Who says your snow holiday needs to be a skiing trip? Not everyone likes hitting the slopes, but it’s another story concerning getaways to destinations covered in snow. But where are the best places to visit where you can enjoy a winter retreat without getting the skis out? We’ve got the answers to the best winter destinations for snow holidays with this guide.
Quebec, Canada 🇨🇦
Put the skis away and head to Quebec in Canada. It’s a unique destination in the winter when its European-style architecture and cobblestoned alleys come alive while the snow settles in the background. And it’s not just the snow that makes Quebec worth visiting in wintertime – there are Christmas markets to explore where you can get everything from winter warmers to maple treats. Why not climb to the top of the Observatoire de la Capitale on a snowy day and soak in the scenic views over the city with its skyline.
Yosemite, United States 🇺🇸
California isn’t a place you typically associate with snow, no matter the time of year. But a trip to Yosemite National Park changes the dynamic when you visit during the winter. Look on in awe at the massive granite cliffs and giant redwood trees completely covered in bright snow. There’s even skiing opportunities at Badger Pass, just in case you can’t resist the slopes.
Transylvania, Romania 🇷🇴
Transylvania might be known as the home of Dracula, but it’s also an enchanting place to visit. This is especially true in the winter when the mountains are filled with snow, and the landscape looks bright and white. Head to Transylvania and see traditional villages before hiking across the snow-covered mountains. Oh, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the legendary Bran Castle, regardless of the time of year.
Bavaria, Germany 🇩🇪
Bavaria is a magical place to enjoy in the winter, thanks to its Disney-inspired castles layered in snow. The region is especially enchanting during this time of year, with highlights including the town of Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps and Mad King Ludwig’s spectacular Neuschwanstein castle, where seeing is believing.
Bregenzerwald, Austria 🇦🇹
Instead of skiing in the alps, why not walk the mountains in Bregenzerwald? The Bregenz Forest is majestic in the winter when it lights up with snow, and there are plenty of walking trails, including 72 marked snowshoe paths. When you’re finished hiking, pay a visit to the city of Bregenz, which sits on the eastern shores of Lake Constance and visit the museums and baroque buildings to take in the area’s charm.
Tromso, Norway 🇳🇴
The lively city of Tromso offers bags of fun and plenty of snow in the winter. Watch the Northern Lights, visit the Arctic Cathedral or just chill out in the city and enjoy the cafes, bars and restaurants. Wrap up warm and take in the local friendly vibes in this special winter wonderland where there’s plenty of snow but no skiing to be seen.
Dolomites, Italy 🇮🇹
You’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere more beautiful than the Dolomites in Italy. It also happens to be a great place for a wellness escape. Sure, most people visit this region for a spot of skiing, but you can skip that part and soak the day away in a hot tub at one of the luxury retreats. Do a spot of yoga, partake in some meditation and go on a hike, all to the beautiful backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
Rovaniemi, Finland 🇫🇮
Rovaniemi is one of the lesser-known destinations in Finland, but it’s well worth a visit in winter. It’s a tiny village inside the Arctic Circle and is considered the official hometown of Santa Claus. Santa Claus Village is just a stone’s throw away, so you can visit two magical, snow-filled places in one go. You might even be able to catch the northern lights, but not to worry if you don’t – the guided snowshoeing tour across the Arctic Circle is a good enough reason to visit with its sights that include frozen landscapes and more beautiful wintery sights.
Rila, Bulgaria 🇧🇬
Visit the charming town of Rila and embrace the snowy winter vibes. The Rila Mountains make it worth the trip alone. They’re the tallest in the Balkan Peninsula, with the highest peak standing at a little under 3,000 metres. Head to northwestern Rila, which is the most-visited part of the mountain and take in the views of the Seven Rila Lakes and the Rila monastery.
Best snow holidays
See, you don’t need several skiing lessons to enjoy the snow. Instead, go on a different kind of snow holiday and enjoy beautiful landscapes, friendly locals and relaxing retreats. Whether you’re hiking, trying the local cuisine or are on a wellness break, treat yourself to a snow holiday you won’t forget this winter.