Choosing the best winter holidays

Most people book their annual vacations in the summer, but there are lots of superb winter trips available too. Whether individuals are looking for a vitamin D boost and some much-needed sunshine or they want to immerse themselves in the season and jet off to winter wonderlands, they aren’t stuck for options.

For those after some snow and ice, a holiday to Lapland can be ideal. This vast wilderness, which extends hundreds of kilometres above the Arctic Circle, has plenty to offer. Visitors can get stuck into skiing, mush with husky-dogs, watch reindeer on frozen lakes, test their skills at ice fishing and snowmobile through forests. Meanwhile, after a day spent out in the elements, they can warm up with a wood-fired sauna. One of the biggest draws to this part of the world is the aurora borealis. This stunning display can be viewed between late September and early April.

Another chilly yet wonderful winter vacation spot is Cologne. Every year, people across the UK await the arrival of German Christmas markets in their towns and cities. There is something enticing about the steaming meats, delicious confectionary and impressive crafts on offer in the various stalls. By travelling to Cologne instead, people can turn the annual traditional on its head. With its impressive cathedral and beautiful architecture, this city has it all, and it arguably looks its best in the depths of winter. In total, it offers seven Christmas markets and each year nearly two million visitors travel to Cologne to experience them.

Those who’d prefer to reach for their sunglasses and swimwear can jet off to the Canaries instead. Less than five hours’ flying time from the UK, these islands offer year-round sunshine. Options include holiday hotspots like Tenerife and Lanzarote, and for something a little different, the smaller island of La Palma can be ideal.

Also bathed in winter warmth, Florida has lots to offer holidaymakers. The aptly named Sunshine State is great for those who want to get stuck into some retail therapy and it boasts an abundance of other tourist attractions, including Walt Disney World.

Meanwhile, for a more tropical experience, the Indian Ocean and the island of Mauritius can be a winner. This island paradise benefits from white sandy beaches, intense blue seas and luxurious hotels. It also offers plenty of culture and a range of activities. From its bustling capital of Port Louis to the dramatic forests of the Black River Gorges National Park, it makes a great setting for winter breaks.

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