Many travelers head over to Europe during the summer season, as many European countries are just perfect for a wonderful day under the sun during this time of the year. However, summer is not the only time to head over this side of the world—winter is also a great time to visit, as many European countries transform in a breathtaking wonderland that will make you have the best time under icy (and not-so-icy) environments.
There are lots of reasons why you should visit Europe during winter season. Aside from having cheaper fares and less tourists, you will also be able to witness amazing sights and see natural wonders that are not present during the other seasons. To encourage you further, here are some of the amazing things that European winter has in store—from spectacular views to natural treasures, from fun activities to an array of unique places to stay.
The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights or aurora borealis are one of the things that this side of the world is so lucky to have, as it is one of the most beautiful natural events that happens in the sky.
While it’s true that you can also see these amazing light displays in the United States (Alaska), it’s in Europe that will really give you an overwhelming, possibly life-changing experience. Some of the best places to watch this jaw-dropping gig in the sky are: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Greenland. Also, according to NASA, 2012 will be an amazing time to see the this mystifying phenomenon, as it’s predicted that it is in these places that will display the most beautiful light displays in 50 years.
Because of the main attraction implied by the title, ice hotels come around only in cold temperatures. It’s in Scandinavia where you’ll be able to witness these creative and awe-inspiring hotels. Most famous is Jukkasjärvi in Sweden, which is also known for its great ice art exhibitions.
Europe is home to many ski spots considered as some of the best in the world, so when it comes to this winter sport, you’re assured of great slopes and glaciers here. Other sports and activities that is great at this time of the year are ice fishing, dogsledding, and snowboarding.
Relatively “warmer” spots
If you’re not a big fan of freezing temperatures but want to see Europe during winter, you can head over to counties like Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, as these places are not really on freezing levels like other European countries. At this time of the year, these spots are more temperate, and just have enough cold weather for great walks outside. Because most tourists arrive during the summer, being in these countries in winter means less crowds and more time to go around.
Winter in Europe also means lots of fun festivals—it’s this time of the year that Europeans get their party mode on, creating huge celebrations flocked by tourists from all corners of the planet. Some of the festivals you’ll catch during the winter season is the world-famous Venice Carnival in Italy; the Waking of the Bear Carnival in Bern, Switzerland; Hogmanay in Scotland; and the Mardi Gras in Belgium and France. Because Europe is rich with festivals, you are sure to chance upon amazing celebrations here.
Have you tried spending winter in Europe? If you have stuff to recommend, go ahead and share them with us! This side of the world is wonderful at any time of the year, and though this place is magnificent during the summer season, lots of amazing sights are available for winter as well!