Best time to go on a winter snow vacation

We always associate snow with Christmas, but staying in a Swedish tree cabin, overlooking a crisp, white forest which was lit up by the Northern Lights at night? That's a Valentine's dream come true.
The best time for winter snow vacations in Norway is December to March, although the days are still very short around Christmas. There is usually a Norwegian school vacation mid-end February, so popular spots get busy. For serious cross country skiing in Finnish Lapland, don’t travel in December as the sun never rises. Particularly in Lapland and Norway, Christmas and New Year get really busy, and expensive. So book ahead for good deals. For true Christmas spirit, head to Austria for glühwein and Christmas markets just about everywhere. Ski touring usually takes you higher up into the mountains, extending the season in many places. For polar bear watching vacations in Churchill, Canada, end October - beginning November is best when they start to move from land to sea in search of seals. March is cub time, and one of the finest spring, and snowy awakenings you will ever see. Just be sure to book far, far in advance. It might sounds odd to think about Morocco in the winter, but the Atlas Mountains around Toubkal are fabulous for trekking at this time of year. Expect chilly but delightfully sunny weather. If you are cross country skiing on fixed tracks, start your day when the sun has been up for a few hours, as the tracks will be cut and hard ice will have melted. In Romania, the best time for winter snow vacations is January and February when you will get a good 4-6 hour of daytime hiking and snow can stay on highlands until as late as May. The season can stretch from November to April in Albania at its highest points, but you will get more daylight and sun from February onwards.

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Tom Wilkinson from our winter activities supplier, Exodus, gives some tips on the best time for winter snow vacations:
“Late season can be great in the Dolomites as it feels pretty warm and there’s often still a good base of snow. There’s more daylight so you can afford a longer, lazier lunch, often in the sun, before carrying on. Some of the views can be spectacular at any time of year just as long as it’s clear. You wouldn’t really want to go in early January to some of our remote Norwegian lodges, as there is too little light and it’s extremely cold”.
Ali McLean, from our supplier Activities Abroad, shares his advice on the best time to visit Lapland:
“If you were to take a straw poll of Laplanders, I'd bet the majority would cite late March-early April as their favourite time of year. I couldn’t agree more and always make a point of traveling to northern Scandinavia in late March – the daylight hours are longer (it’s a misnomer that Lapland is dark 24 hours a day in winter); the temperature improves, hovering at around 0°C during the day; there is less cloud cover, which increases your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis; the snow is deep, crisp and fairly even; and Father Christmas is off sunning himself somewhere, so there’s no chance of being swamped by hordes of young kids in search of a Coca Cola Christmas.”

Our top Winter Vacation

Finland Northern Lights vacation, Wilderness Auroras

Finland Northern Lights vacation, Wilderness Auroras

Winter activities & Aurora hunting in Finland

From £1785 to £2010 5 days inc UK flights
Small group travel:
2023: 28 Nov, 5 Dec, 12 Dec, 19 Dec
2024: 2 Jan, 9 Jan, 16 Jan, 23 Jan, 30 Jan, 6 Feb, 13 Feb, 20 Feb, 27 Feb, 5 Mar, 12 Mar
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Winter or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Dino Reichmuth] [Intro: Pigoff PhotographY] [Dolomites: Savara]