JIFU knows that it’s never too early to start planning vacations for 2021, and that sometimes the best form of travel is through your computer screen. We wanted to share some of our favorite places to visit in the wintertime. These are places that shine most brilliantly in the colder months, from snow capped mountain peaks to stunning icicle-covered landscapes. Snuggle in deeper to your comfiest blankets and prepare to be wowed by the beauty of our natural world.
Queenstown, New Zealand
The first stop on our remote winter wonderland journey is down under. Queenstown is known for its incredible skiing and snowboarding on the Remarkables Mountain Range, which is located near the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu. If you are not much of a snow bunny, the view of the mountain range from the lake is enough to take your breath away (if the freezing air doesn’t first).
Gullfoss is an Icelandic waterfall that is in the canyon of the Hvítá river and is one of the more popular destinations in the region. The two tier waterfall descends 32 meters (105 feet) down. The freezing cold water comes from the great Langjökull glacier, so the mist that sprays from the waterfall is truly refreshing. Because of this, visitors are urged to bring waterproof clothing in order to fully experience the magnificence of Gullfoss.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Our adventure brings us to the frozen tundra of Russia. Despite the stereotypes that are foisted upon this area, there are many gorgeous natural features that should not be overlooked. One such a place is Lake Baikal, which is known for being the oldest existing freshwater lake on Earth, as well as being the deepest continental body of water. The lake teems with flora and fauna due to the fact that the climate in the area is relatively more mild.
Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan
Perhaps one of the most unique and well known of our featured destinations is Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan. You may be familiar with the images of Japanese Macaques bathing in the hot springs, but the park has quite a bit more to offer. The juxtaposition between the steaming springs that exist because of volcanic activity and the bright white snow that comes along with the park’s evaluation of 850 m (2,800 ft) is truly a sight to behold.
Midway, Utah, USA
Nestled in the Western United States, Midway is your gateway to what seems like another world. From here, visitors can easily access the incredible Homestead Crater. It is a “geothermal hot spring that was created over 10,000 years ago as melting snow went deep into the earth and percolated upward from being heated by the earth’s interior.” You really just have to see it to believe it, and there are many different ways to do so. Additionally, Midway is known for its incredible “ice castles”, which bring fairytales to life.