After spending the morning debating whether to run to Tesco’s to buy some cheese and face the pelting of rain drops as big as a fist, I couldn’t help but think of some of the places I would rather be (It doesn’t help having a whole load of friends travelling at the moment).

The winter holidays are a great time to book a holiday, especially with the extra bank holidays and a reduction in the cost of hotels through December. Below are my 10 best winter holiday destinations.

1)      The Caribbean

There is very little rainfall in the Caribbean during the winter months, while the sun continues to blare down, making this an incredibly popular destination for British tourists during the colder months. The beautiful beaches in Jamaica and the Bahama’s are arguably some of the best in the world, while nothing is more sickening than sending a picture of yourself sipping a pina colada on a sandy beach onto Facebook for all your shivering friends to look at begrudgingly. Castaway Cay has proven popular with families as a potential Bahamas spot.

caribbean
http://bit.ly/WBOb0P

2)      New York, USA

Search through bucket lists and you will continuously see ‘spending Christmas in New York’, with its movie capturing moments as the snow lays upon the skyscrapers and in Central Park. If you do decide to make this trip, remember it is a lot colder than the UK and there is a fair chance it will snow, meaning wear those gloves and footie socks. New York in the winter is reknowned for ice skating, however the best time would be to try some ice skating in January as the queue’s are massively decreased and the prices drop. Also, remember to get a few snaps of you next to the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center Plaza. Of course, if you do plan on visiting then I recommend having a read of my list of things to do in New York.

New York
http://bit.ly/15mr0wc

3)      Innsbruck, Austria

Soon as the snow hits the slopes, Austria’s tourism booms, as an influx of daredevil snowboarders take to Innsbruck. Home to the winter olympics three times (1964, 1976 and 2012), this skiing hub of Europe attracts tourists the world over, and for good reason. If you decide upon a holiday to Innsbruck, you can look forward to skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, cross-country skiing, bobsleighing or alpine-style curling.

Innsbruck
http://bit.ly/WPLvhS

4)      New Zealand

On the other side of the world, New Zealand is going through its warmest period of the year, making a very pleasant contrast, allowing you to strip off your heavy padded water bottles and replace them with a hawaii shirt and an embarrassing summer hat. New Zealand, just like Innsbruck, offers you the opportunity to get involved in some extreme sports and activities, yet it allows you to stay a bit warmer. Why not spend your January skydiving over Abel Tasman National Park.

New Zealand
http://bit.ly/YpA12m

5)      Kakslauttanen Igloo village, Finland

This is definitely one of the more peculiar ways you could spend your winter, however why not spend a few nights in an igloo? As well as 20 snow igloos available for the night, they also have a snow igloo restaurant for everyone to dine in. The temperature inside the igloos is between -3c and -6c, so you have to be a bit more brave than me, however I would definitely tip my hat to anyone who spends the night in a ball of snow and comes out to tell the story!

Igloo Village
http://bit.ly/WBPkWl

6)      Cologne, Germany

The Christmas markets in Germany are supposed to be phenomenal, with Cologne standing out amongst the bunch. Attracting approximately 2 million people ever year, the Cologne market is a great place to get into the festive spirit, with the infamous Gothic looking Cologne Cathedral in the background. With six Christmas markets all within close proximity in the city centre, you should find yourself busy till the end of the night.

Cologne Cathedral
http://bit.ly/Yg47n2

7)      Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is another place which is absolutely beautiful in the winter months, offering something slightly more affordable to the winter tourist compared to some of the other destinations listed. Ice skating, just like New York, is an activity which is synonymous with the location during Christmas. Mujegpalya is the largest skating rink in Europe and is a great option for couples at Christmas, while the Mangalica festival will also please food lovers (occuring a bit later in February). You can also find some good slopes to go skiing in Budapest, while if you are looking for a family holiday you might enjoy taking the children on Santa’s tram, operated by the Budapest Transit Company. If you fancy going to a wild party then you might want to try the Sparty pool party which gets pretty mad.

Budapest
http://bit.ly/Z7pgmi

8)      Reykjavik, Iceland

Spending your winter looking up at the Northern lights is definitely an enviable option compared to looking up at the London smog. Iceland’s main tourism occurs during the summer, however they have recently seen an increase in the amount of tourism during the winter, as more people flock to the country to observe all its natural beauty. Seen as a winter wonderland, you can make the most of the Northern lights tour, trips to the Blue lagoon or climbing into an outside thermal pool while surrounded by the snow. The unbelievable glaciers should also make for some great photo’s.

Iceland
http://bit.ly/VuH8ua

9)      Norway

Growing up on Cool Runnings, I think we all fancied our chances of becoming Olympic Bobsleighers at some point in our life. Now you can have your chance, as the Olympic bobsleigh venue in Lillehammer offers this to the public, even if prices are a bit steep. This should be on every extreme sports fans bucket list! A view off the edge of Preikestolen in the winter would be a brilliant experience.

Norway
http://bit.ly/15mrXEI

10)   Japan

Escaping all the skiing and snowboarding resorts, my final recommendation for a winter break would be to visit Japan’s hot springs. Given all the volcanic activity, you will be spoilt for choice for hot springs (they call these ‘Onsens’) as they have over 3,000 of them, more than anywhere else in the world. This should be the ultimate option for a complete winter getaway. Plus, if you plan on travelling around a bit, you might want to read my list of things to do in Japan.

Japan
http://bit.ly/ZjPPbA

So let me know which was your favourite, or if you have a prefered option for Winter Breaks.

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154 Comments

  1. Dee Dmonte February 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I would love to read about Japan as a destination.

    Reply
  2. Julie Davies February 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

    My favourite place ever is San Diego, it was the best holiday I’ve ever had

    Reply
  3. lord toolsbury February 23, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Id like to see a travel guide on the not so known Barcelona

    Reply
  4. pete February 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

    The Gambia

    Reply
  5. Martina February 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    exotic Thailand

    Reply
  6. stacey February 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Peru, its been on my list for about 12 years, instead I had kids but I will get there one day.

    Reply
  7. Arabella Bazley February 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I’m intrigued by Ice Hotels and the Igloo Village mentioned above and would love to know more. I’d love to visit but maybe just for one night!

    Reply
  8. Annick February 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I would go with the igloos in Finland – definately!

    Reply
  9. Carol B February 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    That’s a tough one – to choose which is my favorite, because several are! Finland and Iceland stand out from your list. My family and I just last night also had our “2014-big-trip-planning” talk, with South Africa, Peru and Galapagos ranking high on our get-away list.

    Reply
  10. Name February 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Japan for me

    Reply
  11. Polly Bastow February 25, 2013 at 10:54 am

    New Zealand – it’s top of my places still to visit list.

    Reply
  12. kat pope February 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

    mexico. dying to go!

    Reply
  13. Helen February 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Japan, and US road trips

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Best in Travel: The Oscars, Foodie Cities and Amazing Europe | WildJunket MagazineWildJunket Magazine

  15. Josie Ferrie March 10, 2013 at 10:16 am

    The Caribbean – for a winter holiday it’s got to be somewhere warm (unless you are skiing!)

    Reply
  16. tam p March 12, 2013 at 6:21 am

    auckland

    Reply
  17. Rachel Marr March 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    France as it is wonderful to explor without all the school teachers and grandchildren called Veronica! Shouting full blast in the markets!

    Also New Zealand as it’s summer there, tried Black Water rafting a few years back and will never forget it! Also Goat Island is a must for any visitor!

    Reply
  18. Charlotte Hoskins March 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Vegas. I know there are so many articles on it, but the more I read, the more valuable little tips I learn! 🙂

    Reply
  19. Nicola McC March 21, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I’d love to read about Japan!

    Reply
  20. jmayel & sacha March 22, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I’ve been looking for a good snowboarding holiday location. Austria seems like a good match!

    Reply
  21. kylie johnson March 22, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Anywhere in Scandinavia – as I hope to travel around there one day soon.

    Reply
  22. fern March 22, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    venice 🙂

    Reply
  23. Sarah H March 23, 2013 at 9:59 am

    New York – I have been lucky enough to visit New York once and absolutely loved it – Would be amazing to go at Christmas though 🙂

    Reply
  24. Adam March 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Lake Garda

    Reply
  25. Agata P. March 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    US
    what to see if you only had 7 or 10 days

    Reply
  26. Christina Cooke March 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I’d love to read a travel guide on Naples as my partner and I are thinking of a weekend there at some point this year

    Reply
  27. Tony March 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    New Zealand it looks amazing

    Reply
  28. Hayley Todd March 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I would love a travel guide on Verona 🙂

    Reply
  29. Linda Guest March 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Budapest. A place I’ve always wanted to go

    Reply
  30. Erin Satterly March 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Innsbruck, Austria seems it offers so much to do and the best of both worlds : winter sports and culture

    Reply
  31. Van March 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Ooh! Its got to be Kakslauttanen Igloo village, Finland.

    Reply
  32. tim smith March 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    the wine regions of Southh Africa

    Reply
  33. Fiona March 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    South of France

    Reply
  34. Louise Smith March 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Iceland, especially for the Igloo Village, Blue Lagoon and Northern Lights

    Reply
  35. Em March 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Norway!

    Reply
  36. joanna McColgan March 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    You can’t beat Goa in India for some winter sun

    Reply
  37. Hannah S March 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I’m going to Tenerife this year so would love to read about that

    Reply
  38. Maxine March 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    South America, particularly Peru and Brazil

    Reply
    1. tombourlet March 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

      I’ll be heading there this August, so hopefully I will have some great stories to tell about Peru and Brazil! 🙂

      Reply
  39. Annemieke Troost March 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Buthan please , never been but it’s on top of my wish list

    Reply
  40. ClairejB March 23, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Reykjavik, Iceland sounds amazing. I have always wanted to go & I would love to see the northern lights and see where Bjork grew up. 🙂

    Reply
  41. Hayley Wakenshaw March 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    North Korea. Ok, I know there’s little point, but the Bradt guide is a bit dry.

    Reply
  42. Sarah R March 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I would love a good book on Australia

    Reply
  43. Sandra Stitchell March 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Iceland as there does not seem to be the info out there.

    Reply
  44. Edina March 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Stockholm

    Reply
  45. Laura Caraher March 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I would love to read about Vietnam as I have always wanted to visit 🙂

    Reply
  46. Lesley Bain March 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Barcelona. I love the architecture of Gaudi and would love to see it all in person, but would read a guide book first to make sure I knew the background to all of it…and didn’t miss anything out! 🙂 x

    Reply
  47. kayleigh white March 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    New York as I’m off there in June for the first time! I am sooo excited!

    Reply
  48. Lynsey Rogers March 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Prague – crisply cold, and stunningly beautiful.

    Reply
  49. Anne Buchanan March 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Would love to have more information about Canada

    Reply
  50. Miss J A Hewitt March 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    New York as i’m about to go for my 30th birthday-eek!

    Reply
  51. Judith Luscombe March 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    The Balearics, we love these islands but have never been to minorca so would love to read about Minorca;

    Reply
  52. Clare Webb March 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Italy – always wanted to go

    Reply
  53. anna March 24, 2013 at 12:38 am

    malaysia

    Reply
  54. Paul March 24, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Spain

    Reply
  55. Sophia March 24, 2013 at 1:33 am

    The British virgin islands

    Reply
  56. emma jones March 24, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Reykjavik, Iceland – the Northern Lights!

    Reply
  57. Name March 24, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Reykjavik

    Reply
  58. caroline March 24, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Istanbul because I want to start planning a trip there for soemtime in the next couple of years

    Reply
  59. deborah wheeler March 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    New York looks great – plenty of sightseeing shopping and theatres

    Reply
  60. Melissa Adams June 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Rio…to escape the inevitable grey in Amsterdam

    Reply

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