There is something magical about experiencing a white Christmas. And thinking about where you’d like to see that snow falling is part of the fun when planning your winter getaway.
Here are five places we recommend if you are looking for a white Christmas that lives up to those of your favorite childhood picture book memories.
Northern Finland is where the Northern Lights dance across the night sky and sleighs are the preferred mode of transport. But it’s the natural beauty of this area that will take your breath away … what else would you expect from Santa Claus’ home?
If you want to visit the official home of Santa, head to the jolly fellow’s Rovaniemi office (take bus number 8 from Rovaniemi city centre) in Lapland where he greets more than 300,000 visitors year-round; in-between supervising his busy toy workshop of course.
Rovaniemi is about a 1hr 20min flight from Helsinki and lies on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Perfect for the young and young at heart, this magical part of the world is a must-see.
Quebec City – Canada
Voted Canada’s favourite city multiple times, this charming city comes alive at Christmas with winter festivals and events that transform the UNESCO-protected city into the most perfect Christmas village.
Each year the square outside the historic Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral (16 Rue De Buade, Québec City), becomes a Christmas market where you can purchase handmade Christmas decorations, sip on warm mulled wine from the barrel, munch on hot roasted chestnuts, and sample the famous Quebec ‘taffy’ made from heated maple syrup that’s set in fresh snow.
Don’t miss Rue de Petit Champlain and it’s many delightful boutique shops, cafes and art stores. Skate on one of the outdoor rinks or toboggan down the slopes of Dufferin Terrace at the foot of Chateau Frontenac – a family Christmas tradition for over 100 years and part of the annual Winter Festival.
Vail, Colorado – USA
Located in the beautiful Colorado mountains, Vail is the third largest ski mountain in North America, and the quaint village really knows how to turn on the Christmas charm. Snow-capped trees line the streets and historic lampposts light up cobblestone pathways throughout the village.
Alpine chalets are beautifully draped in pine garland, and families skate on the open-air skate rinks, with sleigh rides the transport of choice. Each night the town comes alive with Christmas parades and family activities for all ages. If you’re renting a villa or home, arrange for a beautifully decorated Christmas tree for your arrival.
Vienna – Austria
Playing host to over 300 Christmas balls each year, many of which are hosted in the palatial settings of grand hotel ballrooms and opera houses across the city, Vienna puts on a Christmas that would make even the Grinch himself sing a Christmas carol!
Christmas markets line the streets of city squares and parks, with concerts and carol singing a highlight of each evening. Don’t miss an evening performance of the famous Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, at the majestic State Opera House – one of Vienna’s magnificent examples of Renaissance revival architecture.
Tallinn – Estonia
When you think of Christmas, Tallinn may not immediately spring to mind. But beside its countless old-world charms, Estonia’s capital on the Baltic Sea is responsible for one of the most loved traditions of Christmas – the Christmas tree.
First erected in Raekoja Plats in 1441, the tradition continues today with a tree raising ceremony in the centre of the heritage-listed Old Town, surrounded by traditional wooden Christmas market huts as it was centuries ago.
Throughout Old Town you will enjoy classical music events, jazz concerts and film screenings across this Eastern European winter wonderland.
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