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Top Winter Wonderlands to Visit Around the World

Morgan Hughes Author PIC
by Morgan Hughes

October 30, 2019

Winter is a season full of magic. As the snow covers the ground, it creates a certain ambiance that can’t be replicated. Icicles glitter, seasonal treats scent the air, and special traditions commence.

Instead of escaping the cold this winter, try embracing the magic of it on one of these amazing winter holiday destinations.

 northern lights

See the Northern Lights

Search for the Northern Lights (aurora borealis), and wait to witness the sky erupt in a riot of ethereal colors. Alaska, Iceland, and Finland are ideal places to seek out the legendary northern lights.

The aurora borealis season takes place between August and April, but winter in these northern areas bring long hours of dark skies that are perfect for viewing the lights. The best time of night to catch them is typically after 10 p.m. and before 2 a.m. – with an expert guide and a mug of hot chocolate.

 christmas market

Peruse famous Christmas Markets

In global holiday events, one of the world’s most sought-after wintertime experiences are the European Christmas Markets. A 600-year-old tradition in some of Europe’s most picturesque cities and villages, shoppers will find an unfathomable number of handmade trinkets, decorations, foods, drinks, and more.

For the quintessential experience, pass through some of the most famous markets in Germany, Austria, and France. You’ll find handmade nutcrackers, warm gingerbread, mulled wine, and more.

 glass igloo

Sleep overnight in a glass igloo

At Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Northern Finland’s resort village of Saariselkä, the glass igloos are world-famous. Imagine this: After a long day of exploring the Lappish wilderness of Finland, you settle into a warm, cozy glass igloo as you gaze up in search of the Northern Lights.

The resort is located near Urho Kekkonen National Park, with a landscape that is pristine and uninterrupted. Few people in the world have seen what you will see when you visit this part of Finland. The resort has a handful of other accommodations, including a sauna, restaurants, and snow-activity equipment rental.

 aurora ice museum

Explore Alaska’s Aurora Ice Museum

At Alaska’s famous Chena Hot Springs Resort, there is a whole platter of winter attractions to explore. The most inspiring is the Aurora Ice Museum. The museum is lined with striking ice sculptures such as an armored knight, furniture, and even a bar. It was built using over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, and is kept at freezing temperatures year-round. It has been built and rebuilt every year between meltings. If you love to get cozy under warm layers of blankets, you can even stay a night in one of its artist-crafted ice rooms, made entirely of ice. Each room as a different theme. The bathrooms and showers are even in a separate facility.

After you’re seen the Ice Museum, warm up at the natural hot springs – created by geothermal vents in the earth – and learn about the resort’s renewable energy projects. Take a dip in the healing mineral spring waters, believed to be beneficial for your skin.

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