So you love winter and snow and you want to take a winter holiday. Only problem is most winter holidays seem to assume you can ski?! Well for all you non-skiers out there I have put together a few ideas of how to have an awesome winter holiday without worrying about skiing!
Dog Sled and Reindeer Rides in Lapland
One of our most exciting winter holidays was visiting Finnish Lapland with the children. Although we visited at Christmas to see Santa, Finnish Lapland would be good at any time during the winter.
My favourite activity in Lapland was definitely the dog sledding. With one of us driving the sled and the other tucked up inside with the kids it was perfect! Admittedly it can be hard work helping the dogs by pushing up the hills, but it’s an exhilarating experience!
A reindeer ride through the snowy forests is much slower than the dog sled, but it certainly gives you a chance to appreciate the beauty of Lapland. The Sami often tie bells onto the reindeer, which makes a beautiful sound as you slowly ride through the trees.
If you are lucky you might even get a chance to see the dancing lights in the sky, the Aurora Borealis.
Train Journey Through Snowy Norway
My eldest LOVES trains and I’ve been considering some exciting train journeys for upcoming family holidays. One of the most exciting for a winter holiday would be the Bergensbahnen, which connects Bergen and Oslo, with over a 4,000ft climb.
You can admire the beautiful snowy landscapes in comfort, with a changeover to the Flam railway that includes passing frozen waterfalls and the steepest tracks in the world! From Flam you can travel back up the line to rejoin the train to Bergen to explore the city. This would be perfect for those who enjoy the journey as well as the destination!
Geothermal Pools, Glaciers and Geysers In Iceland
Iceland is an amazing country full of fantastic sights, well known as the land of fire and ice. Some of the best include visiting geothermal pools and geysers, which are particularly easy to find around the area known as the ‘golden circle’. There are a variety of geothermal pools dotted around the country, some free and others require payment. We can personally recommend the Secret Lagoon near Fludir.
Watching a geyser explode into the air is also particular exciting. We stood and watched Strokkur erupt from the ground many times, it became almost a competition to guess when it would happen.
For even more winter excitement you can take a guided tour inside an actual glacier, this was certainly a highlight of trip to Iceland in 2017. The giant buggy battled through strong wind and snow on the glacier to the man made entrance where we explored the glacier.
If an exciting hotel is more your thing, what do you think about the ICEHOTEL? Spend one or two nights here as part of a longer tour, or just book a weekend away to enjoy the strangeness of sleeping in a room of ice!
Each year the ICEHOTEL is built from scratch using ice carved from the local river. Over 40 artists carve the ice to create the themed rooms, which are enjoyed by guests from all over the world. It’s recommended to mix up booking the cold and warm (non ice!) rooms during your stay.
If you can’t stay in the hotel itself, there’s also the chance to have a day time guided tour of the hotel instead!
View Polar Bears in Churchill, Canada
The iconic animal of the Arctic has to be the polar bear. So a tour across to the small town of Churchill in the far North of Manitoba, Canada is the place to go for a spot of bear watching. You spend time exploring the town and listening to stories from locals and scientists, but most importantly you can spend time in a large Tundra buggy exploring the landscape, searching for the elusive polar bears.
There are even family itineraries aimed at those who have children aged 12 and under. Not only will the guide talk about polar bear life, but they will discuss some of the issues they face today and how we can help conserve the species for the future.
Snowshoeing In Finland
Have you tried walking in deep snow before? I have and believe me when I say it’s not easy! It’s hard work and exhausting, which is why some amazing person invented snow shoes, to distribute the weight of a person over a larger area.
If you would like to explore more of the beautiful snowy landscape of Finland, then snowshoeing may be the option for you. Strap on the snow shoes and follow your guide into the stunning wilderness. Much easier than trudging through the deep snow!
Some companies have great tours that incorporate multiple different destinations on a snowshoeing tour, with night at various wilderness cabins. Perfect for the real adventurer!
For more ideas when skiing is off the agenda, head over to Natalie at Plutonium Sox.
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