With summer drawing to its inevitable end, most of us are forced to watch with dismay as the days grow shorter, the nights longer and the temperatures more chill. Although those holidays in July and August might be behind us, it’s no reason to despair. Autumn and winter have their own breathless charm even if you do have to bundle up a bit more snuggly. So this season, instead of dreading the winter, why not embrace it?
As an alternative to jetting off to the more typical summer holiday locations, it might be time to turn your sights to colder climates. Replace beaches with ski slopes, cocktail bars with cosy lodges and sunsets with the Aurora Borealis, and you’ll see that winter has just as much (or more) to offer as its warmer counterpart.
Like with all your summer holidays, recording your memories in winter is an important affair. If you’re a budding film photographer, physical photographs are always a great keepsake. Nowadays, it appears that most memories are created and stored online. Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest offer two interesting ways of saving and sharing photos, although you should be aware of the differences between the two before you choose one or the other.
Whatever you decide, check out these superb must-visit winter destinations below.
At a tear-freezing -3 degrees Celsius average in winter, St. Petersburg is, without a doubt, very cold. But… it’s also charming, and best viewed and visited when blanketed in a coating of snow. Built to be Russia’s window on the West, this city is not incredibly old, only having been built in the spring of 1703. Explore the aptly named Winter Palace, or stroll along the Nevsky Prospect, taking in the lights, shops, bars, aged architecture and the Anichkov Bridge. Rich in history and culture, it’s well worth bundling up in furs and playing the 19th-century aristocrat while exploring.
Known for its massive student population, Trondheim, in northern Norway, is also a veritable paradise for snow-lovers. The Vassfjellet, just south of Trondheim, is a large alpine sports centre that has various ramps and slopes that are perfect for skiing and snowboarding of all levels. During December, the city square fills up with tents, booths and stalls for a massive Christmas market, complete with concerts each day. And if you’re the type of person who loves to watch sunrises but can’t seem to drag themselves out of bed in the morning, you’re in luck! In the run-up to Christmas, the sun graces the world at around 10am, so even if you’re a late riser, you can still catch the colours in the sky.
The city that never sleeps – it’s an age-old adage, but one that holds true even in the depths of winter. There’s something ethereal about seeing Central Park dusted in snow, or ice skating as skyscrapers surround you on all sides. The Big Apple is a known winter getaway and with good reason: the sprawling metropolis holds a profusion of things for everyone to do, no matter what your interests. Consider catching a Broadway show, visiting Times Square or perhaps, if you’re more of an art lover, visiting the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. If that’s not to your liking, you could see one of the city’s flagship music institutions such as Carnegie Hall. And if you want nothing more than to enjoy the moment, you could do worse than to stand on George Washington Bridge with your coat drawn tight around you, and watch the Hudson River flow out to sea.
Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat, but for those of you who just can’t abide by cold weather, there’s the entire southern hemisphere to consider. And at the southern-most tip of Africa, lies the gem that is Cape Town. Nestled between mountain and sea, Cape Town is perched on the lip of the Atlantic Ocean and offers prime waves and weather for surfing enthusiasts. With a temperature in the mid-twenties, Cape Town caters to visitors interested in traversing its pristine coastlines, hiking up Table Mountain or Signal Hill, or perhaps going wine tasting at one of the many estates in and around the city, such as Franschhoek and Rust en Vrede.