The Perfect Winter Holidays
As travel restrictions are being progressively lifted, now is the ideal time to plan the perfect winter holiday for you and your loved ones. With so many appealing and easy-to-reach destinations across Europe, you’re truly spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding where you want to retreat to for that well-deserved winter break. Whether you’re packing the skis and heading for the slopes or just want to book a luxurious log cabin in the forest somewhere off-the-beaten-track to watch sports and place a few bets or just read a book, you should definitely consider one of the following five European destinations when planning your perfect winter holiday this year.
Image by Paul Bates
Winter is an excellent time of the year to explore the northernmost capital city in the world. A winter stroll around the peaceful Icelandic capital can really feed your wanderlust, as the colourful houses and independent retailers that line the streets make for quite the romantic winter break. Just a short drive outside the city, you can enjoy whale watching trips, bathing in geothermal pools, and exploring active volcanoes in the vast Icelandic countryside. There’s no better way to round of the day than by sitting in front of a roaring fire in your boutique hotel while enjoying some fine dining and wine with your loved ones.
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A picturesque Alpine commune in southeastern France, few places can rival Vaujany when it comes to unblemished and surprisingly crowd-free ski slopes. With a variety of slopes for skiers of all abilities, Vaujany is becoming more and more popular with in-the-know holidaymakers from all over Europe, keen to avoid the crowds of busier resorts nearby. As it’s only a small village, it’s not the most lively resort in the region and is much better suited to families and those looking for some peace and solitude this winter. However, with a stunning gastro scene and some majestic chalet accommodation options, a trip to Vaujany could prove to be the perfect way to spend this winter with your loved ones.
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The French border town of Strasbourg is a fascinating hybrid between the cultures of France and neighbouring Germany. Winter markets have been held on the streets of Strasbourg since the sixteenth century, and the fabulous scent of mulled wine and freshly prepared street food waft through the air as you pass by on foot. The quaint, medieval-style buildings that populate the city truly come alive in the winter months, beautifully filled out by the dim glow of lights that emanate from inside. With designer shops aplenty and many wonderful, Franco-Germanic restaurants to whet your appetite, a winter break in Strasbourg is an ideal romantic getaway for any loved-up couples.
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If Vaujany is suited to those looking for a quiet and relaxing winter getaway, Alpe d’heuz is a much busier French ski resort that attracts skiers and snowboarders in their thousands every day. The highest point of the resort sits at 3300m above sea level on the Pic Blanc glacier, from which you can look down on the many slopes that attract winter sports enthusiasts of varying degrees of proficiency. Often nicknamed ‘The Island of the Sun,’ you can be sure of excellent weather as you take to the slopes before heading out into the resort in the evening for some delicious food in the many restaurants, or even enjoying the epic nightlife that the region is renowned for.
Image by David Mark
Where better to enjoy some much-needed winter sunshine than the stunningly beautiful Andalusian town on Seville? With average temperatures around 14-16 degrees Celsius and plenty of Spanish sun shining throughout the long winter months, it’s the ideal place to visit if you’ve had enough of the damp and dreary weather experienced in other parts of Europe. Although not as famed as the German Christmas markets that attract millions of visitors every winter, Seville also boasts streets lined with independent vendors and chestnut roasters, providing the romantic Christmas mood you would expect from elsewhere in the continent. Visiting Seville in the winter is also a great opportunity to visit the beautiful gardens of the Alcazar Palace and other famous sites in the city, without having to wait in long queues in the burning midday sun. Winter could even be the best time of year to explore this jewel in Spain’s crown.
Image by Denys Nevozhai
The five destinations that we’ve introduced truly have something for everyone. Whether it’s perfect snow on Alpine ski slopes, quaint, charming city centres that are begging to be explored, or even some much-needed summer sun at the height of the dreary northern European winter; the above destinations offer all of that and more. So, wherever you end up this winter, be sure to treat yourself to some downtime with your family. After the year we’ve just had, you certainly deserve it.