For some people, a holiday means little else than sun, sea and cocktails at a beachside bar. Those people are missing out.
Europe is a beautiful place to explore all year round. There’s a whole host of magical experiences around the continent that you'll only be able to have if you visit during the winter months. The soft white snow and crisp air can create a unique atmosphere, giving you a totally new way to fall in love with your next destination.
This year, trying leaving the sunglasses at home and take a ride to one of our top 5 destinations that are even better in winter!
Replace the Sound of Music for the sound of sleigh bells, Christmas markets and the clink of mulled wine glasses being toasted together. Salzburg is beautiful all year round but it truly comes alive in the winter time, when its medieval architecture is covered in fairy lights and decorations. It's a city made for the winter months - pure Christmas magic. You'll think you've stepped into a fairytale.
Poland is a country renowned for its biting temperatures and fortifying vodka. However, you'd be extremely surprised at how mild the winter can be in Krakow. January usually only sees lows down as far as -5 degrees. That's certainly not cold enough to turn us away from the fantastic food markets, trendy wine bars and amazing castles. And if it does get nippy, you can always warm up with a shot or two, taken the Polish way.
Of course, we had to include one classic destination for the skiers amongst you. The Swiss Alps are simply one of the best destinations in the world for hitting the slopes. With over 6,842 kilometers of runs and 1,678 ski lifts, it's a true snowsports paradise. The busy atmosphere by day makes for a bustling and vibrant apres-ski scene, with plenty of great places to eat and party. Switzerland even plays host to the oldest winter resort in the world - St. Moritz. When people have been flocking there since 1864, you know it must be good!
During the summer months, Barcelona is hot, intense and vibrant. The winter time sees far fewer tourists, but the city doesn't lose a jot of its colour and life. The temperatures average a very temperate 12 degrees, so you'll be able to enjoy your churros and chocolate without the risk of melting into a puddle. It's a far better time of year to explore the city's most famous sites, like the Sagrada Família and Park Güell.
During the summer months, Venice is pretty much owned by tourists. Arrive during the winter, though, and you'll experience a totally different side of the city. The sleepy atmosphere is accented by the meandering canals and quiet, beautiful landmarks dotted around the city (all of which are now queue-free!). The local soul is alive and well, too, with Italian's celebrating Carnevale in late January. The air may be a little chilly, but a real Italian coffee will perk you right up and give you a cosy feeling to match the rustic charm of this unique place.
If you want to see some of these incredible cities in the cooler months, make sure you check out our Winter Adventures on our website!