Winter snow holidays don’t always have to mean skiing (although we are big fans of that too!).
From icy walks with stunning scenery to cold-water fishing, winter sports can be as exhilarating or relaxing as you want them to be. Even if you just want to spend your winter break cosying up inside your luxurious villa with a mug of gluhwein, there is something truly magical about a snowy escape around the festive season.
With thick, powdery snow to stomp through, majestic peaks to ski down, and some of the world’s best restaurants to explore, our chosen 6 destinations combine a little something special for everyone.
Here are 6 places on earth that are even more beautiful once winter arrives…
The Dolomites are arguably one of the world’s most beautiful snow destinations. For a start, the 86-mile drive down Great Dolomites Road is truly magnificent. Then there are its scenic ski circuits on the most impressive of mountain ranges and glistening pistes.
Cortina, Arabba, and Selva Gardena offer some world-class skiing opportunities, while the picturesque villages of Colfosco, Corvara, and San Cassiano are a fairytale dream for those who want to soak in the scenery. For a ski day with a difference, follow the Gebirgsjägertour/Grande Guerra ski circuit from Cortina d’Ampezzo, which takes in historical military sites from WWI. Non-skiers can take walks along the riverbank in picture-perfect Villabassa and out along the railway tracks where the ski train regularly passes with its carriages full of skiers.
Corvara has some of the best après ski in Italy. It combines a lively atmosphere with plenty of class. Whether you want to enjoy live music with a Moretti at the end of the slopes or sip champagne in a modern bar, you're in for a treat here.
Yosemite National Park, California
Winter in Yosemite is magical. Family snow holidays are just perfect here with plenty of family-friendly skiing at Yosemite's Badger Pass Ski Area as well as plenty of other activities to keep everyone entertained.
Take a snowshoe hike through Mariposa Grove, go cross country skiing on Glacier Point Road and hike through lower elevation Yosemite Valley for spectacular photo opportunities. Throughout December and January, the park’s huge granite cliffs and giant redwood trees are layered in bright white snow – creating the perfect playground for the most awesome snowball fight – ever!
From casual pizza joints to luxury fine dining, there are some great restaurants within the park itself, and some breathtakingly beautiful luxury lodges to snuggle back in once the winter sun goes down.
Megève, French Alps
Megève is a traditional Savoyard town with a rare charm. Augmented by its narrow streets, whitewashed houses, centuries-old monuments, and quaint hamlets, it is most certainly for those with a penchant for classic charm.
Here is a place that is a joy for both nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. The small town has plenty of culture and heritage to complement the fun to be had on the slopes. Staying here, you will have access to 325km of pistes and 70km of cross-country ski trails. In addition to the three mountains of Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois, and Le Jaillet, you can also take advantage of access to the Mont Blanc ski resorts of Les Contamines, Chamonix, and Courmayeur. Freestyle lovers can test their skills on the half-pipe, take a speed test or try the big air jumps. And, with air bags to cushion your landings, anyone can have a go. Animal lovers can also choose to spend some time with a crew of husky dogs to admire their strength and stamina in the harsh environments.
If Megève sounds like the place for you, here we can find you your ideal luxury chalet retreat nestled within the mountain pastures of the Mont-Blanc mountain range.
For an unforgettable winter break with absolute guaranteed snow, then Whistler is your place. It’s the largest skiable area in North America, occupying 8,000 acres over 2 mountains, and is so perfect for snow activities that it co-hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It has an incredible snowfall record with an average of 12 metres of falling per year, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for snow sledding, snowshoeing, and building enormous snowmen.
Whistler’s après ski scene is notoriously wild so if you like to party, you will definitely get your fill. Most of the bars have outdoor terraces with roaring outdoor fires and play live music, which is exactly what you will be in the mood for after a day on the mountain as you swop snow stories.
For a fabulous twin-city trip, you could start or finish your holiday with a couple of days in coastal Vancouver – especially great for longer winter stays.
St Anton, Austria
With its Tyrolean charm, onion-domed church, and picture-perfect luxury chalets, St Anton could fool you into thinking it is a sleepy little ski resort. However, the truth is far from it.
The town is famously lively and a top pick for expert skiers and snowboarders. From tricky gullies to snow-filled bowls, St Anton offers over 300km of seamlessly connected slopes for all levels. One of the greatest ways to take in the whole area is to take on the Run of Fame – a 65km route that starts in St Anton and ends on the far side of the Arlberg in the resort of Warth-Schröcken.
There are plenty of slope-side après spots where you can end the day dancing in your ski boots and the fun goes on well into the early hours of the morning most days. There are so many great après bars but notably, the most famous ones are the Krazy Kangaruh and the Mooserwirt.
The the arl.rock sport park is great for non-skiers or when you want a day off. Scale the indoor and outdoor climbing walls, enjoy a game of tennis, or get into teams for a tournament at the bowling alley.
Tasty seafood, fun winter festivals, and amazing vistas of the Northern Lights - this Arctic city has it all. Tromso is perfect for wrapping up warm and enjoying the urban vibes with the Norweigen locals – eating brunch in one of the many trendy eateries, taking a refreshing dip in the ocean before a hot sauna, and soaking up the culture in one of the many historic museums.
If you are looking for snow adventure, then there are plenty of mountains for ski touring just outside the city. In Kvaløya, Lyngen, and Senja you will find hundreds of mountains, which are ideal for more experienced skiers. You could also take a fishing trip in the open sea, visit the reindeer in their natural habitat, and get to know the other Arctic wildlife from your snowmobile. Join a RIB tour or kayak peacefully along the island’s boundaries.
With regards to accommodation, there are many luxury cabins either by the sea or up in the mountains – depending on your preference.
Here at Untold Story Travel, we have an impeccable collection of luxury villas and chalets available globally in all the best snow destinations. We would be delighted to support and assist you with your winter travel plans.
Please contact Mark or Chris on 0207 523 5858 or email email@example.com to start the conversation.