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5 winter wonderlands for the perfect white Christmas

5 winter wonderlands for the perfect white Christmas

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Christmas is over a month away, and with that comes the beauty of Christmas decorations and bright lights.

Most cities are already preparing for the silly season and, if you notice, some places are already in the festive mood.

If you’re looking to spend your Christmas in a winter wonderland, here are some beautiful white Christmas destinations that should be at the top of your bucket list.

Lapland, Finland

5 winter wonderlands for the perfect white Christmas
Lapland is the perfect place to view the Northern Lights and surrounding landscape. Picture: Instagram

Known as the home of Christmas, you can visit Santa Claus village, in Rovaniemi, or St Nick, which are both amusement parks with staff members dressed up as elves and family fun reindeer sled rides as well as the chance to meet Father Christmas himself.

A Christmas in Lapland also includes the opportunity to enjoy reindeer sleigh rides, endless snowfall and the unique opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Aurora Borealis.

There are plenty of activities and attractions to do at this winter wonderland, including skiing, ice-carting, Wolverine Fell Wilderness and Nature, Igloo Village Kakaslauttanen and the snow village at Lainio.

Where to stay: Book a stay at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel: a unique blend of luxury comfort in the heart of Arctic nature, local Lappish traditions and modern Scandinavian design.

In contrast to the meticulously designed accommodation and nest-like cosiness, the panoramic views from the windows provide impressive spectacles of the forest and Arctic skies: the Northern Lights and Midnight Sun can be admired from the comfort of your bed.

Bruges, Belgium

5 winter wonderlands for the perfect white Christmas
A town square in Bruges with a wonderfully lit Christmas tree. Picture: Instagram

If you’re in the mood for a fairytale Christmas, then you should consider Bruges. The charming medieval city lives up to its enchanting reputation as snow covers its historic cobblestone streets and winter marketplaces pop up, bringing Christmas cheer to every corner of the city.

The city hosts an annual Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival from November to January, which allows visitors to explore incredible ice-made artworks from November to January.

Enjoy a fresh cup of hot chocolate whilst visiting the annual Christmas Markets, where an ice-skating rink and market are brimming with activity attracting cheerful festive locals and tourists alike.

Where to stay: The Hotel De Orangerie, former Carthusian convent dating from the 15th century, has turned out to be a most luxurious and romantic boutique hotel. It is situated in the cultural and historic heart of Bruges, along 'De Dijver' canal.

Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

5 winter wonderlands for the perfect white Christmas
Experience winter in Jukkasjärvi at the Icehotel. Picture: Instagram

Home of the Ice hotel, this destination is worth the visit. This Christmas destination offers a magical white landscape and incredible northern lights, and you can also partake in wilderness experiences like husky dog sledding and ice sculpting.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feature special events, including a visit from Santa and a concert in the historic village church, dating to the 1600s.

Where to stay: The Ice hotel is in an icy winter wonderland in far northern Sweden, and it puts on a special show for Christmas.

This Swedish landmark is creatively redesigned and reborn each winter season, and the accommodation at the hotel ranges from standard ice rooms to more elegant art suites. The Ice rooms are furnished with decor and beds made of ice.

Prague, Czech Republic

5 winter wonderlands for the perfect white Christmas
An aerial view of Prague’s toytown Christmas markets. Picture: Instagram

Praguers are known for creating an unforgettable Christmas experience for visitors. For Prague, the festive season mood begins with Advent, when the city and its historical squares are festively decorated.

The city knows how to carry the spirit of Christmas, and it offers Christmas markets to enjoy.

Prague is famous for its cuisine, so Christmas is the best time to visit as the variety of food and beverages sold at the market are very generous. Visitors may look forward to traditional Czech food such as barbecued pork, blood sausages, Czech muffins, conkers, beer, mull, mead and other typical gastronomical specialities from Old Czech cuisine and Christmas carols sung every day by various performers.

Where to stay: Conveniently located in the radiant heart of Prague’s Lesser Town, right below Prague Castle and just steps away from Charles Bridge, is the Augustine, A Luxury Collection. This hotel is described as the quintessence of Prague’s history, character and beauty.

Megève, France

5 winter wonderlands for the perfect white Christmas
Megeve is the perfect location if you want to ski this Christmas. Picture: Instgram

During the festive season, this French ski resort of Megève in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes looks like a Christmas card. It features an ice-sculpted nativity set, Christmas lights illuminating the streets and the jingle from horse-drawn sleighs add to the charm.

The village was built around a medieval church, where there is an enormous Christmas tree adorned with Swarovski crystals and is perfect for the traveller who is all about skiing.

Megève has particularly scenic ski runs past wooden chalets and cosy mountain restaurants. Non-skiers can peruse the boutique shops, indulge in a spa treatment or learn how to pirouette stylishly across the ice-skating rink.

Renowned for its fine dining, choose from over 80 restaurants for your Christmas meal – and make sure you’ve booked it in advance. It’s also one of the least crowded ski resorts at Christmas.

Where to stay: Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois for dedicated kids club and amazing intimate spa. This fabulous Les Chalets du Mont d'Arbois is the perfect, luxurious mountain base for skiers looking to access Megève’s 445 kilometres of piste.

Read the latest issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.

Original Article

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