Most people tend to go to warm places to escape the cold weather, but it’s boring and predictable. Why not be individual and enjoy the winter? Of course, this is hard to do if it doesn’t really snow where you live. But that’s exactly why we’ve compiled a list of the 8 most underrated winter destinations in the world. Winter in these places can really feel like the most wonderful time of the year, with lots of snow, skiing and cozy evenings by the fireplace with lots of mulled wine.
1. Niseko, Japan
Did you know that Niseko, Japan gets about 14 meters of snow per season? It’s the perfect winter getaway. You can enjoy a ski resort, there are hot springs on site that you can soak in, you can visit other cities in Japan along the way, and if you are a seafood fan, you know that this is basically heaven for you. All that fresh sushi, sashimi, snow crab… yum.
2. Hudauri, Georgia
If you love skiing but don’t want to be broke by the end of your vacation, Georgia is the place to go. The people here are very friendly and welcoming, the prices are surprisingly decent, some might even say cheap, and the service will be perfect. Of the ski resorts, Gudauri is highly recommended. Not only do they have incredibly beautiful mountains to look at and slopes to ski, but you can literally hire a helicopter to drop you off at the top of a mountain or glacier.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
For those of you who aren’t adrenaline junkies and would rather just wander around the beautiful snow-covered streets, see the gorgeous Gothic architecture and maybe have a drink or two at the local bar, Prague is a great winter getaway. A winter wonderland is guaranteed to you.
4. St. Petersburg, Russia
If you really want to experience winter, you can go to Russia. We know it’s not the most popular place these days, but if you go to St. Petersburn, you’ll be completely safe and sound. St. Petersburg is truly the cultural capital of the country, a place where you can truly immerse yourself in the culture and art of Russia. There are many museums and art galleries, winter castles and gorgeous churches, and everything covered in snow looks as magical as ever.
5. Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Canada is another country famous for its snowy winters. Mont Tremblant is a great vacation spot that offers not only great ski slopes for both beginners and professionals, but also other fun winter activities. Have you ever had champagne at an outdoor bar, for example? Here you can try it and it’s just one of the many things they offer.
6. Alaska, USA
Alaska is known as the most sparsely populated and coldest part of the US, but it’s also a place where you can enjoy a winter festival and even see the Northern Lights. The best time to visit would be from September to March, so you’ll have a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights. The biggest winter festival is the 10-day Futra Rondi Festival. Here you can watch and participate in dog sled races, reindeer runs and huge team snowball fights, not to mention all the skiing, skating and snowmobiling your little heart desires.
7. Tatras, Slovakia
The Tatras may not be as famous as the Alps, but they can definitely compete with them in terms of accessibility and value. There are many ski resorts in Slovakia, and the prices here will surprise you. Whatever you pay for a weekend in the Alps will probably last you a week here. If you have children and are looking for a family-friendly place where they can learn to ski, we highly recommend Donovaly Park Snow.
8. Bariloche, Argentina
People usually think of Argentina as a warm place, but if you fly just two hours from Buenos Aires, you will find yourself in the middle of mountains. Mount Cathedral is the largest ski resort in South America and its peak ski season is between June and September (which is winter for Argentina). If you come here in the northern winter, you probably won’t have the opportunity to ski, but you will be able to walk, fish, play golf and enjoy the breathtaking views from the mountaintops.