Winter Destinations for the Perfect Year-End Holiday
You’ve survived yet another crazier-than-ever year and you definitely deserve a year-end holiday. Neither the Zika virus, ISIS, Brexit, or Trump will stop you from exploring our beautiful world, especially not in winter. Need to pull out your winter gear and dress up in smart coats and luxurious faux-fur scarves, but not sure where to go this year?
Check these winter destinations out and come back refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle whatever 2017 may bring!
Ahh, Greenland. How very remote, stunning, and under-populated, just the perfect place to escape to if you’re getting sick and tired of the nuisance of humanity.Greenland isn’t the first place that comes to mind when people thinking of taking a holiday, which means that you get plenty of space and nature to yourself. It sure is cold, but you get rewarded with beautiful spectacles like the Aurora Borealis. With hundreds of clear sky days a year and low light pollution, the odds of being graced by a light dance is high.
Check yourself into Hotel Arctic for the world’s most northerly four-star hotel. Beside that, you can check out the IceCap Hostel which located at Ililissat, Kitaa (Westgrönland) for only S$118.
And if you’re there for the outdoor adventure, give Heliskiing a go for the most unforgettable adrenaline rush and scenery. Experienced divers who normally tread the waters of Southeast Asia will absolutely love the thrill of cold-water diving amidst icebergs and shipwrecks. Before going for a super adventurous trip, equip yourself with travel insurance so you can enjoy the epic trip.
Full of Christmas Spirit? Visit the land where Santa Claus came from. Finland is also known for northern lights and the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is probably the most Pinteresting hotel in the world. Yes, the luxurious igloo from where you can ogle at the night sky while keeping warm. A room per night will be priced from S$234 onwards.
Helsinki is the up-and-coming cool capital of Europe, in more ways than one. It is known for its art, design, and basically every hipster-worthy activity you can imagine. When you’re done with your last bottle of craft beer, ditch the city for skiing and snowmobile safaris.
Want a refreshing jolt of energy? Strip down to your bathing suit, psyche yourself up, and jump into an ice lake for some Finnish ice-swimming that will strengthen your resolve and make 2017 a hundred times more conquerable.
Trade your shopping malls for a good Christmas market. In Germany, there are no lack of gorgeous markets set beautifully with lights, the festive atmosphere, and charming city plazas. If you believe in “Shopping is an art”, pack yourself with one of the best travel credit card and you are good to go! The Weihnachtszauber market in Berlin is one of the prettiest around and boasts live music for a great atmosphere. If you are tight on budget, you can check out the InterCityHotel Schwerin located at Schwerin, Mecklenburg-W. Pomerania for S$52 per night.
Leave the cities when you’ve had your fill of too much food and drink and head off to visit your fairytale romance. Sing ‘Let It Go’ unabashedly when you arrive at Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale castle with a tragic story. In winter when snow falls, the castle’s ethereal beauty ups a complete notch.
Also, discover your new favourite alcoholic beverage that’s not beer, but Glühwein, a German mulled wine made with spices like cinnamon and cloves for the ultimate Wintery concoction.
You don’t have to travel far and wide to experience winter in its best snowy fall. Hokkaido has long been known for its powder snow that is perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and falling flat on your face without getting too hurt. Another undeniably Japanese and terrifically therapeutic thing to do in the middle of a freezing winter is to soak yourself in an Onsen. Look for the ones set amidst snow mountains and spend the final days of the year in contemplative bliss.
And obviously, even if you have never visited Hokkaido, you must have been around the atriums of malls in Singapore and walked into a Hokkaido Food Fair. Snow crabs, hairy crabs, ramen, snacks, and basically anything from Hokkaido is bound to be tasty. So tuck in and fill the luggage with your very own Food Fair stock. Lastly, call it a day at one of the best-value-for-money hotels – APA Hotel Sapporo Susukino Eki Nishi for only S$51.
Who says that winter must be a snowy affair? December is also a great time to be visiting places that experience a beautifully mild tropical climate. Kerala in India is one such place where December makes for an exceptional time to visit. Temperatures range from 23 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius and if you travel to the hills, it gets cooler than that.
Named as “God’s own country”, Kerala is blessed with hills, beaches, and laidback backwaters that you can experience with a houseboat tour. Enjoy the all these without breaking your bank – a room at The Dream Nest will cost you only S$9 per night and it is just 2 km from the beautiful Alleppey Beach. Keralan cuisine is sublime and you’d be almost reluctant to return if you’re a fan of seafood, colours, and bursts of flavours that are both intense and harmonious.
Ayurvedic and yoga retreats are aplenty, so if year-end is a time of reflection, detox, and body-mind rejuvenation, Kerala is your best bet.
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