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Where to Experience A Winter White Christmas

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The Christmas season evokes a festive and joyous spirit — complete with twinkling lights, jolly ol’ festive songs, and pretty seasonal decorations. Though there has always been one thing noticeably absent from our local Christmas celebrations — and that is a lack of snowfall!

For many, dreaming of a white Christmas is just that — a lofty dream. But, the prevalence of commercial airlines has made international travel more accessible to the masses. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that destinations teeming with snow are especially popular during this time of the year.

Hey, if you are able to, we wouldn’t want to stop you from living your dream of a white Christmas. And if it isn’t your first experience of an actual winter season, then why not take it up a notch and experience something completely unusual?

Here are some of the most fascinating destinations to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Japanese Alps

Japan’s own version of the Alps features a lesser-known mountain range as compared to say, the Swiss Alps. But make no mistake about it, the Japanese Alps are some of the best snow-capped mountains to visit on Christmas.

And although Japan’s visage isn’t one that you’d typically envision when you think of Christmas, the Land of the Rising Sun is indeed home to a unique Christmas experience.

Specifically, Japan’s northern region and its Alps are some of the snowiest places in the world during the long winter months. This period normally falls during the end of the year, over the Christmas and New Year’s period. During the cold season, winter tourism picks up and you can always find tourists trudging through the thick snow-laden fields to get a spot of skiing in.

As far as the mountain ranges go, the Japanese Alps primarily encompass the Hida Mountains (Northern Alps), the Kiso Mountains (Central Alps), and the Akaishi Mountains (Southern Alps).

Tourists in the snow corridor on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Japanese Alp in Tateyama, Japan.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com

Lapland, Finland

If you’re going to be spending Christmas abroad, you may as well go all out and visit Santa while you’re at it.

No, we don’t mean traversing to the ends of the Earth to catch a glimpse of the fabled Christmas figure. Instead, head to the Finnish village of Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland to spend your Christmas holidays.

According to local belief, the village is home to Father Christmas himself. And while Father Christmas and Santa Claus may not be the same person, the idea of spending your Christmas in a quaint and cosy town is still a pleasant one.

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Dubbed Santa’s Village, the small town of Rovaniemi offers endless Christmas-themed activities you’d expect from a remote town in the Arctic Circle. From theme parks to ski resorts, you’ll find there is much to do here. But otherwise, interacting with the local winter wildlife will definitely thaw out your frozen heart. The adorable Husky-drawn sleighs offer a charming time while patting the reindeers invoke a sense of giddy in animal lovers.

If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the always-enchanting Northern Lights strewn across the Lapland skies. Lovely!

Bath, England

As the city of Bath sparkles with glittering lights, delightful aromas of sweet roasted chestnuts wafting from the world-famous Bath Christmas Market fills the air. And as an added bonus, cheerful carols complete the quintessential Christmas experience in this English city.

In particular, the award-winning Bath Christmas Market is a shopping experience not to be missed. Each year, the enchanting market features over 100 chalets spread out across the city’s picturesque Georgian streets — giving visitors the perfect spot to do their Christmas shopping.

From unique gifts to personalized affairs to handcrafted Christmas decor, you’re guaranteed to find something for you or your loved ones. And as a perk, you can be sure that you’ll be getting a one-of-a-kind product crafted by talented local makers and designers.

But aside from the annual Bath Christmas Market, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of your stay in Bath. Off the top of the list, catch a traditional pantomime show at the Theatre Royal Bath. And if time permits, perhaps you could even get your skates on for a spot of ice-skating at the outdoor rink at Bath on Ice. For visitors travelling with their family, we are sure the little ones would appreciate having a whirl on the Victorian Carousel.

With all the above, we’re truly certain that there is almost no better place to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year than in Bath.

Harbin, China

One’s mind doesn’t immediately stray towards the uber traditional oriental cities of China when the topic of Christmas is brought up. But, it would be erroneous to disregard it as a winter destination completely.

Specifically, Harbin city located in China’s northernmost province is akin to an icy fantasy realm. The snowy city began to flourish in the late 19th century with the influx of Russian engineers coming in to work on the eastern leg of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

These Russian workers left an indelible mark on the city — as can be seen by the Slavic architecture that proudly stands today. For instance, the green-domed Saint Sophia Cathedral (now a local history museum) is an especially magnificent sight to behold during winter.

Harbin Ice and Snow World

Visiting Harbin during the Christmas season is highly recommended, as the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is held around this time. At the festival, you’ll be able to witness and be awed by towering Christmas-themed ice castles and sculptures.

Norway is Winter Personified

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Norway’s northeasternmost town – Vardø. Can you spot a fortress? 😉❄️ A great picture and a fantastic story by @biotope 👉👉👉 ・・・ Vardø aerial. Frosty conditions in the northeasternmost town of Norway! The Biotope building is in the lower left corner, with harbour views. Close to the floating pier (where I do my morning swims 🥶❄️). Vardø fortress is the star shaped structure in the centre of the photo, built in the 1700s. Bussesundet is the body of water seen between Vardø town/island and the mainland tundra. It is shallow and holds huge amounts of eiders in winter. We have recorded flocks, or rafts, of 14000 King Eiders here, diving for mussels and urchins. Just spectacular! Looking forward their return to Vardø for winter season. The local airport Svartnes is seen left of the mainland harbour. Is Vardø on your wish list of places to go? And, really, why have you not already been?! 🤔😊 best wishes from the north, Tormod #vardø #arcticnorway #arcticlife #biotopeaerial #varanger #visitnorway #norwegen #norvege #norvegia #noruega

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The frigid country of Norway is known for its encompassing mountains, glaciers, and deep coastal fjords. However, the classic Scandinavian culture is where it’s at — with Norwegian nature, customs, and traditions adapted to countless mediums including movies and films (fancy a visit to the real-life Arendelle, anyone?).

Aside from the major attractions of Oslo, Norway’s Tromsø is a wonderful destination on its own. The colourful port town with a population of over 50,000 is tucked 350 km north of the Arctic Circle and is considered the northernmost town in the world.

Of course, Tromsø is also a town that has a Christmas and festive aura to it year-round. And during the months of December, the town comes alive with fairy-talesque lighting blanketing most homes and buildings.

There are two main reasons for this.

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Few more days until the long night begins! The polar night lasts about 2 months here in Tromsø. During this time the sun is bellow the horizon 24/7 and daylight is compromised down to few hours with blue hour. Rest of the day it’s dark and (hopefully) the aurora is dancing on the nightsky. This photo was taken in end of January when the weather was much favorable than now. . . . . . . . . . . . #hellofrom #northernnorway #thisisarctic #mittnordnorge #mittnorge #revontulet #northernlights #beautifuldestinations #lensbible #earthfocus #auroraborealis #aurorahunting #night_excl #norway #ig_auroraborealis #beyondthelands #tromsolove #nights_dreamworld #ig_nightphotography #arcticlife #rsa_night #weownthenight #nightsky #wildernessnation #norge #bbcearth #visualsofearth #natgeoyourshot #visitnorway #nightphotography

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Christmas mood in Tromsø ❤

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In December, the polar night prevails and sunshine is but a flicker in this corner of the world. And it is for this reason that it is one of the best times to admire the Aurora Borealis. And secondly, well, it’s because of the Christmas season!

The locals here are always friendly and accommodating towards visitors. And colourful Christmas markets are the norm. There are also music venues which play host to Christmas carols that figuratively brighten up the dark evenings.

All in all, the town of Tromsø is the perfect winter oasis for a fascinating Christmas retreat.

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