at its peak, these are just a few of many places to enjoy Ice and Snow in this winter season:
1 – Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most popular national parks of Alaska. A region where mountains meet ice and ocean, a place where you can experience the ice age. This region was chiseled during the last ice age. Ice activities have created the fjords and ragged mountains.
60 % of the park is covered with ice and snow and just on the edge of the park sits a gigantic 936-square-mile Harding Icefield. Countless tidewater carved the glaciers of this massive icefield to form stunning fjords.
Kenai Fjords National Park offers many adventurous and leisure activities to the tourists, including Kayaking, camping, fishing, hiking, mountaineering, skiing, boat tours, and more. You can also see the Northern Lights if you visit in the winter.
Read More: How to Plan Your Perfect Upcoming Winters
2 – Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
With easy walking trails, boardwalks suspended over the peacock blue lakes, stunning viewpoints, Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is one of those places that you have to visit.
There are 16 different levels of lakes that tumble into each other, connected through a series of stunning waterfalls.
The lakes themselves are simply majestic, filled with crystal clear water that changes colour as the sun passes only to preserve a bright turquoise appearance, resulting in something that challenges the imagination: especially when the falls freeze over. With four different hiking trails, many routes, stunning viewpoints, and bonny waterfalls, this place offers a lot for its visitors.
3 – Lofoten Islands, Norway
Just off Norway’s northwestern coast, the Lofoten Islands have clear blue waters matching that of the Mediterranean, craggy mountains that remind us of Iceland, and enough edgy museums and fishing villages to challenge any Scandinavian hot spot.
The Lofoten Islands have some of the most stunning surroundings in the world. A place where majestic mountains meet bright white sandy beaches, fishing villages can be spotted on the shorelines, and hiking trails can be seen throughout the majestic landscape.
Play among the waves or join a wildlife safari to watch creatures play in the waves. Have fun on the beaches in the summer under the midnight sun or catch the northern lights in the winters. Hike through the mountains or try your luck catching the fish. Lofoten Islands will not disappoint. With plenty of wilderness still untouched, Lofoten Islands is the place to visit if you love the outdoors and nature.
4 – Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Torres del Paine National Park is one of the southern hemisphere’s most astonishing icy regions. Torres del Paine is an adventure playground of towering proportions. A countryside with thrusting granite pillars, turquoise lakes dabbed with icebergs, and glaciers embracing rugged mountainsides.
Torres del Paine is the perfect place to enjoy ice and snow. The park’s snow-capped mountains and sizable glaciers are about as magnificent as it gets. Torres del Paine’s main attractions are its numerous trekking trails through frozen landscapes. Although the weather here is unpredictable, the summer months of December to February are the best time to visit Torres del Paine National Park with plenty of sunshine and clear blue sky.
5 – Switzerland
Yes the whole country, Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy ice and snow. Doesn’t matter when you visit, Switzerland is picture-perfect with expansive greenery, urban cities, and spaces for fresh air. Surrounded by the Alps, Switzerland is small but hosts incredible mountain peaks, misty lakes, and ancient wonders dotting the countryside. This country offers innumerable outdoor adventures with urban spots to explore. During winters, Switzerland becomes a genuine wonderland, with snowy ski slopes, frozen lakes, and the most luxurious resort towns. The best way to experience the Swiss Alps in winter is to ride on the Glacier Express, the iconic red train known as one of the slowest express trains.
6 – Gokayama, Japan
Tiny villages of thatched-roof houses covered in snow that perfectly complements the mountainous background at a distance, Gokayama’s beauty cannot be resisted. Gokayama is a scenic region in southwestern Toyama, Japan, comprising 40 small villages, out of which Ainokura and Suganuma are registered as World Heritage Sites.
This area of Japan is as peaceful as it can get. In these villages, Japanese traditions are preserved, practiced, and even shared with tourists wishing to experience the local culture. In the winter, Gokayama experiences dense, heavy snowfalls, and these harsh conditions led to the development of the region’s unique gassho-zukuri houses (A-shaped huts). There are numerous viewpoints and serene spots throughout the region to witness the true beauty of nature and enjoy the snow.
7 – Banff National Park, Canada
Easily one of the most beautiful winter fairylands in Canada, Banff National Park sits in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and is home to some of the spectacular scenery and wildlife. Snow-capped peaks, sparkling glaciers, and vast scenery are just a few that attract tourists to Banff National Park. The main attraction of Banff National Park is glacial Lake Louise, which looks even more spectacular once it freezes over.
There are numerous opportunities for adventure, so choose your sport: Ski down Mount Norquay, trek to the Hoodoos (free-standing limestone pillars), climb up the face of Stoney Squaw Mountain, or bike along Healy Creek.
8 – Nepal
The Nepalese Himalayas are amongst the world’s most remote and untouched destinations. Rock formations and vibrant stupas, as well as unfathomable vistas of jagged mountains, define the sky-high country. Nepal is a land where divines mingle with mortals. There are magnificent temples, monasteries, and historical monuments at every turn. Home to eight of the fourteen tallest mountains including the iconic Mount Everest. There is no place better to enjoy the snow and ice than the country of Nepal.
With the prosperous Terai plains on the foothills of the Himalayas, South of Nepal offers a chain of wild national parks, home exotic bird species, and comb the jungles for rhinos, tigers, and crocodiles. Nepal offers a great variety of activities including mountaineering, safaris, and rafting.
9 – Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal in the Siberia region of Russia is not only the world’s deepest lake (1,637m), but it’s also the oldest (25 million years old) and largest by volume. In winters, the lake freezes into a snowy paradise transforming the lake into the largest ice skating rink with spiked ice caves surrounding it.
Fearless tourists visit the lake to dive into the crystal clear water underneath a metre-thick ice during winters. This lake is also home to the planet’s only freshwater seal. Ice fishing also draws many tourists to this picturesque place. Lake Baikal is one of those places to enjoy ice and snow throughout the year.
We generally associate getaways with the sun, warm weather, sand beneath our feet, and a cool gentle breeze. Vacations do not, however, have to be enjoyed in a warm tropical climate. Numerous cold-weather destinations are breathtaking in and of themselves. While we encourage you to visit these places, we won’t criticise you if you want to walk around some winter wonderlands from the warmth of your (warm) computer.