The Winter holidays are a time of magic, wonder, and celebration. As we eagerly anticipate this festive season, it's the perfect moment to plan a special getaway in an incredibly festive setting. Whether you dream of snowy landscapes, enchanting lights, or cosy fireplaces, these 10 festive destinations for your winter holidays are bound to make your Christmas dreams come true.

10 Festive Destinations for the Winter Holidays

1. Vienna

vienna in winter

First on our list of festive destinations for the winter holidays is Vienna, Austria which becomes a wonderland during the winter holidays. The city's classic European charm is particularly enchanting against a backdrop of snow-covered rooftops and festive lights. As you wander the streets, the beautifully lit church towers and the famous Danube River seem like they were designed for this season.

The heart of the city comes alive with numerous Christmas markets. Here, you can dive into the local culture by tasting traditional treats, sipping on mulled wine, and exploring the festive stalls. Don't miss the enchanting ice skating rink, where you can glide under the stars.

For the perfect Vienna experience, consider staying at Boutique Hotel Das Tyrol. Its prime location means that you'll find almost all the city's iconic sights within walking distance.  And for the ski enthusiasts, you can enjoy tons of winter sports in Austria by venturing just a little further out of Vienna.

2. Loch Ness

a stag in the Scottish highlands during the winter holidays
Loch Ness in Scotland is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. During winter, the incredible Loch and its surroundings exude a tranquil beauty, with the water often shrouded in mist, creating an air of mystery.

Warm up with a glass of traditional Scottish whisky by a roaring fireplace in one of the cosy inns or historic castles that dot the landscape. Loch Ness offers a peaceful and charming winter experience, perfect for quiet reflection and relaxation. We recommend staying in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, where you can savour traditional Scottish food at local restaurants while being in close proximity to the breathtaking nature the Highlands are famous for.

3. Estonia

Estonia in winter

Estonia is simply beautiful in winter. Cold temperatures and a white blanket of snow certainly make the country a winter wonder paradise. You can visit different places when you are in Estonia. For example, you can go to the capital Tallinn, where you can enjoy high churches and their beautiful views. Start your route through the capital in the square next to the Town Hall, which used to be the centre of medieval Tallinn. Make your way through the narrow streets and soak up the atmosphere of the city.

Otepää is also called 'the winter capital'. You don't have many mountains and opportunities for skiing in Estonia, but there is one place to have winter fun, and that's here! It is a bit of a drive, but then you have something.

Step into the world of luxury at Swissôtel Tallinn, the city's tallest building, with commanding views of the Old Town and the Baltic Sea.

4. The Dolomites

dolomites in winter
The Dolomites in Italy are a paradise for those seeking winter adventures surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. These majestic snow-covered peaks are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and exploring the great outdoors.

After a day on the slopes, cosy alpine villages provide a warm and inviting atmosphere. Gather by the fireplace in a rustic mountain chalet, savor hearty Italian cuisine, and enjoy the charm of Italian mountain life.

For a truly unique experience, you can even stay in an igloo village or a mountain lodge perched high in the Dolomites, offering unparalleled views of the stunning landscape. The Dolomites offer the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and après-ski relaxation.

5. Switzerland

benina express switserland
Switzerland is the epitome of winter wonder, offering something for everyone, whether you're a skiing enthusiast or just seeking a winter holidays escape in the snowy Swiss Alps.

World-class ski resorts like Zermatt and Verbier provide thrilling slopes and stunning mountain vistas. After a day of adventure, retreat to charming Swiss villages, where you can sip on rich hot chocolate, savour Swiss fondue, and unwind in cozy chalets. The Swiss hospitality is as warm as the cocoa you'll be drinking.

For a unique experience, consider staying in a mountainside chalet, where you can wake up to breathtaking views and ski directly from your doorstep. Switzerland is the perfect destination for a magical winter holiday, blending outdoor excitement with alpine coziness.

You should also consider a journey on the Glacier Express, a legendary train ride that begins in the chic mountain town of St. Moritz and crosses the Alps. During this 8-hour journey, you will drive through 91 tunnels and cross 290 bridges. You can also opt for the Bernina Express. UNESCO has declared this railway a World Heritage Site. The highlights of this trip are the Landwasser Viaduct, the Bernina Pass and the Spiral Viaduct.

6. Lapland

reindeer safari lapland
Lapland, Finland, is where winter dreams come true. It's not just a destination; it's an entire magical experience. The official hometown of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, is a winter wonderland for both kids and adults. Meet the jolly old man himself and his trusty reindeer, and embark on a thrilling husky sledding adventure through snow-covered forests.

One of the most captivating moments in Lapland is witnessing the Northern Lights, nature's own fireworks display. On a crisp winter night, the sky dances with vibrant colors, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

To complete your Lapland experience, consider staying in an ice hotel or a cozy log cabin. These unique accommodations allow you to immerse yourself in the Arctic wilderness while staying warm and comfortable.

Combine your safari with a stay at the Lapland Hotels Sky Ounasvaara, and experience the interior too!

7. The Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

the plitvice lakes croatia in winter
Plitvice is the oldest national park in Croatia. Many tourists visit the park in the spring, summer or fall. But what few know is that the park turns into a white world in winter. In this part of Croatia, the temperatures can go well below zero and there is also snow. As a result, the 16 lakes and 90 waterfalls are covered with snow and ice in the winter. And that is breathtakingly beautiful.

The park is partially open in winter and accessible from one entrance. There are no tourist trains running at this time of year, and the boats only sail in April. The advantage of a winter visit to this special place is that it is still very quiet, and the tickets are cheap, converted around 4.50 euros.

Hotel Jezero is located in the heart of the national park and only 300 meters from the largest lake, Kozjak.

8. Sweden

lakes of switserland
Sweden's most adventurous winter destinations can be found in the province of Dalarna. The characteristic red stugas (houses) here stand out beautifully against the white, snow-covered landscape. Sweden offers a truly Scandinavian winter experience. Think of ice hotels, reindeer sledding, and the ethereal Northern Lights. For a unique adventure, stay in an ice hotel, where the rooms are sculpted from ice and snow, or cosy up in a traditional log cabin with a wood-burning fireplace.

Swedish cuisine in the winter is hearty and delicious, with dishes like warm cinnamon buns and reindeer stew. The landscape is a snow-covered wonderland, and the opportunity to see the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis is an experience you won't want to miss.

9. Colorado, USA

colorado nature during the winter holidays
Colorado is a winter sports enthusiast's paradise. The state boasts world-class skiing and snowboarding, with pristine slopes and vibrant après-ski scenes.

After an adrenaline-pumping day on the slopes, unwind in a classic mountain lodge or enjoy a hot beverage in one of the charming ski resort towns. With the Rocky Mountains as your backdrop, Colorado offers an unbeatable winter holiday experience.

10. Norway

a log cabin in norway during the winter holidays with the northern lights
Norway beckons with its winter wonder, and Tromsø, located above the Arctic Circle, is the ultimate destination to capture the essence of the season. Here, amidst snow-covered fjords and an ever-changing canvas of Arctic skies, you'll discover a wealth of enchanting activities that define the winter experience.

The most coveted spectacle in Tromsø is undoubtedly the Northern Lights, and it's one of the best places on Earth to witness this natural phenomenon. Imagine embarking on an exhilarating Northern Lights tour, where you'll chase the elusive Aurora Borealis across the Arctic firmament. The vibrant colors that dance across the dark winter sky are a sight to behold and create memories that will stay with you forever.

For a quintessential Arctic adventure, set out on a husky sledding journey. The eager huskies lead you through the pristine snow-covered wilderness, their energy and excitement adding to the thrill of the experience. It's a heartwarming, exhilarating, and unforgettable encounter with the Arctic's furry residents.

Give the Gift of Unforgettable Winter Holidays with a Gift Voucher for Hotels

a woman in her car on her winter holidays
As you plan your winter adventure, consider a gift voucher for hotels as the perfect gift to extend the magic of the holiday season to your loved ones. Instead of traditional presents, give the gift of cherished memories and exceptional experiences with a gift voucher for hotels. By choosing to send a gift voucher for hotels, you're not just gifting a stay; you're presenting the promise of exploring new destinations, indulging in diverse cultures, and creating unforgettable moments.

Here's why a gift voucher for hotels makes the ideal gift:

  • They're Flexible: Recipients can choose their own destination and travel dates.
  • There's Heaps of Choice: Explore a wide range of unique hotels and experiences from Scottish hidden gems, European ski hotels to Germany Autumn hotspots.
  • You can Personalise your Hotel Voucher: Make it unique to your recipient's tastes
  • Enjoy Hassle-Free Booking: Easy and convenient reservations.
  • Give the Gift of Memorable Adventures: Let your loved one create lasting memories during the winter holidays.

So, by sending a gift voucher for hotels, you're providing your loved ones with the freedom to embark on a winter holiday of their choice, ensuring they have a Christmas they'll never forget!