Winter vacation activities needn’t just feature skis, snowboards or avoiding the cold altogether.
Most people going on a winter vacation will be doing one of two things: propelling themselves down a mountain on skis or a snowboard; or denying the passing of the seasons by searching out some winter sun, lying on a beach and ignoring all adverts for woollen sweaters.
But there are other ways to enjoy a winter vacation, other fun winter activities that embrace the chill and the darkness and will leave you feeling reinvigorated and armed with a new arsenal of anecdotes. Here are seven that you need to try on your next vacation.
1. Cross-country skiing
As far as we’re concerned, using gravity when alpine skiing is cheating. Cross-country skiing, often referred to as Nordic skiing, is whole different kettle of frozen fish. Using extra-long skis and wearing boots that are unbound at the heel, cross-country skiers go uphill and horizontally, as well as downhill, making this not only a hardcore winter workout, but also great for anyone less keen on heights.
There is only one method of winter transport more fun than a snowmobile, and only Santa gets to use it. Snowmobiles give you the adrenaline rush of motorbikes and skiing, but with less chance of falling off and killing the James Bond vibes you’re trying to give off. Make sure you take a guided trip, though: frozen lakes and forests don’t have road signs.
In some parts of the world, people use dog sleds (usually huskies) to commute, which is infinitely sexier than an electric scooter, if somewhat harder to park. Luckily for you, you can indulge in a husky safari, a dog-sledding day trip, on your winter vacation without having to worry about the 9 to 5 grind part of it.
4. Glacier hiking
Walking on earth is easy. Rocks, mud, sand – they’re all designed to be trodden on. If you want a real challenge to your bi-ped skills, try glacier hiking. Imagine being really tiny and trying to make your way up a highball in spiky shoes – that’s the kind of challenge you’re looking at.
5. Finding the Northern Lights
In this age of on-demand everything, Mother Nature refuses to play ball. You can’t order an eclipse on an app and you can’t stream the Northern Lights. These experiences need some work and some luck: right place, right time. It’s like hunting, but for people who aren’t terrible human beings.
6. Bathing in a hot lagoon
Define ‘activity’. It’s basically just doing something, right? It doesn’t have to be that strenuous, which is why we are fully justified in adding to this list the activity of wallowing in an Icelandic lagoon. Strip down, brave the cold stroll to the water and plunge your grateful limbs into the warm, wet wellness.