The ULTIMATE List of Winter Destinations

I wanted to share some great destinations for winter travel with you guys, so I reached out to some fellow travel bloggers to ask about their favourite destinations for travelling in the winter. The response was overwhelming, and this post contains loads of beautiful destinations from some pretty awesome travel bloggers. It is with confidence that I call this the ULTIMATE list of winter destinations!

Not all of these are snowy and cold, some are beach getaways – perfect for escaping the cold Winter.  Whatever kind of trip you want to take this Winter, you’re covered. And if you need any further assistance, check out this guide to planning a Winter getaway!

Ultimate list of Winter destinations - Travel bloggers share their favourite winter destinations

There were so many amazing places submitted, and in order to make it easier to navigate the post I decided to split the destinations into two themes; so wheather you’re a sun chaser or snow lover – you’ll find the perfect winter destination!

For Snow Lovers

Prague, Czech Republic

by Katie at Wandertooth – Instagram // Facebook

Although Prague is lovely any time of year, locals know it’s during the winter months you can have the city to yourself, enjoying one of the world’s most beautiful capitals with peace, quiet, and a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
From May to September, Prague’s most famous attractions swell with selfie-taking visitors and stag parties, making the summer months the most challenging to enjoy the best Prague has to offer. Visit from January to March, however, and you’ll find you have Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and Old Town Square almost to yourself. If you’re worried about visiting in the off-season, don’t: there are just as many things to do in Prague in winter as in the summer. And the city looks downright magical under a fresh blanket of snow.
Winter Destination Prague in the Snow

Park City, Utah

Dan at Honeymoon AlwaysInstagram // Facebook

Park City, Utah is an amazing winter destination for anyone looking for snow.  There are two main ski resorts and including the Park City ski resort, which is the largest single ski and snowboard resort in the United States.  For thrill seekers, you can visit the Olympic park where several events during the 2002 Winter Olympic games.  You can take a tour, visit the museum and even experience a bobsled ride.

When you are done with all the winter sports, you can experience the Sundance Film Festival hosted in late January or enjoy main street any time of the year.  There is great shopping for midwestern gear and art as well as plenty of restaurants and bars.

Winter Destination Park City Utah

Quebec City, Canada

by Hannah at Eat Sleep Breathe Travel – Instagram // Facebook

Known as the little Europe as Canada, Quebec City is a winter wonderland during the cold months of the year. As early as the end of October/early November snow can start to fall. Pair that with the Christmas lights and decorations of the holiday season and you will feel like you have set foot in a Christmas village. The holidays are the perfect time to visit the capital of Quebec, with plenty of markets and activities going on, but the fun doesn’t end here. Quebec City also hosts one of the countries largest winter celebrations; Carnival. This winter festival takes place in February and includes parades, winter activities such as dog sledding, and stunning ice sculptures including a massive castle.

If you are a sports enthusiast, there are plenty of winter activities to take advantage of in the area. From snowshoeing, to snowmobiling, to downhill skiing or snowboarding at one of the nearby resorts, there is something for everyone. Kids will love to visit the giant ice slide in front of the famous Chateau Frontenac hotel, and everyone should plan a trip to see the stunning Montmorency Falls where, if you are feeling extra adventurous, you can go ice climbing.

Canadian Winters may be known for the snow and the cold, but there is a definite charm to them that deserves to be experiences, and Quebec City is one of the best cities in the country from which to do so. Please note, 2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday, so if you plan a visit this year you might stumble across some extra celebrations.

 Winter destinations Quebec City

Andorra

by Gabor at Surfing the Planet – Instagram // Facebook

Andorra is one of tiniest countries in Europe, located in the Pyrenees between Spain and France. Although the two big neighbors had major influence on the history of Andorra, this small country has its own identity, the official language being Catalan for instance. Andorra is also a tax haven, famous between Spanish and French citizens as a shopping paradise.

The major reason to visit this country is the fantastic alpine landscape you can find here. In summer, it’s a hiker’s paradise with infinite hiking and mountain bike trails to explore, while in winter it’s one of the most important ski stations of the whole European continent. The two main ski areas in Andorra: Vallnord in the North-East, where you can find longer and easier ski slopes, and Grandvalira, which is for the braver with lost of black runs. Apart from alpine skiing you can also do a lot of other winter activities from snowshoeing to sledging. After a busy day of winter sport you can relax in the Caldea, Europe’s largest spa.

Winter destinations Andorra

Japan

by Matilda at The Travel Sisters – Instagram // Facebook

Japan is a top destination year round and winter is no exception.  With delightful snow festivals and popular Winter sports resorts, Japan is a great cold winter vacation destination.  One of the best things to do in Japan during the Winter is to see the famous Japanese snow monkeys at Jigokudani Yaen Kōen (aka Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park) located near Nagano.  The main attraction at the park is a group of Japanese macaques which soak, relax, groom each other and play in hot springs (onsen) just inches away from visitors.  You can visit the snow monkey park year round but winter is definitely the best time to view and photograph these cute monkeys as everything is covered in snow making them true “snow monkeys”.   Although a visit is possible as a day trip from Tokyo, we recommend spending a few days in the surrounding area where you can explore snow-covered trails and even enjoy a soak in an onsen yourself.

top winter destination Japan

Swedish Lapland

by Allison at Eternal Arrival – Instagram // Facebook

Visiting Sweden in winter is one of the best times to go, with tons of cheap flights from the US and other parts of the world. While Stockholm is beautiful under a layer of snow, you should really make a point to visit Swedish Lapland up north, starting in the small town of Kiruna. From there, you can stay in Abisko, a national park glittering in snow situated on a frozen lake.

The activities in Abisko are endless, but my favorite thing was dogsledding through the mountains on my own personal dogsled. Watching the snowy landscape go past was simply breathtaking. You can also snowshoe, cross country ski, downhill ski nearby at Björkliden, ice climb, and snowmobile – amongst other wintry activities. But the main reason people go is to see the Northern lights in Abisko.  It’s scientifically proven to be one of the best places to see the elusive lights, with an 80% chance of seeing them if you stay 3 nights. The best part is you don’t even need to take a pricy lights hunting tour – you can just walk outside and see them dancing above you. Magical!

Winter Destinations Swedish Lapland Sweden

Iceland

by Antonette at We12Travel – Instagram // Facebook

Although Iceland receives most of its visitors in summer, it’s also an amazing destination to visit in winter. Depending on the temperature, you can see snow, frozen waterfalls, icebergs, glaciers and if lucky even the Northern Lights. Iceland is cold but it’s gorgeous, you will love it! My number one tip for Iceland in winter is the relatively unknown Reykjadalur Valley, just about an hour drive from Reykjavík. The valley can be found near the town of Hveragerdi. Here you can access Reykjadalur (‘Smokey Valley) and will find boiling grounds, waterfalls, some great hiking trails and … a hot stream to bathe in. Access is for free, you will just have to walk up for a bit until you reach the part of the stream where it’s actually comfortable to get in. It’s your ultimate winter experience for sure!

Travel bloggers share their favourite Winter Destinations

Georgia

by Trisha at P.S. I’m on my way – Instagram // Facebook
I’m not a big winter fan as I grew up in a tropical island but I will always travel to Georgia during Winter. It’s the best time to enjoy the wine and make yourself warm with the amazing Georgian food that the world is not paying attention to. Despite the extremity of winter in Georgia, the people have always found their way to be hospitable. I can’t believe how their moods never change when they have all the right to!
Oh wait, this is not the Georgia in the USA. This is Georgia, the country. Hmmm. Tbilisi? Does it ring a bell now? A very young and dynamic capital, things to do in Tbilisi are endless even during the winter. From bars to wines to book clubs, this city has been very impressive in terms of winter social activities.
Winter destination Georgia

Winter Must-Haves

For Sun Chasers

Thailand

by Claudia at My Adventures Across the World – Instagram // Facebook

Thailand has to be one of the best places to travel to during the winter to escape the cold weather of the Northern hemisphere. I spent a couple of weeks there in the winter of 2016 and loved it. I found Bangkok to be full of life, culture and with a great vibe. However, the places I enjoyed the most were Koh Chang and Koh Wai. They are the perfect places to soak in the sun, relax, enjoy some water sports and have a nice cold beer looking at an amazing sunset. If Koh Chang is lively and busy (especially in areas like Lonely Beach), Koh Wai is a bit like a lost paradise: there is no running electricity (only a few generators), no internet, no roads, only a couple of restaurants and it is pure bliss. I’d go back anytime!

Winter Destination - Sunset in Koh Chang

Gran Canaria, Spain

by Stefan & Sebastien at Nomadic Boys – Instagram // Facebook

One of our favourite winter destinations is Gran Canaria. It’s a very popular destination for Europeans because it’s sunny almost all year round, making it the perfect place to get a sun tan during our winter. It’s part of the Spanish Canary Islands and located just off the coast of Africa, near Morocco, hence the brilliant all year weather.

Gran Canaria is also extremely popular with gay travellers: Maspaloma Pride is one of Europe’s largest annual gay events. The beach near the sand dunes of Playa del Ingles is THE place to hang out during the day and then it’s on to the infamous Yumbo Centre in the evening – a shopping mall gay playground filled with bars, clubs and Clone Zone type shops.

Gran Canaria also has some of the best gay events during the winter months, such as Maspalomas Winter Pride in November and no fewer than 2 large Carnival events in February/March: one in Las Palmas and another in Maspalomas.Winter Destination Gran Canaria

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

by Margherita at The Crowded Planet – Instagram // Facebook

I travelled to Raja Ampat in November, when the temperature in my hometown Milan was 10 degrees and rainy. Raja Ampat, an archipelago off the coast of West Papua, Indonesia, greeted us with wonderful sunshine and the most amazing sea I’ve ever seen. I keep recommending people to travel to Raja Ampat, especially if they love marine life. Divers will be especially amazed – the islands are known to be home to an incredible amount of species, and in just one dive I saw more than in all other dives of my life combined. A truly wonderful destination, especially when it’s rainy and snowy at home!

Winter destination raja ampat pianemo close

Singapore

by Sharon at Where Is Sharon – Instagram // Facebook

Singapore is a fabulous place to go to escape winter. Being right near the equator, it is hot all year around and the perfect destination to defrost and have a lot of fun.
I love that Singapore is a big city but is still nice and orderly and easy to get around. There is amazing food, good shopping and a ton of attractions. I particularly like visiting Gardens by the Bay which is like a futuristic garden which is quite unique. It’s also fun to head over to Sentosa Island where there are many things to do like Universal Studios, water parks and things like luge riding and pretending to fly!
The food is definitely a highlight and I make sure I eat at least one great meal in each of the three cuisines where Singapore particularly excels – Chinese, Indian and Malay.

Winter destinations Singapore

Taiwan

by Ivana and Gianni at Nomad is Beautiful – Instagram // Facebook

Visiting Taiwan in the winter time requires some good planning as the country is very divergent when it comes to weather. While Taipei and the Northern part of the land might be quite cold in December, the South is warm and sunny in the winter!

That said, if you’re an avid hiker and love outdoors, Taiwan should be on the top of your travel list. Winter is considered a low season here, so you might end up hiking a trail in a national park by yourself or with a few local tourists, especially during the week as Taiwanese love going hiking during weekends and holidays.

Winter destination Taipei

The Philippines

by Nathan at Foodie FlashpackerInstagram // Facebook

The Philippines is the perfect winter destination. While your friends and family are back home, snowed in, shoveling sidewalks and bundling up you can be relaxing on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The country is known around the world for its epic dive sites, the food is delicious, and the people are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met. Not only are Filipinos incredibly friendly but almost all of them speak English. You can go snorkeling with whale sharks, dive from a live aboard, go on epic treks or just catch some of the most gorgeous sunsets ever from the comfort of your sun bed if you like.

I’ve visited the Philippines the last two winters and I hope to make it back to this amazing country again this year.
Winter Destinations the Philippines

Cuba

by Hannah at Getting Stamped – Instagram // Facebook

Looking for a winter escape? Head to Cuba! Last year I finally ticked Cuba off my bucket list but instantly put it right back on, as I can’t wait to get back. Traveling to Cuba you can get a little bit of beach time, be one with nature, culture, and drink some amazing mojitos. 

If you’re traveling for a week I’d suggest 4 nights in Trinidad Cuba  which is my favorite place in all of Cuba. Trinidad has a little of everything. Only 15 minutes away from town is Caribbean Sea, spend a day laying on Playa Ancon. Hit the hiking trails just outside of town chasing waterfalls where you’ll basically have the entire trail to yourself. My favorite thing to do is literally get lost, wonder down the
cobblestone streets it’s such a picturesque colorful Cuban town. When the sunsets head to main square to Casa de Musica for some dancing and of course mojitos. 
Winter Destinations Cuba Best Places In Cuba Trinidad Hannah Guide

Northern Territory, Australia

by Crystal at Castaway with CrystalInstagram // Facebook

The only time you can really head to the stunning Northern Territory in Australia is during the Wintertime. All other times of year are just too hot (not to mention crocodile and jellyfish, oh my!). But the Northern Territory is well worth the effort, with secluded and secret water holes, 4WDing, trekking and all manner of adventures.

I never knew that dirt could be so magical until I came to the NT! Starkly juxtaposed next to the soft greens of the shrubs and gumtrees, this extremely isolated area of Australia is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s the perfect destination for people wanting to get outdoors and escape the miserable weather of winter.

Winter Destination Northern Territory Australia

Maui, Hawaii

by Jessica at Longest Bus RideInstagram // Facebook

Maui, an island located in the volcanic chain of U.S. state of Hawaii, is a 5-hour flight from California. It’s so remote that some tourists wonder if English is spoken or if the U.S. dollar is the currency—yes + yes. Maui has a dry side and a wet, lush tropical jungle. Most places are reachable within a couple of hours drive from the airport. Public transportation is limited, so plan on renting a car.

I spent 2 weeks on the island on a solo trip and kept myself thoroughly entertained. One day I hiked Mt. Haleakala. The 10,000-foot- high crater mountain contains a desert unto itself. The crater is considered one of the places on earth most similar to Mars, and is a wonder to hike through. One can even rent a cabin and spend a night inside the crater. My last morning in Maui was spent flying off the top via paraglider. It’s the largest descent you can take anywhere in the world—it’s ten thousand feet to sea level, and landing on the beach is exciting!

There are plenty of activities, including SCUBA diving. I took courses to complete my advanced open water certification. On one dive we went into a cave and observed a shark and sea turtles taking their midday nap. Such an amazing experience!

Winter Destination Sunset over Maui Hawaii

Riviera Maya, Mexico

by Lina at Divergent TravelersInstagram // Facebook

Mexico wasn’t the first place I escaped to for the winter but it was the one place I visited that stole my heart. After that first visit, it was not uncommon for my husband, David, and I to spend a couple weeks every winter in the beautiful Riviera Maya. What we love about it is the tropical climate, white sand beaches and teal water that is paired with lush jungles, Mayan ruins and endless adventure.

Every time we go to the Riviera Maya we discover new things to do and are quickly reminded why we love the area, making it our favorite place to escape to during the cold winters in the Midwest.

Winter Destination Riviera Maya Mexico

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  • Getting Stamped

    I swear every day my bucket list gets longer and longer!

  • Nomadic Boys

    Awesome post. Riviera Maya in Mexico- what a dream!!

  • Such lovely places! The French Alps are also quite amazing in the winter (:
    Camilla | http://cammi.dk

    • I can only imagine! I’ve never been to the Alps, but would love to go skiing there one day! 🙂

  • A Woman Afoot

    Wow, so much beauty in one post! Great ideas 🙂

    Have a good one!
    Ioanna

  • Taiwan is an interesting destination in the winter. Having spent this past winter here myself, it was rather colder than accepted and I am from Canada. I do agree it’s a great place for hiking, lots of natural beauty packed into one tiny island. Interesting post!