If you were under the impression that Aspen was the number one skiing hotspot in America, you thought wrong. All it takes is one gander at Vail’s deep, puffy snow, the variety of the slopes and growing number of lifts, and you’ll see why the rich and famous converge on this winter Mecca each year. The resorts and hotels in the area are more than exquisite. You are sure to feel like you’re at one of the world renowned ClubMed spas when you’re enjoying a massage overlooking a snowy mountain range! Try taking a gondola ride up into the mountains to appreciate the panoramic view, you won’t be disappointed.
Austria is one of those places where I imagine braid clad girls on mountain tops, milking cows and singing songs, but it is possible that my ideas about the country are deep rooted in The Sound of Music. In reality, Austria is so much more. Rather than fear the cold in those fridged winter months, Austrians have instead built an entire culture around the snow and the holiday season. In December, the Christmas Market is the place to visit for all of your holiday shopping essentials. Don’t forget to take a moment to relax at a cafe, situated at the base of the Alps, where you can inhale that beautiful snowy mountain view. If you’re into sports more involed than carrying a shopping bag, the skiing and snowboarding are obviously some of the best around as well.
Being essentially at the top of the world, Reykjavik is covered by a blanket of darkness each winter. You may be wondering how it made the cut for Christmas snow, but in those long winter months Icelanders do their best to light the skys! There are carnivals, light shows, music festivals and countless other adventures for tourists trying to enjoy a Christmas winter as close to the North Pole as they can possibly get! Be sure to be on your best behavior though, because the big man in the red suit may be just around the corner.
In Viking territory, all you need is a warm cup of hot chocolate and a hand to hold onto and you’ll be in a winter paradise. The air in Scandinavia truly is different, in an enchanting way. Christmas decroations adorn each window as lovers stroll down the snow covered streets or glide across frozen ponds on rented ice skates. Warm your hands and your stomach in a dimly lit bar and drink Fisk like a true Swede!
Being in Japan, this village is chockfull of nuggets from the Orient, that will keep tourists and natives alike in a perpetual state of awe. If, by chance, you are a Zen master, Sahoro’s Buddhist temples hit jus the right spot when it comes to soothing your mind and body after a day of hiking or hitting the slopes. One of the greatest , most tempting parts of Sahoro are the natural hot springs, where you can enjoy the therepeutic effects of hot water on your rough winter skin.