10 most instagrammable winter destinations
Winter is coming! Yes, yes, yes! And it should not be feared as the popular TV show Game of Thrones suggests. It comes with a healthy dose of pleasant moments too! The weather is getting colder, the rhythm of life becomes slightly slower. Especially, if you happen to live somewhere closer to the northern hemisphere. The winter blues start to set in signaling about the necessity to get a cozy blanket and a cup of cocoa to comfort yourself. But how about entertaining yourself and getting out of the rut by checking some of the most Instagrammable travel destinations for this season? Or maybe even planning a trip to one of the winter travel destinations to experience a more Instagrammable winter at least for a moment? This article will give you a few ideas on what to do in a winter destination. But moreover, I will give a glimpse of some of the top winter destinations for all lovers of the crispy snowy winter beauty. Shall we?
1. Switzerland, Zermatt
Instagram catch: Matterhorn, a.k.a. the Toblerone peak
Zermatt is just a small Alpine village, but it packs heaps of winter fun and typical views to drop your jaw and keep you busy for days. What makes it one of the best European winter destinations among others? There is more to this place than offering everything a winter tourist would want 365 days a year (yes, unbelievable!). The main feature of this otherwise less distinguishable mountain village is the vicinity of one of the most famous peaks of the world. Matterhorn is the peak that inspired the logo of world-known Toblerone chocolate!
2. Finland, Rovaniemi
Instagram catch: Santa Claus and reindeers
Ok, let’s get this out of the way. No winter destination list should see the world without mentioning the most iconic symbol of winter. Head to Rovaniemi in winter and you will be able to cross off the list some of the most iconic things what to do in a winter destination. Besides seeing and meeting THE man himself and enjoying the most beautiful snow, you will be able to cross the Arctic circle line and pet the cutest reindeers there too. Instagrammable enough, huh?! Even if this winter does not promise any travel to winter destinations, get in the mood by watching a 24/7 live video from Santa Claus’s village!
3. Norway, Tromsø and the Lofoten Islands
Instagram catch: winter lights
If you travel to catch aurora borealis a.k.a.the winter lights then you are in for some seriously Instagrammable destinations, period. Since they usually are visible in the months between September and March, the winter somehow comes as a bonus. Travel to Tromsø up very north of Norway to get an almost guaranteed spectacular light show just for you. If you are looking for some more unique winter travel destinations then definitely opt to go to the Lofoten Islands. Snow, cliffs, and a feeling proud for going so far to experience something breathtaking!
4. Japan, Nagano
Instagram catch: snow monkeys bathing in hot springs
This is one of my favorite winter destinations outside Europe. Japan is often associated with anime and super busy streets, but it actually is an amazing country to enjoy the beauty of nature all year round. But only in winter, you will be able to see those furry human-like creatures with pink faces bathing in thermal springs while the rest of the surroundings is beautifully covered under a thick blanket of the whitest snow. Head directly to Jigokudani Monkey Park thermal springs, snap some relaxed monkeys and dip your own body in the warm water too! Instagrammable, pleasant and so zen!
If you happen to be there in late January to late February then definitely go to Iiyama to experience the Snow festival. Located nearby Nagano, the city lies in a heavy snowfall zone and during these months offers a unique way to celebrate this white matter. During this festival in Kamakura igloo village, you will be able to sit in one of those cozy igloos with your friends and family. Meanwhile, you will be served hot Noroshi Nabe - a typical winter meal in a pot. Yummy! And definitely great for Instagrammable winter images!
5. USA, Portage
Instagram catch: wildlife in winter
Are you one of the people who think that whenever it falls below 0 degrees Celsius, staying at home under warm blankets is obligatory? Let me tell you at least one reason why going to Alaska and leaving that warm cozy cocoon is a great idea. Imagine - it is a crisp, but sunny winter day. It snowed all night and the world is white as far as you can see. You go to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (in Portage) and observe nature to notice the most beautiful wild creatures to snap some seriously epic pics. Just imagine - majestic moose, powerful bears, cutest winter-white rabbits, eagles, and way more. Being outdoors in this place and the wait in the cold will be truly rewarding whenever some of those animals decide to appear!
6. Canada, Saskatchewan
Instagram catch: dog sled excursions
Among all other Instagrammable destinations this one will take you over with the wild beauty of untouched nature. Not to say none of the others have it, but here you will experience proper forests and vast fields of wilderness. Snowy vistas as far as your eyes can reach. What to do in a winter destination like this? Benefit from the vast areas to feel the freedom and the excitement of winter by going on a dog sled! Or alternatively, feel the crunch of the snow while going on a real winter hike just to end up at a remote cabin and reward yourself with a well deserved time in front of an authentic fireplace. I tell you - if you want to experience a real winter then this is it!
7. China, Harbin
Instagram catch: Harbin International Ice Festival
One of the less suspected winter travel destinations is Harbin in China. Compared to the other places on this list, Harbin is the only urban winter destination. Every January and February it suddenly turns into a colorful ice wonderland and offers great visual material for Instagram posts. Hundreds of real-size ice sculptures, castles, and even ice slides illuminated with different light effects are the most characteristic thing about Harbin International Ice Festival. And the best thing is - the theme changes each year so the spectacular makings of this year will top the ones displayed in the previous years.
8. Germany, Neuschwanstein
Instagram catch: Neuschwanstein a.k.a. the Disney Sleeping Beauty castle
Okay, let’s get back to some of the best European winter destinations. Without a doubt, one of the most iconic and Instagrammable destinations is this castle in the Bavarian Alps in the South of Germany. I would suggest anyone visiting it any time of the year, but I have listed it as one of the winter destinations for a few important reasons. First, it will be less crowded in winter. But even more importantly, the castle will mirror the snow in the surrounding mountains and therefore make up an unforgettable view for you and your followers to admire.
9. Italy, Agordino
Instagram catch: mountain cabin views
The Dolomites is generally one of the classic top winter destinations. And if you are looking forward to renting a private cabin with a jaw-dropping mountain view then just travel there. One of the spots I enjoyed most particularly for the epic visual backdrops was Agordino. Small snow-covered cabins, sharp icy peaks and a lake in the vicinity. What else could you wish for to make the best Instagrammable getaway with your newest crush? A fireplace and a cup of cocoa. And they have it too!
10. Iceland, all around
Instagram catch: hot springs and just about anything else
Saving the best for the last. Iceland is not only one of the top winter destinations, but one of the most Instagrammable travel destinations in general. The unique beauty of this island is unparalleled and the travelers know it. The black beaches, the frozen up waterfalls, the unique landscapes of rural areas are just a few of the things to see (and snap for your Instagram) while there. And to make them followers even more jealous just post a few photos of you in a warm thermal spring with the snowiest hills in the background. The most popular spot for doing that is the Blue Lagoon and going there you will see why is it so!
How are you feeling? Are you already thinking about what to do in a winter destination of your choice? Or maybe scrolling through the best offers for holidays in some of the best European winter destinations? Whatever is your level of commitment to making the best winter holidays this year, I have advice you will remember for life. Don’t let the fear of frostbite keep you away from some of the most Instagrammable travel destinations of this season! The truth is - there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.