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After a glorious British summer, the leaves have begun to change and winter has started to roll in, bringing chilly days, dark nights and a familiar sense of seasonal gloom. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Make a change in 2018 and instead of wrestling the winter woes, embrace the cold by escaping to Europe. Forget about heating bills or making your way to work in the dark while you’re skiing down the alps or browsing a true Bavarian Christmas Market. Visit any of our spectacular winter destinations and make the winter of 2018 the best season yet!
While already an incredible destination in the summer months, Geneva comes alive in the winter as the city plays host to sportsmen from every corner of Europe. Whether you’re looking for that gnarly snowboarding slope or just a cosy lodge to sample some local fondue, the city has everything you need to banish the blues once you’re back in Blighty. If you want to make the most of your trip try to visit around the 11th of December to experience Fete de l’Escalade, a festival like Bonfire Night that celebrates a failed sneak attack on the city.
Christmas markets may only be a recent trend in the UK but they have a key part of the festive period in Salzburg since the 15th Century – which has given the market owners plenty of time to perfect the tradition. If you’re already Christmas market obsessed then there really is no better place to come than Salzburg. However, if you’d rather book a trip after your visit from Santa, Salzburg also hosts a festival on Twelfth Night, the evening of the 5th of January, where locals dress up as demons and cause mischief throughout town, similar to Halloween.
We all have the image of the perfect ski lodge – built entirely of oak logs, with huge windows, squishy chairs and a never-ending supply of hot chocolate. If that’s your idea of heaven then a trip to Chambery should be the only present on your list this Christmas. The city is an almost picture-perfect recreation of a thousand fantasy Christmas villages from a thousand different festive tales and it’s sure to capture your imagination. If you’re more into your winter sports then there’s also plenty of opportunities to go skiing with the alps on the city’s doorstep.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly getaway then there’s no better winter destination than Lapland. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to go visit Santa in his workshop before his big trip to deliver presents around the world. And while you’re making your way across the incredible arctic landscape in a reindeer-led sleigh, you’ll be able to look into the sky for a chance to glimpse the breathtaking Northern Lights.
Probably Norway’s best-kept secret, Bergen is one of the top winter destinations in Europe. The city sits in the shadows of the incredible Mount Floyen, which is widely considered one of the best slopes to ski and snowboard down, complete with brilliant views across the city and a funicular to get you to and from the summit. The city also plays host to several Christmas markets, so you can stock up on some seasonal treats after a day on the slopes.
Those searching for a truly arctic experience should make their way to the weather-beaten tundra of Iceland. Not for the faint of heart, this is a more extreme winter destination, however, the risks are well worth the rewards as the scenery transforms into a spectacular landscape unlike anywhere else on Earth. There is some respite from the cold as well, as Iceland specialises in relaxing hot baths and saunas.
With so many incredible destinations, a quick getaway to any European winter wonderland is a sure-fire way to get rid of your winter blues once and for all!