What better place to celebrate winter than the traditional home of Santa Claus? Finland’s icy forests and snow-covered villages offer an ideal backdrop for winter holidays. Despite enduring freezing temperatures for much of winter, the capital Helsinki is anything but dreary. Vibrant and welcoming, this frozen city is packed with quirky bars and cosy cafés - don't forget some euros to pay for the hot chocolates and mulled wine!
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley endures hot, dry summers, but winter brings milder temperatures to this world-renowned wine region. Teeming with château-style vineyards, pretty towns and luxurious day spas, Napa Valley offers a cool and relaxing escape from California’s more touristy destinations. Why visit Disneyland when you can kick back with a glass of wine and get a facial?
Tromsø is one of the coldest, darkest and most magical cities in Scandinavia. Located above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, it boasts wintery temperatures all year round. Tromsø is a popular destination during summer (when the climate warm up ever so slightly) but it can also get busy over the Christmas period.
Avoid peak season by visiting at the start of the European winter (around September to November). With a bit of luck, you might even see the northern lights. Travel Money NZ stocks the Norwegian krone - just be sure to order in advance to ensure there is enough for your trip!
Atlas Mountains, Morocco
When you picture African scenery, dusty desert plains or grassy savannahs probably come to mind – but not all of Africa looks like a safari. The Atlas Mountains stretch from the Atlantic to the Sahara Desert, cutting across the middle of Morocco. They’re usually covered in snow from December to February, providing avid trekkers with the perfect setting for a wintertime adventure.
The Scottish Highlands, UK
Leave the bright lights of London behind and head north for the Scottish Highlands. Renowned for its majestic scenery and unique culture, travelling to this region is like going back in time. With its wild coastline, snow-capped mountains and winding valleys, there’s plenty to see and do outdoors (just be sure to bring a warm jacket and waterproof shoes). If you’d rather curl up by a fire, the Scottish Highlands have some of the cosiest pubs in the world.
You could go to New York for your next winter holiday, but why not skip the hordes of tourists in Time Square and head to Chicago instead? The Windy City all but freezes over in winter, making it an ideal destination for travellers looking to experience an authentic American winter.
The Black Forest, Germany
Munich’s twinkling Christmas markets may be Germany’s most famous winter attraction, but the Black Forest is far more mysterious. Covering a vast expanse of towering evergreens in southwest Germany, the Black Forest (or Schwarzwald in German) looks like something out of a fairy tale.
Cradle Mountain, Australia
For a winter destination that’s closer to home, Cradle Mountain has amazing scenery, comfortable accommodation and even the occasional snowstorm. Located in the central highlands region of Tasmania, it’s coldest during the months June, July and August.