5 Places to Chill Out This Winter
Tired of going to same place each and every Christmas? Well we have found five destinations that you might like and enjoy. Whether you want to be in Europe, the States or down South, one of these will fit your budget. You can sleep in a hotel with a difference with the opportunity to see the Northern Lights or join an expedition down in Antarctica to learn more about penguin and do some Whale watching.
IGLOO BREAK SWEDEN
There’s nothing cooler (sorry) than spending the night at the Ice hotel in Swedish Lapland. But with discover the world, you can go one better, with a four-night Christmas at the Ice hotel package. With one night in the Ice hotel itself, and the rest in a cosy chalet nearby, there’s no chance of being a frozen turkey come Christmas morning. And there are plenty of activities to keep you busy: moose safaris, dog sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, Northern Lights tours and reindeer sled excursions, as well as a torch lit procession to the village church for a carol concert on Christmas day. The hotel also has an ice bar, a heated restaurant and saunas. It’s enough to melt the frostiest of hearts.
COLD STANDARD COLORADO
Dunton hot springs might just be the most picturesque place to stay this side of the Milky Way. A restored mining village in a secluded Colorado valley at 8,900ft, this ‘ghost town’ is now a collection of log cabins with a natural hot spring providing the perfect way to thaw out. Make the most of the wide-open spaces with downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking, riding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating and ice climbing. Wander around outside and you’ll be fooled into thinking you’ve time-travelled back to the days of the gold rush, but indoors, the cabins are warm and cosy, with exotic touches – one even has a huge slate hot springs pool that fills in just 20 minutes. And after all that you can have a glass of wine from the hotel’s vineyard, sitting in the saloon where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are said to have hidden out after robbing the Telluride bank.
FLOE RIDING GREENLAND
Greenland, the least green country in the world. If your idea of a merry Christmas is rolling around in the snow with a friendly polar bear, then this is the place for you. Just kidding. There are polar bears to spot, but it’s probably best not to go in for a hug as they’re one of the planet’s most deadly animals. Take a trip with Abercrombie & Kent whose tailor-made itinerary takes in icebergs, ice fjords, mountains and glaciers. As well as those unfriendly bears, you could be lucky enough to see wild reindeer and roaming musk oxen, Arctic foxes and hares, wolves, seals and walruses. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll get a clear view of the northern Lights. The experience is guided, with helicopter transfers, your own sled and team of dogs and more snow than you’ve seen in your entire life.
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE ANTARCTICA
You won’t be encouraged to pick up a penguin on world expeditions’ ten-day Christmas in Antarctica trip but you’ll see plenty of them, as well as humpback and minke whales, seals and sea birds, not to mention some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. Sail from the tip of South America to the Antarctica peninsula and then float around the planet’s least-visited continent, passing Livingston Island, Half Moon Island, the volcanic crater of Deception Island, paradise bay, the vast icebergs and cliffs of the Lemaire Channel, and across the Drake Passage, with regular stops for walkabouts and visits to scientific research centres.
Escape from the Euro trash ski bunnies and braying Sloanes in the Alps and head instead to the Pyrenees for some merry mountain fun. Andorra was once the quiet budget destination of choice, but after a five-year overhaul it’s looking pretty darn piste-perfect from where we’re standing. The resort of Soldeu sits at 1,850m, with 205km of groomed pistes, and is a short hop from Barcelona or Toulouse, so is ideal for a quick Christmas breaks. Stay at the sport hotels resorts & spa in the village of Soldeu, with directs access to the slopes, restaurants manned by Michelin-starred chefs, and a vast 5,000sq m spa.