Five Top Winter Break Destinations

A winter break doesn’t have to mean skiing and snow capped fir trees - it’s a big world and there are plenty of places to go in it! I’ve selected some of the best, and most unusual, places to fly away to this winter: from the sweeping forests of Santa’s home country to the deserts of Nevada. Enjoy!

Nevada, USA

Road trip baby! Fly into San Francisco, pick up a rental car and make the drive to Las Vegas, home of the Rat Pack and watering hole for alarmingly dressed old folk with money to burn. Your drive should take you a couple of weeks, and will take in some of the most famous places in the US – Death Valley, LA and of course the legendary Strip. Bring some gambling money and put it all on black!

Lapland, Finland

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Home of Santa, and one of the most idyllic winter destinations you can find. Lapland is the northern bit of Finland, cloaked in forest and coated in snow for the whole winter. You can go on a reindeer safari, visit Santa with a team of husky dogs or drill a massive hole in the ice and fish for your dinner. Lapland also has plenty of snow sports on offer, including skiing, snowboarding and snow shoeing. Ding dong merrily on high!


Poland’s got it all – medieval history, chic cities and more wilderness than you can shake a stick at. If you want to combine post-Communist urban sprawl with fairy-tale countryside, then this is the country for you. Just don’t expect any great shakes in the menu department: the Poles live for the most part on beetroot, cabbage, and sausage. That said, they know a lot about pudding: strudels to die for and pies to celebrate are the centrepiece of a home cooked meal. Yumsk!

Tuvalu, the Pacific Islands

The Pacific in general embodies the laid back philosophy of the islands: what will happen, will happen, and unless it’s fun it won’t happen until tomorrow! Tuvalu is the distillation of all that heat and restfulness: a tiny group of islands in the middle of absolutely nowhere, where the locals spend vast portions of each day lolling in hammocks and waiting for the sun to get bearable. Ideal for anyone who’s had enough of the insistent grind of Western life – the only cars you’re likely to see are in the capital.


One of the most extraordinary places on this extraordinary earth, Antarctica’s great for a dose of perspective. Glide past an ice shelf in your chartered boat and you’ll wonder why you ever thought a city was an impressive achievement. It’s also the only place in the world where you won’t find a shred of military activity or politicking – at least not so you can see. A haven for scientific endeavour, crazy people who don’t like living with other humans, and some of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Antarctica is to travel what Dom Perignon is to champagne. Leave your car at the airport and enter a new universe. You’ll find information on car parking at Bristol airport here.

The Author is a travel writer. His articles have been published in some of the world’s most famous and widely used travel guides, and his blog posts appear on the websites of the same publications. He has travelled on every continent, and once lived in a tent in New Zealand for six months.

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