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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 01 Dec 2013
The holiday season is just around the corner and it’s time to plan that much-needed winter break. While some may prefer to enjoy the world’s most breathtaking snow-capped peaks, others may love to visit historical landmarks. Here are five destinations outside India that offer both and are sure to give you some memorable moments to cherish for years to come.
The capital of China is a quaint blend of tradition and modernity. There are a number of ski resorts with thousands of square kilometers of ski areas. Among the other activities here are rides on a snow motor, snow flying disk and dog-drawn or horse-drawn sledge. Soaking in hot springs like Jiuhua Shanzhuang and Badaling Hotspring is truly revitalizing. The city also has many ice rinks where you can enjoy ice skating. New Year activities and fairs in historical landmarks like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are great places to have a blast and soak in the Beijing winter feel. To enjoy the best of skiing in Beijing, the best time to visit this destination is from end November to March.
Switzerland has always swept tourists off their feet with its ice-skating bounties in Champex-Lac, Jungfrau and Sorenberg. Cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Berne are favorite international destinations. In Zurich, you can witness frozen waterfalls and villages nestled in green Swiss meadows. Get aboard the world famous Glacier Express, which passes scenic mountain landscapes, deep gorges, beautiful valleys and several tunnels and bridges. Places of historical repute like the Chateau de Chillon and Lake Geneva make for a fitting close to a winter spent in the heavenly land of cheese. To enjoy the thrills winter sports, one may visit Switzerland anytime between late November and late May.
The capital city of Vienna attracts most of the tourists visiting the country. Winter sports resorts are great destinations, especially if you’re looking for luxury in some of the world’s most scenic locations. Don’t miss Austria’s wine pubs and music and waltz events. Christmas markets in Innsbruck, Salzburg and Linz are exciting places to visit. Snowboarding in floodlights and hiking in the moonlight are famous in Austria. Although the most popular time to visit this destination is from late May through September, the winter sports resorts are busiest from early December through mid-March.
California offers some of the most thrilling snow activities, like skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snow climbing and sleigh riding. The Lake Tahoe region offers snowboarding at Mt Shasta, Mammoth Mountain and Southern California slopes. The boat parades through the marinas and harbors along the California Coast are a spectacular sight. While in California, plan trips to Hollywood, the San Diego zoo, Las Vegas and Disney Land. This destination is frequented by tourist through the year, as it has diverse attractions to offer during different seasons.
This winter destination offers adrenaline pumping activities as well as places of great historical significance. Winter activities include skiing, ice-skating, snowboarding, ice fishing, sleigh rides and folk shows. Visit the Palace Square and the Hermitage, which contains the art collection of Catherine the Great in the 18th century. You could also visit the Winter Palace, which is the Tsar’s residence. You cannot leave this destination without going for some ballet and opera shows that are hosted during the winter months. Saint Petersburg is extremely crowded and very expensive during the summer months. A great time to visit this destination is during the winter months, from early November to March.
Winter is a great time to go for a holiday. Most tourist destinations are lit up beautifully for Christmas and to welcome the New Year. During this time, you will find great sales to shop for souvenirs. So, pack your bags and get ready for a memorable vacation.
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