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This is Robo's list for the adventurers who love exploring new places in the winter. These places become winter wonderlands when it snows...
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Banff National Park is the national park of your winter wonderland dreams, visitors say it is one of the most magical places in the world.
The national park offers views of the Canadian Rockies and the vast wildlife. The park’s main attraction is the glacial Lake Louise, which freezes over in the winter. The frozen lake creates a crystal clear mirror effect that reflects the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Fun fact- this scene was on Canadian $20 banknotes during the 1970s.
Gokayama is located in the coldest region of Japan. It is one of the best places to experience rural Japan and the Japanese Alps. The UNESCO protected 3 villages that cover 170 acres of the Japanese Alps. These farmhouses are designed in “Gasshō-style”, one of the most important and rare types of farmhouses in Japan. They have steeply slanting roofs that are designed to shed snow and the houses were historically intended to house big families and a variety of industries such as agriculture. Tucked into the mountains in the winter these remote villages are the place to be if you want serenity and a touch of a winter wonderland.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal, also known as the “sacred sea”, is actually the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. In the winter the lake is transformed into a winter wonderland. The ice freezes and creates the largest ice skating rink, 12,200 square miles, you can imagine. You can also go dog sledding and snowmobiling on the lake and if you are adventurous enough you can go ice diving at places where the ice hasn’t frozen over yet. Fun fact, the lake is home to the world’s only freshwater seals!
Every year Harbin hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival that brings people all around the world to visit this magical ice city. Massive ice structures and snow sculptures are built. Visitors can even interact with some of the sculptures such as climb on them or play with them, in previous years visitors got to even slide down big ice slides. There are also activities such as ice skating and dog sledding available at the site too. The sculptures are illuminated at night that creates an even more magical atmosphere. The festival opens in January and runs until February every year. The ice that is used to build the sculptures is cut from the frozen Songhua River. The large blocks of ice are then carried by workers to the site. Every year 200,000 cubic meters of ice is carried to the site which weighs around 700 kg. You can walk the exhibition or ice-bike the exhibition.
Located in Finland’s northernmost region, Lapland is one the hubs of sleigh rides. You can go on sleigh rides with reindeers or with dogs. Lapland is also a famous spot to watch the Northern Lights. The most recent and popular activity is the “Aurora Bubble Sled” where you get to watch the Northern Lights in a bubble alone with your significant other.
Plitvice National Park, Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes are 16 turquoise colored lakes that are connected to each other by waterfalls. The waterfalls are a marvelous sight year round but in the winter the waterfalls freeze which creates the most unique sight of all and it’s the off-season which makes it much less crowded. The waterfalls are surrounded by forested hills. Wildlife can also be seen here, in the water, there are fish and watersnakes, and on land deer, bears, wild boar, and even wolves live in the woods.
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
The Kenai Fjords National Park offers many activities to enjoy such as Northern Light Tours, dog sledding, fat bikes, downhill skiing areas, and kayaking! Kayaking is especially special because you get to paddle next to big glaciers and feel the freezing water with your hands. During the winter while the entrance of the park is usually inaccessible by cars you can still access it by fat bikes, cross-country skis, snowmobiles just to name some. In the winter you can even spot moose in their natural habitat!
Antarctica is a must-see in a lifetime. Although 99% of Antarctica is covered with ice, there is still so much to see on the landscape. There are active volcanoes, blue glaciers, untouched snow and the water, and of course, wildlife. The humpback whales and the emperor penguins are really fun to watch! If you are adventurous enough you can also do a bunch of water activities such as kayaking and even snorkeling or diving. Kayaking is one of the most tranquil ways to experience the water, if you are lucky you will spot a seal, orca, or a humpback whale seeing them from water level and up close is very special. Being underwater will add a whole different experience to your trip. By being underwater you will be able to feel the speed of the penguins, get a new perspective on icebergs from underneath the water.
Now is the time to get your plane ticket and explore before winter ends. Buy cheap airline tickets from Roboair and be a worldwide local!