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Written by Savi, 85 Comments

Say ‘holiday’ and the first thing that comes to mind are beaches, palm trees, and pina coladas.

 

I’ll be honest – I fell in love with colder destinations only after we started travelling extensively and I discovered heavy duty down jackets and insulated thermals. I urge you to invest in good outerwear if you’re contemplating a cold weather holiday! It’s only when you’re super warm even at sub-zero temperatures that you can truly enjoy these destinationsΒ πŸ™‚

 

Once you’re snug, cold destinations have so much to offer – frozen lakes, snow clad landscapes, igloos, snowmen, reindeer sleighs, and THE Northern Lights πŸ™‚ Here are 5 of our favourite cold weather experiences:

 

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort Lapland Finland
Toboganning inΒ Lapland, Finland – winter holidays can be a LOT of fun

 

If you're well wrapped, the fun doesn't stop! :-)
If you’re well wrapped, the fun doesn’t stop! πŸ™‚

 

view at the top of Gulmarg Gondola Kashmir
Cold weather holidays are magic πŸ™‚

 

1) Northern Lights and Reindeer in Lapland, FinlandΒ 

 

Our love for Lapland is no secret. So many of you have visited the Arctic Circle since we first wrote about it and loved it as much as we did. Finnish Lapland is a magical place that’s perfect for couples and families. Kids love visiting Santa’s hometown, going on a reindeer sleigh ride, and meeting the ‘real’ Santa Claus at his headquarters in Rovaniemi.

 

But that’s not all – you can also rent a cabin or heated igloo and marvel at the incredible Northern Lights dancing overhead. The lack of light pollution make Lapland one of the best places for spotting Aurora Borealis -it’s an experience you won’t forget for a long long time!

 

Suggested length of stay: 2 nights in an igloo, 2-3 nights in a log cabin near Ivalo

Best time to visit: December – February

Packing: Read The Ultimate Guide to Packing For Finnish Lapland

Further Reading: All our articles on Finnish Lapland

 

Northern Lights over our igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Stunning Northern Lights over our igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

 

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort Lapland Finland
Reindeer sleigh ride through the Arctic wilderness – the stuff dreams are made of!

 

Igloos at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Igloos at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland

 

2) Staying in an igloo village in Zermatt, SwitzerlandΒ 

If a heated igloo isn’t for you and you want the real deal, then consider a cold weather holiday in Switzerland. We stayed in an igloo at Iglu Dorf – an igloo village that is build from scratch every winter. It’s so much fun to sleep on beds of ice, go for a midnight adventure in the snow, enjoy quiet surroundings and star-spangled skies while sipping on warm mulled wine in a bar carved entirely out of ice. Nom πŸ™‚

 

Suggested length of stay: 1 day at igloo, 4 days in surrounding Swiss villages

Best time to go: November – March

Packing for Switzerland: Read our article on packing for winter sports

Further Reading: Read all our articles on SwitzerlandΒ 

 

iglu dorf hotel switzerland
The two of us in our igloo in Switzerland

 

Staying in an actual igloo village is so much fun
Staying in an actual igloo village is so much fun

 

best cold weather holidays
An entire bar carved entirely out of ice – aah!

 

3) Camping in Ladakh, India

If you love remote places and barren panoramas then there’s no better place than Ladakh. The northernmost region of India shares borders with Tibet. Expect stunning plateaux, azure skies, gorgeous night skies (The Milky Way frequently makes an appearance!), hidden lakes that will leave you speechless and scenic roads straight out of a National Geographic Documentary.

 

Glamping sites in Ladakh offer the rare opportunity to stay right next to some of the remote panoramas of the world in complete luxury-think four-poster beds, hot showers, and 24 hour butler service.Β If you enjoy basic camping, there are lots of budget-friendly camps in the area. It’s also possible to pitch your own tents in a number of places around Ladakh.

 

Suggested length of stay: 1 -2 weeks

Best time to go: June- September

Packing for Ladakh: Read our article on packing for Ladakh

Further Reading: Read our 5 part guide to planning a road trip to Ladakh

 

Packing for a road trip to Leh and Ladakh India-19
Ladakh can be freezing, even during summer months. But that doesn’t stop it from being magical

 

Khardung la road trip ladakh
You’ll be at extremely high altitudes – make sure you’re well prepared πŸ™‚

 

a sneak peak inside our tent at Chamba Camp Thiksey
Opt for a heated luxury tent in Ladakh if you, like us, enjoy creature comforts.

 

4) Christmas Markets in UK and Europe

Every single day we get loads of emails asking us about the best time to visit tourist hotspots like London, Paris, Vienna, Prague, or Munich. Summer month seem to be the favourite – but Christmas time is one of our favourite times to visit busy European cities. At this time, summer hordes have dissipated and there is magic in the air.

 

During the month of December, the cities come to life- little markets and stalls lit with fairy lights dominate the landscape and the smell of mulled wine lends a celebratory feel. Make yourself a Gourmesso coffee or grab a glass of warm mulled wine before you plunge headlong into the madness. The weather can be unpredictable and you can expect the occasional rain shower but who cares? Christmas is in the air and you’re in Europe – it doesn’t get more romantic than that does it?

 

Suggested length of stay: 4 days in 1 city of your choice

Best time to go:Β December

Packing for Europe’s winters: Read our article on packing for the European Winter

Further Reading: ReadΒ all our experiences from Europe

 

Road trip London Devon
Europe is magical during winter monthsΒ πŸ™‚

 

UK Fashion Blog
Want to enjoy the European winter? Layer, layer, layer

 

Christmas Markets in Europe
Christmas markets in Europe – very charming indeed!!

 

5) Cruising in Alaska, USA

Alaska – the remote region, jam-packed with glaciers, fjords, and lagoons laden with icebergs is well and truly special. Most remote panoramas in Alaska are accessible only by boat or plane, so a cruise is one of the best ways to explore the area. Watch entire schools of whales at close quarters in Juneau, stare at dozens of glaciers at the astounding Glacier Bay, or go hiking on a glacier in Skagway. Alaska is truly an experience of a lifetime!

Suggested length of stay:Β 1 week

Best time to go:Β May – October

Packing for an Alaskan Cruise: Carry a mix of black-tie outfits for gala nights, smart casuals for days on the cruise ship, and thermals and down jackets for excursions in Alaska

 

Alaska cruise cabin view
Waking up to a glacier outside your cruise cabin in Alaska is priceless!

 

Mendenhall glacier alaska cruise
Canoeing by the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska – yep that is ALL ice!

 

 

 

 

Those are some of our favourite winter holidays. What about yours? Do you enjoy winter holidays or beaches and sunshine?

 

 

85 thoughts on “5 Best Cold Weather Holidays for your bucket list

    1. Thanks a ton Angela – the Northern Lights are quite something. I was well and truly overwhelmed when I saw them for the first time πŸ™‚

  1. I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights, I have yet to take my son anywhere abroad and Lapland is out on to do list! The igloos look amazing and just so alien to us here in the UK, we complain about the ‘cold’ but seriously!! If we really did get cold winters how different life would be, well the entire country would close down πŸ˜‰
    Love the photos – really encapsulating!

    1. Hehe that’s so true – Scandinavian countries work like clockwork even with 20″ of snow πŸ™‚ You should definitely take your son to Lapland – he’ll love it SO much.

  2. Seriously amazing post , I don’t think anybody would consider having a winter vacation πŸ˜› until they read this post .
    Now I’m tempted .. For somewhere with Snow πŸ™‚

    1. Oooh never been to Christmas Markets in Birmingham – must sample them πŸ™‚ Lapland would be magical but REALLY crowded at Christmas πŸ˜‰

  3. I’d love to go to Lapland and see the Northern Lights. I’d also like to sleep in an igloo, that looks like so much fun. The Christmas Markets have always been on my to do list. Yes, I do need to get some new outer clothing and have a Winter holiday.

  4. I have been reading your blog since last 15 days. I am amazed at all your wonderful places & pictures. You are the most beautiful traveller couple who are fortunate to spend time for travelling. You are inspired me take grand tour too.
    I would like to hear some obstacle incidents from you which you faced and let us know how you overcome from it.

    Stay blessed πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Anant – so happy to hear you enjoy reading Bruised Passports. That’s a great idea – will definitely pen an article on the obstacles we’ve faced while travelling the world πŸ™‚

  5. Even though I love a good summer holiday on the beach I actually prefer winter holidays. I am loving your suggestions, I have Switzerland and Finland on my list.

    1. Thanks Anosa – I do have a soft spot for beach vacations but every once in a while I crave a winter holiday πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Becca – Ladakh doesn’t feature on most itineraries on India but it’s a stunning corner of the world πŸ™‚

  6. I love your post! I enjoy winter destinations more then summer ones. Actually I’m already planning a trip to Finland to enjoy a nights stay at the glass igloo- that will be so cool.

    Thanks again for the awesome post!
    Xoxo Mayuri

    1. Thanks Mayuri – send us photos from the glass igloo in Finland. We’d love to share them with our readers πŸ™‚

  7. Chritsmas Markets are a must! We went to Edinburgh last year and had a great time! In the UK though you’ll need to save up! I love my warm holidays but that’s all I’ve ever really been on so I’d love to go somewhere where there’s snow!

    1. Thanks Jemma – I know right? This part of India doesn’t often feature on itineraries on India that focus on the Golden Triangle but it’s really special πŸ™‚

  8. Hi it’s always great to read ur posts and get some really good ideas and suggestions , ur post on Iceland was really helpful to
    Me on my last trip, it’s so great to see that there are some really great places around the world to see and we are here wasting our time , u Guyz are an inspiration to travel and make stories and memories.

    But I need ur suggestion, want to do a 10 day trip in Nov and we are looking at some place picturesque and beautiful, scenic and of course traveling from india we Dnt want to waste much time traveling to that destination. Please advice. Thank you and god bless..

    1. Hey Sakshi – we’d suggest Finland. There are easy connections to Helsinki and some of the most scenic cold-weather destinations are right there in Finland πŸ™‚ You could also consider Switzerland – once again there are easy flights to both Geneva and Zurich. For a warmer holiday, consider the Canary Islands

      1. Thank you so much.. You suggest we drive around and see the Country for 10 days, or do we couple it with another country?
        Isn’t Switzerland a very commercial destination, we are looking at untouched and not v crowded places of course.. Please advice

        1. Hey Sakshi – you can easily couple it with another coutry (France/Italy are perfect for this). There are few untouched places in Europe as most of it is extremely developed. But that doesn’t translate into huge crowds. In fact, a lot of Swiss villages around Geneva aren’t crowded at all.

  9. Savi and Vid,thank you for creating such lovely page and sharing your travel adventures with us.
    Went through your blog and found that even Europe can sound exciting in Winters. I am planning a trip to Europe at the end of february next year. Could you please suggest some nice places to visit, not crazily cold. . Based on your experience.
    Thanks and lots of love.
    Keep travelling and keep inspiring us.
    Nipunika

  10. Hi . I have been following your trips on Instagram and must say you two have great pics and you both look great together , I am planning a trip in January for Switzerland 6 nights and Finland 6 nights , it would be really great if you can guide me through some itinary . I am traveling with my husband just the 2 of us and we like adventure as well . Thank you so much

    1. Hi Rimmy,

      thanks a lot πŸ™‚ We have written about our experiences in Switzerland and Finland on our blog – please have a look there. Hopefully you’ll get some ideas about planning your itinerary πŸ™‚

      Have a great trip.

  11. Hi!! I enjoy following your instagram account, and I’m wondering why it has taken me so long to come visit your blog! You guys are inspiring in so many ways – power on!!

    I’ve been staring at maps and hitting up every flight price website out there looking for a one week holiday with my husband from Dubai in the last week of November. We did Tanzania last year, and we don’t want to to go East, so I sort of zero-ed down to Andalusia and Southern Portugal before chancing on your blog and looking up all your Finland articles! Can’t make up my mind now!!

    We’re both in our almost 30s n we love outdoorsy holidays.. do let me know if you have any ideas/ opinions πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Soumya – thanks for the kind words. Finland is great. You guys could consider New Zealand too – it’s ideal for an outdoorsy holiday πŸ™‚

  12. Hey Savi, Vid, first off, great great job on the blog content you guys!
    I have been looking for winter vacations for long and would love to know your inputs for Alaskan experiences in the peak of winter – December to March. I understand you’ve suggested the Alaskan cruise from May to October, but can you also highlight the limitations of extreme months and alternative destinations for Dec-March.

    Thanks, and lots of love!
    Meghana

  13. Hi Savi, Vid,

    First off, great job on the refreshing blog content you guys!
    I was looking for winter vacation options and I wanted to know your insights on visiting Alaska during the peak winter months – Dec to March. I understand you’ve suggested the Alaskan cruise from May to October but can you also highlight the limitations, if any, for Alaska in the peak months, and any alternative destinations to visit during December to March?

    Lots of love,
    Meghana

    1. Hey the obvious limitation to visiting Alaska during peak months is that it can get a tad costly and crowded. If you’re looking for a winter holiday between Dec and March Finnish Lapland, Norway, and Iceland are great options – Northern Lights and glaciers by the dozen!

  14. Ur really awesome 😍😍 I love you u people to d moon and back … Ur northern lights Pictures were d one of my favourite ….
    Seeing northern lights were my dream …suree one day I I’ll go πŸ™ˆ… U be d inspiration of d young people ✌️ … Suree after my studies I I’ll travel alot πŸ›€οΈπŸ˜ΊπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ€πŸŒπŸŒŽπŸŒπŸ—ΊοΈπŸ•οΈπŸ—»πŸžοΈ

  15. Hi Savi-Vid… I need your help… My husband is away for 5 months and have asked me to plan a vacation for both of us after he comes back to India.. somewhere in Jan or Feb. I would do the whole planning but could you suggest some places that I should consider.. I don’t want too cold places too as I will be uncomfortable… Also no beaches since we went to Thailand in march.. thank you so much… Keep loving, keep travelling..

    1. Hey

      You could look into Laos or even Bali if you don’t want to venture too far from India. Otherwise Australia and New Zealand are great options for Jan/Feb. All details for these places can be found on our webiste πŸ™‚

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