Top 8 Beautiful Winter Getaways24 November, 2012
The days are becoming shorter, the temperatures are falling and people are deciding what to buy their friends and loved ones for Christmas. Yes, that’s right, we’re in the Winter season. If your fed up with the monotony of it all and in danger of being called a Christmas Scrooge then it’s the perfect time to take a much needed break. Why not head away to one of the beautiful holiday destinations outlined in this article?
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Norway is located in Northern Europe and shares a border with Sweden. It has a dramatic mountainous landscape and some truly magnificent fjords. The climate of this Scandinavian country is quite variable, with average temperatures of 14.7 degrees centigrade in July and -2.4 in January. You are encouraged to visit Norway this winter for the opportunity to see the northern lights and ski across the snow covered peaks. You might even spot a polar bear on one of the Arctic islands of Svalbard.
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The economically sound country of Estonia is bordered by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. Many of the local people are involved in the forestry and agricultural industries. They are used to temperatures ranging from -5.7 degrees centigrade in January to 16.4 in July. Those of you who travel to Estonia in the winter can look forward to snowy walks through woodlands and past gigantic lakes. You’ll probably want to spend some time in Tallinn, the Estonian capital and home of architectural wonders such as the Alexander Nevski Cathedral and a world famous bar, built in honour of Depeche Mode.
Stereotypically known as the home of the stunning blonde women and muscle bound men, Sweden has a diverse cultural and economic history. Anybody thinking about visiting the old home of the Vikings should schedule trips to the stylish cities of Stockholm and Gothenberg. It’s worth packing some warm clothes if you’re heading away on a winter trip, as temperatures sometimes dip under -5 degrees centigrade. Still, you will have the opportunity to warm yourself up with warm hot chocolate and traditional dishes such as the Flygande Jacob.
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Made famous in recent years by the exploits of cultural ambassador Borat, Kazakhstan has a rich Soviet history. Many of the buildings and old monuments have similar features to those found in Russia and built in the Leninist and Stalinist eras. Take a drive out from major cities such as Almaty and you will see a diverse landscape of mountains, glaciers and lakes. However, you should beware that temperatures sometimes drop below -10 degrees centigrade in the northern part of this country.
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After being hit by the full force of the global economic depression, Iceland is once more being talked about as a prime tourist destination. Visitors are taken aback by the friendless of the local people and the natural beauty of the mountains, glaciers and waterfalls in different areas of the country. The regional variations in climate also come as a surprise to many. Temperatures in Rejkiavik have been recorded at 30.5 degrees centigrade. While in the barren wilderness of Grímsstaðir they have fallen to -38 degrees centigrade. Don’t let the cold deter you from a trip along the stunning glacial river of Jokulsarlon.
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Winters in this European country last an astonishing 7 months. Temperatures during this season regularly drop to below -10 degrees centigrade. They have been known to rise as high as 35 degrees centigrade during the short summer interlude. You are advised to pack a number of insulated clothes for any trips that you might make to Finland. As long as you keep the cold at bay, you are bound to enjoy days out in Lapland and evenings at the bustling inner city bars. You might even be interested in spending the night at one of the world-famous ice hotels.
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Situated between the vast countries of China and Russia, Mongolia is well known as a land of contrasts. You may either revel in the luxury of hotels and restaurants in the major Mongolian city of Ulaanbaatar or explore the barren wilderness. As part of a wintertime visit you may hike up the snowy mountains of Bayan-Ölgi before sampling warming culinary delights such as mutton Khuushuur and noodle-based guriltai shol. You should also wrap up warm as temperatures may dip below -20 degrees centigrade.
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Arguably the best winter holiday destination in the world; Canada is home to the popular mountain resorts of Banff and Whister. Many people visit this huge North American country to take up skiing and snowboarding. However, they are often surprised by natural wonders such as the icebergs of Newfoundland and giant rocks at the Bay of Fundy. Please bear in mind that the average wintertime temperature in Canada is -5 degrees centigrade.