We are entering the winter, the cold starts, the days are grey and shorter. The body asks for a blanket, a sofa and something warm in your hands… perhaps the concept I have of Christmas is close to the Hygge philosophy (a concept or expression of Danish origin that translates as “cosiness”. A fusion between warmth, pleasantness and the happiness of home).
But winter can also mean holidays, different kinds of tourism, snowy getaways, skiing and Christmas.
If you are one of the latter, who can’t spend a holiday at home in peace and quiet Hyggeing, I leave you with a selection of extreme and wonderful places, experiences that will stay in your memory forever.
Prague, Czech Republic
Travelling in winter to a romantic city often intensifies the emotions you feel there. Prague is a clear example of this theory. Few cities in Europe exude the majesty and beauty that the capital of the Czech Republic exudes. The Herculean Vltava River, with its icy grey waters, passes under the foundations of the famous Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague, which has been linking the Lesser Town and the Old Town since the beginning of the 15th century. We can stroll through the nooks and crannies of the beautiful palaces and buildings, illuminated in such a way that they resemble an oasis of warmth in the midst of the snow. The Castle, the Astronomical Clock of the Old Town Hall, Wenceslas Square, St. Vitus Cathedral… These are just some of the many monuments you will fall in love with in Prague.
Lapland is the northernmost region of Finland and a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, known for its incredible light phenomena all year round, its vast arctic nature and Father Christmas.
Lapland is in our thoughts as that mythical land located in the Arctic Circle, shared by several countries: Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. A land covered with forests and snowy moors that disappear into the horizon, where the Sami people live, where herds of reindeer and huskies are bred. A land of contrasts where the sun never sets in summer and it is always daytime, and never rises in winter, and the polar night fills the lives of its inhabitants with a strange and mysterious blue light: “Kaamos”.
Finland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, which are visible for more than 200 nights a year. December to February are the coldest months, but they are also usually the best for auroras.
Iceland’s approximately 103,000 square kilometres are home to every natural wonder imaginable: waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, glaciers, natural hot springs and even whale and bird watching.
Due to its complicated climate and rugged geography, its beauty has remained unchanged for centuries and has survived to this day.
The vastness of Iceland’s nature and grandeur contrasts with the calm and tranquillity of its cities and towns, where even Reykjavik has no more than 130,000 inhabitants. This, in turn, has made Iceland the ideal country for learning about ancient Viking legends and Norse traditions, as time seems in many cases to have stood still centuries ago in its tranquil towns and villages.
Alberta is surrounded by the famous Canadian Rocky Mountains, covered in lush forests, while the south gives way to endless prairies. The region makes this province a beautiful place to visit.
Alberta has world-famous beauty. You can visit Banff, Lake Louise and the quirky little town of Jasper. There is a wide selection of things to do on your holiday, such as skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowmobiling across the great frozen plains… the forested Rockies is so vast that it’s easy to feel like you’re the only person on the planet.
The North Pole
Travelling to the geographical North Pole, 90 degrees north latitude, is not an experience suitable for everyone, or so say those who have been there. You have to be adventurous, have a desire to see the world and, to put it mildly, be freezing cold. But, according to those who have already achieved this feat, it is worth it.
An expedition as ambitious as it is risky and not for everyone. The cost is around 16,000 euros and, depending on how you decide to reach the northernmost point of the Earth, you will have to have at least a good physical background. Basically, there are two ways to reach the geographic North Pole: by helicopter or by skiing. Of course, if you choose the latter route, it will be the hardest, but also the most authentic.
The first thing you need to know is that your route must start from Norway, although it can also be done from Canada, but the price increases considerably.
If you’re up for it, you can ski to 90 degrees north, but it won’t be a walk. You’ll have to pull a sled weighing about 50 kilos, on which you’ll carry your own equipment. In total, it will take you seven days on foot to cover the 150 kilometres that separate the base from the most northerly point on the planet.
Of course, what if you don’t like the cold? Let’s add Made in Spain to our list, the Canary Islands.
Although the Canary Islands have a reputation for keeping the summer heat practically all year round, there are considerable differences from island to island in terms of climate. Fuerteventura is one of the warmest during the winter. For one simple reason. The closer it is to Africa, the warmer it gets. Our recommendation is to go directly from the airport to the volcanic beach of Cofete. The sand is sure to be warm. However, any of the 8 islands is a wonderful option.
What about you? What are you going to do this winter?