10 Places to Celebrate Christmas with Guaranteed Snow
Every single year you sit anxiously by the window waiting for the first few delicate flakes of snow, but why dream of a white Christmas? Pop Bing on the radio and head out to any of these 10 beautiful locations to ensure a truly snowy festive season.
This island to the north of Japan is popular with skiers due to the snow covered slopes in winter. The island benefits from an eclectic mix of landscapes – cityscapes, rugged mountains and expanses of wilderness. Your options for activities are wide-ranging too – take a banana-boat ride on a frozen lake, relax in a hot spring or take a sightseeing tour in an ice breaker through the drift ice.
Aspen, Colorado, USA
Rated as one of the world’s top ski-resorts, Aspen is also a renowned location for attracting the rich and famous in the Rocky Mountains. Beyond the piste-based activities and culinary delights at the sought after glitzy restaurants, there are events and accommodation for all budget options. Head to the Aspen Highlands for a more authentic local Rockies experience.
Zermatt is arguably the ultimate haven for snow lovers as snow is guaranteed 365 days a year. As well as pistes for all skiing abilities, there are seductive spas and gourmet delights waiting to welcome you in this Alpine village. You can also explore one of the highest alpine peaks, the Matterhorn, which overlooks Zermatt.
Anywhere that can boast ‘Arctic Circle’ as part of their address has a more than respectable chance of snow at Christmas and Greenland is no exception. It also plays host to the Big Arctic Five: Whales, Huskies, Ice, Pioneering People and the Northern Lights. Perhaps avoid the ‘Kiviak’ though, a delicacy of fermented auk flesh doesn’t seem quite as festive as a nice plate of mince pies.
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Christmas in Banff is celebrated in a similar way to the UK – Santa, turkey, Boxing Day and of course the all important gifts. All the festive staples are there but with the added benefit of being able to ski off some of those gluttonous yuletide calories on the local slopes. If shopping is more your bag, take a trip to the Banff Christmas shop, Canada’s largest year round Christmas store – for a last minute tinsel top-up.
Stubai Glacier, Austria
If you’re keen to spend the yuletide on the piste, this is the place for you. The largest glacier ski resort in Austria can be found in the Stubai Valley, close to Innsbruck. A snow haven for skiers and snowboarders, you can also explore the icy depths of the Stubai Glacier grotto if you’re in the mood for adventure.
Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
Where there’s Santa, there’s snow! And as Rovaniemi is the ‘Official Hometown of Santa Claus’, it is the place to go for snow. Glossing over the fact that Santa obviously lives in the North Pole, Rovaniemi has the full Christmas experience to offer: Reindeer, Lapland safaris and, of course, Santa himself. The location is so Christmassy even the town plan is in the shape of a reindeer’s head.
St Moritz, Switzerland
If your festive snow-scape dream holiday is tinged with a touch of sparkle and glamour, head off to St Moritz – the oldest and possibly most sophisticated winter holiday destination. This historical homeland of winter sports has hosted two winter Olympics and provided hospitality for a host of famous faces over the years. Swan about in snow-tipped elegance over the festive season with a trip to this Swiss playground for the rich and famous.
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Whistler knows how to lay on a good Christmas. With twinkly lights, snow covered lodges and ice-skating all catered for here they decided to up their game with a series of events. The highlight of which is the weekly Fire and Ice show – Whistler’s top skiers and boarders jump and flip their way through a hoop of fire. The evening is topped off with a spectacular firework display.
Denali National Park, Alaska
For a white Christmas with a difference, why not try a winter camping trip to Alaska? If the potential for frostbite, temperatures as low as -40F or colder and the long Alaskan nights don’t put you off then this would be a holiday of a lifetime. With over six million acres of wilderness to explore this is a camping trip of epic proportions. You may have a long walk to the grocers to fetch your sprouts though.
Huge thank you to the following for the above images:
Hokkaido, Japan – Chi King/Aspen, Colorado, USA – KR1212/Zermatt, Switzerland – Kosala Bandara/Greenland – Greenland Travel/Banff, Alberta, Canada – Dave Bloggs/Stubai Glacier, Austria – Jean & Nathalie/Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland – Tarja Mitrovic/St Moritz, Switzerland – mendhak/Whistler, British Columbia, Canada – Ruth Hartnup/Denali National Park, Alaska – Ross Fowler