Winter Wonderlands to Explore at Christmastime
Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera
Here’s how you too can enjoy a picture postcard Christmas – by celebrating the season with a snow-covered holiday in a faraway land. And this wish list of winter specials will have holidaymakers surrounded by snow-capped mountains and firs dressed in white!
Enchanting Lapland is Finland’s famous winter getaway with sparkling landscapes, cosy cabins and exciting adventures in the snow. This other ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’ (that’s usually Norway’s description) is a perpetually wintry region close to the Arctic Circle, which gives it that stunning landscape blanketed in snow. Nighttime is equally beautiful with the northern lights shimmering across the sky.
Latvia’s wintery capital is the largest city in the Baltic region. Tread through frosty cobbled streets in the old town and visit cosy Christmas markets to indulge in some sweet mulled wine or eggnog, and street treats that will soon warm you up.
Estonia’s medieval capital is best explored on foot. Check out the snow-capped huts in the bustling Christmas markets, and experience local seasonal delicacies while purchasing trinkets. It is the first city in the world to have a public Christmas tree and Tallinn comes to life as snowfalls cover the picturesque old town in white to create a winter wonderland.
Gently falling snow and sticky maple taffy brings in the Christmas cheer at Canada’s own winter paradise. And what’s better than a winter season that lasts all the way up to early April! This northern ‘City of Festivals’ is packed with back-to-back events in the Xmas season and lives up to its name by giving visitors a plethora of things to do.
This French city has the oldest Christmas market in Europe; and as the holidays approach, snow envelopes its environs. Magic fills the air and the city blooms with festive cheer as Christmas lights and decorations are put up on every street, shop and facade. If you want to go Xmas market hopping, Strasbourg is the place to be with its abundance of markets – it has 10 of them!
Here’s the perfect destination for winter adventurers. The region’s numerous ski resorts make it a great place to experience Swiss hospitality and experience skiing, toboggan rides and ice skating. Don’t forget to dig into the delicious cuisine that the city has to offer, along with its amazing shopping facilities and vibrant nightlife.