Snow fall with snow covered branches for a white wedding

Hello, Winter Vacation

The hustle and bustle of festive Christmas markets, traditional Christmas Carols and Twelfth Night celebrations so here are some of the finest localities in Europe to spend the festive holidays. European countries are infused in tradition, Geneva in Switzerland, the whole Lake Geneva is lit up with shops, stalls, and a thousand lights as a part of the European Christmas traditions. And for the foodies who’re looking forward to the best places to spend Christmas in Europe this year, look no further than Geneva that hosts a market full of pre-Christmas food exhibitors from all over the world. Must-attend the Genève Marché International de Noel at Place de la Fusterie, explore the Christmas market at Lake Geneva, go shopping at Rue du Marché, and Rue de Rive. Brussels in Belgium, inside the premises of Place Flagey. Shop for some of the best handicrafts products as souvenirs by artists, adore the huge Christmas tree at the Grand Palace, witness the soul-stirring light and music show, go skating at the Marché aux Poissons, don’t miss out on savouring the best beef stew in town, treat your sweet tooth with some chocolate waffles at the Christmas markets of Place Sainte-Catherine. Salzburg in Austria, considered to be one of the oldest Christmas markets in not just Europe but the whole world, Salzburg Christkindlmarkt is known to be rooted to its age-old traditions and cultural values. Dating back to the 15th century, Salzburg serves as one of the traditional cities with a strong historical background, drinking Glühwein and eating Lebkuchen is a must, enjoy skiing in the Alps, go shopping in the famous Salzburg Christmas markets, attend the Alpine Heritage event of Perchtenlauf, know the history behind Silent Night. Vienna in Austria From the evening sky at Belvedere to the streets of Graben and Kärntner Strasse every bit feels magical Capture Belvedere Palace in a perfect light, taste the culinary delights served in the most creative forms, gulp down the Christmas punches called Weihnachtspunsch, attend the nativity play at St. Peter’s Church. The city of Rovaniemi in Lapland, the official home of Santa Claus which is located at the heart of Lapland, travellers can visit and greet the Santa at the Santa Village which lies on the Arctic Circle, Meet Santa at the Santa Village, experience a Reindeer ride, tour the city with huskies, let northern lights charm you, explore the Arctic zoo, enjoy snowshoeing during Christmas. The whole city of London transforms into a winter wonderland with skating being one of the most loved activities during Christmas. From shopping to relishing a heart-warming meal, and from the carol concert to the midnight mass celebrations, London is worth spending the Christmas at, Know the history behind Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square, attend the midnight mass at Westminster Abbey, do not miss out on the Christmas Lights, attend the Carol Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, be a part of the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Strasbourg in France, hands down! Much reckoned to be the Christmas Capital, it is a strict no to miss out on exploring the 400 years old Christmas markets, Visit the city centre of Place Broglie, explore the Christmas Markets at the Cathedral Square, admire the giant Christmas tree near Sharing Village. Milan in Italy, Christmas is not complete without considering the fashion capital of the world in the list. All those who’ve dreamt of a fairyland like that in the movie Frozen, can flock to Milan to make their dreams come true. The whole city is covered with snow and the lights add the much needed glam to the city which looks magical to bits and pieces, Adore the Christmas tree at Piazza del Duomo, spot the beautiful window displays throughout Milan, visit the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, relish the Panettone. Experience dining with Mozart, shop till you drop in the best Christmas market at the Wenceslas Square, walk through the Old Town Square, savour the traditional Czech Christmas meal, the charm of Prague when it comes to Prague boasts of the most beautiful and the best Christmas market in the whole of Europe. With its famous attractions all decked up.

As winter approaches it is a good time to decide where you are going to celebrate Christmas, are you going to stay at home or are you going to celebrate the holiday season away on vacation. Choosing your holiday destination, do you prefer a cold climate or go for a hot climate, here are some wonderful choices to celebrate the festive season. Davos in Switzerland it is a beautiful Swiss town boasting one of the finest panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and is home to one of Switzerland’s principal ski resorts, the mountain air is crisp and fresh. Gstaad is another picturesque resort where you can spend wonderful winter evenings gazing at the stunning landscape or choosing gifts for your family and friends from the local boutiques who carry brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chopard, Brunello Cucinelli, Prada, Moncler, Ralph Lauren and Cartier all have shops in Gstaad to select more gifts from. There is also the Christmas Market Circus and the New Year Music Festival arranged by Princess Caroline Murat.

St. Petersburg in Russia doesn’t need the help of the elements to make it worth a visit. Home to the Mariinsky Theatre, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia and countless other cultural gems, the city is fantastic all year round. In the winter months, the St. Petersburg takes on a frosted beauty and bustles with seasonal events. Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on 6 January and is a time for gathering with family and friends. Smolny Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia Located on the banks of the Neva River, the Smolny Cathedral is easily one of the most beautiful churches in St. Petersburg. Similar to the Winter Palace (which was designed by the same architect), the buildings’ cupolas and blue facades are particularly stunning post-snowfall.

Bavaria’s capital enjoys four glorious seasons, giving travellers who need any excuse to return at least three good reasons. Wintertime is especially enjoyable in Munich, as centuries-old traditions are played out across the city. The Christkrindle market in Munich’s famous Marienplatz is the place to go for handcrafted mugs filled with steaming mulled wine, elaborate gingerbread houses and artisanal children’s toys carved from wood. This picturesque body of water can be found in the Julian Alps in north western Slovenia. The lake surrounds Bled Island, which houses several buildings, including a church that hosts a good number of weddings each year. In fact, it’s considered good luck for the groom to carry his wife up the 99 steps of the church’s tower to ring the bell at the top. During winter, the lake turns a frosty blue and reflects the surrounding snowy mountains on its surface. Visitors to the area can enjoy skiing, or visit the nearby Vintgar gorge, which is home to many waterfalls, pools, and caves. Lake Bled, Slovenia With its church-dotted islet and waters begging for rowboat rides, it’s no wonder Lake Bled is one of the most popular destinations in Slovenia. The site gets even more postcard-worthy when the surrounding Julian Alps become covered with snow, and a fog settles over the lake. Kitzbühel is a medieval town that is world-famous for the skiing on its surrounding slopes. With miles of flat plains for cross-country skiing, the area around the town is an Alpine paradise during the winter months. Just over an hour from Innsbruck, the state capital of Tyrol, Kitzbühel draws visitors for the beauty of its snowy streets and the quality of its Christmas market. Salzburg Austria The old town of Salzburg is forever resplendent with baroque architecture and in the winter months it only becomes all the more striking when dusted with a layer of Alpine snow. The birthplace of Mozart and a long-time entry point into the Alps for winter sports enthusiasts, a stay in Salzburg is a feast for all the senses. There is little better in terms of warming winter food than the Austrian version of pancakes, Kaiserschmarrn, especially when washed down with a Viennese hot chocolate. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany Built in 1886, Neuschwanstein famously served as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. But unlike the royal home in Anaheim, this clifftop structure gets to transform into an ethereal snow castle during the Bavarian winters.

Ilulissat, Greenland Greenland’s western town of Ilulissat draws tourists for several reasons: the UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Ice fjord, dog sledding, and the colourful buildings set to the backdrop of icebergs. Lapland, Finland Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region, and probably one of the most idyllic winter scenes you’ll ever come across. There aren’t many places where you can visit Santa Claus, take a reindeer sleigh ride, or sleep under the Northern Lights in a bubble sled, after all—but Lapland lets you do all three. Bergen, Norway Norway’s second most populated city is enduringly, painstakingly pretty. Colourful wooden buildings, views of fjords and mountains, and even some Northern Lights appearances—what’s not to love? Jökulsárlón, Situated between the 74th and the 81st parallel, you can’t get much higher than this little mining town. It’s one of the northernmost inhabited areas in the world, making it a prime location to catch the Northern Lights. Because of its location, the town also experiences something called Polar Night, which takes places between mid-November and the end of January: the sun never rises during this time and the lightest the sky gets is a bright blue twilight. This lack of sunlight only increases your chances of spotting the aurora borealis. Even if you don’t catch it (it’s notoriously difficult to predict when it will occur), between the large mountains nearby and the polar bears that inhabit the surrounding area, there’s still plenty to see. Iceland The glacial lake of Jökulsárlón and its frozen beach are considered a natural wonder of Iceland, with black volcanic sands providing a stark backdrop for the chunks of ice that wash ashore. You can find the Gullfoss waterfall in southwest Iceland in the canyon of the Hvítá river, which is fed by Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland. While beautiful in the summer, it’s even more impressive when it partly freezes over in the wintertime. The waters turn vibrant shades of blue and turquoise, while the rocks gather ice and snow. The water falls about 100 feet down in two stages and is surrounded by nearly 200 feet of canyon wall. While there’s not much else to do in the area besides gawk at the waterfalls, most visitors find that it’s well worth the trip to revel in the untouched natural beauty. Kirkjufell is a mountain that looks straight out of a fairy tale. This unusually shaped mountain is pretty enough in the springtime but becomes truly beautiful once it gets a layer of snow. It’s a favourite subject of nature photographers, but it’s even better when seen in real life. When you’re done, you can visit Grundarfjörður, a small town with a population of just 900 people.

Harbin is known as the coldest among China’s major cities and it has embraced its moniker of Ice City with gusto. Every year it plays host to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, the largest snow festival in the world. The festival is spread over two areas on either side of the Songhua River, from which giant blocks of ice are taken to be used as sculptures. Harbin, China Each January in northern China, upwards of a million tourists flock to an attraction unlike anything else in the world: a temporary city made entirely out of ice. The Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival has taken place every winter since 1963, covering some eight million square feet with frozen, LED-covered skyscrapers, palaces, and sculptures. Winter celebrations brighten up the darkest months of the year all over the world, and some locations are particular picturesque during this time. A castle in Slovenia, a village in Japan.

Queenstown New Zealand The mountain range behind New Zealand’s Queenstown is known as The Remarkables, and most days the mountains do look like they were placed there for a film set. A winter festival is held every year, usually in late June, and features music, dances, and snow-centric activities. Queenstown is a vibrant city full of culture, and the perfect place to visit for those who start pining after winter in the height of a northern hemisphere summer.

Aspen in Colorado is a ski mountain town* Yosemite National Park are all among our list of 15 beautiful places from around the world that look even better under a layer of winter snow. Yosemite National Park USA To truly witness the changing of the seasons, little beats a visit to a national park blanketed in snow. The Yosemite National Park is one of those magical places and is the perfect spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Visitors can stay in the Yosemite Valley or in the huts which have not been cut off by the snowfall across the vast national park. More than the shifts in meteorology, it is the seasonal changes in the flora and fauna that exert its pull on winter visitors. Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada Lake Louise is surrounded by rugged mountains and filled with crystal-clear water, as is the case with most glacial lakes. But it stands apart from the pack once it freezes over, attracting hundreds of thousands of winter sport enthusiasts annually. Central Park, New York City There are several reasons to visit New York City during the holidays. But even after the Rockefeller Tree lights are unplugged and the 5th Avenue shop windows go back to normal, Central Park remains one of the city’s must-visit locations (plus, a snapshot of snowy Gapstow Bridge in Central Park is bona fide Instagram gold).

Cotswolds, Worcestershire, U.K. England’s most timeless countryside—complete with beautiful cottages, chic inns, and horse farms—becomes a real-life Norman Rockwell painting when it gets a light dusting of snow. Riverside Walkway, South Bank, London The tree-lined walkway along the south bank of the River Thames offers the best views of London’s snow-covered landmarks, including Big Ben, the London Eye, and Jubilee Gardens. Loch Achilty, Scotland, Loch Achilty may not be the largest of Scotland’s many lakes (compare its 100 acres to Loch Ness’s 13,937) but it is definitely one of the most picturesque. Its adjacent pebble beach and silver birch trees are tailor-made for quiet strolls in the cold.

Alcázar de Segovia Spain The Alcázar of Segovia in central Spain has at one time been a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison. It is also said to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, but fortunately for the public, in its current incarnation, it is a museum open to all. Designed to mimic the bows of the ship, the Alcázar is striking all year long. Come winter and come snow, however, and it turns into the fairy tale castle it inspired. Milan Italy Milan, home to the Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery, La Scala opera house and a host of famous restaurants, takes on a special air in the winter months. Cultural events are in full swing, with performances of The Nutcracker and Fidelio at the opera house. When the snow does start to fall in the Plaza Duomo on the Milan Cathedral, the picture perfect winter wonderland is complete. Marina di Portofino, Italy once quaint fishing village is now an exclusive retreat. It’s so exclusive that it only has one road for entry and exit and parking spots, not for supercars, but luxury yachts.

Cote d’Azur, France, popular second home for the wealthy, notably multibillionaires from Russia and the Middle East. Average real estate is earmarked at $28.5 million for a five-bedroom property. It’s near Monaco and Nice and boasts of year-round sunshine and warm blue water, sophisticated, elegant getaway. With world-class restaurants, famed hotels and a glamorous clientele, it’s been a hotspot for the jet-set type for decades. On the Mediterranean coast of south eastern France, the Cote d’Azur includes upmarket areas such as St Tropez, Cannes, Villefranche and Cap Ferrat, and don’t forget Monaco.

St. Barthélemy, Outside of Europe, St. Barthélemy is the prime destination for a leisure home in the Caribbean, French-speaking, super-luxe Caribbean island. With breath taking white sands, a vibrant coral reef and plenty of quirky restaurants and bars, the island has everything a celebrity could need: beauty, luxury and, of course, privacy.

Maldives, The tiny island country is cited by Prime Enclave to be the preferred destination for a second home (or maybe third or fourth) by the ultra-wealthy from Asia. The island is remote enough from many commercial flights that you need to bring your own plane or yacht. Synonymous with luxury, the remote vibes, peaceful surroundings, there is a feeling of total privacy on each of the Maldives’ islands.

The hustle and bustle of festive Christmas markets, traditional Christmas Carols and Twelfth Night celebrations so here are some of the finest localities in Europe to spend the festive holidays. European countries are infused in tradition, Geneva in Switzerland, the whole Lake Geneva is lit up with shops, stalls, and a thousand lights as a part of the European Christmas traditions. And for the foodies who’re looking forward to the best places to spend Christmas in Europe this year, look no further than Geneva that hosts a market full of pre-Christmas food exhibitors from all over the world. Must-attend the Genève Marché International de Noel at Place de la Fusterie, explore the Christmas market at Lake Geneva, go shopping at Rue du Marché, and Rue de Rive. Brussels in Belgium, inside the premises of Place Flagey. Shop for some of the best handicrafts products as souvenirs by artists, adore the huge Christmas tree at the Grand Palace, witness the soul-stirring light and music show, go skating at the Marché aux Poissons, don’t miss out on savouring the best beef stew in town, treat your sweet tooth with some chocolate waffles at the Christmas markets of Place Sainte-Catherine. Salzburg in Austria, considered to be one of the oldest Christmas markets in not just Europe but the whole world, Salzburg Christkindlmarkt is known to be rooted to its age-old traditions and cultural values. Dating back to the 15th century, Salzburg serves as one of the traditional cities with a strong historical background, drinking Glühwein and eating Lebkuchen is a must, enjoy skiing in the Alps, go shopping in the famous Salzburg Christmas markets, attend the Alpine Heritage event of Perchtenlauf, know the history behind Silent Night. Vienna in Austria From the evening sky at Belvedere to the streets of Graben and Kärntner Strasse every bit feels magical Capture Belvedere Palace in a perfect light, taste the culinary delights served in the most creative forms, gulp down the Christmas punches called Weihnachtspunsch, attend the nativity play at St. Peter’s Church. The city of Rovaniemi in Lapland, the official home of Santa Claus which is located at the heart of Lapland, travellers can visit and greet the Santa at the Santa Village which lies on the Arctic Circle, Meet Santa at the Santa Village, experience a Reindeer ride, tour the city with huskies, let northern lights charm you, explore the Arctic zoo, enjoy snowshoeing during Christmas. The whole city of London transforms into a winter wonderland with skating being one of the most loved activities during Christmas. From shopping to relishing a heart-warming meal, and from the carol concert to the midnight mass celebrations, London is worth spending the Christmas at, Know the history behind Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square, attend the midnight mass at Westminster Abbey, do not miss out on the Christmas Lights, attend the Carol Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, be a part of the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Strasbourg in France, hands down! Much reckoned to be the Christmas Capital, it is a strict no to miss out on exploring the 400 years old Christmas markets, Visit the city centre of Place Broglie, explore the Christmas Markets at the Cathedral Square, admire the giant Christmas tree near Sharing Village. Milan in Italy, Christmas is not complete without considering the fashion capital of the world in the list. All those who’ve dreamt of a fairyland like that in the movie Frozen, can flock to Milan to make their dreams come true. The whole city is covered with snow and the lights add the much needed glam to the city which looks magical to bits and pieces, Adore the Christmas tree at Piazza del Duomo, spot the beautiful window displays throughout Milan, visit the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, relish the Panettone. Experience dining with Mozart, shop till you drop in the best Christmas market at the Wenceslas Square, walk through the Old Town Square, savour the traditional Czech Christmas meal, the charm of Prague when it comes to Prague boasts of the most beautiful and the best Christmas market in the whole of Europe. With its famous attractions all decked up.