The 12 Best Winter Getaway Destinations

Aerial view of the coast of Tromsø.

Whether you’re looking to escape the cold weather or fully embrace the beauty and wonder of the winter season, there are some truly incredible destinations around the world for an absolutely magical vacation this time of year. 

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Here are a dozen of the best winter getaways around the world, including our top three  picks! 

12. Sydney, Australia 

Travelers seeking warmer temperatures and plenty of fun activities will enjoy a stay in Sydney, Australia. Its summer season extends from December through February, giving visitors some much needed relief from the cold with comfortable, consistent weather between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take advantage of this ideal beach weather to try some surfing or kayaking, and depending on exactly when you visit, enjoy spectacular events including its famous New Year's Eve celebrations—featuring a spectacular fireworks display that showers the night sky in brilliant colors! 

11. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador 

The Galápagos Islands are a winter cruise destination unlike any other. This secluded, volcanic archipelago is one of the foremost destinations for nature lovers and wildlife watchers. It’s largely uninhabited, boasting a diverse array of exotic creatures comprising nearly 9,000 distinct native animal species. 

Renowned as the world’s first UNESCO Heritage Site, winter is the perfect time of year for some incredible wildlife viewing, including the hatching of giant tortoises, and mass migration of albatross.

10. Phuket, Thailand

Winter is one of the best times of year to visit this gorgeous Thai island to enjoy beautiful warm weather and great conditions for boating or surfing. Explore plentiful natural wonders scattered throughout the island, and visit unforgettable attractions such as Big Buddha, Wat Chalong Temple, and the Green Elephant Sanctuary.

9. Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City boasts some amazing winter activities and holiday attractions for those who want to embrace the wonder and majesty of the season. Tour historical buildings lining the streets of Old Quebec, go shopping and enjoy a steaming cup of mulled wine at the German Christmas Market, or celebrate the Quebec Winter Carnival. There’s so much to do! 

From the glittering decorations to the charming aesthetic, Quebec City has everything you need for a very special winter holiday. 

8. Nashville, Tennessee

If rousing nightlife and entertainment are what you crave, look no further than Nashville. The famed “Music City” is chock-full of fun dance clubs, rowdy bars, concert venues, and much more to ensure you’re always enjoying great tunes and vibes. 

During the winter season, the city comes alive with bright decorations and holiday events and attractions, such as the Porter Flea Holiday Market, Nashville Christmas Parade, Dancing Lights of Christmas show, and more. 

7. New York, New York

One of the most popular winter destinations in the world, New York City is transformed during the crisp, chilly months into a winter wonderland of seasonal shops, popular events, and eye-popping assortments of lights and colorful decorations—with streets, shops, marketplaces, and the annual holidays department store window displays all competing for attention. 

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the snow-covered paths of Central Park and pay a visit to the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Catch a brilliant Broadway holiday show, or take in some art and culture along Museum Mile. 

6. Zermatt, Switzerland

There are few places in the world with more beautiful and alluring winter scenery than Zermatt, Switzerland. This town tucked away in the Alps becomes a snow-draped winter paradise replete with seasonal events and activities including world-class skiing, ice skating, and snowboarding—as well as diverse Mediterranean cuisine and glorious mountain scenery. 

5. Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s breathtaking architecture and elegant ambiance come to life during the winter—with wondrous decorations and markets filling the season with magic and awe. 

Explore historic palaces adorned with lights, and shop at seasonal attractions such as Belvedere Christmas Market, the massive Christmas tree outside Schönbrunn Palace, and a wide selection of delicious gourmet feasts. 

4. Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky is a go-to destination for fun and authentic snow sports and activities, from popular seasonal staples such as skiing and snowboarding to dogsledding, snowmobile riding, fly fishing, and more. 

This is also a favorite destination for romantic winter travelers to check out other exciting activities around this Rocky Mountain community, including private horse-drawn carriage rides, candle lit dinners, or treks across the wilderness on horseback riding adventures. 

While these are all phenomenal destinations, here are InteleTravel’s top three locations for an unforgettable winter vacation: 

3. Lucerne, Switzerland

If you’re searching for a holiday experience embodying everything that makes this frosty season so special, look no further than Lucerne, Switzerland. 

Charming and majestic, this historic city on the banks of Lake Lucerne is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, medieval architecture, and unforgettable landmarks and attractions. 

While it is a delightful place to visit year-round, during the winter months Lucerne comes alive with festive lights and decorations, vibrant Christmas markets, glorious snow-covered peaks and landscapes, and fun seasonal activities including skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and more.

Visit to the historic Chapel Bridge, a covered, wooden footbridge dating to the 1300s decorated with scenes of the city’s past—made even more timeless when draped in fresh snow. 

Check out the Lion of Lucerne, an iconic monument carved in commemoration of those lost during the French Revolution. Take in the incredible, sweeping landscapes with a cable car or train ride to Mount Pilatus, which offers brilliant panoramas of the entire city.

Book your stay at the Grand Hotel National Luzern, a luxury hotel boasting plenty of world-class amenities. Adjacent to Lake Lucerne and established in 1870, this landmark hotel features ornate architectural designs and stunning decor. Each room is adorned with elaborate furniture, hand-woven carpets, silk wallpaper, and must-haves such as a pool, sun terrace, spa, sauna, and more! 

2. Honolulu, Hawaii

If you’d prefer a warm weather destination for your winter getaway, Honolulu is perfect for lounging in the sun and sea. Located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii’s capital boasts comfortable weather year-round, gorgeous beaches, spectacular sunsets, and plenty of winter holiday celebrations and attractions.

Enjoy fun and festive events to get into the holiday spirit, including a trip to its city hall to admire colorful Christmas displays such as the festive Honolulu City Lights, or exciting Chinese New Year celebrations in Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District. 

Delight in seasonal spectacle Santa Paddles—a local event involving a Hawaiian shirt-wearing Claus paddling a canoe to numerous venues around the island. Check out Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, an exciting, annual competition. Shop to your heart’s content at Mele Kalikimaka Marketplace, a vibrant shopping center with an assortment of holiday shops, decorations, family-friendly winter events and activities, and live music and entertainment. 

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is an enchanting tropical getaway with beachfront access, luxurious accommodations and amenities, and some amazing offerings and activities to make your trip as memorable as possible. This 22-acre retreat gives guests incredible ocean and coastal views, as well as access to Hilton’s premier attractions such as large pools, waterslides, spas, on-site luaus, and the only saltwater lagoon on the island!

With bright, comfortable rooms, a range of great dining options, and close proximity to the spectacular ocean, guests can rest assured their Honolulu holiday will be one to remember. 

1. Tromsø, Norway

For visitors who enjoy snowy weather and awe-inspiring sights, Tromsø is a dream winter holiday destination. This city in northern Norway is an ideal location for intrepid travelers to witness some truly incredible natural wonders, as well as tour amazing landscapes and communities. 

Tromsø’s main claim to fame is being one of the best places on the planet to clearly view the northern lights. Perfectly situated in the aurora zone of the Norwegian Arctic, Tromsø boasts some of the best conditions to reliably spot the aurora borealis, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The city is also home to a host of charming attractions and immersive activities for visitors to explore and discover for themselves. Tour the beautiful Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden for a look at some of the unique regional flora, or enjoy a wildlife sightseeing cruise led by an expert guide and marvel at reindeer, pilot whales, dolphins, puffins, and more. 

Take in the local culture with a stop at the renowned art museum Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, or the Polar Museum, which details the history of the region and its native inhabitants. 

Try your hand at dog sledding and set off on an adventure across the snow-covered plains, courtesy of Husky Sledding Self-Drive Adventure in Tromsø, and learn how to pilot your team of pups through the arctic wilderness. If you’d prefer exploring through more modern means, rent a snowmobile and traverse the beautiful landscape on your own terms. 

When you’re ready to relax after a day of excitement, Clarion Hotel The Edge offers first-rate accommodations and amenities, as well as an eye-popping view of the city skyline, the waters of Tromsø Sound, and the northern lights. Book its Superior Suite and take in the incredible surroundings while you lounge in luxury. These comfortable, spacious accommodations feature large windows, private bedrooms, lush, king-sized beds, and more to help you feel like you’re truly on the top of the world!

Work With InteleTravel to Plan Your Wonderful Winter Getaway

There are a lot of things to consider when planning your winter holiday, but no matter what type of vacation you’re looking for, working with an InteleTravel Advisor is the best way to ensure you have the best experience possible. 

Our advisors are certified travel experts who know the inside and out of what it takes to put together a fantastic vacation, and will go above and beyond to help arrange a custom itinerary, book the various aspects of your trip, and provide help and support throughout your journey should you need it.  

They even secure valuable upgrades and exclusive travel bonuses when available, to further enhance your trip. 

Contact an InteleTravel Advisor today to get started planning your unforgettable winter getaway! 

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