5 Perfect Winter Getaways – For any Taste and Budget

5 Perfect Winter Getaways – For any Taste and Budget

With temperatures dropping, shorter days and less time spent in the sun, the winter blues are starting to take effect. As the winter holidays are just around the corner, it is about time to get those energy levels back up and plan your perfect winter getaway. To get you inspired, I uncovered the ideal spots for any traveller. Whether you are after a relaxing retreat, an adrenaline-filled adventure trip, or a few fruity cocktails on an exotic beach, read on to discover the season’s best.

1. Blue Mountains, Sydney, Australia

One hour drive west of Sydney, a whole new world filled with endless eucalyptus forests, dramatic, lush scenery, and even Japanese bath houses awaits. If you don’t feel like packing hiking shoes, enjoy fresh mulled wine and immerse yourself in the christmasy Yulefest celebrations or treat your taste buds in one of the many boutique restaurants dotted amongst villages such as Katoomba, Leura, Blackheath and Lithgow.

The expansive National Park caters for all levels of fitness and is sure to leave you feeling refreshed, replenished and ready to take on the second half of the winter. After you have ticked off the basics (Three Sisters, Valley of the Waters and Blue Lake River Walk), which by the way are no less stunning, head off the beaten track and test your courage at the Kanangra Wall cliff top walk. Another equally challenging and rewarding option is the 13.5km long track through the Australian Grand Canyon. A vast variety of interesting wellness spots, including traditional Japanese Onsen and Scandinavian baths, can be the perfect end to an exceptional stay in the Blue Mountains.

feeding breakfast to wallaby's and kangaroo's
Feeding breakfast to wallabies and kangaroos
The Three Sisters and I
The Three Sisters and I
living on the edge - just to take it all in
living on the edge – just to take it all in
the region's vast tablelands and valleys are unlike anything else I have seen before
the region’s vast tablelands and valleys are unlike anything else I have seen before

2. Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Alaska seems to be one of those destinations that everyone wants to travel to, but hardly anyone does. What better way to explore America’s most authentic and wildest outdoor playground while watching the sun shine endlessly. Meeting fellow adventurers in the surprisingly cultural, but expensive city of Anchorage sets you up perfectly for your best winter break yet. The list of things to do in Alaska is long, but just imagine yourself cruising through terrific glaciers, watching bears fish for salmon or climbing mountains never climbed before. Just imagine.

the summer colours of Anchorage by Marculescu Eugenlancu
The summer colours of Anchorage by Marculescu Eugenlancu
a gorgeous shot taken by Jeremiah Thompson in the Katmai National Park
a gorgeous shot taken by Jeremiah Thompson in the Katmai National Park
captured by Rodney Preisch
glacier front captured by Rodney Preisch

3. Wanaka, New Zealand

If you are seeking a cosy mid-winter skiing holiday, look no further than Queenstown’s quieter, dreamier and cheaper cousin Wanaka. With a cinematic backdrop of mountains and lakes, some of the country’s best ski fields are at your doorstep. For the advanced skier, Treble Cone offers some of the most challenging terrains, while Cardona caters for all abilities. Being used to endless mountain ranges in Austria, the enchanting views of Lake Wakatipu and the Cardrona Valley were rather distracting. :-) If you decide to cross the Crown Range for lunch in Queenstown, don’t forget to stop by its delightful step-cousin Arrowtown.

Lake Pukaki next to Lake Tekapo makes for an ideal picnic stop if you are driving down from Christchurch
Lake Pukaki next to Lake Tekapo makes for an ideal picnic stop if you are driving down from Christchurch
views from the Cadrona Alpine Resport
views from the Cardrona Alpine Resort
the unedited version of Lake Wanaka's sunrise
the unedited version of Lake Wanaka’s sunrise
feeling very much at home on skis
feeling very much at home on skis

4.Pulau Perhentian, Malaysia

This tropical paradise in the northeast of Malaysia will not disappoint. It is said to be one of the best spots to visit in Asia during June and July as prices are low, and rain is scarce. Spend your days diving, snorkelling, wandering through the thick jungle, or just do nothing at all. After all, the pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters (such as cliché, I know, but so true!) require some time to take it all in over a fresh coconut.

where I'd rather be
Where I’d rather be © Jia Sen
my kind of stairway© Ikram Zam Zam Photography
my kind of stairway © Ikram Zam Zam Photography

5. Sweden’s countryside and islands

Despite school holidays kicking off across Europe around June, a trip to Sweden will still be worth it. Think flower power, never-fading sunlight, folk music, idyllic islands, Aquavit (spiced schnapps) and many Swedish delicacies. It is a celebration filled with nostalgia ideal for travellers who are after a sneak peeks of authentic Sweden. Avoid the mad traffic rush and leave the sprawling cities a few days early (before June 20). Finish the day with a huge outside bonfire, good company and, in case you are looking for the one, don’t forget to pick flowers on your way home. In fact, the legend says to pick seven different species of flowers and lay them on your pillow, so the man of your dreams appears. Make your winter getaway a special one, book a flight to Stockholm and experience the magic of Midsummer.

© Rebecca Victoria Fexby
© Rebecca Victoria Fexby
Swedish feasting at its best by Rebecca Vitoria Flexby
Swedish feasting at its best by Rebecca Victoria Fexby
Swedish Midsummer
friends and family gather to dance around the Maypole (source unknown)

6. Vanuatu

Following Cyclone Pam that struck this archipelago only a few months ago, tourists hesitate planning a trip to what used to be considered the most authentic, picturesque and affordable group of islands in the South Pacific. Vanuatu is in desperate need of the tourist dollar. Also, it offers far more than your average beach escape. Adventures await near bubbling volcanoes, world-class diving sites, and bluer-than-blue lakes dotted across 83 islands. Look forward to friendly locals showing off the brightest smiles you will ever come across. Get lost trekking through magical lush canyons, go all out and rent your island for the day or just sit down for a mouth-watering meal at the local market. The opportunity to make a difference in restoring this unique island treasure is very special and should not be missed.

the happiest country in the world
This shot has a very special place in my heart – I will never forget the kindness this beautiful family carried with them
the Mele Cascades are not too far from Port Vila and well worth the walk
the Mele Cascades are not too far from Port Vila and well worth the walk
champagne beach is one of Espiritu Santo's hidden treasures
Champagne Beach is one of Espiritu Santo’s hidden treasures
be sure to explore the magical blue holes on Efate and Espiritu Santo
… as are its numerous magical blue holes

For more photos of my Vanuatu trip click here and find some more occasionally on here.


Where do you like to go for a winter break?

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