Unless you have escaped the cold and gone to a warm country, chances are that you will have a couple of cold, snowy months ahead from now on. But cold months and snow is only what you make of it – you can go and hibernate in front of the TV for the next couple of months, or you can choose to make the most of it and really enjoy the winter.
If you want to go for the second option, but forgot what winter really offers, here are a few reminders of the awesome things you can do in winter…
Things To Do In Winter Besides Skiing
There is nothing more relaxing and calming than walking among nature in the winter.
The winter landscape is incredible, with forests covered in glimmering snow and the shiny frozen lakes where it feels as though time has stopped for a moment.
The peacefulness and quietness is unlike anywhere else – taking long walks and hikes in winter wonderlands are one of the best things to do in winter, and there is nothing better than to stop over in a warm little place and order a cup of hot chocolate after a couple of hours walking.
Staying In An Igloo
More and more countries are starting to offer igloo accommodation, where you get to sleep in an actual igloo, then there is the famous Ice Hotel in Sweden, which is completely made out of ice and is rebuilt every year.
But if you can’t afford going all the way to Sweden, why not build your own igloo?
Another reason to sleep outside, whether it’s in an igloo or a tent, is the amazing opportunity you get to take photos of the night sky without any light pollution – totally worth it, at least for a few hours.
Playing Golf In The Snow
Yeah, I am serious – you can play golf in winter, in fact there are several resorts open where you can play, and even take some weekend golf breaks – it will be different, that’s for sure – but that’s part of the fun!
While you can book golf breaks and spend a weekend playing golf in the snow, it’s also just a fun thing you can do for a day when you’re in a ski resort.
They set up this golf course in Vulpera, Switzerland when we were there a few winters back and it was really fun to play a few rounds, although sometimes hard to find the ball!
Is there anything more beautiful than a frozen lake, cleared from snow? Ice skating in the nature is one of the best things I know.
It’s a little scary since you don’t know where the ice is thin, but that’s part of the fun.
Bring picnic and hot chocolate in a thermos, and spend the day by the lake just like in summer.
Sledding isn’t just for kids – it’s for everyone. If you visit Switzerland and Austria you will see that they take sledding very seriously, with championships and all.
In many of the ski resorts in Europe you will actually find slopes specifically made for sledding, and you won’t have to go through all of the hassle walking up the hill, but can take the gondola up.
Here is a video of us sledding down a 6 kilometer long sled run in Bergün in Switzerland back in winter 2010 (Watch right to the end to see Nathan lose his sled!).
Enjoying the Outdoors Adventure Ideas You Might Like To Try
Sometimes the best vacations are about having new experiences, pushing the envelope a little and stepping out of your comfort zone. Outdoor adventure trips are not high on some people’s travel list but they are an intriguing idea for any getaway.
Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly outdoorsy, there are many adventures and activities that are not that extreme or even difficult.
An outdoor adventure allows you to reconnect with nature and promotes inner peace. Next time you’re itching to get away, buy your ticket, take care of your travel insurance, pack your bags and consider adding a little extra adventure to the experience.
Here’s a fun list of some outdoorsy activities that you might want to consider no matter what your destination:
Anyone can enjoy this type of thrifty adventure, tailoring the details or even the distance to fit your needs, preferences or even your physical limitations. Hostels are available in many corners of the world, but so are luxurious resorts.
Backpackers can reward themselves for a long trek with a stay in a pricey resort and a massage. Backpacking is one of the best ways to be able to interact with local folks too, it allows you to connect with the culture and experience new experiences.
Europe is a top destination for backpackers, particularly New Zealand as it gains popularity.
Paddle boarding or surfing
Both of these activities are easy to fit into a vacation without going overboard. Alternatively, you can book a stay at a beachfront resorts to take a road trip to a spot and spend a day on the water. If you’re new to either one of these sports, you’ll probably want to start small.
SUP or Stand Up Paddle boarding is more relaxed – a great way to explore little beaches, tiny islands and caves.
Surfing takes a little more skill but certainly a fun sport if you’re up for a challenge. A single, short lesson will tell you whether or not you enjoy the sport and want to continue.
Plenty of gorgeous resorts in Central America and Hawaii offer ideal opportunities for water sports.
Hiking and trekking
Trails featuring gorgeous scenery can be found everywhere, and they vary significantly in duration and difficulty. With so many options worldwide you can start with a short nature hike in the rainforest and work your way up to a rocky 14er.
No other adventure will give you the rewards and the views as hiking does, reaching a summit will give you a huge sense of satisfaction and will probably make you want to plan your next trip.
Experienced trekkers will make the hike the centerpiece of their trip checking off world-class hikes off their bucket list.
If you prefer distance over height, thru-hiking can be an option, two great examples are the many endurance hikes that make up trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail.
If you’re a winter nut, consider a day of hiking in one of the National Parks in the United States or Canada, locations suck as Rocky Mountain National Park or Banff will take you to breathtaking views and unforgettable hidden locations.
Snowshoeing and skiing
Playing in the snow can certainly be fun, and lots of travelers plan entire vacations around the outstanding powder in destinations like Tahoe in California and Telluride, Colorado. Novice powder hounds don’t have to book a stay that will keep them on the slopes every day.
Snow provides such a great variety of activities for all ages, snowshoeing is an easy winter sport and can be enjoyed with the family, so is cross-country skiing.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous then why not book a couple of lessons and get started on skiing or snowboarding?
A day on the slopes will provide some good family fun and give you great travel stories.
Kayaking and canoeing
The summer season and even the fall provide thousands of destinations where you can enjoy relaxed days on a lake. White water rafting is an exhilarating experience but certainly not for everyone. If you’re a first timer you may want to choose a single day or partial day trip that features more slack water than rapids.
Kayaking or canoeing is a great alternative to enjoying the outdoors, a river surrounded by rainforests or the calm waters of an endless lake.
Any of these activities require minimum effort, can be enjoyed as a family and will give you the opportunity to explore nature as well as relax during your travels.
Whether it’s tame or wild, be sure to include a bit of outdoor adventure in your next getaway.