Winter activity holidays

Winter activity holidays


A WEALTH OF WINTER WONDERLANDS

Northern Lights


Green is the most common colour of the Northern Lights , one of the most popular responsible tourism holidays right now. There are ways in which you can make Northern Lights holidays even greener: staying in small, rural communities; travelling the low carbon way while you are there, such as cross country skiing or snowshoeing; and taking part in indigenous activ ities en rout e – including reindeer sledding, husky mushing or visiting Sámi villages. Several c ountries which lie between the Northern Lights zone of latitudes of 65 to 72 degrees are now competin g for light lovers during the season from late November to March, as the Aurora Borealis goes viral. Norway, Swedish and Finnish Lapland, Iceland and Alaska are top places to see the light.

Husky sledding


Once you get on board a sled being pulled by huskies, you will feel t hat you could go anywhere. And indeed, there are a growing number of places hosting dog sledding and husky safari holidays, where you can get that buzz of slicing through cold, fresh air, with o nly the sound of sled runners on snow, and the pant of eager huskies leaping through the wilderness. Precious packs await in equally precious landscapes, such as Swedish and Finnish Lapland or the Arctic arcadia o f Norway. For longer mushing expeditions, the Yukon Province in Canada and Alaska in the USA host races and challenges across their vast white wildernesses. Such as the 1,800km Iditarod Trai l Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome. No matter where you go, however, mushing is mega.

Cross country skiing


If you have always resisted snow holidays because, for whatever reason, downhill depresses you, cross country skiing holidays are bound to tickle your frozen fancy. Because cross country skiing is all about freedom. Using a different ski with a free-moving heel, you ski in wild places that are free of crowds, congestion and competitive chalet chic brigades. It is tough work, using both arms and legs to propel yourself through blanketed meadows, but also over hills and sometimes, with ski touring, a more advanced form of back country skiing, uphill. But it is worth it. And it is easier to learn as a skill, without having to undergo the humiliation of resort ‘baby slopes’. The French Pyrenees, Dolomites and Austrian Alps have superb trail networks, and of course the Nordic countries gave birth to the sport’s other name, Nordic skiing. As they did the sauna, a compulsory addition to any cross country skiing holiday. Except in Chile, where you can ski up volcanoes, and catch a geothermal hot spa when you come back down again.

Snowshoeing


Snowshoeing holidays are all about plodding through powder rather than posing on pistes. They are about letting landscape lead the way and embracing wilderness in winter. No longer the tennis racket-style gadgets that you stuck on your boots in the past, snowshoes are now made from lightweight aluminium with crampons for extra grip. Attach them to waterproof walking boots, grab some poles for extra leverage and follow your mountain guide into the likes of the Dolomites, the Ecrins or Mercantour National Parks in France, the Carpathians of Romania, or Finland’s upper northern wilderness. Snowshoeing is the perfect way to ensure that your boots are made for walking all year round.

Winter walking


You can still get your fix of the mountains in winter, even if you don’t want to cross country ski or snowshoe by seeking out a winter walking holiday. Snow or no snow. For no snow, hit those milder winter walking paradises, such as the mountains around Andalucia or Alicante, which are devoid of other hikers at this time of year. And, rather surprisingly, hiking holidays in some of USA’s desert national parks in December or January are also a great winter treat. Beauties like Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon national parks are empty, still exquisite, and catching the canyons all dusted with snow is a very special experience. Or, if it is snow you are after but not skis, head to Scotland where you can learn to use crampons and ice picks to take on the crispy white Cairngorms National Park. Now that’s a way to do Hogmanay. Especially with a hipflask of your finest malt whisky.

Winter wildlife watching


When there are so few humans about to invade habitats, many animals come out to play. And there is nothing quite so arresting as seeing a deer against the snow covered Cairngorms, or a chamois leaping over white Alpine wonders. Wolf and lynx tracking is easier in the snow in the likes of Slovakia’s Carpathians, or even Yellowstone National Park in winter. And for the wildlife watcher who has everything, there are winter wildlife watching holidays out there that will take you to places you have only ever dreamed of. Such as to see polar bears in the wild in Churchill, Canada. Or the elusive snow leopard in Ladakh. Now that is wild.
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If you'd like to chat about winter holidays or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team

01273 823 700
Photo credits: [Winter walking - single: Moritz Dittmar] [Winter wildlife watching - single: Yellowstone National Park]
Written by Catherine Mack
Lapland husky safari short break, Finland

Lapland husky safari short break, Finland

Combine wilderness and log cabins with this dog sledding adventure

From £2075 5 Days inc UK flights
Cross country skiing holiday in the Dolomites, Italy

Cross country skiing holiday in the Dolomites, Italy

A famously beautiful range of jagged peaks

From £999 8 Days inc UK flights
Finland Northern Lights holiday, Wilderness Auroras

Finland Northern Lights holiday, Wilderness Auroras

Winter activities & Aurora hunting in Finnish wilderness

From £1395 5 Days inc UK flights
Tailor made husky safari in Wild Taiga, Finland

Tailor made husky safari in Wild Taiga, Finland

Enjoy the Finnish Taiga Winter Husky Safari

From €1120 4 Days ex flights
Dolomites winter activity holiday in Italy

Dolomites winter activity holiday in Italy

Fun packed winter activity holiday in the Dolomites

From £1499 8 Days inc UK flights
Northern lights short break, Finland

Northern lights short break, Finland

Leisurely stay in Finnish Lapland & an Aurora alert system

From £1355 5 Days inc UK flights
Finland winter activity holiday & Northern Lights

Finland winter activity holiday & Northern Lights

Discover this Finnish winter activity wildernerss week

From £1249 8 Days inc UK flights
Winter activity holiday in the French Alps

Winter activity holiday in the French Alps

A flexible winter multi activity holiday in the French Alps

From €546 7 Days ex flights
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