The days get shorter, the nights get colder, and a feeling of excitement hangs in the air. Winter might seem like a dreary time of year to some, but to others, it’s the season of magic. If you agree with the latter, then you probably want to make the most of the winter months before they disappear for another year. What better way to do that than go on vacation? You’ve never made the most of the season until you’ve been to these places.
There are certain things you instinctively expect from a winter vacation. Snow and cold weather sit at the top of the list, and that’s precisely what you get from Bergen in Norway. The UNESCO city, which averages 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, looks like an absolute treat under a blanket of snow. The coating of white makes the colorful buildings pop along the fishing port, especially when they’re covered in Christmas lights. If you really want to admire the city, you can catch a cable car up to Mount Fløyen where the views of Bergen are incomparable.
Winter is the perfect time of year to go skiing. With many countries home to tall mountain ranges covered in snow, you’ve got plenty of vacation spots to choose from. However, if there’s one place you should visit above all else, it’s Innsbruck. This Austrian city is basically the home of skiing, especially as it’s hosted the Winter Olympics multiple times. The area is filled with popular resorts that will cater to all your sporting needs, allowing you to spend every day making the most of the slopes. You’ll realize you made the right decision coming here when you wake up to the view of the snow-capped mountains right on your doorstep.
Even people who love winter sometimes need a break from the relentless cold. That’s when places like Lisbon make an excellent choice for a vacation. Unlike other locations in Europe, Portugal never gets that cold in the winter, making it ideal for anyone missing the summer sunshine. Of all the cities to visit in the country, Lisbon has to be up there at the top thanks to its gorgeous architecture and vibrant selection of delicacies. Nowhere in Portugal has more character than this city, and sometimes that’s what you need from your winter vacation.
The village of Abisko in Sweden takes the concept of shorter days to the extreme. This place goes weeks without sunshine during the winter, mainly because it’s located so far north. While being shrouded in darkness might unsettle some people, if that doesn’t bother you, this is definitely the place to visit. It offers the most incredible views of the Northern Lights (which you can see pretty easily when it’s dark all the time) and is nearly always covered in snow. It’s a winter wonderland that you should not miss out on.
Winter is just as great a season to go vacationing in as the summer. You just need to make sure you pack plenty of thermals before you head off on your break.