By: Katja [no_toc]
Although I am not a fan of countdowns to Christmas, with autumn well and truly here it’s hard not to think about December. Now that we are back living in the UK we are dreaming of the kind of Christmas usually reserved for movies; an enormous tree, hundreds of fairy lights and weather so cold that you catch your breath as soon as you step outside. It goes without saying of course that we would love a white Christmas.
Not only am I dreaming of a wintery holiday, I’m also thinking about how we might like to travel. Traditionally I like to see and do as much as possible. We often zip around our destination of choice, filling our days with sights and activities, stopping only to sample another delicious local dish. This way of travel isn’t favoured by everyone in our family, however. If my husband had his way, we wouldn’t move from destination number one at all! His less-is-more approach to travel has prompted me to think about slow travel – or at least slower – and taking our time in a destination.
Magical Winter Holidays
With this laid back approach to travel in mind, I was delighted when Inntravel asked if I would like to collaborate with them. This company has been designing slow travel holidays for nearly 30 years and firmly believes that you should really take your foot off the accelerator when you’re on holiday. Inntravel offers a range of self-guided holidays that allow you to discover a country or city by walking, cycling, skiing or even snowshoeing. They also offer holidays that allow you to explore by car, train and boat. The common theme throughout, however, is one of slowing down and getting under the skin of a destination. With many of these holidays, the walking and cycling ones in particularly, Inntravel provides detailed maps and route notes, and transports your luggage ahead while you meander gently from one charming hotel to the next.
So, can I combine a slow approach to travel with a white Christmas? I’ve narrowed down my search to the following three places, let me know which one you would choose!
We fell in love with Denmark when we visited this summer for a trip to Legoland followed by a week exploring the north. We didn’t make it to Copenhagen on this trip (part of my husband’s plea for a slow travel summer!) so the Danish capital is high on my wish list. Not only is this picture-perfect city brilliant for kids, it is also home to one of the best Christmas markets in Scandinavia – and nothing puts you in the Christmassy mood quite like a festive market! Other Christmas markets that I would love to visit are those in Gothenburg, Salzburg and just about anywhere in Germany.
I’ve longed to see the Northern Lights dance across the artic sky. One place that offers the opportunity to see the famed lights, as well as a host of winter activities for families, is Norway. The country is a brilliant destination for families seeking adventure as well as a bit of snowy magic. Deep within the Artic Circle lies the town of Tromsø, one of the best places in mainland Europe to catch a glimpse of the iridescent greens, pinks, yellows and blues soar across the night sky. Elsewhere in Norway families can ski, snowshoes, go dog-sledding and more.
Like Norway, Finland is a fairytale winter destination. This is another place where you can watch the Northern Lights perform their natural pyrotechnic performance as well as enjoy winter activities including snowshoeing, reindeer safaris and dog-sledding. In Finland you can also journey deep within the Artic Circle by sleigh and snowmobile and learn about the traditional Sami culture and way of life. This area is well-known for its cross country skiing and there are terrains to suit all levels – as well as downhill runs for those that need a little more speed. Plus, this is where Father Christmas is supposed to live so you can’t get much more Christmassy than that!
So, a white Christmas and a slower paced holiday? It appears that it can be done!
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Disclosure: This post was a collaboration between Inntravel and globetotting