While some people wish to escape the cold come winter, others prefer to embrace it. If you’re a person who appreciates the magic of snow, then perhaps it’s time to plan a winter getaway that allows you to enjoy all that the cold months have to offer. From the storybook setting of Hallstatt to the spectacular scenery of Jasper, continue reading to discover the top three destinations to visit if you’re after a snow-filled winter escape.
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The town gets its quaint feel from the myriad of 12th century churches and houses that still stand there. Visiting the market square is a must, as it will truly make you feel like you’ve stepped foot in Arendelle (that’s right—the kingdom from the hit Disney movie Frozen was inspired by Hallstatt!). Other exciting activities include skiing at nearby ski resort Dachstein Krippenstein and visiting the Dachstein Skywalk, where you can enjoy a stunning view of the mountains. (On a clear day, you can even see Slovenia and the Czech Republic). Despite Hallstatt’s isolated feel, the town is actually less than an hour from Salzburg by car, making it easily accessible to foreign travellers. It can get quite busy with tourists during the summertime, which makes the colder months the perfect time to visit.
Wondering where to stay? Hallstatt is home to several upscale resorts, such as Landhaus Hotel Koller (where you’ll find traditional rooms and suites inside an old hunting lodge and farmhouse), or the luxe-meets-rustic, adults-only lakeside hotel known as Hallstatt Hideaway.
Photo via Hallstatt Hideaway
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There might be no sight more stunning than the Canadian Rockies in winter, which is why Jasper, Canada is a must-visit if you’re after a snow-filled getaway. Jasper has all the makings of a top-notch alpine town without the hordes of tourists that its American counterparts (Aspen and Vail) experience. Jasper is quieter and more authentic, with spectacular scenery that never fails to disappoint.
For those after a wintertime adventure, Jasper offers plenty of options: downhill skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, hiking, ice climbing, cross-country skiing, fat biking, and even wildlife viewing. (Jasper Wildlife offers winter tours that give visitors the chance to see moose, caribou, wolves, sheep, and coyotes in the wild.)
Whether you wish to spend your time cozied up by the fireplace, skiing at the world-renowned Marmot Basin, or seeing the sights via the Jasper SkyTram, there is nowhere more lavish to stay in town than the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. (No wonder Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were rumoured to have stayed here on their honeymoon.) The iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is the epitome of luxury, offering a mix of rooms and suites as well as rustic, private cabins that date back to the 1920s. There is also an Italian bistro and a full-service spa on-site.
Finally, it would be a mistake to leave Jasper without dining at Syrahs of Jasper and Fiddle River. Syrahs of Jasper offers regional Canadian cuisine (including elk, bison, and salmon) in a cozy, intimate setting. Meanwhile, Fiddle River is known for its panoramic mountain views and upscale cuisine (seafood is its specialty). The best way to access Jasper is by flying into Edmonton or Calgary and renting a car.
Photo via @jasperskytram (Instagram)
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For a truly remote winter getaway destination, consider Greenland. This unspoiled natural paradise is something you don’t see every day. February to May is when winter really takes hold in Greenland, when you can pretty much guarantee there will be snow as far as the eye can see. But underneath all the snow is the country’s famous colourful houses, alongside one of the most unique hotels in the world. We’re talking about Glacier Lodge Eqi, where you can stay in a private lodge overlooking the famous Eqi Glacier. Each lodge has panoramic views of the bay, which makes it the perfect spot to hole up and enjoy the wintery landscape in front of you.
If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t miss the boat trip that takes you right up to the edge of the glacier (it is complimentary when you book a stay). Looking for a less remote location? There are a number of hotels in Nuuk (the capital city of Greenland and also the country’s largest community), such as the ultra-modern Hotel Hans Egede. In Nuuk, you’ll also find several casual eateries serving regional fare, such as Cafe Esmeralda and Iggu. And don’t miss out on the many wonderful winter expeditions that can be booked in Greenland. Greenland Adventures offers multi-day tours that will have you marvelling at the dancing Northern Lights, dog sledding on Ammassalik Island, skiing in East Greenland, and even walking across frozen icebergs.
Image via Greenland Adventures