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10 Best Winter Getaways

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Natasha Weiss

Some people love a chilly place to escape during winter. Others prefer to seek warmth instead. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find that this list of the best winter getaways has something that is sure to get you excited about planning your trip.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to build your itinerary. The first step is picking a destination, and then the rest of it will all fall into place!

1. Trentino, Italy

Let’s start with a place that evokes the very image of ‘winter wonderland.’ If this is what you have in mind for your winter getaway, then head straight to Italy. Specifically, Trentino. In fact, if you book your trip during the holidays, you will be well-poised to seek out other nearby European destinations. 

In this city, you’ll be surrounded by the massive Dolomite Mountains that provide the perfect setting for skiing. Picturesque at every turn, the glaciers and alpine lakes make for a magical spot to hike and simply enjoy the feeling of being alive. If history is what you like, you can also seek out medieval castles which look even more charming with Christmas décor. Be sure to visit Ossana for the nativity scenes and the market where you can sip mulled wine to warm up while perusing the handmade goods from local vendors.

2. Singapore

Now if you need to seek out warmer temperatures and would like something that’s slightly exotic yet fully metropolitan, head to Singapore. The ‘Garden City’ which is also called the ‘Lion City’ is known for its greenery and plentiful parks, all juxtaposed with the modern city swirling around it. Singapore is fascinating because it’s a hodgepodge of cultures with Indian, Chinese, and other Asian immigrants who have all made this place home.

In the winter months of December through March, the temperatures here are at their lowest, which says a lot since it’s still hot. Plus, you’ll have the chance to celebrate Chinese New Year and taste mooncakes along with an array of authentic Chinese foods. Singapore also features Chingay Parades which are full of costumes and liveliness. It’s a fun time to come to this island country, and immerse yourself in the culture.

3. Switzerland

Take a scenic train ride through Switzerland for another fantastic winter wonderland escape with snowy mountains as far as the eye can see. It is ideal for skiers and for getting out on the ice to skate. But if you prefer the warm and fuzzy sweater side of things, Switzerland has that for you too. Grab some authentic Swiss chocolates and warm up with fondue, then make your way through the fairytale-like villages in the alpine towns. Get the experience of a lifetime with the wind whipping through your hair while on a dog sled slushing through the snow. And of course, don’t forget to finish it all off with a thermal bath in this country full of beautiful extremes at every turn.

4. Toronto

Another frosty locale for a winter getaway is Toronto. This diverse Canadian city offers a world of luxury, excitement for adventurers, and plenty to do for families. When planning a trip to Toronto, you’ll want to capture the spectacular views at the Harbourfront Centre and make your way to the Distillery District for gourmet delights while reveling in this historic pedestrian-only area. 

Vibrant Kensington Market offers another chance to take in the robust aromas and flavors you’ll find in this city. And while many people choose Toronto in summer for Niagara Falls, it is a must-see in the winter with partially frozen waters that look caught in time. There are also the Toronto Islands, where the skyline is a view you will never forget, set to the backdrop of Lake Ontario for an utterly amazing scene.

5. Aruba

Grab your swimwear and make your way to a beach getaway in Aruba! The warm weather is a match for those who live in frigid climates. Stick your toes in the sand and let the warmth of the sun fuel your soul. While the weather and beaches will probably have you packing your bags immediately, Aruba is also the place for outdoor adventure. Most of it is made of protected parkland and the Arikok National Park is a must-do for everyone. You’ll have the chance to discover secret coves and make a splash in the Natural Pool with its calm and soothing waters surrounded by rugged rock formations.

Don’t forget the unique culture and food that abounds in Aruba either. This Caribbean-Dutch island is a special mix of cultures, making it a warm and welcoming place that goes far beyond the beach sands. 

6. California

While it may not seem like a winter getaway, rest assured that California holds a multitude of options for travelers in need of a trip. The coastlines are purely majestic with cliffy precipices jutting out over the Pacific. Scenic routes can take you along a fabulous journey, leading you to the national parks of the Golden State. 

By far, Lake Tahoe is one of the most incredible destinations in California, flanked with the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Crystal-clear waters amid these peaks make it one of the most beautiful places on earth. Nearby, Meeks Bay, Zephyr Cove, and the Heavenly Village all have more ways to delight your senses. You shouldn’t miss Yosemite National Park either, a paradise for anyone that enjoys the outdoors. It brims with lush forests, giant towering sequoias, cascading waterfalls, and even glaciers for an iconic travel experience. 

Even if you’ve seen California before, perhaps you’ve missed the Algodones Dunes. These are a bit off the beaten path and make you feel like you’ve completely left this world and headed to another one as you explore the sand formations that span over 26,000 acres. 

Wild poppies, Death Valley, and of course, Napa Valley, are all the other reasons why California makes for one of the best winter getaways.

7. Dubai

Seeking luxury and refinement on your winter getaway? Then make your way over to Dubai. This desert destination offers the ultimate in glitz and glamor along with pleasing temperatures during the winter season. Be aware that it gets chilly when the sun goes down, something most people don’t realize of this iconic desert locale. It’s the ultimate destination for travelers who love shopping for the finer things, cruise on the placid Dubai Creek aboard a yacht wafting through the gentle waters, or get out there in the sands to discover the Arabian desert and live like royalty as you feast and let belly dancers mesmerize your eyes.

8. Costa Rica

Tropical rainforests with lush foliage that breaks off into river valleys and leads to pristine beaches, Costa Rica is the winter getaway that you need. It’s more than a beach escape…it offers the chance to discover unique wildlife peeking out from the trees. Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries, and in the winter months, the dry season kicks in, giving you the chance to fully enjoy all its pleasures. 

Don’t miss the Arenal Volcano National Park where you can fill your days with adventures on the water bouncing along in exhilaration for white water rafting. Or stay dry by gliding like a bird through the air via zipline. Monteverde has the longest zipline in Latin America, taking you through cloud forests that are unlike anything else on earth.

9. Maldives

The archipelagic state of the Maldives resides in the Indian Ocean, a popular luxury getaway that is perfect for winter months. The weather here stays warm and pleasant, allowing for an array of ways to spend your days on these islands. Dive underwater to explore the vibrant sea life, head on an adventure excursion from snorkeling to windsurfing and everything in between, or simply relax on the beaches with a refreshing tropical cocktail in your hand. There’s no wrong way to enjoy life in the Maldives, a luxurious way to escape from the throes of winter weather for a spell. 

10. Spain and Portugal

And finally, we complete our list of best winter getaways with Spain and Portugal. These two countries are so close to one another, it seems silly to visit one without stopping into the other. You can pair them into one Spain and Portugal itinerary to have the best of both worlds. 

On the Iberian Peninsula, you will be dazzled by the captivating backdrops of these coastal countries. With charming culture and classic architectural elements of Spanish heritage, there are UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit at La Sagrada Familia, artsy neighborhoods full of delightful foods that will have your mouth watering before you even take your first bite, ornate palaces, and hotspots where the locals gather to immerse yourself in this beautiful world.

Final Thoughts

Whenever you’re ready for the best winter getaways, make your way to planning an itinerary. You’ll be able to explore something different and exciting while creating a trip that is ideal for the winter months.

Natasha Weiss

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