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Chasing Winter’s Wonders: Five Snow Escapes for Everyone

  • Inspiration
  • By Natalie Baker
  • Published 13 November 2023
  • Revised 20 November 2023

Are you ready to venture beyond the ordinary and embrace the snow-dappled magic of winter? If so, then join us on a wintry escapade to some of the world’s most beautiful, beguiling destinations.

Below is a list of some of our favourite destinations for the Yuletide and beyond. Places which (we think) really come into their own during the winter solstice – and provide the perfect antidote to the glumness that can overhang colder months.

From Swedish Lapland to the enchanting Dolomites in Italy, otherworldly Antarctica to mythical Japan, these destinations promise a luxurious, culturally enriching snow-draped dream.

Swedish Lapland: Where winter whispers its secrets

Swedish Lapland is winter’s secret kingdom and one of the most naturally stunning places you are ever likely to see. Its many lakes transform into mirrors frozen in time, untouched forests carry the whispers of chilly winds, and vast tundras of snow and ice set the stage for a dramatic performance as the aurora borealis paints the sky with ethereal light.

Glide through pristine snowscapes on husky sleighs, embark on magical reindeer safaris, and succumb to the allure of ice fishing. Of course, following all that outdoor adventure, the prospect of savouring warm, aromatic lingonberry glögg and comforting kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) by a crackling fire is sure to be appealing.

For the ultimate winter in Sweden itinerary, we suggest flying into Stockholm – a scenic city that overflows with an old-world chocolate box charm, contrasted by its thoroughly cosmopolitan attitude – and checking into the Grand Hôtel near the city centre. With an enviable waterfront location, a host of amenities, and an elegant interior, this chic hotel provides cosy comfort and style in spades. From there, you’ll have a pick of domestic flights to the Swedish Lapland gateway.

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Banff: The crowning glory of the Canadian Rockies

Banff, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, offers an exhilarating blend of wilderness and sophistication. Conquer world-class ski slopes, relish the thrill of dogsledding and snowshoeing, or simply luxuriate in the carefully crafted surroundings at some of the world’s best ski chalets. If you’re looking for snow-centric fun with more than just a dash of finery, Banff is the place for you.

Of course, those discerning travellers who make their way to Banff will also need to have their hunger sated with excellent dishes – and the resort doesn’t disappoint in that regard either. For an unforgettable dining experience, make reservations at ‘The Bison’. This renowned eatery is celebrated for its delectable bison dishes, such as the succulent Bison ribeye and short rib, showcasing the distinctive flavours of the Rocky Mountains in every bite.

The easiest way to reach the snow-shrouded splendour of Banff is to fly into Calgary and make the 90-minute drive towards its peaks (trust us, when the scenery is this good, an hour and a half in the car flies by). An incredible setting calls for equally fantastic accommodation, and that is provided courtesy of the inimitable Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Nagano: Japan’s winter wonderland

Nagano’s cultural and outdoor delights treasure trove doesn’t clam up in colder months. In fact, a new array of enticements is unveiled. Explore the Jigokudani Monkey Park, where snow monkeys soak in the warm waters of the natural hot springs (and we’ll admit that we are more than a little jealous – those waters look incredible!), ski down pristine snowscapes, and hike to frozen waterfalls.

Then, having worked up an appetite with all that exploration, it’s the perfect time to indulge in Japan’s culinary gems. From piping hot ramen to delectable tempura and sushi, there’s something to please every palette.

Those who feel no trip is complete without its quotient of culture are in luck, too, because Nagano is a real hub of creativity and rich Japanese heritage. Discover a wealth of temples and significant cultural monuments that hearken back to the city’s days as a centre for trade. No matter how you spend your day, Tobira Onsen Myojinkan is a tranquil hot spring resort that’s sure to provide a relaxing retreat at the end of it.

The Dolomites: An alternative Italian adventure

With their breathtaking rocky spires and alpine villages, Italy's Dolomites reimagine winter as a true symphony for the senses. Ski down pristine slopes, explore quaint villages, and dive into snow-covered hiking trails (just be sure to pack a really good pair of walking boots!)

As for the cuisine? Expect a mouthwatering (and waistline-expanding) symphony of Italian flavours with the richness of Austrian specialities. Replenish body and soul with hearty helpings of polenta, divine strudel, and fine wines in cosy mountain chalets. You will have the chance to sample the most incredible, fresh regional produce; turned into something spectacular by the hands of expert chefs and served against a spellbinding mountain backdrop.

Relaxation and self-indulgence are the name of the game here, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to serene spas where you can while away an afternoon (or a whole day). If it’s an incredible spa you’re after, why not turn your entire break into a spa stay at the phenomenal Hotel Hubertus? Take our word for it when we say you’ll feel at once blessedly pampered and sinfully indulged at its innovative Heaven and Hell wellness centre…Did somebody say nude whirlpool bath?

Antartica: A wintry expedition to the ends of the earth

Embark on the ultimate winter adventure in Antarctica, a land of seemingly boundless snowscapes and surreal beauty.

Amidst this frozen wonderland, White Desert Echo Camp stands as an extraordinary accommodation option, offering an unparalleled experience. Nestled in the remote expanse, these luxurious fibreglass pods provide panoramic views of the icy landscape, ensuring an intimate connection with nature.

So, pack your designer snow gear and prepare for a winter adventure like no other. These luxury snow escapes perfectly blend outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, and gastronomic delights. Choose your snow sanctuary and embrace the magic of winter in style.

Inside, indulge in opulent comforts while staying warm and cosy against the Antarctic chill, allowing for the ultimate synchronicity with your surroundings. Days are filled with awe-inspiring excursions, from encounters with curious penguins to exploring glaciers and ice caves. As the sun casts hues of pink and orange over the vast, untouched terrain, your White Desert experience becomes a symphony of serenity.

This winter escape is not just a journey to the end of the Earth; it's an immersion into the untouched beauty of Antarctica, where luxury meets the raw, untamed spirit of the southernmost continent.

Whether it’s Sweden's wild beauty or the Dolomites’ elegant charm, each destination promises a snow-soaked journey you won’t soon forget – and Winged Boots is here to ensure that every moment is as carefully formed and unique as a snowflake.

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