We live in a temperate paradise. It’s summer year round and annoying things like slippery icy pavements or frozen pipes don’t concern us. However, the heat and humidity can be suffocating, which is why many choose to hit the snowy slopes of Japan and Korea or brave the cold of Europe in search of a little respite. Especially at the end of the year, when Christmas approaches and the towns are decked out festive and jolly. Maybe it is a little early in the year to plan your Christmas vacation, but if the perpetual summer heat has got you craving for a little chill in your bones, then check out these 3 winter wonderland-esque spots we’re touring in the last quarter of 2018.
Norway – Oslo, Lofoten Island
Home to some of the world’s most beautiful scenery (and peoples), the snowy landscapes of Norway definitely catapult it to the top of our list of picturesque, winter wonderland tours. This tour takes you to around the stunning Norwegian archipelago, where we chase the light across long nights for none other than the stunning, surreal Northern Lights that paint the night sky fluorescent. We also head to Lofoten Island where we’ll have the opportunity to visit small fishing villages and explore the surrounding country side; of mountains, cliffs, fjords and dramatic open seas. The trip ends in Oslo, a cosmopolitan hub where old meets new – perfect for a spot of street photography.
Antarctica – King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Cape Horn, Drake Passage
Miles of snow, ice and icy blue waters, Antarctica is the epitome of ‘winter’. One of our newest tours, this is an adventure to end all adventures, for how many can say they’ve ventured to the end of the world? This tour kicks off in the South Shetland islands where we’ll board a ship and sail into a bay filled with icebergs, sea birds, penguins, seals and if we’re lucky, whales. Over the course of this tour, you will cross the infamous Drake Passage (where the Atlantic, Pacific and Southern seas converge) to reach the legendary Cape Horn before finally arriving in Argentina. It’s definitely one of those “once in a lifetime” type adventures, and trust us when we say it’ll 100% worth the cold.
Mongolia – Ulan Bator, Ulgii, Hustai National Park, Bayangobi
Miles after miles of steppes, barren land and mountain ranges might not immediately come to mind when you think of a “winter wonderland”, but in Mongolia, where temperatures can drop to -30 in the windswept lands, is a wonderland in its own way. For starters, this tour allows you the extremely rare opportunity to live amongst her famed nomads: the eagle hunters and breeders who still live in traditional gers. Wildlife photography takes centre stage on this tour as you attempt to capture the unique harmony between man and beast, a co-dependance we city dwellers can never otherwise imagine. At night if the skies are clear, you’ll be treated to a show like none other as the light of a million stars twinkle in the night sky like diamonds (a good chance to hone your astrophotography skills too).