If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll already have noticed the colder air creeping in. Winter is nearly here. It can be a relaxed and comfy time of year, but a vacation midway through can definitely help to break it up. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to get away this winter, then check out the following tips for destinations in Europe.
City Break – Prague
Prague is a classic winter destination for good reason; the beauty of the city is only made more apparent by a light dusting of snow. And it often does snow.
The main attraction in Prague during the winter is the famous Christmas markets in the Old Town Square. It’s a quaint, pretty, atmospheric experience, especially if you visit at sunset to see the moment the lights are switched on.
Over at the King’s Casino at the Hilton Hotel you can find a different kind of crowd gathering. The city hosts the European Poker Tour in December. At the EPT Prague the games are high stakes. Players tend to be well versed in the rules of poker and hand strengths, as well as advanced strategy. But the atmosphere is electric and, aside from the $5K Main Event, there’s loads more going on to get involved with.
Elsewhere in the city you can go ice skating outdoors at Ovocny Trh or Na Frantisku, take a tour of Prague Castle, and watch a performance of The Nutcracker at the National Theatre. Or, simply stroll through the streets and admire the architecture and Gothic spires while snacking on a grilované klobásy (grilled sausage).
Just a few of the reasons why you should make Prague your go-to winter destination for a city break.
Winter Sun – Canary Islands
We know what some people will be thinking… what’s the point in a winter vacation if it’s still cold? It’s a fair point.
If you’re looking for a warmer trip still within Europe, look no further than the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of North Africa. Temperatures on the islands sit in the mid 20s even in the winter months. Toasty.
The Canary Islands are also an incredibly accessible destination, with plenty of flights from major airports in the UK and Europe. Travel times can be a matter of hours, yet you’re transported to a tropical world.
Tenerife is the biggest and most developed of the Canary Islands and so you’ll find plenty in the way of hotels and restaurants here. Gran Canaria is known for its hiking and historical towns and villages, whereas Lanzarote has 300 volcanic cones set in a landscape of geological wonder. Hidden gems are everywhere.
No matter which of the Canary Islands you visit, you’ll be guaranteed pristine beaches, tasty food, and year-round sunshine. Quite possibly the perfect winter sun destination.
Skiing Trip – Alpe d’Huez
For a more action packed trip, winter is the best time of year to head to one of Europe’s many ski resorts.
This type of vacation can be more expensive, but it’s an experience you won’t soon forget – rising early to hit the slopes, skiing or snowboarding all day, then hitting the town or retiring to a chalet to relax by a log fire.
One of Europe’s most popular ski resorts is the Alpe d’Huez in the Le Bourg-d’Oisans region of Southern France. The resort features 250km of pistes suitable for all levels. Beginners can find lessons and easy routes, and seasoned skiers can hunt out heart pounding black runs.
The main town sits at 1869m above sea level and the highest peak, Pic Blanc, sits at 3300m. The views from atop the mountains are incredible and on a clear day – of which there are many – you can see almost one-fifth of France. Pic Blanc is also the start of the longest black run in Europe, La Sarenne, which is 16km long.