Winter is coming! If you’re a resident of the upper hemisphere, you’re probably already enjoying the cool autumn breeze, which usually means Christmas is right around the corner. Don’t let the dangling lights and Christmas shopping lists confuse you, this winter is all about a wonderland vacation. Check out some of our top suggestions for a true winter wonderland!         

Exotic Winter

This world is full of amazing locations and mesmerizing landscapes. It seems that some of the most breathtaking sights can only be found in faraway places, where sunscreen is not exactly mandatory.   

Reykjavik, Iceland

For a truly enchanting experience, you should definitely visit Reykjavik, and watch the magical Northern Lights. The green-ish Aurora is visible eight months a year, starting from early September to the end of April, and is a result of solar particles that enter the earth’s magnetic field at high atmosphere. To watch this magnificent natural phenomenon you can either book a guided tour, or simply drive up to the wild by yourself. Another option is to take a boat cruise and watch the Northern Lights from a unique perspective.

The Aurora is best viewed in dark surroundings – the darker, the better. Which is why watching the Northern Lights form an urban area is not highly recommended. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness nature in all its glory (you know, unless you live in Iceland or one of the northern countries. Whatever, you don’t have to brag about it.)

Nagano, Japan

Japan is known for its fascinating winter activities and landscape. Perhaps the land of the rising sun’s most iconic image is the snow covered top of Fuji Mountain (even though it can usually be seen clearly during spring time). Still, one winter location you must visit while in Japan is definitely Jigokudani Monkey Park.

The park might not hold the most dramatic winter landscape Japan has to offer, but the hot spring resort, which Jigokudani is part of, will provide you with some entertaining experiences, especially if you bathe in the steaming hot springs with a snow monkey sitting right next to you (we’re kidding, only the Japanese macaques can bathe in the natural springs. But worry not, there are many alternatives for human beings.)

At the end of a fun-filled day, you can always take your shoes off, and warm up with some hot sake.

Patagonia, Argentina

For an amazing steak and a breathtaking landscape, Patagonia is probably where you want to be. Remember that Argentina is located in the lower hemisphere, so traveling there won’t exactly get you the wintery experience you might be looking for. But, this is probably the best time of the year to take a close look at the famous glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park.

Right by the famed Andes Mountains, in the southern area of the Los Glaciares National Park, you’ll find one of the world’s most spectacular views – the icefalls from the massive glacier into Lake Argentino. These dramatic icefalls attract visitors from all over the world, all year long.    

In the vicinity of the park, you can find Mount Fitz Roy, which offers hiking routs that unveil the beauty of the entire area. Plus, you must finish your day with a nice, juicy, piece of meat. This is Argentina, after all.

Urban Winter

The perfect urban vacation is built on three holy principles; an interesting local cuisine, a fascinating cultural scene, and quality shopping.   

New York, United States

There’s nothing like New York during winter. Literally, there’s nothing you can’t do while in the big apple; take a stroll in Central Park and ice skate with Manhattan’s skyscrapers as your view, catch a Broadway show or visit one of the city’s famous museums.

When it comes to the city’s culinary scene, it seems that the entire world’s flavors are right at your reach. From street food to fancy chef restaurants, from Chinese to Mexican – in New York you can find every-delicious-thing. Of course, the cherry on top is the famed New York pizza (sorry Italy). Join the festive shoppers in the fancy, winter decorated stores and walk the snowy streets of one of the most exciting cities in the world. No doubt, New York does winter well.

Paris, France

Oh Paris, the fashion, the food, the endless chic of the city of lights. Winter in Paris is perfect for a romantic getaway as the streets are decorated with winter festivity, and walking hand in hand is simply mandatory to keep each other warm. Generally, winter time is low season in Paris, so prices should be lower and tourist attractions less crowded.

Visit the magnificent cathedrals, the world-famous museums, and the small stylish art galleries. If you’re there in time for Christmas, be sure to visit the festive Christmas markets and catch up on your shopping list. Also, food in Paris is easy. Just remember that you’re in the land of croissant, pastries, fine cheese, and exquisite wine.

Quebec, Canada

Many cities attempt to claim the title of winter wonderland, but Quebec completely owns it. During winter, the Canadian city is covered with snow, combined with the festive winter decorations and the street light, Quebec seems as if it came straight out of a fairytale.     

Every winter, the city hosts the traditional winter carnival, also known as Carnaval de Quebec. Massive snow sculptures decorate the city as parades march through it during day time and night time. You’ll find a variety of rides and activities, street parties, and of course, Bonhomme – the carnival’s mascot, which also happens to be the world’s largest snowman.

To complete your Canadian winter experience you should book a night at the city’s famous Ice Hotel (yea, it’s a real thing). The Ice Hotel is comprised entirely of ice and snow, and is only open from January to March.    

Have a safe trip, and don’t forget to pack a warm jacket.